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Guest of the Ladies, Frank Reiter, visited his local market earlier this year and found there were treasures to be found.  Read about what he found and what he created below and find more of his culinary adventures on his blog at http://www.frankaboutfood.net/.

During the warmth of the summer, it is relatively easy to stroll through the vendors at the Webb City Farmers Market, and conceptualize dishes and menus with the plentiful produce available. However, during the cold days of winter, it can become a bit more challenging. When Eileen (one of the Market Ladies) approached me about tackling such a task, I was a bit pessimistic. Image

As I walked though the vendor tables one chilly Saturday morning, a few items caught my eye. Obviously the honey from Amos Apiaries is a staple product at the Market. Another table had shelled walnuts for sell. My mind began to pick up on these two items and move toward a sweet delight, such as baklava. Then, something happened… I spied some fresh basil on a produce table. Something clicked in my head, and I thought to myself about how basil and honey often can work in harmony with each other, in careful balance.

Well, the result of what happened next is printed below. The basil and honey play well together, and perhaps the basil even adds a little complexity to the flavor profile you expect in baklava. The savory, herbaceous hint from the basil really helps knock down a bit of that cloying sweetness from the Mediterranean & Middle Eastern dessert.

Basil Infused Baklava

1 lb. mixture of pistachios and walnuts, coarsely ground, plus more for garnish

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste

1 C. breadcrumbs

2-3 sticks of butter, melted

16 sheets of phyllo dough (thawed)Image

For the syrup:

3 C. sugar

6 – 8 oz. honey

1 C. water

3 -4 sprigs of fresh basil

1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.  Combine the nuts, cinnamon, and breadcrumbs in a bowl.

3.  Brush a 9×13 baking dish with some of the butter. Layer 5 sheets of phyllo into the dish, brushing each piece with butter before adding the next. Be sureto keep the remaining phyllo covered with a damp towel, to prevent drying out.

4.  Sprinkle ¼ of the nut mixture over the phyllo.

5.  Add 2 sheets of phyllo on top, brushing with butter between each sheet.  Sprinkle another ¼ of the nuts over those.

6.  Add 2 more sheets over that nut layer, brushing with butter between each sheet. Sprinkle another ¼ of the nuts over those. Image

7.  Repeat step 6. Sprinkle the last ¼ of the nut mixture over those. 

8.  Layer the remaining 5 layers of phyllo on top of the nuts, brushing between  each layer of dough. Brush the top piece with extra butter.

9.  Cut into the baklava to make strips, about 1.5 inches wide. Then, makediagonal slices, about 1.5 inches apart, to make a diamond pattern.

10. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes.

 While the baklava bakes, make the syrup

11. Bring the sugar, honey, and water to boil in a saucepan over medium-high  heat.  NOTE: use a larger saucepan than you think you need; it will try to boil over!

12. Add the fresh basil and continue to gently boil for 10 to 15 minutes.

13. Add the fresh lemon juice, and boil for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat,remove the basil, and allow to cool, slightly.

14. Pour the syrup over the warm baklava.

15. Let soak, uncovered, at least 8 hours, or overnight. Garnish with the extra nuts.

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grilled vegges and mushroom salad

Fresh veggies are an easy and delicious side when you’re grilling.  Nothing could be easier than popping on some peppers, egg plant or sweet corn to roast.  Market Lady Theresa Dohm recently demonstrated a tasty grilling recipe at the Webb City Farmers Market.

Grilled Corn and Mushroom Salad

Prep time:   10 mins

Cook time:   20 mins

Total time:   30 mins

Serves: 4-6

Grilled Marinated Mushrooms

·  4 Portabella Mushroom Caps

·  ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder

·  ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder

·  1 lime (juiced)

·  1 tablespoon EV Olive Oil

·  1 tablespoon Steak Seasoning

Salad

·  2 large Onions (diced – use a sweet white onion like a Candy Onion)

·  2 red Bell Peppers (diced)

·  2 Jalapenos (remove seeds and dice)

·  2 ears Corn (shuck and remove silks)

·  1 can (16 oz) Black Beans (drained and rinsed)

·   2 Avocados (diced – remove pit and skin)

In a large ziplock bag add all the ingredients for the Grilled Marinated Mushrooms.   Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes while you prepare the other vegetables.

Using a piece of foil, make a tray for the grill by folding up the edges (make sure its large enough for all the veggies, or you can make 2 if its easier). Add the corn to the grill.  Add the mushrooms to the grill.(reserve the marinade liquid for later use).   Add the foil trays containing the onions and peppers to the grill.   Grill until the veggies are ready – about 10 minutes for the peppers and onions, 15 – 20 minutes for the corn and 10- 15 minutes for the mushrooms)  Remove the veggies from the grill and set aside.

In a large bowl add the black beans and avocado. Pour in the reserved marinade liquid from the mushrooms.  Add the peppers and onions.   Cut the corn off the cob and add it.

Dice the mushrooms and add those to the bowl.  Serve and enjoy!!


In stressful weather – super hot or super wet, the cherry and pear tomatoes soldier through – setting fruit in high temperatures, resisting splitting at the deluge.  This recipe brings these wee stalwarts to your table when large tomatoes are scarce.  And it’s an incredibly versatile recipe.  Omit the pasta and serve as a relish with fish or in a taco or as a dip or a side.  Add the pasta and serve it as an entree.  It’s even better the next day!summer black bean4

Ranch (Greek Yogurt) Salad Dressing

About 2 cups of Fat Free Greek Yogurt
1
envelope of Ranch dip mix
0.5 cup of milk

Mix all ingredients together in a mason jar and refrigerate.
Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Number of Servings: 16

Summer Black Bean Pasta Salad

1/2 pound favorite small pasta
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups of cherry tomatoes* cut in half
2 ears fresh corn* or 2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper,* seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion,* chopped
fresh basil* leaves to taste
1 large garlic* clove pressed
½ cup Ranch (Greek Yogurt) Salad Dressing (or dressing of your choice)

Cook pasta al dente.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
Mix well and let salad sit for about 15 minutes before serving so that the flavors meld. Tastes even better the next day. This makes an excellent salad with or without the pasta – you decide.
Serving Size: 12 1-cup
Number of Servings: 12

*in season now at your local farmers market

susan pittman2


Peaches originated in China and are the oldest cultivated fruit.    They have been called the “Queen of Fruits.”  The lines to purchase peaches at many area farmers markets would indicate that is a good description of this popular fruit.

ImagePeach trees are a member of the rose family and peaches are classified as a stone fruit, or drupe.  They’re  divided into two categories—freestones and clingstones.  The flesh separates from the pit in freestones and they are preferred for eating.  They are commonly sold in stores and at markets.  The flesh sticks to the pit in a clingstone and they are often used commercially for canning.  Both freestones and clingstones can have white or yellow flesh.  White peaches are usually lower in acid.  Yellow peaches are the most popular in the United States.  The freestones are in season right now in both yellow and white.  (photo – peaches picked and more ready for picking at Pates Orchard in Stockton, Missouri)

It is hard to choose a peach by the exterior color because color varies by variety.  A nice peach aroma is a clue to choosing a tasty peach.  A peach should give slightly when squeezed in the palm of the hand but please don’t squeeze them at the market.  Market peaches are picked ripe and are fragile.  A gentle squeeze will leave a bruise which neither you nor the next customer will appreciate.

Peaches become softer after picking, but don’t actually ripen or become sweeter.   They can be softened by placing them in a loosely closed paper bag for a few days.  They are best stored at refrigerator temperature in a produce drawer.  Under ideal conditions, they will keep for about a week.   Peaches should be washed immediately before use.  Dipping them in boiling water for one minute and then immediately in ice water will make the skins easier to remove.   The addition of a citrus juice will help keep the fruit from browning if it is not going to be served immediately.

For full flavor, remove the peaches you plan to use from the fridge the evening before serving.

Peaches are an excellent, low calorie choice for a snack.  A medium peach is less than 40 calories and is a very good source of Vitamin C and a good choice of Vitamins A and B, energy, potassium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and iron.Peaches do not have any cholesterol, saturated fat, or sodium.  Peaches are in season, so visit your local farmers market and purchase a delicious, guilt-free snack.


This is National Farmers Market week – how exciting!!!  What better time to take a little trip to the local market.  If you need recipes check out the following website sohttp://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/me , for example here is a great recipe to make with your kids.  And why not add some cantaloup from the market – it’s delicious!

Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip

1 cup

watermelon (chunks)

1 cup

pineapple (chunks)

1 cup

grapes, red seedless

1 cup

strawberries (stemmed)

2

kiwi (peeled and cut in quarters)

8

bamboo skewers (6 inches long)

1 cup

yogurt, light strawberry

 Instructions

1. Place fruit chunks on bamboo skewers. Place fruit kabobs on platter.

2. Place light strawberry yogurt in bowl. Serve kabobs with yogurt on the side.

 I think one of the best ways to introduce healthy foods into your children’s diet is to take a trip to the farmers market.  One of the things that kids love is seeing new things and picking out new things.  HavIMG_1592e your child find a new food they have not tried and then let them help you prepare it at home.  My personal experience with kids is the less you do to the food the better they like it.  That is why the above recipe is fun – they can help pick out a melon, help you cut it up (depending on age) and they can put the fruit on the skewer.  

Another idea is to allow your kids to try fresh green beans without even cooking them (wash them first), then let them eat raw or dip into a veggie dip.  Cherry tomatoes are abundant at the market and kids love to eat these as finger foods.  The best way to tempt  kids try new things is for you to try it first.  Kids learn by watching so if they see parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles eating a variety of foods so will they.

 Have fun this weekend and take a trip to the market.

Below – ML Susan made Black Bean Summer Pasta at the Webb City Farmers Market last Saturday.  Watch for the recipe later this week.  It’s perfect for a Farmers Market meal!

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Guests of the Ladies, Mary Ann Pennington and Julie Graue with Extension, are making Farmers Market Salsa tomorrow at the Webb City Farmers Market.  You’ll find almost all the ingredients at your local farmers market this week!

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Farmers Market Salsa

Serves 4

1/2 cup fresh raw or cooked sweet corn*

1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced*

1/4 cup onion, diced*

1/4 cup green pepper, diced*

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 cloves garlic, finely minced*

1/4 cup picante sauce

Baked corn tortilla chips or cut up vegetables for dipping

Wash your hands well. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Drain before serving. Serve with chips or veggies. Refrigerate leftovers immediately.

*Available now at the market.

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