Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July and Farmer's Market

This weekend is a big one for local produce!

First, I had the 4th of July party yesterday at my new place. The crowd was a good mix; old friends, family, and new neighbor friends. A lot of the food was standard holiday favorites like devilled eggs and potato salad, hamburgers and hot dogs. There were also a few new standouts:

  • Caprese salad: Fresh-sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella (the kind that comes packed in water) and basil leaves, with balsamic vinegar glaze and olive oil drizzled on top with a little salt. This dish highlights the tomatoes, so it's best to make when the local ones are really fresh. I had one brandywine from my garden and a few hothouse ones from Scenic View. The basil was from a little stand at the Thursday farmer's market in Everedy Square on East Street. I picked up the mozzarella (homemade by my friend Juliet), balsamic glaze, and olive oil at Juliet's (also known as Vignola's Italian Market, on Church Street). You could just as easily use regular balsamic vinegar, but the glaze keeps its shape nicely. You can also make a glaze by reducing balsamic vinegar over medium low heat until it's syrupy.
  • Grilled vegetables: This is also super-easy. Slice your vegetables (I used squash and zucchini from Chesapeake's Choice, garlic scapes from the West Frederick Farmer's market, plus some eggplant and multicolor peppers from the store.) Toss with a dressing of your choice and make sure there is enough oil that your veggies will not stick to the grill. I tossed in a little canola oil with salt and then threw in some ginger and sesame teriyaki marinade. People kept asking me about the marinade, and look, I got it from a bottle. It's easy to make it though if you have some soy/tamari sauce and pineapple juice with fresh grated ginger and a little sesame seed oil. Note that grilled veggies are also great rolled up around a little wad of lemon-flavored ricotta.
  • Lime & peanut coleslaw: I used this recipe from 101 Cookbooks but modified it to include roasted almond slivers instead of peanuts. I also threw in a few of Yeon's tomatillos. Big hit. I made a huge bowl (double recipe) and there was nothing left. I also used cilantro from our gardens. Isn't that nice? I was planning to use my cherry tomatoes but the rain the night before split them. (Yeon reminds me that this salad has a strong lime and cilantro flavor that not everyone likes. The people who do like it are rabid about it.)
Yeon also brought over some gorgeous lettuce leaves for the burgers; three different varieties of perfect looking leaves.

And a note about the devilled eggs: I made them once for a picnic using my mother's recipe and my friends scarfed them. Both Elin and Yeon requested them again. My mother made four dozen for the Fourth. FOUR DOZEN. There were none left. I'll post a recipe here soon. Use local eggs but use older ones- they are easier to peel.

At the farmer's market today, I was in kind of a haze. I have so much leftover food and beer in my refrigerator that I did not spend my normal $40. I spent about $15 and got:
  • Cranberry-orange scone, chocolate croissant, and apricot cookie from Cakes for Cause
  • 1 cup of yogurt and a container of cheddar-horseradish cream cheese from South Mountain Creamery (ate some of the cream cheese on ciabatta toasts this afternoon- delicious).
  • Three dog cookies from Chesapeake's choice
  • a pint of apricots from Scenic View. I am obsessively in love with apricots.
I was very tempted to buy other things, like FRESH LOCAL CORN from Scenic View, blackberries, and snow peas from Summer Creek Farm, but I just couldn't do it. My fridge is too full!

The market is bursting with produce now. Don't miss it! And when you buy stuff, think of the poor people like myself whose refrigerators are full to bursting and can't enjoy any more goodness.


1 comment:

Yeon said...

All the dishes were so tasty. I really loved the lime-almond slaw and your mom's deviled eggs. I want to eat them again! I am excited that your mom's recipe is on its way!