Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fresh Farmer's Market Finds

by Word on Main Street contributor Karyn Elliott

Yesterday we headed down to the Farmer's Market with friends to purchase our weekly vegetables. There seems to be quite a few more vendors appearing as the summer heats up. We were happy to find a farmer with an e-mail notification list. Sign up and she'll send you an e-mail letting you know what she is bringing to market each week. I meant to remember her name, but I was distracted by the beets...and the cucumbers... Regardless, we're on the list!

This week we picked out quite a few vegetables. It's been a fun challenge figuring out how to creatively get them into our meals in such a way that my almost two-year-old will eat them. Last night I stir-fried zucchini, snow peas, green onions, and yellow squash (all from our local Farmer's Market). For color I threw in a few carrots and red peppers found in my fridge. In my before-children life I would have added sauce directly to the vegetables, however, these days I serve the sauce on the side. The boys ate their rice and veggies separately, and my husband and I layered our vegetables over rice and topped it off with some sauce. The sauce is sort of a "by feel" type recipe. I started with soy sauce and added the following until it tasted "right": brown sugar, finely chopped garlic, grated fresh ginger (or powdered), thinly sliced, fresh green onion, and sesame seeds. It's one of our favorite meals.

We also purchased some green tomatoes. I've never made fried green tomatoes before, but I'd watched a friend whip up a batch and was eager to give them try on my own. Tonight I mixed up some egg and milk in one bowl. In the another bowl I mixed equal parts cornmeal and flour before stirring in a little salt and pepper.

I sliced up the tomatoes and dredged them in the egg and flour mixtures. Then I fried them over medium heat in some canola oil until they were crunchy and golden. YUM! They turned out great! Those people out west (where I grew up) don't know what they're missing!

To go along with our dinner of tomatoes and baked chicken I made a salad using the beets we'd purchased at the Farmer's Market. Earlier today I had washed four beets and cut off the greens. Next I drizzled the beets with some olive oil and wrapped them in foil (like a packet) before roasting them in a 425 degrees oven for about 30 minutes. I popped the roasted beets in the fridge to cool them down before peeling them and chopping them into chunks. I added the cooled beets to a salad made of spinach, walnuts, and Gorgonzola cheese dressed with some homemade ranch and buttered croutons. Delicious!

We've still got cucumbers and more squash sitting in the fridge. I'm eager to come up with something yummy for tomorrow night's dinner. But for now I'm going to grab a book and a glass of ice water and relax!


  1. That looks so good!!!

  2. Thanks for the great ideas! We'll be shopping at the market on Tuesday!