Boulder County Farmers Markets
It is hot, and we are officially amid the hazy, crazy days of summer. For our farmers, these days are anything but lazy. They are working hard in the field, trying to keep themselves and their crops hydrated. The amount of sun and daylight means that plants are growing quickly, both vegetables and weeds.
While we are sweating and trying to avoid the heat as much as possible, we can’t really complain because we are reaping all the benefits of this summer’s growth and abundance. The produce that is coming to markets is fresh and crisp. We might not all have air conditioning, but eating refreshing food can be just as reinvigorating as a dip in Boulder Creek or Union Reservoir.
It’s fair to say that any weather above 90 degrees is just too hot to be using our ovens or stoves. So for the foreseeable future, you can find us using our grills, making some killer salads, sipping refreshing beverages and eating copious amounts of ice cream.
Our longest-standing BCFM market staffer, Kat Herbert, introduced us to a summer salad superstar: Market Panzanella. Herbert is an incredible member of our team, a French teacher, a home gardener and an inspired cook.
Each recipe calls for super-fresh produce and bread that can be stale. What a great opportunity for our summer weekend adventurers who might have gone out of town and forgotten about that delectable loaf of sourdough.
The recipe also relies on produce that is fresh and picked just for you by our Colorado farmers. Grab everything you need at the market in Boulder on Wednesday evening, on Saturdays in Longmont or Boulder, or through our online pickup option at bcfm.org.
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For the salad:
1/2 old loaf of market sourdough bread (stale works great), cut into cubes and lightly toasted
1 cup cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup dragon tongue beans (or snow peas), diced
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
1/2 cup canned cannellini beans
For the dressing:
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh herbs for garnish (parsley, basil, chives, oregano)
For the salad: Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
For the dressing: Make dressing in a separate bowl; adjust vinegar and olive oil to your desired balance. Add dressing and let sit for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Add salt and pepper to taste after panzanella has marinated in the refrigerator. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately. This dish is best when eaten fresh, as it does not store well.
Cook’s note: If you are looking for some fun add-ins so you can keep making this recipe on repeat, Herbert has a few suggestions: Swap garbanzo beans for cannellini; add chopped grilled onions, asparagus or summer squash; or throw on some toasted pine nuts or toasted quinoa for crunch.
Serves 4. Adjust quantities to your preference.
— Courtesy of Kat Herbert