Fresh farmers market meal

July 9, 2008 4:11:36 PM PDT
Contributing chef Bruce Aidells took some helpers from Culinary Kids to the farmers market and created a fresh and fabulous meal with their help.

RECIPES:

Summer Potato & Vegetable Salad
The wonderful thing about this potato salad is its versatility. You can serve it as a side dish for a summer picnic or barbecue or turn it into a simple lunch or dinner by embellishing it with grilled steak sausages or even burger patties. In a pinch, it's also delicious with chunks of leftover chicken, or sliced leftover steak. It's also versatile because you can take advantage of many varieties of freshly picked summer vegetables, heirloom tomatoes and various varieties of potatoes that you can find at your nearby Farmers Market.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds assorted boiling potatoes such as German butterballs, fingerlings, and red skinned varieties, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups assorted summer squashes such as zucchini, crookneck, patty pan or any exotic variety you may find, cut in chunks
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion, such as torpedo or red 1 cup miniature tomatoes (cherry) in various colors, stems removed, left whole

    Garnish:

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, any variety, cut into wedges
  • Fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

    Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup or more olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, or marjoram

    Method:

  • To cook the potatoes, cover in salted water and bring to a boil until a fork can be easily inserted into the flesh, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Blanch the green beans in a separate pot of boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Blanch the squash in another pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • To make the vinaigrette, combine the garlic, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a small bowl or food processor. Gradually whisk in or process the oil until the dressing emulsified. Stir in the chopped herbs.

  • To assemble the salad, mix together the potatoes, green beans, squash, onions and tomatoes. Toss with the dressing. Spoon the salad into a shallow serving bowl or platter. Garnish with the tomato wedges, basil ribbons and green onions.

    Grilled Peaches
    Be sure to buy firm free stone, not cling (you'll never be able to remove the pit) but ripe peaches for this simple but delicious dessert. The fruit will soften and sweeten as it grills.

    Serves 6

    Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds firm free stone peaches, halved and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

    Method:

  • Brush the peach halves with olive oil and place cut side down on a preheated grill cook for 2 minutes per side, until grill marks show and frui. Flip and cook 2 minutes more until the fruit is warmed through. Transfer to a platter.

  • Stir together the sour cream, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Place a dollop of the sweetened sour cream into the center of each peach half. Serve warm.

    Info on Culinary Kids:

    Website: www.culinarykids.org
    E-mail: Karen@CulinaryKids.org
    About: Culinary Kids is a culinary camp that gives youth ages 8 - 13 the opportunity to work, hands-on with real chefs from restaurants such as Café Venezia, Chez Panisse, The Boulevard, and Cafe Gratitude. Based in the Bay Area, we take full advantage of the gastronomic diversity and local quality of restaurants found right at our fingertips. Each session is comprised of 12 classes held at the restaurants themselves or our cooking facilities. For two weeks, Monday through Saturday, chefs cook alongside a group of 10 to 15 campers. Each class builds the campers' culinary confidence by teaching them a diverse range of both ethnic and local cuisines. Our goal is to teach youth from all backgrounds the techniques of balanced cooking with sustainable foods. Here, at Culinary Kids, we have no secret recipe: Just hands-on cooking with hands-on chef. It's that simple.

    About the Farmers Market:

    Wonderful farmers and prepared food vendors plus the Berkeley Farmers' Market's annual peach tasting which includes a comprehensive sampling of other stone fruits that are in season: nectarines, plums, pluots, and apricots. Cost is free, as always.

    When/Where: Saturday, July 26
    10am to 3pm (tasting/market hours)
    Saturday Berkeley Farmers' Market
    (please note site different from Tuesday)
    Center St. @ MLK, Jr. Way
    Accessibility: Convenient public transportation-1 block from "Berkeley" BART station, garage parking on Center St. half a block away, wheelchair access.
    Website: www.ecologycenter.org
    Phone: (510) 548-3333


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