Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fun Food Ideas for family and entertaining

Dear Folks,

I have some fun ideas for quick or interesting serving suggestions using foods you can find at your local farmers market.


Pictured is "My Toothpick Caprese Salad"

This is a great farmers market source and east to put together.  I am serving them on orange leaves for easy pickup and to 'catch' any juice from the tomatoes.  (Citrus tree leaves are edible - a little crunchy :-) but perfect for decorating and displaying foods.)

The cheese is Arizona Cheese Co's cheddar curds, wrapped in a fresh basil leaf and cuddled with fresh grape or cherry tomatoes - oh yum!

Need a fast and tasty meal?  Eggs poached in salsa arranged over a bed of fresh market greens, and served with crusty bread.  I enjoy any of the market vendors fresh eggs and Shirley's "Lil Sassy Salsa" for these - Whimpy :-) to beam me up Scott hot.

To wow your guests and grill Dry Bay Fish Company's Sockeye Salmon with fresh herbs and little white wine.  Use aluminum foil to great a package.  Herbs under and over the salmon - single layer - a little white wine for steaming. 20 minutes on indirect grill heat and amazing flavor.

Dr. Humus' tabouleh salad is a great base for dressed pasta, grain (rice, barley, quinoa etc.) or potatoes.  (Cold grain salads are a great side dish - or can be used to 'stuff' cherry tomatoes or mushrooms.)  Make a super nice dip with a quarter to half cup of the tabouleh to 2 cups of Greek style (or drained) plain yogurt - add a couple of chopped scallions and dash of salt and you have a healthy dip alternative.

Or use Dr. Humus' tasty pesto in the same way to make a different flavored dip.  Watching calories - use slices of cucumber in place of crackers.

Pita Bread or chips available from Dr. Humus - their chips go with any of their dips, but use the pita bread to make a super fresh pizza - separate the bread into two, top each with pesto or tabouleh, fresh tomatoes, cheese and bake in toaster oven on "toast" for 10 minutes or a conventional oven at 400 for 10 minutes.

Need some fast hamburgers?  Grab a package of Red Mountain Cattle's ground meat, a potato from One Windmill Farm, and some fresh herbs.  Pick up tomatoes, lettuce and onions for the burgers.  Shred a half of medium washed but not peeled potato for each pound of hamburger,  finely mince herbs.  Toss the herbs with the potato and mix the potato/herb blend with the meat - do not over work the burger meat.  Form into patties and grill as usual.  The potato keeps the grass-fed beef moist.

Bruschetta anyone?   Grab a crusty bread from the market, some of the amazing tomatoes and Dr. Humus' pesto or humus (many taste varieties - all great) - slice bread on diagonal, toast, spread with pesto or humus and top with slice tomato - so good!

Be sure and check out the other wonderful food and craft vendors at the markets and buy great products while supporting YOUR local community.

Have a great day!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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