Q: Is it time for ‘maters yet?
A: Not quite, but they’re coming!!!
And when they do, I’ll be slicing up a bowl, sprinkling a little sugar and pepper (try it!) on them, and eating them just like that, with a cold beverage.
If you have cherry tomato plants, you may start seeing those ripen — we’ve had a few orange ones in our garden already! And a handful of green tomatoes have appeared on the larger plants, still growing and still quite green. Now, it’s just a matter of keeping the squirrels from taste testing the produce!
In the meantime, the variety at the market has ramped up considerably since opening. You should expect to see all of the following from at least one of the farmers at the market:
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Summer Squash
At home, I’ve been enjoying lots of “make ’em up” salads, using whatever we have from the garden/market/csa basket. I’ve been experimenting with a buttermilk salad dressing (it uses jam, which is a perfect way to use up some of my jam experiments as well!), and it brings everything together nicely, as does a lemony tahini dressing.
I tried a quick-pickle of some haukerei turnips and radishes (just 1:1 cider vinegar and sugar), and tiny cucumbers from the garden as well, plus some herbs and cheese. I’d happily toss roasted carrots or beets on this salad, along with beans and/or grains, or even a scoop of hummus.
The other thing we’ve been enjoying lately has been some combo of soup, salad, and open-face sandwiches. The other night, we got this curried red lentil from Green Top, brought them home and added more veggies to stretch them a bit, and put salads together to go with them. Two of the large containers at Green Top ($4.99 ea) fed three adults very well!
I wish I could bring myself to bake in the summer, but the availability of freshly-baked bread from Common Ground and Green Top, as well as the market, makes it more than ok. This Paesano from Central IL Bakehouse in Champaign is my go-to for toast, all summer long.
Other salad dressings we LOVE:
- Ginger-Carrot, from 101 Cookbooks
- The balsamic vinaigrette from this salad at Oh She Glows
- The nutty-sesame dressing from this salad at Oh She Glows
Don’t be afraid to put things together and taste! If you roast a few things at once, you can enjoy them throughout the week. Sweet potato rounds, beets, carrots, etc. keep well in the fridge for a few days. Add a bit of good cheese, and you have a great bowl!