Welcome to Summer!

By Michelle Plummer

Finally!  Summer is here and the herbs and vegetables are in the gardens and fields.  I have had radishes two times this year thanks to my neighbor and his plantings.  There is something nostalgic about people exchanging food stuffs over the neighbor’s fence….or radishes in my case.

But if you don’t have a neighbor like mine, there are many local farmers markets, fresh produce stands popping up everywhere.  In my area alone I can think of five I go to regularly.  I think there is something magical about going to the market seeing a bit of dirt on the tomatoes or under the farmer’s nails that makes you not only want to purchase the item but rush home and make something wonderful!

On my last trip to the farmers market (Thursday), I found delicious berries, spinach greens, cheese and homemade bread and jam.  Of course planning dinner is never on my mind being so overwhelmed with great mounds of produce and other products; I just bought.  Once home, I began putting my farm fresh nuggets into the dinner menu.  Here is what I had: crispy bacon and onions sautéed in a skillet with mounds of spinach on top and wilted until just tender.  Added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and there was the entrée!  I served warm pieces of bread (not sliced, but randomly pulled) with cheese smeared atop and garnished with diced tomato and rosemary.  For dessert, sliced fruit, added a bit of jam to make a sauce and ladled over ice cream and yogurt (the dairy treats complement each other and helps reduce the calories) for a delicious ‘sundae’ treat.

Here are some other great finds at the market:  try the corn, dipped in water, keep the husk and silk on, grill for 20 minutes, remove the husk and silk (it comes off easily once cooked) and serve with melted herb butter, or roll in parmesan cheese.

Here is a secret to help get everyone more excited about eating their veggies….Grill them!  Sliced, cubed, skewered or whole, grilling allows the natural sugars in the veggies to caramelize and show off their wonderful flavors.  For those still not convinced, whip up a simple dip using Greek yogurt, fresh herbs, grated onion and feta cheese to drizzle over the top, I promise there won’t be anything left on the plate!

Enjoy the summer, the farmers market, the grill and all the benefits!  They all work together for great fresh meals in a dash!

One Response

  1. Makes one want to run out to the nearest Farmer’s Market ASAP!!!

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