Farmers Market Friday: Part II

Last weekend at the farmers market, the sweetest elderly gentleman was selling white fish he had caught and filleted the day before.  He was much too cute to refuse, so I purchased four fillets along with green beans and corn from another stand and brought it all home for that night’s dinner.

After dredging the fish in flour, egg, and well seasoned cornmeal, I pan fried it and served it with a simple sauce thrown together in less than two minutes.  The best part was the kids loved the sauce so they devoured the fish!  Using the fish taco lime crema recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook* as a starting point, I added a few ingredients and ended up with a recipe you could use with just about any fish.  I think it would also make a great dip for shrimp in place of the typical red cocktail sauce you see on every party buffet.

Lime Crema with Garlic and Cilantro

  • 1/2 cup Vegenaise (You can find this in the refrigerated section at most grocery stores near the eggs and dairy.  If you can’t, regular mayo works but Vegenaise is super creamy and worth looking for.)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (basil or dill would be yummy too)
  • a liberal sprinkle of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Stir it all together and enjoy!

*I have made quite a few recipes from her cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, and have been pleased with all of them. They are incredibly simple to prepare and seem to appeal to adults and children equally.

Apologies for the less than perfect photo, but I was starving!

Farmers Market Friday

This morning I made a quick trip to the Lake Bluff Farmers Market and could not resist snapping a few photos.  I, without fail, spend every bit of cash I have on hand whenever I go.

DSC_0195From the fresh squeezed lemonade/limeade stand.

I can’t wait to put some of these in an omelette.

This is always my favorite flower stand.  I had them make up this bouquet of peonies and cornflower:

which matches the outfit.  Not on purpose.  SO happy my hydrangeas are blooming!  I know, we need mulch.  Don’t get me started on the landscaping.

What to Make: In Season

Cooking is one of my great passions, so when the local farmers markets open in late spring, I am over the moon.  Meals are prepared throughout fall and winter from cookbooks and recipes I have collected over the years, but these are happily abandoned during the warmer months when I love to pick up the locally produced vegetables, fruits, and cheeses (and nuts and olives and honey and…) at our neighborhood farmers market and wing it. The ease and informality of these meals fit perfectly into our fluid summer schedules.  There is very little preparation involved – I either tweak a simple recipe to fit what we’ve brought home or I throw together a salad with blue or goat cheese and an herb vinaigrette and simply grill the vegetables we’ve chosen alongside fresh fish or steak.  Dessert is a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream served with whatever fruit or berry is in season.  (Another great ending is my fuss-free “crisp” made by grilling peaches or nectarines and topping them with a drizzle of honey, ice cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and granola from the farmers’ market.)

Epicurious, one of my go-to sites for recipes, has a great peak-season map feature (here) where you click on your state and it tells you what ingredients are in season in your area.  Even better, you can then click on the ingredient and it will give you a list of recipes featuring what you have chosen!  Below I have highlighted a few of my favorite currently-in-season ingredients and included links to simple recipes I love.  Bon appetit!

Roasted asparagus topped with a poached egg and sea salt (via simplybreakfast).

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (via foodnetwork).

Creamy Spring Peas with Pancetta (via foodnetwork).

Mesclun and Cherry Salad with Warm Goat Cheese (via epicurious).

image 1 via Ashlee Rezin for redeyechicago