This Week at the Farmers Market: Summer Squash Pizza

If you’ve ever tried growing your own summer squash then you understand how quickly they can multiply and become overwhelming. Even inventive cooks can grow weary of its abundance before the dog days of August, and they are now all over the farmers markets. But with mild flesh and edible skin, yellow squash is easy to use in a variety of ways: cooked or raw, grilled, steamed, sauteed or baked. When picking out your squash at the market avoid spongy, flabby or overgrown ones and choose ones with taut skin, about 8 inches long or less.

This is a perfect way to enjoy veggie “pizza” without a ton of calories. You can make this light, tasty meal in the toaster oven on hot days when you don’t want the added heat in the kitchen. You can also eat it cool, rolled up as a wrap.

Summer Squash Pesto Pizza Roll-Ups

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This Week at the Farmers Market: Rhubarb — It’s What’s for Breakfast

Photo: Heather Quintal

If you were anywhere near a farmers market this weekend, no doubt you spotted yourself some rhubarb in all its glory. You can grow rhubarb during the summer but we’ve hit peak season for this leafy plant right now. It’s best known as a pie filling since the red stalks become sweet when baked (like some ex boyfriends I know). But their natural tartness always comes through and they can be used in savory dishes such as on pizza, as a chutney, or in salad with some goat cheese.

Eating pie for breakfast is great the day after Thanksgiving, or after a night of wild sex, say, but for some reason there are other desserts that are much more acceptable as everyday morning meals. God knows why pie didn’t make the cut, but thankfully scones are one of those treats that are A-OK to eat before 11am. And they’re extremely easy to make (not to mention cheap). I adapted this recipe for Rhubarb Vanilla Scones from one of the sexiest food blogs out there, Food52. Make ’em quick, before rhubarb season peaces out… This should give you about 12 scones.

Rhubarb Scones

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CSA Season is Here!

With winter officially out the door, so are your excuses for not eating fresh and local.

Most CSA farms are now accepting enrollment for the 2012 season. CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a great way to eat fresh and local. Basically, you buy shares in a local farm and they split up their harvests between all of the shareholders. Most have different plans based on your family size. You can receive shares weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly. Some drop off at a centralized location, some let you come to the farm and pick it yourself. There are meat, vegetables and eggs to be had easily and for a reasonable price, so get off your ass and get some good food!

Check out LocalHarvest, a database of CSA farms, farmers markets and co-ops across the nation.

The Eat Well Guide compiles businesses that provide local, sustainable and organic food.

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Grilled Cheese Gone Wild!

Sure, mom’s buttery white bread and American cheese version is a classic, but these days grilled cheese has hit a whole new level. Here are some of our favorite crazy grilled cheese options.

1. Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

Can’t decide between your two favorite cheesy snacks? Have them both with Simply Scratch’s simply amazing jalapeno-cream cheese-onion-sourdough-colby concoction.

2. Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese

Fried inside fried? Yes and yes. Life’s Ambrosia has the recipe.

3. Bechamel Grilled Cheese

You thought rubbing a layer of butter on grilled cheese was indulgent? At Firefly in D.C., chef Danny Bortnick’s cadillac grilled cheese has bechamel sauce spread in between white bread, with garlic-herb butter, aged Cabot, and Gruyere.

(Photo: Dakota Fine)

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Resist the Jerky at Seattle Farmers’ Markets

If you want to understand a new city don’t go on that dumb duck tour. Instead, find a farmers’ market.

Ask questions of the vendors. Sample local food, it’s better than any other breakfast.

A cheese made in the temperate Pacific Northwest will taste different than a cheese made from cows raised in searing heat. Each state has different rules on selling alcohol, so wine, cider and mead sips can be found at Seattle markets.

You can even find alcohol (although not as much as NyQuil) in the ancient Asian tea, Kombucha.

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Kuri Squash Soup

It’s that time of year when all of us farmers’ market junkies are literally begging the growers to show up with something besides squash and potatoes. Keep heart, folks — another month and we’ll be in the clear. In the meantime, why not make it a winter cooking mission to try using every type of squash they have at the far mar? One in particular I’ve always passed up is the kuri squash — those round, orangey-red ones that look something like a mini-pumpkin with gross, rough edges.

Chef David Bazrigan, who just recently took over the kitchen at San Francisco’s Fifth Floor restaurant, sent over this suprisingly simple recipe for turning those ugly little buggers into a beautiful kuri squash soup. Full recipe — and a bonus photo gallery of Chef Bazrigan’s food — after the jump.

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