Farmers Market Finds

Since Farmer’s Markets are finally in full swing here in upper New Hampshire, I decided to try some recipes from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables, 2006.

This is a great cookbook divided by the seasons. There are many creative recipes that help you use your bounty if you have a garden. Or if you’re not a gardener, how to make best use of what is available in season at the Farmer’s Markets.

There are a number of Farmer’s Markets in the area. My favorite are the ones in Tamworth and in Wolfeboro. The Wolfeboro market is a bit challenging for me to make since its Thursday afternoons. Wolfeboro is made up of retired folk who have the leisure to go on Thursdays. Lately, if its quiet at work, I use my lunch hour to go shopping there. Tamworth’s is on Saturday morning and is a bit of a drive for me. If I’m not working, I like to laze around on Saturday, so I don’t go there as frequently.

Wolfeboro Farmer's Market

Either way, I hope you go to Farmer’s Markets. Not only are you getting the freshest produce, but you are supporting the local economy. I win, win all around.

This week I snagged green beans, lettuce, beets, and zucchini. Here’s two good recipes I made from Farmer John’s cookbook using two of these vegetables.

Green Bean Salad

  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 lb. green beans
  • 1 tsp. salt plus more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved (about 1/2 c.)

Trim and cut your green beans

Toast the walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably iron) over high heat until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant (watch carefully so you don’t burn them). Set aside to cool

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and salt; cook until tender but still firm, 3-5 minutes (I cooked them 5 minutes)

Transfer beans to a colander in the sink and run cold water over them

Toss the beans and walnuts in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and olive oil until well combined. Put this over the beans and toss until well coated

Place on plates and then gently scatter the Parmesan shavings on top

So simple and so good. I think the Parmesan cheese really makes this dish. Dan and I devoured the green beans!

We had the green beans with paninnis made with heirloom tomatoes.

Belleau Lake, scene of our boat ride

Last night Dan and I were invited to take a lake tour on our friends’ pontoon boat. Everyone was to bring an appetizer to share. I decided to use the zucchini and make Creamy Zucchini-Cumin Dip.

  • 4 small or 2 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. sour cream (I used low fat)
  • 2 tbs. finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Paprika

Place the grated zucchini in a medium bowl; add the salt and mix well

Transfer to a colander and set in the sink to drain for at least 15 minutes or up to 30 (Obviously over a bowl)

Meanwhile, put the sour cream, chopped onion, lime juice and cumin in a large serving bowl

Stir until well combined and season with pepper and paprika to taste

Squeeze as much moisture as you can from the zucchini with your hands (this is messy!)

Add the zucchini to the sour cream mixture

Stir until well combined

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours

Serve cold or at room temperature with chips or crackers

I was in a rush, so I didn’t take photos. This was good and healthy tasting. But not so good that I’d make it again – unless I had a lot of zucchini!



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