Switch things up a bit with your local produce! Here are some new ways to turn your farmers’ market haul into yummy vegetable side dishes.
Every Saturday this summer, Chef Greg from the Corner Table on Nantucket will be taking small groups of hungry foodies to Sustainable Nantucket’s Farmers’ and Artisans Market to meet local farmers, buy fresh produce, and then cook up a storm with his weekly haul back at the Corner Classroom. Anyone living or visiting Nantucket can sign up for a Farmers’ Market Walk.
Last weekend, I joined the group with my son’s girlfriend, Sophia, and after spending an hour and a half watching Chef Greg chop, slice, and dice his veggie haul, I came away with a bunch of new ideas for making the season’s freshest, just-plucked-from-the-earth produce really shine. What follows are some new things that I plan to make for my family in the coming weeks … and I hope you’ll try them too. It may take a bit of improv, but vegetables are forgiving, so go for it.
Here was Greg’s challenge: Create something new with carrots, baby turnips, scallions (green onions), breakfast radishes, kohlrabi, kale, and salad greens. Here are some yummy vegetable side dishes to try now!
Wash and trim carrots (no need to peel), and slice on the diagonal into thirds. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, kosher or sea salt, honey, and cumin seeds. Roast in a 400°F or 425°F oven until caramelized and tender.
Wash and trim the turnips. Cut in half or into quarters, toss with EVOO and kosher salt, and roast in a 400°F or 425°F oven until caramelized and tender. Serve the carrots and turnips on a platter and garnish with thinly sliced scallion tops.
Kale; Radishes; Kohlrabi:
Remove kale leaves from their stems. Wash well and dry. Chop the into bite-size pieces. Place in a bowl and drizzle in EVOO, kosher salt, and grated garlic. (Greg grated the garlic on a microplane.) Put on a pair of plastic gloves to keep your hands clean, and massage the oil into the kale leaves. This helps to break down the kale fibers and soften the leaves. Top with thinly sliced breakfast radishes and quick-pickled kohlrabi. To quick pickle the kohlrabi, cut into matchstick pieces and place in a bowl with lemon juice, EVOO, salt, and a drizzle of honey. Let sit for a few minutes.
Slice zucchini in half, lengthwise. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Place on a griddle (or outdoor grill) and grill until grill marks appear and the zucchini bends slightly in the middle when picked up with tongs. Remove to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl.
Place scallions on the griddle with the zucchini. Cook until charred. Remove to a cutting board and chop into thin rounds. Drizzle EVOO over the charred scallions. Add a few pinches of salt and some lemon zest and mix together to form a paste.
Toss the scallion paste with the cooked zucchini and use as a topping over salad greens. (Greg dressed the salad with lemon juice, EVOO, and salt and pepper.)
If you’re looking for a fun activity this summer, set up a challenge like this one with your family. Head to the farmers’ market, buy what’s in season, and then create something new at home. If that feels intimidating, try my farmers’ market scavenger hunt. It’s super fun! Click here to download my free FARMERS’ MARKET SCAVENGER HUNT.