Archive for the ‘Tomatoes’ Category

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
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

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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!


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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Crisp Cucumber Salsa

 crisp cucumber salsa

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber

1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

4 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt


Place all ingredients in bowl and mix gently.  Refrigerate and serve with tortilla or fresh vegetables.

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The cherry tomatoes are finally coming in from the field and out to your local farmers market.  They’re great for snacking and make a flavorful addition to any plate.  They’re also great for stuffing.  Market Lady Trish Reed shares her secret to hollowing out a cherry tomato and a refreshing filling (that also is dandy with pita chips as a dip).

cut top of tomato

Cut the stem end off the cherry tomato.

Take a 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon,

and starting just inside the cut, hollow it out.  tip tomato

As simple as that!

final tomato


cucumber tomato

Cucumber Dill Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 cup peeled cucumbers, finely chopped

2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped

4 teaspoons minced fresh dill

Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth.  Stir in cucumber, onion, and dill.  Mix well.  Refrigerate until served.  Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips or use as a spread on crackers.  It also makes a lovely stuffing for cherry tomatoes.

Put the dip mixture into a zip lock bag, seal and cut the tip off of one corner.  It the bag like a pastry bag, squeeze the mixture into the tomato.

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I’ve got the perfect salad combo for you to bring to all those summer bbq’s this year.  My Tomato Basil Couscous is not only healthy, but nutritious as well.  Head out to a local market today to pick up all your ingredients!

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The Market Lady, Lane McConnell, will visit the Webb City Farmers Market in Webb City, Mo., Tuesday, May 15, 2012. The Market Lady and video crew will begin at 11 a.m., with two cooking demonstration incorporating products from the market and will be interviewing producers and consumers for various other segments.

“I strive to inform folks on the ease of preparing homemade meals for their families through shopping at the market,” said McConnell.  “Consumers can log on to our website or Facebook page to view short videos of interviews with the farmers that grow our food, topics such as food safety, organic, naturally grown and learn how to cook simple meals.”

The purpose of The Market Lady Project is to educate consumers about eating healthy, locally produced food found at their farmers market.

“The market will offer consumers a great event on Tuesday,” said Market Master Eileen Nichols.  “We hope that customers will come out to the market and bring their families to watch The Market Lady cooking demonstrations and take part in the market.”

Below is one recipe that The Market Lady will be preparing at the market. Be sure and come out to the Webb City Farmers Market on May 15 to meet the Market Lady.

Tomato, Basil and Couscous Salad
2 1/4 cups canned chicken broth
1 10-ounce box couscous
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup diced seeded tomatoes
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Cheese curds or feta for garnish

Bring broth to boil in medium saucepan. Add couscous. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Fluff with fork. Cool.

Mix all ingredients except cherry tomatoes into couscous. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and cheese.

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Interested in an easy kabob recipe…I’ve got your covered with my Market Style Kabob Cooking Video from the Marshfield Farmers Market.

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The soup that will warm your soul

When the leaves begin to turn shades of rust, orange and yellow I get inspired by one simple dish that can always be turned out in a short time in my kitchen.

Tomato Bisque is a perfect combination of local tomatoes, onion, basil and some freshly chopped chives from my herb garden.  And, don’t fret – local tomatoes can still be found at local markets and if you are lucky some growers also grow hydroponic tomatoes.

This is a recipe that will become one of your favorites this fall – I assure you!

Tomato Bisque
1 med onion-thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
4 large tomatoes, stewed in Italian seasonings
1 bay leaf
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Croutons and Parmesan Cheese for garnish

In heavy saucepan, sauté the onion in butter for 5 minutes.  Add tomato, bay leaf, brown sugar, basil, cloves, salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes.Remove bay leaves and cloves. Puree rest. Strain if you want a very smooth soup. (I like the little pieces of tomato) Add cream, milk and heat well, do not scald.

Serve sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and croutons.

Stewed tomatoes you ask?  Here is a simple way to stew and can your own tomatoes.

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Light and Fresh Pasta Meal

Ever have those nights when you really don’t feel like cooking?  I do, we all do – but instead of reaching for that frozen pizza or calling for take-out, turn to some of my quick and easy meals to help sooth your soul!

Tonight was one of those nights in the kitchen for me. We were all hungry, but didn’t feel like making a meal that would take forever, so we opted for a quick pasta dish. Garden tomatoes and basil, capers, olives…and some grilled chicken breast. Talk about a light and healthy meal and oh so delicious!  But, you better hurry out to the market to take advantage of the tomatoes and basil still available….fall is coming on fast.

Try this recipe for a weeknight meal- you won’t regret it!

McConnell Fresh and Light Pasta
3 cups Penne Pasta (whole grain)
1/3 cup kalamata olives, diced
2 T. capers
1/2 cup garden tomatoes, diced
15 basil leaves, chopped
1 lemon squeezed
3 T. olives oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced

Toss everything in a large bowl and serve with toasty french bread!

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Looking for an easy kabob recipe incorporating fresh products from the farmers market – The Market Lady has you covered!  Here is our video from the Marshfield Farmers Market visit.

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