After spending the waning summer days working in your garden, or at your local farmers’ market, picking up your CSA basket, or visiting one of Appalachian Sustainable Development’s or Asheville Sustiainable Agriculture Project’s Farm Tours, you may need some inspiration for using all of that local produce.
First, I’d like to direct you to a buy fresh buy local pamphlet created by the UT Ag Extension Office that offers tips on purchasing local, as well as a few quick-and-easy recipes to get you going with your fresh local produce.
If you’re looking for a little more inspiration, consider these recipes shared with me by the Jonesborough Farmers’ Market.
Simple Summer Succotash
(Inspired by Pick Tennessee Products spokeswoman and cookbook author, Tammy Algood)
4 thick slices Applewood bacon
1 cup chopped sweet onions
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups fresh beans (limas are traditional, but dice some fresh green beans or another heirloom variety to try different flavors!)
4 cups fresh corn cut from the cob (6 to 7 ears)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*Note: Make this a three-sister’s succotash by chopping up 2 cups of summer (yellow or zucchini) squash to add to the dish, or perhaps grill your squash on the side! You can also add tomatoes and other summer produce too. Get creative!
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and crumble when cool enough to handle. Set aside. Add onion and garlic to the drippings. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add your beans of choice and cook 15 minutes or until almost tender. Drain, return to the saucepan and reduce heat to low. Stir in the reserved onions, garlic, corn, butter, cream, salt, and pepper (and squash, if you choose). Cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm with the bacon sprinkled over the top or cool to room temperature.
Farmers’ Market Frittata
(inspired by John Woodworth of Ziegenwald Dairy)
While omelets take a delicate special touch, and quiches require making a crust, the frittata is perfect in its simplicity. It’s a great way to use your fresh eggs, goat cheese, and summer produce in an easy—but delicious—method. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dinner!
6 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (for a spicy omelet try out some cayenne or other pepper blend!)
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup chopped sautéed spinach, kale, or chard
1/2 cup chopped sautéed green onions
Preheat oven to broil setting.
In medium size bowl, using a fork, beat together eggs, pepper, and salt. Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven-safe sauté pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Add onions and greens to pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Sprinkle in crumbled goat cheese. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top.
Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.
**Add a bit of fresh taste by chopping up some tomatoes and basil to top the frittata with when served