We’ve been Food Partying! at farmers markets for a couple years now. Cooking at the Market is monthly in Portola Valley, and events with California Farmers Market Association happen at markets all over the Bay.
Farmers markets have made me a better cook. Showing up with no recipe in mind, but creating one on the fly from the best ingredients right now. You have no idea what you are doing; you just start cooking. It’s risky and fun.
This is the time of year to flex that creative muscle and shop at a farmers market like an artist, rather than a cook.* There are so many colors and shapes in season. Go hunt for them and forget the recipe. Slice thinly and start piling colors. Build layers of flavors.
Here’s an example, Farmers Flatbreads, a vegetable Picasso of taste. Fast for your daily munch, yet dressed up for entertaining. Best part? Easy. Have a make-your-own party and let kids old and young be the artist-chefs.
Assemble in layers:
1. Farmers market bread, sliced thin
2. Spread – dairy, vegan veggie, beans, nuts
3. Sliced veggies and/or fruits
4. Flavor accent (s)
Here’s one we did last Sunday with Farmers Market at Bay Meadows. All the food came from the market but the oil, capers and Calabrian peppers.
Garlic Artichoke Spread Tomato Zucchini Fried Caper Calabrian Pepper
1 loaf fresh farmers market bread, thinly sliced
1 carton garlic artichoke spread from the farmers market or equivalent
1 heirloom tomato, sliced thin
1 bunch basil, leaves separated from stem
1 zucchini, sliced thin
1 tablespoon capers, drained well
¼ cup vegetable or avocado oil
Calabrian peppers, sliced very thin
Salt and pepper
Spread a layer of garlic spread on your sliced bread. Put on one layer of basil leaves. Top that with slices of tomato, then zucchini. Heat the oil in a small pan till just before the smoke point. Add capers (not the juice) and fry 3 – 5 minutes till crispy. Remove with slotted spoon onto plate with paper towel. Sprinkle onto bread, along with peppers. Adjust seasonings.
Click here to see our other vegan and non-vegan flatbreads.
Come up with your own flatbreads and send us the pictures!
*OK, cooking is an art too, and the subject for another day.