Seconds Favorites

You love it, you make it. Even it’s seconds. So I was cruising around the Farmer’s Market (yes, this is a few months back based on the ingredients) and trying to decide what to make for a Supper Club dinner coming up. I realized that a couple of my favorites were in high quantity because of the season — (beefsteak) tomatoes and peaches/nectarines. Now, while I love supporting the locals, sometimes those produce items can get up to $4-6/lb. And those beefsteaks can weight 1lb+ each!

So I noticed somebody who worked for one of the stands I usually buy from tossing stuff to the side and I asked her what they were and what was wrong with them. She said they were just a bit bruised, had torn/broken skin, etc, so couldn’t be sold a regular price. They all cost $1/lb! Just takes a little digging to find the one they aren’t totally bad, which isn’t hard. SOLD!

So, while digging, I came up with a good combo idea of tomatoes and peaches then remembered I had some Hearts of Palm at home.

img_0090

I just cubed all of them, added some spices (I think it was garlic, S&P) and tossed them together. Heaven! The only thing I had to do was drain it a bit because of the juiciness. Leftovers = zero. Too bad I didn’t get seconds from the seconds.

img_0092

Throw it together

I got handed all this stuff from friends from various farmers’ markets (not the stuff I had) and had to put it together.  So I also had all the fresh veggies I purchased that I (still) needed to use.  What did I make?  Delicious salad!

Ingredients:

-(Huge) tomatoes
-Peaches
-Avocados
-Red onion
-Garlic Salt (some form of garlic belongs in near everything)
-Pepper
-Lemon juice

So fresh, so good.  I’m surprised I have leftovers. That’s what I’m eating tonight.

 

image

Farmer’s Market Finds

Roamed by the farmer’s market the other day and had to stop when I saw all the great looking heirloom tomatoes.  These guys were awesome.  I knew I wouldn’t be leaving without some.  I had to pick, though, and that was the hardest part.  The one I really wanted was the big orange one behind the the large group of smaller red guys on the right (not in the basket).  But first I had to take it to the scale…1.8 pounds.  WHOA!  Ok, I was not going to pay over $7 for 1 tomato.  I grabbed various colors of the smaller guys.

image

Then, next to them were some eggplant I’d never seen before, Fairy Tale Eggplant.  I was told to slice them longways and grill (can’t have a BBQ at my place) or pan sear/cook them.  They had a nice flavor to them, different than a normal eggplant — a bit sweet — and just so fun.

Love the farmer’s market!

image

Dax Farmer’s Market

I have been off the blogging scene recently because of an oh-so-rough trip to Ireland and France.  I am now starting to recap said vacation…

One of the best parts of the trip was why I went — for a friend’s wedding in SW France, in a small town named Dax.  It’s about a 90 minute drive from Bordeaux.

franceMy friend’s fiance had told me about the must-do the morning of the wedding, the local farmer’s market.  It ended up being about 2 blocks from the hotel.  WOW.  The place was making Pike Place look weak on some levels.  Some 3+ hours later we returned to the hotel with lunch to enjoy outside.  I grabbed Paella, as this town is close to Spain so they get some of their influence.  Others grabbed cheese and sausage, bread, veggies, some had nice flatbread-like pizza.  And, of course, wine!

Almost too good to be true.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Avocado Salad with Peaches

Was looking for something fun, super fresh and relatively easy to make for dinner. I remembered this salad from Bon Appetit that I found a few years ago. Avocados, peaches and arugula…some of my favorites. It was the perfect thing to make and pretty simple.

Avocado Salad with Peaches
4-6 Servings

Ingredients

1/2 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (I got SUPER lazy and used liquid vanilla)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 almost-ripe avocados
8 cups arugula or sorrel
2 peaches, diced and peeled

a1

Preparation

-Roast bell pepper (I do it on my gas stove – so easy).

a2

a3

-Peel and chop pepper; puree with red wine vinegar, vanilla and sugar in blender (I used the mini-prep) until smooth.

a6

-With machine running, gradually add olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.

a7

-Halve and pit avocados and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and place cut side down on and medium-hot grill until nicely charred, about 5 minutes (ok, so I don’t/can’t have a grill. So, I put foil over a burner on my gas stove and made it work. Creativity in the kitchen). Peel and thickly slice.

a4

a5

 

a8

-Toss with arugula or sorrel and peaches. Drizzle dressing over top (I just toss all of it together — dressing and everything).

a9

I served this with shrimp. Delicious!!!

New Corks in MD

Sunday morning, local farmers market.  You have the fun of trying and buying all the delicious produce…especially this time of year with apples and pears!!!  At the one in the Bethesda, every so often there will be a local vintner making an appearance.  I happened to stumble (yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking) upon one last time I was there….it was 10am…I wish they had bubbly, then maybe stumble could have been what crossed your mind!

Anyway, the new winery is Big Cork Vineyards and they are in Frederick, MD.

IMG_1579

They were offering four varietals, all white.  Not bad for MD.  The reds will be available this fall.  And, what was great to hear is that the winery will be open for tastings in Spring 2014.  Look forward to checking it out.

IMG_1577