Janet's Notebook
Fresh Summer Recipes For Your Farmer's Market Produce

Spinach and Zucchini Bake

From farmer's markets to local farm stands, right now there is no shortage of fresh produce. Heading to my local market is one of the things I love about summertime cooking - I never know what goodies I'm going to find. Before you visit your favorite market or stand, take a look at these recipes that are packed with summertime produce.

"I made Bruschetta & Cheese last night using an extremely ripe New Jersey tomato," shares Bobbi Gulla (Philadelphia, PA). "The fragrance of the cut up tomato wafted into the living room... pure heaven. The same with the fresh basil."

Bobbi's twist on bruschetta is delicious. It's full of flavor and cheesy! Ideal for any ripe tomatoes you may find. The basil adds a peppery taste and made the Test Kitchen smell amazing. Slice and toast a baguette or grab your favorite crackers and you have a delightful summertime snack.

I frequently roast veggies, but I never used them on a sandwich. That's until I had Cheryl Neubecker's (La Mesa, CA) Roasted Garden Veggie Sandwich - it's now a staple on my summer menu. The sandwiches are a favorite of her family and mine too.

"In the summer everything is so delicious coming from the garden," boasts Cheryl. "Roasting veggies brings out all the wonderful natural flavors." It's very fresh and filling. A great way to use some of the amazing summertime produce. I've tried this with Provolone and goat cheese. Both are delicious!

Robyn Bruce's (Middletown, PA) Spinach and Zucchini Vegetable Bake is the perfect side dish for a busy day. "This can be put together ahead of time and put in the refrigerator unbaked," explains Robyn. Serve with grilled chicken and you have a delicious, and easy, dinner.

Zucchini is so abundant (and inexpensive) in the summer, so put it to good use. This recipe uses frozen spinach, but if you find some at the market grab some and blanch it. The flavors of the zucchini and spinach combined with the Parmesan cheese makes for one yummy side dish. It does make a small batch - perfect for a small family. If you've got a big crew, then double the recipe.

"My husband introduced me to this family favorite - Garden Couscous Salad," says Karie Houghton (Milton, WA). "I had never tried couscous before and I [couldn't] believe how versatile it is. This dish is perfect for company, camping, weekday lunches, etc."

If you're not familiar with couscous, it's a pasta ground from semolina that originated in North Africa. It's flavorless on its own, but when mixed with ingredients it takes on those flavors. And Karie's recipe is packed with flavor!

The dressing is full of cumin and lemon. When tossed with the couscous, tomatoes, cucumbers, Feta cheese, and other goodies, it's a light, fresh, and delicious summer salad.

Corn on the cob is another vegetable that seems to be found everywhere in the summer. Instead of just boiling or grilling it, try Shannon Hinkle's (Tucson, AZ) Roasted Corn with Garlic and Olive Oil.

Shannon's husband is a corn lover and loves when she makes this. When I tasted it, I could see why. The butter and garlic seep into the corn making it so flavorful.

This recipe also an easy way to prepare corn on the cob when you have company. Prep everything and then stick it in the oven at the last minute. Your guest won't even have to butter their corn.

Since no two markets are the same, see what fresh produce you find and create a delightful meal. If you have a favorite farm-fresh recipe, make sure to post it. Happy Pinching!

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Elaine Bovender - Aug 24, 2017
Being in the south, it wouldn't be summer without my fried summer squash or fried green tomatoes, YUMMERS! Easy Deep Fried Summer Squash
Debbie Sue - Jul 11, 2017
This is what I do with tomatoes and cucumbers, Fresh Summer Salad We love it!
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