This time of year, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market is in full swing. Beautiful produce is stacked as high as
the eye can see, and juicy, gem-colored fruits are carefully laid out in baskets across the farmer’s tables.
One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of fresh summer vegetables at the Market these days. In fact
there are so many options to choose from, we put together a quick list of a few of our favorite summer
veggies to buy at the Market:
Peppers. Fresh sweet peppers from the farmers market are hard to beat. You can pick an assortment of
your favorite colors of peppers. Sweet peppers are an extremely versatile vegetable, which is another
reason why we love them. You can chop them and toss in a salad or pasta sauce, sauté in your favorite
stir fry, or dip in some healthy hummus. Enjoy the nutritional benefits plus the fresh, yummy taste of
super fresh sweet peppers. Also, if you enjoy some spice in your foods, the Farmers’ Market is a perfect
place to find fun, new hot peppers to try. Make sure to ask how spicy the hot peppers are and how to
use them before buying. You don’t want to take home more than you can handle!
Tomatoes. You cannot pass on fresh tomatoes at the Farmers’ Market. A grocery-store tomato will
never rival a fresh-from-the-farm tomato. In addition to being colorful and delicious, tomatoes are
incredibly nutritious and versatile. They are great additions to any summer salad, and can be cooked in a
variety of ways. Next time you’re having a BBQ, try tossing some thick slices that have been drizzled with
olive oil onto your grill to have as a side. Yum!
Corn. Nothing screams summer quite like fresh corn. From sweet corn to standard varieties, fresh corn
has a flavor that is second to none. It’s a healthy and fun vegetable to eat in the summer, and can be
used in so many ways from a simple side, to fritters and chowders.
Zucchini. With an almost sweet flesh and crunchy, nutritious skin, zucchini is a staple for healthy
summer eating. Chop and toss some in a salad, or slice one and dip it in hummus. Better yet, try them in
a frittata, stuffed with quinoa, or in muffins and breads! Crisp and refreshing, zucchini is a must-have
summer vegetable from the Farmers’ Market.
While these happen to be some of our favorite summer staples, we are by no means suggesting that you
limit yourself to these four veggies. In fact, the Farmers’ Market is a great place to try things for the first
time and be a bit more daring with your choices. Whether you are looking for something fun to try for
your next summer meal or a fresh upgrade to your normal fare, fresh summer vegetables from the
Farmers’ Market are the way to go.
Here is an easy recipe for a delicious, creamy and colorful Summer Veggie Risotto, which is a great way
for you to combine some of your fresh Farmers’ Market finds. Enjoy!
photo credit: iowagirleats.com
SUMMER VEGGIE RISOTTO
PREP TIME: 10 mins
TOTAL TIME: 40 mins
INGREDIENTS: (*can be found seasonally at the Farmers’ Market)
3 – 3 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tbsp butter
2 green onions; chopped*
2 garlic cloves; minced*
Salt & pepper
¾ cup arborio rice
¼ cup white wine*
1 small zucchini; quartered and chopped (about 1 cup)*
1 medium green pepper; chopped (about ½ cup)*
1 large tomato; seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)*
1 ear sweet corn; kernels cut from cob (about ¾ cup)*
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese*
1 handful fresh basil; torn*
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and keep hot.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat then add green onions, season with salt and pepper, and
then sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic then sauté for 30 more seconds.
Add rice then stir to coat in butter. Add wine then stir until nearly absorbed by rice. Add ½ cup chicken
broth then stir constantly until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring
constantly until nearly absorbed before adding more.
When there’s 1/3 of the broth remaining, add zucchini and green pepper, then continue stirring.
When there’s ¼ of the broth left, add corn then continue stirring. Add the tomatoes with the last batch
of broth then stir until absorbed.
Take risotto off heat then stir in Parmesan cheese and basil. Add more salt & pepper to taste then serve.