FARMER’S MARKET PANZANELLA
Yield: 6 servings
3 ears corn, shucked
2 c. chopped ripe tomatoes (use of mixed colors and varieties)
1 large cucumber, seeded and cut into 1” cubes
1 large sweet pepper, seeded cut into 1” pieces
½ red onion, sliced thin
½ c. Extra-virgin olive oil
5 Tbl. Red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
Generous pinch kosher salt
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
½ loaf ciabatta, baguette, or other crusty bread
1-2 whole peeled garlic cloves
½ c. packed basil leaves, torn into rough pieces
Blanch the corn in a large pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from the pot and allow it to cool before cutting the kernels off the cob. Place the corn in a large shallow bowl along with the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and red onion. Separately whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, and add this vinaigrette to the vegetables tossing well to coat. Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes to allow juices run and flavors to develop.
Meanwhile, preheat a grill on medium-low. Cut the bread in half lengthwise, brush generously with olive oil, and grill cut side down for about 4 minutes or until the bread is well-browned and very toasty. Turn and toast the other side for another minute. Remove from the grill and rub the cut side of the loaf generously with the garlic cloves. Cut the bread into one-inch cubes and set aside until ready to use (you will need about 3 cups total for the salad).
Add the cooled toasted bread cubes and torn basil leaves to the vegetables, tossing everything gently. Allow the salad to sit for at least 10 minutes to soak up the juices before serving.
Recipe Notes: This salad can also be assembled as a bruschetta and is great topped with grilled shrimp or salmon! Other good additions are pitted calamata olives, capers, feta, or fresh mozzarella. In place of grilling the bread can also be toasted in a 350 oven on a baking sheet for 12-15 minutes.
GRILLED ZUCCHINI HUMMUS
Yield: About 2 ½ cups
1 ½ lb. fresh zucchini (about 2-3 small)
Approx. 1/3 c. good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 – 15 oz. can cooked garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed & drained well
2 cloves garlic
¼ c. tahini (sesame paste)
Juice of 2 lemons
1 Tbl. chopped fresh mint
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Garnish: Chopped fresh parsley
Preheat grill on medium-high. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise (thirds if larger) and toss with a light amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill the pieces until tender and lightly charred, turning half-way through, 7-8 minutes in total (zucchini can also be sautéed on stove or roasted in a 400 oven). Remove from the grill and allow pieces to cool. Discard any liquid and dice 1 cup zucchini to set side.
Chop the remaining zucchini and add it to a food processor along with the garbanzo beans, garlic, tahini, lemon, mint, and salt and pepper. Puree this mixture until blended, and add 2 Tbl. olive oil continuing to process until completely smooth. Taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper as needed. Transfer the hummus to a large bowl and stir in the reserved diced zucchini……cover and chill until ready to use. Serve hummus garnished with fresh parsley and a good drizzle of olive oil over the top!
Note: This can be made up to 2 days in advance.
HOMEMADE PITA CHIPS
Yield: enough for 8
4 whole pita bread rounds, about 8” in diameter
¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like spice)
1 Tbl. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
Preheat the oven to 350. Stack the pita bread, cut them into wedges, and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Stir together all of the remaining ingredients and pour over the bread, using your hands to toss and coat the pieces evenly with the mixture. Bake for 7-8 minutes, flip, and continue to bake for another 4-5 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Note: Pita chips can be stored in a container at room temperature for a couple of days!
HOMEMADE REFRIGERATOR DILL PICKLES
Yield: About 3 quarts
4 lb. pickling cucumbers, 3-4” long (approx. 14 medium pickles)
1 lg. bunch fresh dill, washed but left whole (the ends of the stems trimmed only)
8 whole cloves garlic
6 c. water
¼ c. kosher salt
2 c. cider vinegar
¾ tsp. cream of tartar
Prepare containers….very clean plastic storage containers are simple and work great. Sanitized glass jars can also be used but need to be filled with hot water until the brine is ready so the jars won’t crack.
Wash the cucumbers very thoroughly and distribute among containers leaving generous space for the brine. Divide the dill and garlic cloves evenly among pickles. In a medium pot combine the water, salt, vinegar, and cream of tartar. Bring this mixture to a gentle boil and pour the hot brine over the cucumbers, covering them completely. Let the pickles sit for 20-30 minutes at room temperature then cover and refrigerate, allowing the cucumbers to ‘pickle’ for 1-2 weeks before eating. These will keep in the refrigerator for 4-6 weeks as long as they remain in their brine.
Note: Cucumbers can also be cut into rounds or spears before pickling!
Great day today at the Topsfield Farmer’s Market! We met some wonderful people and offered samples and recipes for Heirloom Tomato Salsa and Raw Kale Salad with Curry Vinaigrette (thanks to Wheeler Brook Farm, Georgetown for the veggies!!). Looking forward to the upcoming cooking classes I’ll be teaching at The Gould Barn in Topsfield…..can’t wait and hope to see you there! Carolyn