Welcome to week six of the 2017 Farmer’s Market Meal Challenge! This week? Marinated Salad with Farmer’s Market Vegetables. The challenge? Make one meal a week with the bulk of the ingredients coming from your local farmer’s market. Post your recipe, idea, or photo to whatever social media outlet you use, and tag your market or vendors. Comment here if you prefer. Eat local, know your food, support the people who feed you. Here’s the challenge kickoff post, and a great recipe to adapt for the produce in your farmer’s market!
I’m finally getting to know my farmer’s markets well enough to use them like grocery stores, sort of. I’m learning which farmer’s markets in which of our nearby towns are open on which days. This makes it easier when I need something mid-week that I’d prefer to buy from the farmer’s market than the store. This week, I got to markets in Wellsburg WV, Martin’s Ferry OH, Steubenville OH, and Bellaire OH.
This might seem like a lot, especially if you live in a larger city. But none of these places is too far for me, and with rural living comes “going into town”. I just plan accordingly, and couple the trips with other errands. Sometimes, I just go for one or two items, while other times I stay and browse. Regular attendance means that vendors let me know what’s ripening for next week, and helps me plan our meals.
Corn is here! We’ve had it coming in a trickle, because the weather here has been unseasonably cool. I know many of you have mostly given up corn, but I can’t help it. I love corn on the cob with salt and butter, grilled corn, and corn in a salad. And now I can get it from local, organic farmers!
This week, I also got some fabulous little wall hangings from Lauren over at Happy Threads – she does amazing things with fabric and dye! I couldn’t help but to fall in love with a little “vase” made of recycled t-shirts, too. I picked up a rose bush for the yard from Woodland Trails Greenhouse, and talked about ordering roses to grow for hips. Orange cream cupcakes, fresh bread, ground beef, eggs, a whole chicken, leeks, patty pan squash, broccoli sprouts, potatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers, green beans, celery (with gorgeous leaves to put in salads), and garlic. Oh, and some baklava from Sophia’s Kitchen and a couple of handmade greeting cards.
This is an .updated version of an old recipe. At one time, it was printed on the back of a very popular brand of canned peas. My own mother didn’t make it, but my former MIL made it and I fell in love! Thanks, Donna Elson! Delicious as it is, that marinated salad calls for two cans of corn, two cans of green beans, two cans of peas, one jar of pimentos, a cup of vegetable oil, and an entire cup of white sugar. Woah, Nellie! Let’s use fresh vegetables, local honey, and less of a better oil, shall we? (Bold indicates I got it at the farmer’s market!)
Marinated Salad Ingredients
- Two ears of Corn (leftovers are fine)
- One pound Green Beans
- Two Leeks
- One small Cucumber
- One Green Pepper
- One Red Bell Pepper
- One stalk Celery
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2/3 cup Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Wash your veggies.
- Cook the corn. Steam it, microwave it like you saw on Pinterest, grill it (flavor town!), or boil it. Whatever puts the magic in your wand. I’d suggest that this isn’t the time to pop the corn, but I’m not going to come to your house and stop you, either.
- Prep the green beans. If they have strings, get them strung. Then roughly chop them into pieces about half an inch long. Mine varied from about an inch, to little tiny bits.
- Cook the green beans. Time will vary depending on the beans and the size. I steamed mine, and they took about fifteen minutes to get as tender as I prefer. Taste every few minutes, and drain them when you’re happy.
- Cut the corn from the cob. Add kernels to a large mixing bowl, along with the green beans.
- Thinly slice the leeks. Place the rings in a bowl of cold water to remove any dirt or sand, then rinse in a colander. Add to the mixing bowl.
- Chop the cucumber, peppers, and celery into bite-sized pieces. Into the bowl with them.
- Mix together honey and vinegar. Add salt and pepper, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Or, use an immersion blender. Mine was being used to make soap, so I whisked.
- Pour the dressing over the veggies. Stir. It may not seem like enough, but as the veggies release their own juices, the resulting dressing can almost double.
- Put it away. In the fridge. Until tomorrow. Tomorrow! OK, you can get away with making this in the morning and serving it in the evening, but marinated salad is better tomorrow. Stir when you happen to open the fridge, so the dressing coats all the veggies.
This is one of the most versatile recipes going. You’ll notice that the original contains peas, and my version does not – that’s because peas aren’t in season here. Chopped tomatoes are fantastic in a marinated salad, even from someone who doesn’t really like tomatoes. Cauliflower, onion, radish, roast beets (will turn it pink but taste fabulous), steamed carrots, wax beans, and broccoli are great additions. I prefer to slightly cook harder veggies, but it’s your call! Replace the corn with a couple of sweet apples in the fall.
For a vegetarian main dish, add protein to marinated salad with lentils or quinoa. Farro and bulger wheat would add bulk and nutrition. Some small pasta (like ditalini) can help stretch this dish for a crowd without breaking your budget. The addition of fresh herbs would amp up the nutrients and the flavor, though I find it perfect as-is.
I wouldn’t choose to add meat directly. In a marinated salad, the process can allow the acids to break down the meat and make it mushy. Stick with grains, beans, or legumes if you want to add bulk or protein.
Tell Your Friends!
Post your recipe, your idea, or your photo on the internet – doesn’t matter where! If possible, post to social media and tag your market or vendors. Let us know here in the comments what you did – did you make marinated salad, adapt this recipe, or have a market meal all your own?
Pin a Reminder!