Friday, September 3, 2010

Signs of Autumn

Market Day: September 1
At this week's market: tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, all kinds of leafy greens, winter squashes

On a very hot day at the Davis Square Farmers' Market, I saw the first signs of fall. While the temperature was about 95 degrees, the calendar had turned to September, and it brought squash with it: I saw butternuts, red kuris, delicatas, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash.

Of course, despite these harbingers of winter, the market was still full of summer vegetables: Kimball Fruit Farm's tomatoes are still out in force, as are their raspberries and peaches. Enterprise Farm has a number of different kinds of melons, perfect for summer evenings. And Hanson Farm's zucchini are still petite and glowing. So there's still time to make some ratatouille and caponata as the summer winds down. And if the heat has you unable even to think of cooking, just slice up an heirloom tomato and sprinkle it with salt, or cut up a cantaloupe and serve it with ham. Before school starts and the temperature drops enough that those acorn squash look appealing, make sure to savor the last tastes of summer.
Chef Sam shares a recipe below that's perfect for the transition from summer to fall. Mushrooms are starting to appear in your local market, and this recipe makes a great vegetarian main dish from them. The recipe involves a little bit of resting time for the batter and some fancy cooking terms, so read it through before you try it. When you're done, you can impress all your friends with your tales of julienning fennel, sweating onions, and deglazing pans. Happy almost fall!

Recipe: Wild Mushroom and Fennel Crepe

Crepe Batter (makes 8-12)
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar

Crepe Filling (fills 8-12)
2 heads fennel
8 cups mushrooms, cut in half
4 small white onions
2-4 tsp chopped garlic
6 cups arugula or spinach
2/3 cup madeira
salt and pepper to taste

Crepe Batter:
Mix salt, sugar, and flour together and set aside.
Mix the eggs and milk together. Add this to the flour mixture, then gently fold in the clarified butter. Let this mixture rest for an hour or so to relax the gluten in the flour. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat, and pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan in a thin sheet, then cook through, about 1 minute per side. Set aside on parchment paper.

Core the fennel and reserve the fronds.
Julienne the onion and the fennel bulb.
Roughly chop the fronds of the fennel and reserve them.
Cut the mushrooms in half, but leave the small ones whole.
Finely chop the garlic.

Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan, then add the onions, fennel, salt and pepper, and sweat the onions and fennel. Add the garlic and mushrooms and gently saute them until they are just tender. Add the fennel fronds to the pan, and then deglaze the pan with the madeira. Add the arugula and spinach, toss them briefly, then remove the pan from the heat. Stuff the crepes with the filling, and serve topped with herbed creme fraiche.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Farmer Al, a Dreary Day, and Peaches

Market Day: August 25
At this week's market: peaches, apples, pears, plums, blueberries, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers (hot and sweet), zucchini, summer squash, and all sorts of greens

It was rainy and chilly at this week's Davis Square Farmers' Market; the summery piles of peaches and eggplants looked incongruous in the weather. The market had actually flooded, earlier in the day, and while the water had gone down by the time I got there, everyone seemed a little beleaguered. The chill had me planning a hearty soup, and I was drawn to the piles of squash on Farmer Al's table.

I've been curious about Farmer Al for a while now; usually, he oversees his stand next to a cheerfully-painted sign that reads "The Calaloo Man." I introduced myself, and asked about his squash. "It's buttercup," he said, in his lilting accent. "Buttercup, buttercup, where have you been? I've been to London to look at the queen." He also had some shiny red peppers which came to a point; I asked them if they were sweet, and he said "Yes! They are delectable and delicious." All of his produce is organically grown, and the peppers and yellow tomatoes I bought were indeed delectable and delicious. Before I left, I asked him if I could take his picture. He looked dubious. His face, he told me, had a problem with cameras; it broke them. I didn't believe him, and he very kindly obliged me by taking off his orange hat, putting on his baseball cap, and smiling. Here he is in the rain.

In case you're worried, my camera doesn't appear to have broken yet. Perhaps it's a delayed effect.

Meanwhile, sunny summer has reappeared, and I'm no longer craving squash soup. Chef Robert offers a more seasonally-appropriate recipe, perfect for impressing your friends and savoring the summer peaches.

Recipe: Bruleéd Kimball Fruit Farm Peach with Minted Whipped Cream and Sexy Aged Balsamic Vinegar
This is more of a parlor trick than a recipe. This time of the year, with the fresh ingredients arriving from the farm daily, less is more. The one piece of specialty equipment that you'll need is a blow torch. If you don't have one handy you can just grill the peaches on a hot grill, just enough to get a slight char on the outside.

2 Ripe Kimball Fruit Farm Peaches
4 tablespoons spoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pint High Lawn Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar (make sure to get some that is aged at least five years; you can find it at Russo's)

Cut the peaches in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Make a small cut on the skin side so that the peach sits flesh side up on a small dessert plate. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle an even layer on to the flesh of the peach. Brulee the top of the peach with the blow torch until dark brown (or grill it, flesh-side down, on a hot grill until it is dark brown.) Allow it to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, whip the very cold cream with a whisk to the consistency of whipped cream. Fold in the mint and vanilla, then put a generous scoop on top of each peach. Drizzle the balsamic on top of the peach and in a nice ring around the on the plate.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ratatouille Days

Market Day: August 18
At this week's market: tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, melons, blueberries, raspberries, plums, peaches, greens, sweet peppers, hot peppers.

The peppers are in! I've been wandering the Davis Square Farmers' Market like a wraith for weeks, waiting for bell peppers. The past f
ew weeks, hot peppers had begun to appear, and I'd spot them across the market, getting wildly excited when I saw the flash of green skin, only to find my hopes dashed upon closer inspection.

Why, you ask, did I want sweet peppers so badly? A reasonable question, as the lack of peppers was probably overshadowed in your mind by the presence of the peaches, and the corn, and the tomatoes, and the blueberries, and all the other lovely things the market's had to offer. And it wasn't that I didn't appreciate all this, it's just that I'd been waiting since last summer to make ratatouille, and to do that, you need peppers.
Luckily, this week, the gods smiled on me and peppers appeared. I scampered home and made ratatouille for dinner; I recommend you do the same.

Adapted from Chez Panisse Cooking
A note: those who love ratatouille tend to have strong opinions on how to make it. These opinions fall into two main camps: the stew school of thought and the saute school of thought. The stew-lovers tend to cook all the vegetables together, with a long simmering time at the end. The saute fans tend to cook each vegetable separately and then combine everything at
the end. There are merits to both approaches, but I fall into the second camp: why would you collect all of summer's best vegetables and then cook them to death? The benefit of cooking all the vegetables separately, although it may seem fussy, is that each retains its own flavor; the short time cooking everything at the end means that the flavors meld without becoming indistinguishable.


4 slim eggplants, skin left on, sliced into rounds 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water large yellow onion, sliced
4 bell peppers, cut into strips

2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 mixed zucchini and summer squash, sliced into rounds 1/4 inch thick

4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tbsp capers

4 tbsp pitted green olives, chopped

2 tsbp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced extra virgin olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Salt and pepper the eggplant lightly and toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Place in a baking dish with the water, then cover and bake for about half an hour, or until soft to the touch.
2. Meanwhile, saute the onions in a large saucepot in a few tablespoons of the remaining olive oil until it softens, then add the peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring often, until both the peppers and onions are well browned. Add the vinegar and cook one minute more. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

3. Add a few more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and saute the squashes until both sides are dark brown.

4. Remove the eggplant from the oven and discard any liquid left in the baking dish. Put the eggplant, along with all the other vegetables, back into the saucepot, and add the tomatoes. At this point, the vegetables should not be stirred any more than is necessary or they will break up and spoil the presentation. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-high heat for two minutes. If the mixture is extremely juicy, pour the liquid into a saute pan and cook it until it thickens.

5. Remove the pot from the heat and let the ratatouille cool. Then add the capers, olive, parsley, basil, and garlic. Taste and add more vinegar, salt, or pepper, if necessary. Before serving, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over each portion.

Ratatouille is very good served cool or cold, and it is even better the next day. Serve it over rice on its own, or with fish or lamb.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Sources

The inimitable David Foote, who designs many of our print materials and is generally invaluable to Season to Taste, has just created a sourcemap for us using the very cool open-source interface at, which even shows the carbon footprint of buying from each of our sources. You can see our map here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Raspberry Fields Forever

Market Day: August 11
At this week's market: tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, corn, eggplant, green peppers, herbs of all kinds, watermelon, cantaloupe, salad mix, mizuna, chard, kale, raspberries.

What I'd thought would be a long, lazy summer is flying by faster than I'd bargained for. Mid-August, already? Have you been to the beach yet? Gone berry-picking? Sat on a dock for a few hours? Seen Inception? Eaten enough tomatoes? I certainly haven't. As I walked through the market this week, I thought about how the strawberries and cherries were long over, and how I hadn't preserved a single jar of them, and how I didn't want to make the same mistake with the raspberries and the tomatoes I saw all around me. Granted, stirring a boiling pan of jam or tomato sauce may not be your idea of the best way to spend an August day, but imagine how happy you'll be to have the results, sometime around the middle of February.

Flush with resolution and dreams of preserves, I came into the kitchen to find that Chef Cobi had had a similar idea; I found her cooking up 40 pounds of raspberries into jam, which would be given away, in jewel-like 4-oz jars, as favors at a wedding this weekend. The raspberries had come from Kimball Fruit Farm and were large and ripe and perfumey. I ate a few; they tasted like summer.

Chef Cobi's Raspberry Jam
Makes about eight 8-ounce jars

4 cups raspberries
6 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (3-ounce) pouch liquid pectin

In an 8-quart pan, combine the raspberries, lemon juice and sugar.

Over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that can't be stirred down, stirring constantly. Stir in the entire contents of the pectin pouch. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam.

To prevent the jam from separating in the jars, allow the jam to cool 5 minutes before filling the jars. Gently stir the jam every minute or so to distribute the fruit. Ladle the jam into sterilized hot jars leaving 1/4 -inch head space. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process half-pint jars in a 200°F (93°C) water bath for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.

After the water bath, carefully remove the jars from the water and set them on a flat surface covered with a clean dish cloth. Once they are completely cool, label them and place the in a cool dark place.

For more information on step-by-step canning procedures, including how to sterilize jars, go to

Friday, August 6, 2010

Market Day: August 4
Highlights of this week's market: Field Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes, Fennel, Bell Peppers, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Watermelons, Cantaloupes, Corn, Cucumbers, Nectarines, Peaches, Yellow Beans, Amaranth, Green Beans, Pumpkin Vine, Fresh Herbs

This Week's News:
You can't tell from these photos, which feature the other delicious things available at market this week-- early apples, red onions, rhubarb-- but the big news at market is that melons have appeared: watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydew, to name just a few. Tomatoes and peaches get most of the attention this time of year, but the melons you'll find at market are just as luscious and sweet as either of those. They're perfect to eat as they are, but when I talked to Chef Tal about the piles of melons I'd seen at Davis Square, he started talking about savory treatments: throwing together watermelons, mint, feta, and lime juice, or wrapping cantaloupe with prosciutto. The melon-and-ham idea, while delicious, is a little bit obvious: of course everything is better when you wrap it in ham. You can wrap melons, you can wrap figs, you can blanch zucchini and use it to wrap mozzarella and then wrap that. (If everything is better when you wrap it in ham, everything wrapped in ham is better when you add cheese. As long as you're not afraid of overkill.)

The watermelon salad idea, however, was a little more seductive because a little more unusual. It's the kind of thing that's starting to show up on restaurant menus, or at high-end salad bars, but if you brought it to a barbeque other guests might be pleasantly surprised. The salad is light but substantial, ideal for a long summer afternoon. Or as Tal said, "easy breezy lemon-squeezy." He could have said "lime-squeezy," I guess, but that wouldn't have quite the same ring to it.

Chef Tal's Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad
1 small watermelon (yields 8 cups chopped)
3oz feta
1 bunch mint (or 1 1/2 cups chiffonade)
1/4 cup lime juice (about 8 limes)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Cut up the watermelon into pieces of one-inch or so. Cut the feta into slightly smaller pieces. Chiffonade the mint. Pile everything into a big mixing bowl, then pour over the lime juice and the olive oil and toss to coat. Add a pinch or two of salt. Taste and add more lime juice or salt as needed.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Market Day: July 28
Highlights of this week's market: tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes...
and eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, summer squash, new potatoes, greens of all kinds (kale, chard, amaranth, salad greens), herbs, berries, plums, peaches.

This Week's News
This week I'm going to take shelter under the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words; there was so much summer bounty available at the market that I can only express it through photos. Although I will say that Kimball Fruit Farm alone had over fifteen different kinds of heirloom tomatoes, so make sure that you get to market to try at least a few of them.

Scroll down to find a recipe from Chef Robert for a fingerling potato salad; this is the perfect way to use the small new potatoes that you see at the market this time of year.

Recipe: Fresh Dug Roasted Fingerling Potato, Caramelized Onion, Confit Garlic, and Fresh Herb Salad


2 lbs Fingerling Potatoes

1 Large Vidialia Onion, thinly sliced

1 Cup of Peeled Garlic Cloves

½ Cup Basil

¼ Cup Finely Chopped Thyme

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Lemon


Submerge the garlic cloves in the olive oil in a small sauce pot and cook on very low heat for 30-45 minutes or until the garlic is very soft (but not falling apart) Strain and reserve the oil.

Cut the fingerling potatoes lengthwise and toss in a bowl with a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper. Place the potatoes flesh side down on aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until the flesh easily gives when poked.

Cook the onions over low heat in a well-oiled saucepan until they are soft and very browned; this will take about 45 minutes.

While the potatoes, onions, and garlic are still warm, toss in a bowl with the fresh herbs. Season to Taste, and squeeze the lemon over the top right before serving

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Market Day: July 21
Highlights of this week’s market: cucumbers, eggplants, squash of all kinds, peaches, plums, berries (raspberries, cherries, blackberries, blueberries), corn, eggplants, hot and sweet peppers, tomatoes, kale, chard, salad greens

This Week’s News
This week I lingered over Flats Mentor Farm’s stand. All sorts of greens and herbs were piled high there, from parsley and mint to the less-commonly-found amaranth, pea tendrils, and purslane. I was most curious about the pile of orange flowers labeled “pumpkin blossoms.” Surely, I thought, a mistake had been made: these had to be zucchini blossoms, not pumpkin blossoms. Zucchini blossoms—like these, cantaloupe colored, co
vered with a faint down, and ridged—are one of my favorite summer delicacies, stuffed with feta or ricotta and fried. I’d never seen pumpkin blossoms before. A few questions later though, I learned that I’d been wrong—these were pumpkin blossoms, and they are just as good to eat as zucchini blossoms; the farmers suggested coating them with tempura batter and frying them.

Clearly “coat in batter and fry” is a theme as far as flower-eating goes, so if you do decide to buy a few pumpkin blossoms and try your hand, you could also avail yourself of some of Flats Mentor Farm’s luscious-looking greens and make yourself a slightly more heart-healthy salad to complement your flower fry-up. Pea tendrils, which you don’t always see this late in the year, are a lovely addition to any salad; they add the delicate flavor of fresh peas with the texture of a salad green. Flats Mentor Farm also had purslane, another good addition to any salad. I heard the farmers selling it to a curious customer as a “edible wildflower” which I thought was a rather creative way of saying “an edible weed.” Purslane is a weed, but no less edible for that: crunchy and a little bit sour, it is good in both salads and stir-fries.

While I was distracted by the exotic greens at Flats Mentor Farm (and I haven’t even mentioned the amaranth!), our chefs are paying a little more attention to the wide array of vegetables at their—and your—disposal this time of year. Below, a recipe from Chef Paul for quick-pickled vegetables to enjoy with sandwiches or just on their own.

Paul’s Quick Pickled Cucumbers, Red Onions, Squash Blossoms and Peppers
We are always working on ways to extend the life of the amazing produce that we find at the market. Paul Trombly, our day sous chef has a great solution that’s simple, classic, and preserves vegetables for up to three weeks: the quick pickle. We love serving pickled farm fresh vegetables on sandwiches, in a salad or as a first course wake up call to your taste buds.

2 qts sliced pickling cucumbers
1 qt Sliced Red Onions
1 qt Medium Diced Red and Green Peppers
2 cups Squash Blossoms
1 cup of Salt

For the Pickle Brine:
3 cups organic white sugar
3 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1 tbls whole cloves
2 tbls whole coriander
1 tbl spoon mustard seed

Toss the vegetables with the salt in a large bowl, then let sit in a large colander for 90 minutes. Rinse and drain vegetables.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the brine in a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place the rinsed vegetables in 2 gallon bucket (or pack in bell jars for a slightly prettier presentation) and pour the hot brine over the vegetables.

Place in the fridge and allow to cool overnight. Pickles must be kept refrigerated and will keep for up to three weeks.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Here's the promised eggplant recipe, from Chef Tal:

Caponata is a Sicilian dish, a sort of sweet and sour cooked vegetable salad made of eggplant, tomatoes, celery, and olives and capers. It's best as an appetizer, with some good bread, or served alongside fish or chicken as a main course. While this recipe might seem a little complicated for a simple summer salad, cooking the celery and the eggplant separately helps them each preserve their flavor, and makes a big difference to the final dish.


pounds eggplants

½ pound green olives packed in brine, pitted

6 ounces salted capers, rinsed

1¼ pounds celery ribs

2/3 pound onions

2/3 pound tomatoes

1/3 cup vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar


3/8 cup pine nuts

Olive oil



Begin by stripping the filaments from the celery sticks. Next, blanch them in lightly salted boiling water for five minutes. Drain the celery, cut it into bite-size pieces, sauté them in about a tablespoon of olive oil, and set them aside.

Wash the eggplants, dice them, put the pieces in a strainer, sprinkle them liberally with salt, and let them sit for several hours to draw out the bitter juices. While they're sitting, blanch, peel, seed and chop the tomatoes.

After a few hours, rinse the eggplant to wash away the salt and pat the pieces dry. Finely slice the onions and sauté them in olive oil; once they have turned translucent, add the capers, pine nuts, olives, and tomatoes. Continue cooking, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the tomatoes are done, about 15 minutes, and then remove the pot from the fire.

Next, heat a second pot of oil and fry the diced eggplant (do this in several batches to keep the oil from getting chilled.) When the last batch is done, return the tomato pot to the fire and stir in the eggplant together with the previously sautéed celery. Cook for several minutes over a low flame, stirring gently, then stir in the vinegar and the sugar; when the vinegar has almost completely evaporated remove the pot from the fire and let it cool.

Serve the caponata cold with a garnish of fresh basil. There will be a lot, but don't worry, because it keeps for several days in the fridge.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Market Day: July 14
Highlights of this week’s market: zucchini, summer squash, beets (including the beautiful and mild-tasting Chiogga), corn, peaches, blueberries, beans, eggplant, tomatoes

This Week’s News:
This week’s market day was rainy and grey, but locally grown sunflowers provided a burst of color. They got me musing on flower-growing, an aspect of agriculture that even locavores don’t always consider. The vast majority of cut flowers available in the US are grown in Colombia, where the flower industry is known for its heavy use of pesticides. Shipping the flowers up to the northeast makes the process even more energy-intensive. During this time of year when the Northeast is in bloom, forgoing industrially-raised flowers for locally grown ones is another way to support local agriculture.

Flowers aside, the big news of the week was that the eggplants have appeared. Hanson Farm has a range of varieties, from the plump white Clara to the dark, slim Orient express. These are a different thing altogether from the giant purple bombs you’ll find in the grocery store all year round. Their skins are thinner, their flesh is more flavorful, and they’re light and almost bouncy. Grill or roast them whole, then scrape out the flesh and mix it with olive oil and herbs and spread it on bread. Or use them in caponata, or ratatouille, or any of the other dishes that demand the best vegetables of the summer.

Our chefs will weigh in later this week with a recipe for eggplants: in the meantime, make sure to eat a peach from Kimball’s Fruit Farm or put a few ears of corn on the grill.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Market Day: July 7
Highlights of this week's market: Corn, peaches, tomatoes, multiple varieties of summer squash (including the delicious lime-green "cousa"), raspberries, blueberries, greens of all sorts, beets, carrots, and cucumbers.

We’re seeing the end of the snap peas, so make sure to eat a handful before they’re gone.

This Week's News:

This week heralded a few new things here at the Davis Square Farmers’ Market Journal: a new chronicler of the Davis Square Farmers’ Market and the year’s first corn and peaches.

The “new chronicler” bit first, just to get it out of the way and move on to the really earthshaking things (Corn! Peaches!): I’m Anastatia, and I’ll be your new guide to the Davis Square Farmers’ Market. I’m a fairly new transplant to Cambridge, having moved 10 months ago from New Haven, Connecticut, where I oversaw the communications at the Yale Sustainable Food Project. I’m excited to join the team at Season to Taste and shift from teaching people about the social, political, and cultural ramifications of sustainable food to actually feeding people sustainable food. Since old habits die hard, though, I’ll still be writing about food here, sharing stories about local farmers, information about what they’re growing, and recipes from our chefs to help you make the most of it.

Now on to the corn and the peaches: I hadn’t expected to see corn this early in the season (isn’t it just supposed to be “knee high by the fourth of July”?), but there it was. Ever vigilant, Robert queried Marie Hills, one half of the husband and wife team who run Kimball Fruit Farm, at whose stand the corn was being sold. She confirmed that it was, in fact, local corn, grown about an hour away on their land in Pepperell, MA. They grow many different corn varieties, and this one is called “quickie” because it comes up so early. The ears are smaller than those of late-summer corn, but the kernels are just as sweet. Marie told us that, even for an early variety, this corn is early: everything, she says, is two weeks early because of the heat wave that’s been cooking Massachusetts for the past weeks. If you’ve been suffering from the heat, I recommend using Marie’s early corn to make Robert’s tomato, corn, and basil relish from the recipe below. It’s a small reminder that every cloud—well, in this case every heat wave—has a silver lining.

The peaches were another surprise: they looked a little small and tough, but their fragrance was intoxicating. Their taste didn’t disappoint: they were floral and juicy. These are early too; Marie says they’re not usually ready until the 15th of July. Another dividend of the heat. At Kimball, Marie and her husband grow twelve different varieties of peaches; each tree lasts about five years in commercial production. Now that the trees have started to produce, we’ll see different varieties over the course of the summer.

This Week's Recipe: Sweet Corn, Baby Heirloom Tomato and Fresh Basil Relish

This a very simple recipe that goes well on slow roasted chicken, any crisp-skinned fish, or a cumin-rubbed grilled pork tenderloin. Since it is a simple recipe, it requires the freshest farmers’ market ingredients to make it shine.

1 Vidalia Onion, diced very small
3 tbsp Canola oil
4 ears fresh picked Corn
1 pint Kimball Fruit Farm Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
1/2 cup lightly chopped Basil
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper (season to taste ;)

1. Shuck and wash the corn. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the kernels off the ears of corn. Take the back of the knife and run it along each side of the ear of corn to squeeze any corn milk into the bowl of kernels (save the cobs for stock and use for another purpose).

2. In a medium sauce pan cook the onions with the oil and a pinch of slat until soft. Add the kernels and cook for 2- 5 minutes. Cool on a cookie sheet to room temperature.

3. Gently quarter the tomatoes with a serrated knife. Add to the corn mixture along with the rough chopped basil and extra virgin olive oil. Mix all the ingredients together and let sit at room temperature for an hour to allow the flavors to marry. Although you can refrigerate the relish, it is much better if served at room temperature.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Market Day: June 23

Lots of new items this week in Davis Square! Snap peas are up and delicious. Cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini just came in and for all the tomato lovers out there: Heirlooms and Sweet 100s. Baby carrots and greens are still bountiful and sweet, as well as the new addition of blueberries to the scene.

The only thing in rapid decline is asparagus—this may be the last week, so be sure to grab some if you see it!

Market Highlights

This is not a comprehensive list of all products. Instead we focus on the products that caught our eye and pleased our palette.

Radishes, Beets, Fresh Garlic and Scapes, Arugula, Kale, Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots, Summer Squash, Strawberries, Blueberries, Black Prince Tomatoes, Mizuna, Zucchini, Rhubarb, Turnips and Radishes.

This Week’s Recipe: Morel Mushrooms, Caramelized Spring Onion and Local Farmstand Cheese Frittata

This week’s recipe comes from Chef Sam and highlights Kimball Fruit Farm spring onions, Hanson Farm eggs, Foxboro Cheese Co. Fromage Blanc, and locally-foraged mushrooms.


1/4 lb. Morel mushrooms

2 spring onions (bulb and stalk)

1 cup Foxboro Cheese Co. Fromage Blanc

1 cup roughly chopped arugula

12-16 Hanson Farm eggs

2 cups cream

salt and pepper to taste

a pinch of freshly chopped garlic

white wine for deglaze


  1. Line a spring-form pan with foil.
  2. Slice morels and sauté with chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Deglaze with 1-2 ounces white wine and continue to sauté until dry, cool completely.
  3. Grill the spring onions bulb, chop stalks and bulbs and place in separate sauté pan. Cook on medium heat until caramelized (light brown in color).
  4. Combine, in a bowl, eggs, cream, salt and pepper with a whisk and set aside.
  5. Line spring-form pan with arugula, cheese and caramelized spring onions.
  6. Fill spring-form pan with egg mixture and decorate top with sautéed morels.
  7. Bake at 325–350F for 30–60 minutes. Remove when center jiggles just slightly.
  8. Allow to cool slightly, remove spring-form pan, slice and serve with some chive crème fraîche.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Market Day: June 16

Cherries and berries are in!

It’s week three of the Davis Square Farmers Market and the farmers’ hard work is really starting to pay off. Beautiful green spring vegetables—such as asparagus, baby greens, English peas, green garlic and baby onions—are in abundance, as well as lovely fruits including strawberries, cherries, and the first-of-the-year raspberries!

We had the opportunity to speak with the farmers and the word on the season so far is that the wet, cloudy weather is both a blessing and curse. For Farmer Al, who works exclusively in the field with no greenhouse, the lack of sun is keeping his tomato plants from producing full red fruit. On the other hand, for Kimball Fruit Farm, the cool weather has extended their asparagus season (the next hot spell will likely bring an end to local asparagus) and has encouraged an early growth of raspberries—which are the hands down favorite of our kitchen! Each berry is incredibly ripe, sweet and juicy. Their amazing flavor inspired sous chef Sam to break out his amazing sweet biscuit recipe. Be sure to check it out below!

Market Highlights: June 16
This is not a comprehensive list of all products. Instead we focus on the products that caught our eye and pleased our palette. 

Raspberries, Carrots, Asparagus, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Garlic Scapes, Spinach, Cherries, Strawberries, Red Oak Leaf, Red and Green Chard, Kale, Beets, Leeks, Collards and Sugar Snap Peas

This Week's Recipe: Sweet Buttermilk Biscuits
Chef Sam's buttermilk biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to Kimball Fruit Farm's raspberries and fresh whipped cream. Makes 6–8.

1.5 cups All-purpose flour
1.5 Tablespoons sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter (chilled)
3/4 cup buttermilk
Milk for brushing
Sugar or salt for coating dough

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Cut chilled butter into 1/4" cubes and with pastry blender (or forks) blend into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and mix with hands until just incorporated. Chill dough completely in refrigerator (roughly 90 minutes). Portion on baking sheet lined with wax paper and refrigerate again. Brush portioned dough with milk and lightly sprinkle sugar or salt over biscuits (depending on sweet or savory application). Bake in 375 F oven for 10–15 minutes or until golden brown. Cut in half and enjoy warm with Kimball's Fruit Farm raspberries and freshly whipped cream.