If I could pick a week of my life to sleep through without question it would have to be last week. It’s no secret that Mr. Murphy has been my constant companion this year, but last week he brought in relatives to help wreck havoc! It wasn’t bad enough that it was the busiest week of the year for me, he had to throw in a few more zingers just for fun….sigh
I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say I’ve had better weeks. That being said as I was driving to my Chiropractor Saturday morning I got a pleasant surprise, our Farmer’s Market was finally open!!! Let me tell you it couldn’t have come at a better time, I went home to get my camera and then took my time walking through the market, enjoying the sights and sounds that tell me summer is not too far away. The Collingswood Farmer’s Market has become quite a model for area markets and keeps improving and getting bigger and better every year. Now granted it’s still too early for field grown Jersey produce, but they did have a lot of hot house produce as well as fresh produce from further south. It’s okay, even though it isn’t all local, it was great day to be outside at the Market!
Not only does our farmer’s market have fresh produce, they also feature free range organic meats, eggs, artisanal cheeses, breads, pastries, dog treats, and this year fresh seafood! And believe me that’s just the tip of the iceberg, they have a great variety of other crafts available.
I did stop by to check with my Zucchini blossom source, and was told 2 more weeks….sigh……my precious returns in two more weeks!
So come walk with me through our farmer’s market on my first visit of the year!
We really are very lucky to have access to all these wonderful products, and even folks from Philly have easy access to the Market, because it’s set up under the High Speed Line, running from Philadelphia every 12 minutes or so during the day. I did pick up some fresh herbs, bread, and of course Squash…..if I can’t get the blossoms yet I’ll have to settle for the end result. I did promise something tasty this week and my Courgette Gratin certainly filled the bill, give it a try, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did!
- 2 small Sunburst or Yellow Squash sliced about ⅛ inch thick
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 Cup Mixed Rice and Grain Blend, or Rice of your choice
- 1 Cup of Grape Tomatoes cut in half length ways.
- 1 quart of Vegetable Stock
- 1 cup of shredded Cheddar
- ½ cup of Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
- 3-4 Tablespoons Pesto
- Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Olive Oil
- Place diced onions and Rice Blend in a 2 quart pot with enough olive oil to coat the rice. Allow the grains to sauté for about 3-4 minutes, you want to completely sear the grains, you may start to smell a nutty aroma.
- Add vegetable stock, and Pesto to Rice and mix thoroughly.
- Reduce the heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. (Depending upon the grains you use you may need to add more stock or water until the rice is almost fully cooked)
- The rice mixture should still be wet.
- While the rice is cooking slice your squash and place in a mixing bowl with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the squash slices (do not use too much oil, you do not want your dish greasy)
- With the rice off the heat, add in your Greek Yogurt, and tomatoes.
- Pour mixture into a small baking dish (rice should come almost to the top of your baking dish)
- Top the rice mixture with most of your shredded cheddar cheese (save about ¼ cup for the top),then place the squash slices overlapping each slice as you go.
- Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top of squash and season finished dish with sea salt and black pepper.
- Place in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
- Sprinkle with chopped Basil or Italian Parsley and serve
Well my friends that’s it for today, I hope you enjoyed your little walk through the Collingswood Farmer’s market with me, I certianly enjoyed having you along!
Have a great week, Summer’s coming!