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.


Many markets have growers specializing in herb plants like Frederickson Farms at Webb City and PT Gardens at Farmers Market of the Ozarks in Springfield.

I purchased an apple mint plant from Fredrickson Farms at the Webb City Farmer’s Market earlier this year.  This is my first experience growing mint.  I planted it in a large pot since my research showed it can be invasive.  Apple mint has bright green leaves with a woolly texture and makes a nice garnish.  It has a slight apple scent and a mild, fruity flavor.  I have been crushing a few leaves and adding them to the tea bags when I steep a pitcher of iced tea.  It makes a refreshing summer drink.  I sometimes add apple juice and/or cranberry apple juice to the tea pitcher to add variety.  Others have said apple mint is  a nice addition to lemonade.    I have been adding sugar or sweetener but I am wondering if some leaves of the Stevia plant would add the right amount of sweetness.   I purchased a Stevia plant at the market last week and will be experimenting with it as soon as it has a chance to develop a few more leaves.  Does anyone have other suggestions for using apple mint?

carolyn smith

Market Lady Carolyn Smith


Oriental Cole Slaw with fresh from the market ingredients – Napa and Chinese Cabbage, onions and broccoli.

Whether you use Napa Cabbage or Chinese Cabbage for it’s mild flavor or regular head cabbage for it’s bargain price for quantity, you’re going to love this Cole Slaw from our Market Lady Trish Reed.

Oriental Cole Slaw

1/4 cup butter
2 (3 oz) pkg Oriental flavor ramen noodle soup (reserve seasoning packets)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 lb cabbage (shredded)*
8 oz broccoli crowns (chopped in small pieces)*
1/2 cup chopped green onion*
1/2 cup salad oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup white sugar or equivalent sugar substitute

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl in microwave.  Crush the ramen noodles into small pieces.  Stir crushed noodles and almonds into butter.  Spread mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until brown and crunchy (about 8 to 10 minutes).  Allow to cool completely.

 In a large bowl, toss together shredded cabbage, broccoli crowns and green onions.  Whisk together salad oil, vinegar, sugar or sugar substitute, soy sauce and reserved seasoning packets in a separate bowl.  Stir the noodle mixture into the dressing and pour over Coleslaw mixture, tossing well.

* in season now at a farmers market near you!


Trish elbow deep in cabbage at the market.


To be at the farmers market last Saturday and see the beautiful fruits and vegetables gave me hope that summer is just around the corner.  I had almost given up hope as I listened to the rain beating down lately.  We are truly blessed to have professional farmers that are able to overcome the weather challenges of southwest Missouri and grow beautiful fruits and vegetables.

 Recently I did a cooking demonstration that focused on Cooking for One or Two (people).  Sometimes the quantity offered at the market seems a bit overwhelming for a small household.  So think about multiple uses for that food.  For example, when purchasing a basket of tomatoes you may use them in a salad, a sauce, sliced eaten alone, a BLT or taco, or even tomato and cottage cheese.  Planning ahead will prevent waste from your purchase.  Looking at the many vegetables at market Saturday I could see multiple uses:  salads, stir fry’s, roasted, a simple soup. 

 Another idea suitable for many vegetables is to preserve them for later use by blanching and freezing.  Blanching is a process that stops the enzyme action in the vegetable and will help preserve the color and texture when it is frozen.  To blanch a vegetable, drop the vegetable in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes, remove and place in ice cold water to stop the cooking process and then drain.  Once the vegetable is drained you can place in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and freeze.  This is a great way to package in servings for 1 or 2.

The following recipe is so easy and  can be reduced or multiplied to fit your family size. Place the meat and vegetables in foil or parchment paper and bake or grill until the meat is done.  The freshness of the market vegetables will make this a delicious simple dinner.  Feel free to substitute with what’s available at your market.

Chicken en Papillote with Garden Vegetables

Serves 4       

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (6 oz each) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper 
  • parchment paper 
  • 1 whole lemon, thinly sliced 
  • 4 oz baby zucchini, quartered lengthwise 
  • 4 oz baby carrots 
  • 4 oz cherry tomatoes, quartered 
  • 16 asparagus spears, trimmed 
  • 16 fresh morel mushrooms 
  • 1/4 cup shredded basil, plus more for garnish 
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 


1. Preheat oven to 425F. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place each piece of chicken in the center of a 14-inch square piece of parchment paper (or foil) and top with lemon slices, zucchini carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, morels, and basil, dividing evenly. Sprinkle each with 3 tablespoons wine and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.

2. Bring the edges of the parchment to the center and fold together twice to seal tightly, leaving space between parchment and contents. Place the 4 packets on a large baking sheet.

3. Bake until parchment is browned on edges and center puffs up, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove from oven, put each packet on a dinner plate, and serve, letting people pierce the center to reveal the food.

Nutritional Facts per serving

Calories         355.3 calories

Fat                  11.9 g

Saturated fat2.1 g

Cholesterol   108.9 mg

Sodium          516.6 mg

Carbohydrates          13.3 g

Total sugars              4.4 g

Dietary fiber              4.9 g

Protein                       41 g

From:  http://recipes.womenshealthmag.com/Recipe/chicken-en-papillote-with-garden-vegetables.aspx

Market Lady Susan Pittman shares this tasty seasonal salad.

Lettuce Medley Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 min

Level:  Easy                 Serves: 4 servings

medely salad final

 1 pint strawberries, sliced *

4 cups variety of lettuces *

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped in half

1 red onion, diced *

Fresh mint leaves, torn *

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing, recipe follows

Feta cheese, crumbled

 In a large bowl, add the strawberries, lettuce, raisins, olives, pine nuts, red onions and mint. Top with Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing and feta cheese.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing:

 1/2 cup raspberries

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar, optional

 Add the raspberries, oil, vinegar and sugar if using into a blender and blend until smooth.

 *available at your local farmers market now (6-5-13).  Raspberries should be in season toward the end of June.


Market Lady Susan Pittman

Garlic Scapes

Guest “Market Gent” Frank Reiter is a huge booster of local foods and shares with us the info below on garlic scapes which are still in season.  You can find them at many southwest Missouri markets.  But don’t wait!  The season is short.

Garlic scapes are the leafless stem that shoots up from the garlic bulb that produces the flower of the garlic plant. When first emerging, the scape curls, with a slight bulge toward the top of the stem. To achieve the best growth and formation of the garlic head, and cloves, these scapes need trimming within a couple of weeks of appearance. Many farmers take advantage of these scapes and sell to the “in-the-know” culinarians, or foodies, at local farmer markets.   Scapes become available only one time a year: late spring and early summer. A very short-lived season, coupled with great versatility, make garlic scapes a highly sought after item in many markets. 


The scapes are only truly good when curled, with the very slight bulge. Once they begin to straighten, or flower, they become too woody, and lose much of the desired flavors.

The flavor within a garlic scape can be described as a cross between a scallion, or green onion, and garlic. I’m not gonna lie to you… it is sharply garlic. You know… the kind of garlic that bites your tongue. However, I am from the school of thought about garlic never being too much. One of my favorite quotes is by Emeril Lagasse: “Once I was asked, ‘Emeril, how much garlic is too much?’ I replied… ‘Dunno… ain’t been there, yet!'”  If you eat garlic scapes, definitely double, triple, up on breath mints, that day! 

Here are just a few ideas of things you could do with garlic scapes: 

  • chop into short lengths and sauté them as a side dish
  • chop them and toss them raw into salads
  • chop into short lengths and toss into a stir fry
  • toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill them
  • substitute them for garlic in hummus recipes
  • use them as an aromatic herb in recipes
  • pickle them and store them for months to come
  • a delicious, yet unusual preparation as a garlic scape tart
  • a garlic scape pesto

When preparing garlic scapes for cooking, be sure to trim off the tops, just below the bulge. I used my two bundles to prepare a garlic scape pesto. As with any other pesto, there are a lot of ways to prepare it. For garlic scape pesto, you could use the scapes as a substitute for basil, or mix half and half with some herb, such as basil, dill, arugula, spinach, or chervil. For the nut component of the recipe, you could use pine nuts or walnuts. Below is the pesto recipe I used, and adjusted accordingly to my desired outcome. 

scape pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto

3/4 cups chopped scapes

1/4 cups pine nuts
juice & zest of 1/2 lemon
3/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.  In a small sauté pan, over medium heat, toast the pine nuts. Constantly stir, or toss, to get a very light
golden hue to the pine nuts. Usually when you begin to smell them, they are done. Set aside and allow to cool for a few minutes. 
2.  Place toasted pine nuts, scapes, lemon juice & zest, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor, pulsing until all chopped and incorporated well. 
3.  Begin drizzling in the olive oil as you continue to pulse, or run, the processor. 
4.  Scrape the pesto into a bowl, and stir in the Parmesan cheese. 

Frank’s Notes:

1. Pesto can be frozen. If you are going to freeze the pesto, do not add the Parmesan cheese until you are ready to thaw and serve the pesto. 
2. Freezing will mellow the sharp garlic flavor of the scapes in the pesto. I served mine fresh, but it did have a substantial bite, at first. The longer it sat in the refrigerator, the more mellow it became. 
3. This pesto can be served on toasted breads, or tossed in with hot pasta. It can also be tossed in with a  cream sauce for pasta. A small round of toasted baguette, topped with some pesto, and finally topped  with a grilled shrimp makes for some amazingly simple, yet elegant appetizers at a gathering.

frank about food

Frank with his prized scapes at the Webb City Farmers Market.  Learn more about Frank’s passion for food at:

His Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/FrankAboutFood?fref=ts


His Blog:  http://franklyfoodblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/frank-about-food-flashback-great-garlic.html

It’s strawberry season in Southwest Missouri and there is nothing better than a local berry so be sure to stop by your farmers market and enjoy the season.

Market Lady Trish Reed shares this recipe:IMG_0413

Cheese Cake Stuffed Strawberries

 1/2 tablespoon vanilla

1 box instant cheese cake pudding

Pint of heavy whipping cream

1 package of whipped cream cheese (8 oz)

2 quarts of fresh strawberries

 In a bowl combine all ingredients except fresh strawberries, put mixture in gallon zip lock bag, refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

 Wash strawberries and pat dry.

 Remove stem, invert and cut into quarters but not all the way through so the quarters stay together.  Put in fridge until cheese cake mixture is ready.

 Cut one corner off zip lock bag, and squeeze into opened quarters of strawberries.  Refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

 Find more tasty recipes and tips at:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Market-Lady/132618160144643

trish reed

Market Lady Trish Reed



Market Lady Theresa Dohm prepared this delightful recipe at the Webb City Farmers Market recently.  It’s good for you, a taste treat and easy to prepare.

Watercress Salad with Roasted Beets and Oranges

The sweet earthiness of roasted beets combines with the tang of citrus and the peppery bite of watercress in this jewel-colored salad. For maximum flavor, serve the salad at room temperature or just slightly chilled.

 1 pound small-to-medium red beets, with 1 inch of stems left intact

  • Olive oil
  • 3 navel oranges
  • 2 tbsp raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups of watercress leaves, washed and dried

 Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

 Rub the beets with olive oil and place in a shallow roasting pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until the beets are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 40 to 60 minutes, depending on their size. Remove the pan from the oven and let the beets cool. When cool enough to handle, unwrap the beets and peel. Cut the beets into ½-inch-thick slices or wedges and set aside in small bowl.

Meanwhile, grate the rind (zest) from 2 of the oranges. Cut one of those oranges in half crosswise and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. Add the zest, vinegar, and shallots, and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Whisk in the Dijon mustard, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Alternately, you can combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously to emulsify the vinaigrette.

 Add 1 to 2 tbsp of the vinaigrette to the beets, tossing to coat.

Slice off the tops and bottoms of the remaining 2 oranges. Then, with a sharp knife, cut off the peel and pit (white membrane) in vertical strips working from the top down, following the natural curve of the fruit. Release the segments by cutting on the inside of each membrane.

Place the watercress in a large bowl and drizzle with some of the vinaigrette, tossing to coat the leaves. Transfer the watercress to a platter and arrange the beets and orange segments atop the greens. Serve immediately.

Market manager Eileen Nichols prepares this dish with Carol Parker on KSN:  http://fourstateshomepage.com/fulltext-living-well?nxd_id=398622

Here’s a recipe that’s right on target with the season.  You should be able to get all the main ingredients right now at your local farmers market.


Easy Spinach Salad

 10 ounces of fresh spinach

1 red onion

6 boiled eggs

8 ounces chopped bacon

2 tablespoon ketchup

1 cup miracle whip

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 cup or equivalent sugar-free sweetener

 In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, miracle whip, oil and sugar. Mix well and refrigerate. In a large bowl, combine spinach, red onion, cubed eggs and bacon pieces. Toss well. Drizzle dressing over salad mixture and toss well.

Market Lady Trish Reed

trish reed

Spring means asparagus and this is my favorite asparagus recipe. I didn’t think I liked asparagus until I had prepared in the recipe below. My image was of boiled asparagus that was limp and turned olive green. This cooking method preserves all the vitamins and all the flavor.

rocky horse asparagus 2

(Fresh asparagus from Rocky Horse Ranch at the Webb City Farmers Market)

 And once I became an asparagus fan, I have also found that raw asparagus is delicious as well – if it is fresh from the market and tender it is a great finger food or it is terrific just to break into small pieces into a salad.

 My most recent favorite asparagus method is steamed – an easy meal is to place a piece of fish or chicken on a 6-8″ square of parchment paper, season with salt, pepper. Then add 2″ pieces of asparagus, sliced mushroom, zucchini, cherry tomato on the meat, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of chicken broth or wine. Fold the parchment paper over the meat and vegetables into a package, place on a sheet pan into 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until parchment paper is browned on edges. The steam cooks the meat and vegetables and is delicious.

 All of these cooking methods preserve the flavor and vitamins in asparagus. Asparagus is a low calorie vegetable that is an excellent source of folate, Vitamin C and potassium. It is also rich in antioxidants. Spring is here – enjoy some asparagus!

 <strong>Roasted Asparagus</strong>


 1 lb asparagus

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt ( or 1/4 teaspoon regular table salt)

 Preheat oven to 425°F.

 Cut off the woody bottom part of the asparagus spears and discard.

With a vegetable peeler, peel off the skin on the bottom 2-3 inches of the spears (this keeps the asparagus from being all “stringy” and if you eat asparagus you know what I mean by that).

Place asparagus on foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt.

With your hands, roll the asparagus around until they are evenly coated with oil and salt.

Roast for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your stalks and how tender you like them.

They should be tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.

The tips of the spears will get very brown but watch them to prevent burning.


Market Lady Susan Pittman