Tuesday, August 4, 2009


More and more, we hear the health and community benefits of “eating locally.” That’s easy to do if you live in the Saratoga Springs area. Most local communities host a farmers’ market at least once a week in the summer. We are fortunate to have a well-established farmers’ market that operates all year long. In the warmer months, it is located on High Rock Avenue, and is in operation Saturdays and Wednesdays. In addition to fruits and vegetables, you can get everything from heirloom tomatoes to grass-fed beef to cut flowers to artisan breads (and there are always cookies and pies). Our FM also has vendors who sell their own salad dressings, jams and jellies, and even home-milled soaps and lotions. You could create a lovely gift basket in just a few minutes from finds at the farmers’ market.

Some of Saratoga’s best restaurants procure their finest ingredients from the farmers’ markets. Located in the heart of Saratoga’s Art District, Beekman Street Bistro (on the street of the same name) has a distinctive menu that changes according to the day’s freshest finds. If you haven’t been there yet, let me encourage you. Reservations aren’t always necessary, but calling ahead is a good idea. The dining room is beautiful and showcases the work of local artists. My daughter Meghan waits tables there, and works with a wonderful team of people. Owner/managers Tim and Meghan (another Meghan)would love to see you. Tell them Jeannie sent you!

My new town of Middle Grove has its own farmers market now, held Friday afternoons from 4:00-7:00. It’s worth the ride (about 8 miles west of Saratoga Springs at the intersection of Middle Grove and Lake Desolation Roads). If you can only wish for a garden and long to enjoy the bounty of the season, stop by a farmers’ market and load up!

Today’s recipe is adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Summer, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).

The WS website notes:
“Farmers' markets are cropping up everywhere, offering an incredible selection of fruits and vegetables. Most provide a variety of fresh red, yellow and orange summer tomatoes, all of which need little embellishment to highlight their sweet, sun-ripened flavor.”



• 1 very small yellow onion, cut into paper-thin slices
• Salt, to taste
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• 1 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
• 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
• 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 6 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
• 1 English (hothouse) cucumber, peeled and cut
crosswise into thin slices
• Handful of fresh basil leaves
• Handful of fresh cherry tomatoes

Place the onion slices in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Pour the milk over the onion and let stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper to form a vinaigrette. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Arrange the tomato and cucumber slices on a plate. Drain the onion slices and pat dry with paper towels. Scatter the onions atop the tomatoes and cucumbers. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, top with the basil leaves and cherry tomatoes and serve. Serves 6.

Photo and Article: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/recipedetail.cfm?objectid=3C4EBCB7-1E1B-4AAC-9084F8CAD2DCA167

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