Typical summer produce such as cucurbits, tomatoes, and squash have been in full abundance in the past few weeks.
Leading to buying a lot of cucumbers, tomatoes, and summer squashes. Looking for inspiration to use all these buys, I turned to the New Greenmarket Cookbook by Gabrielle Langholtz, Editor of Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. The book is a collection of recipes involving local, seasonal, market-fresh produce and developed by Chefs committed to using those produce, and culinary and food movement leading figures such as Michael Pollan. The book is a gem, not only because of the gorgeous pictures and enticing eats, but because of the additional information it contains, namely Gabrielle Langholtz's introduction to the history and rise of the Greenmarket program, its ties to and importance for the community, and the features on local farmers and producers.
Returning from a local Farmers Market run with lemon cucumbers, and fresh herbs, I started by making the Cucumber Soup, contributed by Kenneth Wiss from Diner and Marlow & Sons. It was very simple to make: chop veggies, de-seed as needed, add herbs, oil and seasonings, blend.
Though, in full disclosure, I had forgotten to put the lime juice, the herbs made the soup very fragrant and pleasant on a summer eve, perfect for a non-fuss but nice week-end dinner.
Brown butter, with good quality (preferably organic on my end) butter, is always a memorable experience. I had never tried using it with fresh tomatoes so I was intrigued but it worked beautifully!
Again, a very easy recipe: slice tomatoes, make brown butter, pour over tomato, season with nice salt and pepper. Finish with market fresh berries for good measure. Done. This was a great simple mid-week dinner eat.
Last but not least, I had two bags of squashes from the same run at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, including tender zephyr squashes and sweet small zucchinis, and had fresh radishes too. So I set out to make the Raw Squash Salad, a recipe by Seamus Mullen from Tertulia, for a light end of week lunch. As I wanted a fast prep in the morning, I used my blender to slice the vegetables and quickly whipped the lemon vinaigrette, for which I used some orange blossom honey from that Farmers Market's run too. I decided to skip the cheese listed in the recipe, and add a few fragrant edible flowers to complement the salad. It was absolute love at first bite. The utter highlight of this recipe: the vinaigrette, which combined so perfectly with the veggies. I only regretted to not have made enough for 3 servings.
So those Summer on a plate moments will keep me coming back to the book for more inspiration as the seasons unfold. :)
By the way:
- Union-Square Market, where I got my copy, and Greenmarkets around the city sell the book, but for non NYC-dwellers, the book is available online.
- While this is a book about NYC markets, it will inspire (home) cooks all around as all products will be available in local markets.
- All these eats are gluten-free, are or can be made low in FODMAP, and will please veggielovers, vegetarians, vegans (for the first and last salads), Meatless Monday eaters, paleo and healthy eaters alike.