By Karen Schwartzman
Enjoy the freshness of your local farmers’ fare with a few of these surprisingly easy treats. Shopping locally and directly from your farmer is becoming easier than ever. Farmers markets, roadside stands and CSAs present an easy way to partake in the trend, and crowds are flocking to take advantage of the bounty that the market scene offers.
In honor of the summer season and all the homegrown goodies it entails, we’ve compiled a list of recipes perfect for the health-conscious, the serious foodie or just the casual food consumer. It’s an easy – and delicious – way to support your local farmers. Of course, these recipes may also be enjoyed any time of the year after a trip to your neighborhood grocery store.
Start off with a Southern favorite – the ever-popular stuffed peppers – but instead of the traditional beef and rice, go Mediterranean by filling it full of lamb and couscous to add a little edge and a lot of flavor.
Or, put those eggplants to use with our take on the classic eggplant Parmesan, in which the purple veggie is just one of many layers, along with mozzarella cheese, pesto, marinara and bread crumbs. Combine these Eggplant, Mozzarella and Pesto Gratins with garlic bread and a salad, and you have a full Italian meal.
Speaking of salads, put a new spin on the traditional salad and trade lettuce for freshly picked zucchini and corn. This zucchini and corn salad will make a refreshing and healthy addition to any summer supper.
To truly take advantage of the season’s freshest flavors, try this easy and delicious gazpacho. Simply throw together your market favorites such as peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, and blend them into a soup.