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One Local Summer, wk3: Squash + Berries

June 22nd, 2008 · 8 Comments

This week, with Father’s Day on Sunday, our one local summer “day” was spread out throughout the week. For Father’s Day, the husband and I went out to an Italian cheese and meat course at Cheesetique, followed by dinner at Rustico. Rustico is a great neighborhood restaurant that sources a lot of their products from local farms and producers, and has a massive beer selection. I managed to have a fairly-local meal there, with Chesapeake (Dragon Creek) oysters, asparagus salad with FireFly goat cheese (MD, 173mi.), and the most local beer they had on tap, Southampton Ale (NY, 330mi.). (On tap = less packaging, which offsets some of the miles, right? That’s my story, anyway.)

I visited two farmers markets this week, Alexandria’s West End and Penn Quarter in DC (photos), plus had the CSA bag. We still have a fridge full of veggies to use up before the next CSA delivery on Wednesday as I just can’t pass up all the great summer produce that’s coming into season! Here’s what we cooked this week:

Dad’s Day Brunch: Pattypan squash and Virginia spicy beef sausage hash, chocolate-strawberry stuffed french toast, topped with strawberry red wine sauce. (Non-local but organic chocolate, bread from local bakery.) This squash hash is a great way to lighten the traditional potato-based dish for summer.

Recipe: Squash and Sausage Hash


  • 1 large pattypan squash, diced (any summer squash would work really)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 sausages, sliced
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 2 T parsley, chopped

Heat oil over medium high heat. Add sausage and brown. Reduce heat to medium and add onion and squash. Cook about 5-7 minutes until squash is tender and golden. Remove from heat, add fresh parsley and serve.

(Toddler tried to like this, but the spicy beef sausage was just too spicy! Will make sure to get a sweet sausage for him next time.)

Dinner 1: garlic scape pesto-marinated flank steak and golden zucchini on the grill (non-local brown rice).

Dinner 2: leftover steak and zucchini salad, with a side of roasted asparagus, egg, and shaved Everona Stony Man cheese.

Dessert: previously mentioned Summer Solstice Shortcake with Basil-Infused Berries. (non-local flour, baking soda and salt)

So far my only local grain find is Maryland corn meal. I need to find some other grains, but I have a feeling whole grains like brown rice are not going to be possible.


  • Parsley, scapes, lettuce – Potomac Vegetable Farms CSA, VA, 23mi.
  • Asparagus, berries – Westmoreland Berry Farm, VA, 71mi.
  • Stony Man (aged sheeps milk) cheese – Everona Dairy, VA, 83mi.
  • Squash, onion – J&W Valley View Farm, VA, 84mi.
  • Organic eggs – Hilldale Farm, VA, 111mi.
  • Sausage, flank steak – Fauquier County, VA, 67mi. (via Let’s Meat on the Avenue, 1.1mi.)

Tags: at market · one local summer · recipes

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tiffany // Jun 23, 2008 at 10:17 am

    What is your source for corn meal? Mount Vernon’s gristmill also has cornmeal. . . . I have been trying to research sources of local grains and not coming up with a lot of options. I did find one that’s three hours away in the Shenandoah Valley– Wade’s Mill– which offers wheat flour, white flour, buckwheat, and polenta. But, three hours is a long drive. . . .

  • 2 Avra // Jun 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I just bought 2 lbs of scapes from our local farmer’s market. I’m looking forward to making lots of dishes with it, including pestos and soups. Unfortunately, our season for scapes is just about over…

  • 3 Avra // Jun 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    PS thanks for the pasta dressing suggestions!

  • 4 foodietots
    Twitter: foodietots
    // Jun 24, 2008 at 9:22 am

    @ Tiffany – I forgot about the Mount Vernon mill! And that’s so close to me. Do you have to pay admission just to buy flour? I bought “Indian Head” cornmeal from Washington Quality Foods at the grocery store. They’re a family-owned company headquartered in Ellicott City, MD, though I haven’t found anything to suggest the corn actually comes from Maryland. There’s the Wye Mill over on the Eastern Shore, but I can’t tell from their website if they sell more than plain white flour. We’ll probably go visit sometime this summer anyway. I found another one in Virginia, Byrd’s Mill down by Richmond, that sells white, wheat, buckwheat and corn meal.

  • 5 foodietots
    Twitter: foodietots
    // Jun 24, 2008 at 9:25 am

    @ Avra – Enjoy your scape pesto! I think last week’s bunch in our CSA bag may have been the last for us, they were pretty tough and woody. Fortunately I have a few in the freezer, plus a bit of pesto, for a treat later in the year.

    And you’re welcome for the suggestions!

  • 6 Jill // Jun 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    That asparagus and egg dish looks so good! If it were Spanish, it could be a tapas dish at Jaleo!

  • 7 Tiffany // Jun 26, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Hi again! To answer your question about the grist mill, I don’t think you have to pay an admission fee to buy cornmeal. I haven’t bought from them yet since I still have some cornmeal in my pantry. Once I do, I will let you know. Thanks for all the info on your other local sources– this is really helpful!

  • 8 foodietots
    Twitter: foodietots
    // Jun 27, 2008 at 9:12 am

    @ Jill – I could make it with manchego next time… should suggest it to Jose next spring. 😉