Posts Tagged ‘tom the cheese guy’

One Local Summer Tomato Peach Panzanella

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

By this point of the summer, meals at the Foodie Tot house tend to become simple variations of mixed grill or summer salads. To say I am obsessed with the pairing of summer tomatoes and peaches would be an understatement. This Italian bread salad, incorporating the two plus sweet corn, is the perfect showcase for summer’s peak ingredients and is a quick, no-cook, one-dish-meal that’s perfect for busy summer weekends.

tomato peach panzanella salad

Recipe: Tomato Peach Panzanella

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices day-old hearty Italian bread or corn bread
  • 2 large very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 large very ripe peaches
  • 2 ears corn, shucked
  • several basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces aged white cheddar, cubed

vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions: Toast the bread slices and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Cut the tomatoes and peaches into 1/2-inch cubes as well. Cut the corn kernels off the cobs. In a bowl, layer the bread, tomatoes, peaches and corn. Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to make vinaigrette. Sprinkle vinaigrette and basil over salad and toss gently. Stir in cheese and let stand for 10 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

Farms of Origin: peaches, Bigg Riggs (WV); tomatoes, basil, sweet corn, Potomac Vegetable Farms CSA (VA); cheddar, Tom the Cheese Guy (PA); bread (dinner rolls), Valentine’s Country Bakery & Meat (VA); from the Alexandria Upper King Street and McLean Farmers Markets.

More peach & tomato recipes:

What’s your favorite peach/tomato recipe?

One Local Summer is an annual challenge in which people around the world join together for 13 weeks of seasonal eating, supporting local farmers and exploring their local foodsheds. Visit FarmtoPhilly on Tuesdays for the weekly round-up; here’s what my neighbors in the Southern region cooked up this week.

At Market: Squash Blossom Succotash (and get ready for Farmers Market Week!)

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

July at the Markets: Summer harvest is in full stride now at the Alexandria/DC markets, with sweet corn, summer squash, and the first heirloom tomatoes making their debut. Blueberries and raspberries will soon be gone, and early varieties of apples are already turning up.

I intended to make Oyamel’s squash blossom soup with my recent market bounty, but instead decided to make a succotash to fill some buckwheat crepes. Sort of a repeat of last summer’s Chesapeake Crepes, with the addition of okra and the blossoms. I picked up okra and multicolored jalapeños at Sunday’s West End Alexandria Market, and the squash blossoms I scored two-for-one from Westmoreland Berry Farm as it was getting close to closing time. The bicolor sweet corn came from Long Meadow Farm at last Wednesday’s King Street Market.

Cooking with squash blossoms: Sure squash blossoms look pretty and have a heady sweet fragrance that screams summer, but are you wondering what to actually do with them? They have a mild flavor that benefits from a simple preparation – stuffed with goat cheese or ricotta and quickly fried is a classic Italian dish, but you can also use them in soups or other dishes more like an herb. The blossoms are very delicate and are best used the day of purchase. If you don’t get to them that day, be sure to put them in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook them, pull the flower open gently to avoid ripping and be on the lookout for little, uh, critters (the downside of buying organic) while you pinch and gently remove the stamen. Then carefully fill and fry or bake for stuffed blossoms, or slice them up for this recipe.

Recipe: Squash Blossom Succotash

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ears corn, kernels removed
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pint okra, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 4 squash blossoms, thinly sliced
  • 4 leaves basil, torn
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions: Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add corn and jalapeño and cook several minutes. Increase heat to medium high and add okra. Cook 3-4 minutes until corn is beginning to brown and okra is just tender. Stir in tomato, squash blossoms and basil and cook 1 additional minute, then remove from heat. Sprinkle with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.

To make crepes: prepare buckwheat crepe batter and cook crepes on one side. Flip and sprinkle cooked side with grated cheddar cheese and a large spoonful of succotash. Cook about a minute and fold, then remove from heat. I folded the toddler’s in half like a quesadilla. He doesn’t usually eat tomatoes and had never eaten okra, but he devoured this and asked for more. I have to give credit to Mr. Tom’s cheese, it makes everything go down easier. Enjoy!

More squash blossom recipes:

Farmers Market Week is coming! National Farmers Market Week begins Sunday, August 2. Visit a farmers market near you and let me know what’s new! See something unusual? Ask here and I’ll tell you what to do with it.

One Local Summer BBQ Bash

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

To close out the summer, we savored the best of local foods from coast to coast. I’ll write more about our Oregon finds later this week, but for the official last post of One Local Summer I wanted to detail the family barbeque we had this weekend for the toddler’s 2nd birthday.

On the menu:

  • Heirloom vegetable crudite with Italian “Little Tree of Sarzano” zucchini, lemon cucumbers, yellow and purple peppers, purple cherokee cherry tomatoes
  • Corn chips with fresh peach salsa
  • Watermelon gazpacho
  • Grilled corn-on-the-cob with South Mountain Creamery butter
  • Virginia beef hamburgers (freshly ground by the butcher) on Va.-made buns with Tom’s cave-aged smethe cheese & Amish pickles (PA), Bigg Rigg’s ramp mustard (WV) and Mr. Ugly tomatoes (MD)
  • Beverages: Peach Sangria, with Barboursville sparkling wine (VA); Fordham (MD), Dominion (VA) and Dogfish Head (DE) beer.
  • Dessert: birthday cake & cupcake from Buzz Bakery.

The produce came from our Potomac Vegetable Farms CSA; Mt. Olympus Farm, Reid’s Orchard and a Northern Neck VA farmer at the McLean market; and Tom the Cheese Guy, D&S Farms and the plant stand at the Del Ray market.

Only non-local ingredients: tortilla chips (though Snyders were from PA), jicama, seltzer, Gulden’s mustard and organic ketchup. One lesson learned – don’t ask a butcher how much beef you’ll need unless you want some giant burgers! But they were oh so very good.