We went to the South of the James farmers market last weekend, and I came back loaded down with veggies and inspired to blog again. If you have not visited this market in Forest Hill Park, it is well worth a trip.
Here's my strategy for perusing the market:
Wander all the way through, front to back, to get the lay of the land and check out the local musicians doing their thing. Buy yourself a hand made spring roll, taco truck taco, a cup of freshly ground coffee or an ice cold lemonade, and walk slowly back to the front, gathering up your faves. Then, stow your goodies in the car (make sure you've got a cooler with you!) and walk down to the newly renovated lake. The walk TO the lake is all downhill, so, therefore easy and refreshing. Take a few minutes checking out the great improvements and enjoy all the little kids trying to fish (it's all "catch and release"). Walk around the lake and you are sure to see mountain bikers up on the steep hills leading up to Woodland Heights. Is this a great city or what? White water rafting, mountain biking, lake fishing and farmers markets, all within a mile or 2 of each other, inside the city limits!
Then, suck it up, and head back UP the hill. You'll feel virtuous and won't feel guilty about the goodies you ate while browsing the market! OR the delicious dinner you will make tonight! There are lots of desserts, in my blog archive, check it out!
Here is a favorite family supper, using some fresh, fresh ingredients, easily obtainable at the farmers market or even your back yard!
Salmon, Ravioli, Salad and Bruschetta For Dinner
1 - 1 1/3 lb. salmon
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1T. chopped fresh rosemary (a 2 -3 in. sprig will yield this
2 T. chopped fresh dill ( a few fronds)
1 lemon, 1/2 for slicing, 1/2 for juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Pour a 1 T. of the olive oil on a large cookie sheet (use one w/low sides) and spread it to the size of your salmon. Lay your salmon, skin side down, on the sheet and rub the rest of the olive oil over the surface of the fish. Sprinkle with the garlic salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Strip the herbs from their stems and chop the leaves from the rosemary and frondy parts from the dill together. Sprinkle over the salmon evenly. Squeeze the juice from half of your lemon over the entire fish. Thinly slice the other half, and lay the slices on top of the salmon. Cover the sheet w/foil, making a tent, so that the foil won't stick to the top of the fish. You may want to spray your foil w/cooking spray to make absolutely sure this won't happen. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Take off the lemon slices and enjoy!
Don't worry if you have leftover salmon, I've got a great salmon spread recipe coming later this week!
Serve this with spinach and cheese ravioli, your favorite salad (lots of fresh greens in the farmers market right now!) and brucshetta. For a good bruschetta topping, see my recipe from last summer, by accessing the archives to the left of the blog ("Bruschetta, A Super Simple Summer Treat"). For this dinner, I omitted the mozarella on top, because there was quite a bit of cheese in the ravioli. NOW, for the ravioli, we like the Mama Rosie's Spinach and Cheese brand, from the freezers at the local supermarket. I make a tasty pesto sauce to put on top. Here's what I use:
1/3 c. basil leaves (about 20 large leaves, give or take)
2 T. toasted walnuts
2 - 4 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 - 3 T. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
Three tips for success w/pesto: First, use only fresh, bright green basil. Second, toast your walnuts ( or pine nuts if you can afford them or prefer them). Third, use only Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
In a small food processor, or blender, place your basil, garlic and walnuts. Pulse until a they are finely chopped and Drizzle in your olive oil, slowly, until you get the consistency of a smooth, thick sauce. Add in the cheese, 1 tsp. at a time, until it starts to look and smell like pesto, spicy and green. You may need to add a little more olive oil. If you are super concerned about calories, you can substitute a little chicken broth for part of the oil, but you must have at least 1 T. olive oil. Serve over the pasta of your choice. Will keep for a week in a tightly covered container in the frig, if you put a little olive oil on the top too keep it nice and green.
Cooks Tip: You can freeze this, which I often do, just don't add the cheese at the end. I often make a lot, pour it into old fashioned ice cube trays, and freeze them. When they get solid, remove the pesto from the tray, and place in a zip top freezer bag. One cube is enough pesto for 1 - 2 servings.