The farmer’s markets are abundant with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables right now! Greens like kale, all kinds of lettuces, and green beans, deep purple and red veggies like beets, tomatoes, and radishes; and those gourmet delicacies that are coveted by the farmer’s market cognoscenti like garlic scapes and kohlrabi.
Sometimes when I walk through the market it seems like an old Italian movie; everyone is oohing and aahing over these beautiful gifts from the garden. Some people are afraid to try something new for fear that they won’t know how to turn it into any thing tasty. But I have found that most vegetables can become a beautiful salad or a delectable summer soup. And, if all else fails, you can usually toss the vegetables in some oil and roast them.
Here are some ideas to use your farmer’s market bounty. All of these recipes serve 6 to 8 people.
Gazpacho is really easy soup to make and perfect for a hot day. It’s like summer in a bowl!
1 orange pepper 1 big cucumber 1 red onion 1 jalapeño pepper 3 to 4 cloves of garlic 1/4 cup sherry vinegar Pinch of sea salt Avocado, for garnish
Coarsely chop the vegetables so they will easily fit into your blender or Vitamix.
The seeds and ribs of the jalapeno are where the spice is, so if you like it extra spicy, keep them in, otherwise toss them.
Add tomatoes, onion, jalapeño pepper, garlic and vinegar into the blender or Vitamix. Let it rip for about 30 seconds to get everything pureed. Then add the pepper and cucumber and salt and process again. If you like it chunky, let it go for a few seconds or longer for a smoother gazpacho.
Serve garnished with diced avocado, diced cucumbers or sliced radishes. Enjoy!
You can make this with any color beets. I like to use regular balsamic vinegar with red beets and white balsamic with golden beets. That way the colors match! If you decide to make both, make them separately or the red beets will run and turn the golden beets a not-so-pretty color. Both these salads make a nice addition to a summer afternoon buffet.
12 medium size beets (red or golden)
4 spring onions Olive oil Balsamic vinegar Sea salt, to taste
Cut the ends off of the beets. Wrap in foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for an hour. When they are done, let them cool. Peel the beets by rubbing the skin off. It should come right off. Chop them into bite size pieces.
Slice the onions into thin semi circles. Add to a bowl with the beets. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, about ¼ cup each. Toss with a few pinches of sea salt and taste to see if you need more balsamic.
Cover and place in the refrigerator. Take out and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
Colorful Carrot Salad
Have you seen those gorgeous purple carrots at the farmer’s market? Turn them into this sweet and savory salad. It’s a total crowd pleaser!
3 cups shredded colorful carrots 2 scallions, white and green parts 1 cup raisins 3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise 1 tablespoon vegan sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Peel and shred the carrots. Thinly slice the scallions. Add to a bowl with raisins.
Whisk together the mayo, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Pour over the carrot mixture and toss well.
Give this salad time to marinate - an hour to overnight to give the flavors time to combine. Mix well every so often, especially before serving.
There is nothing better than fresh strawberries. This sorbet will knock your summer sandals off! If you can’t find strawberries, try peaches or raspberries.
2 lbs. fresh strawberries 2 cups filtered water 1 cup vegan sugar 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Hull the strawberries and place into the Vitamix or processor and process until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and press out the strawberry liquid leaving the small seeds behind.
In a small saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and turn off the heat. Let sit for a few minutes.
Squeeze the lemon juice into the strawberries and then add the sugar water. Whisk together and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
Pour into an ice cream maker and churn for 10 minutes. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze until ready to eat. Take out of the freezer and let soften for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Note: If you don't have an ice cream maker, don't worry! You can still make this sorbet at home. Either pour right into your freezer in a safe container or pour into ice pop molds.