Growing up on a farm and ranch in the Texas Panhandle, I was accustomed to growing our own fresh fruits and vegetables. We had two apricot trees in our backyard that produced an abundance of fruit, and my mom had an ample garden that included everything from pumpkins and tomatoes to zucchini and squash. One year, my ambitious father went to extremes and used the wheat planter to plant a two-acre garden that included okra, black eyed peas, and green beans. That’s nearly 87,120 feet of veggies.
Needless to say, our family was picking vegetables almost hourly. All the little old ladies in our small town would call up and want something, so one of us would take a brown paper bag and fill it to the brim with black eyed peas or okra. We would spend the evenings shelling peas on the living room floor over a spread-out newspaper and a plastic bowl. If only our town, with a population of 1,313, would’ve had a farmer’s market…
Tahoe is fortunate. There are actually two farmer’s markets in South Lake Tahoe:
Last week, a few of us from work hit up the Legion Hall farmer’s market to gather items for our weekly group dinner. I was kind of in a time crunch, so I prepared an easy, quick salad recipe, which is below.
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans (used almonds instead because already had them and did not toast)
1 4-ounce log goat cheese (bought at the grocery store but had a cheese stand at the farmer’s market)
6 cups baby arugula (used mixed greens from the farmer’s market)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
4 peaches, halved and pitted (delicious, fresh, local peaches)
4 tablespoons honey (used local honey from the Carson Valley)
Salt and pepper the pecans. Roll the goat cheese log in pecans to coat, and then cut into rounds. Place mixed greens in bowl and add oil, lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Divide salad mixture into bowls and ‘nestle’ 2 peach halves into each portion of the greens, top each with a round of goat cheese. And my favorite part, drizzle each salad with 1 tablespoon (or more!) of honey. Enjoy!
Here are a couple points that I will remember next time: chunks, not rounds of the goat cheese are easier to eat, and the peaches work better in slices or small chunks also.
Is there a favorite recipe using farmer’s market produce that you enjoy making? How creative have you gotten with your purchases?
~ Sally Gunter, Public Relations Coordinator