Every Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the parking lot behind Riggs Bank on Dupont Circle is overflowing with fruit and vegetable stands. And for the past two years, every week between 11 a.m. and noon marketgoers assemble to watch a local chef demonstrate recipes highlighting seasonal goods. Handouts of current and past recipes are available at the American Farmland Trust Freshfarm Market or at its Web site, www.farmland.org.
Here are a few of the recipes.
Cucumber and Mint Salad
Freshfarm Market chef Ann Harvey Yonker thinks cucumbers, like many other simple things in life, are underappreciated. Here is a recipe that Yonkers developed to show off the refreshing coolness of one of her favorite vegetables.
1 1/4 pounds (about 2 large) cucumbers, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced mint leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
1/4 red onion, minced (may substitute 2 scallions or 1 small bunch chives)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine or water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, toss the cucumbers with the minced mint. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the onion, yogurt, vinegar, lemon juice, wine or water, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the cucumber-mint mixture and toss to coat. Chill for at least 1 hour. Garnish with the mint leaves and serve.
Per serving: 40 calories, 2 gm protein, 6 gm carbohydrates, 1 gm fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 1 gm saturated fat, 78 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber
Roasted Summer Vegetables With Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette
(6 to 8 servings)
This recipe is from Alison Swope, chef at the Mark restaurant in the Pennsylvania Quarter. She suggests serving it as a side dish or over mixed greens with goat cheese for a light lunch. The vinaigrette also works well drizzled over grilled chicken.
For the vegetables:
6 cups vegetables, such as:
Baby beets (red or white)
Whole garlic cloves (unpeeled)
Summer squash, cut into chunks
Zucchini, cut into chunks
Eggplant, cut into chunks
Onions, cut into chunks
Whole cherry tomatoes
2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
For the Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette:
Juice and grated zest from 1 large lemon
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Have ready 2 or 3 rimmed baking sheets.
For the vegetables: If using beets or garlic, wrap them in foil and transfer to the oven. For all other vegetables, toss with the oil, keeping those vegetables with different roasting times separate from one another (see roasting guidelines that follow). Transfer the vegetables to the baking sheets, being careful not to crowd them or they will steam instead of roast.
Roast the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm. Roasting times vary depending on the type of vegetable, but approximate times are as follows: Beets, about 90 minutes; garlic, about 75 minutes; beans, squash, zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms, about 60 minutes; scallions, onions and cherry tomatoes, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Peel the beets and garlic.
For the Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, paprika, cayenne, garlic, chives, thyme and salt. Slowly whisk the oil into the mixture and add black pepper to taste. Drizzle over the warm roasted vegetables and toss gently. Serve at room temperature, or allow the vegetables to marinate for a hour prior to serving; it will improve the flavors.
Recipe too flexible for meaningful nutritional analysis.
Johnny's Fish Chowder
(6 to 8 servings)
Ann Cashion, chef and owner of the recently opened Johnny's Halfshell near Dupont Circle and Cashion's Eat Place in Adams-Morgan, recently demonstrated the preparation of this simple summer chowder. She recommends varying the ingredients according to personal preference or availability, substituting, for example, green beans cut into 1-inch pieces or kohlrabi for the turnip or potato.
1 slice bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup diced turnip
1 cup diced summer squash
1 cup diced potato
1 small clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons thyme leaves
4 to 6 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice
3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 to 8 small clams or mussels, cleaned (optional)
12 ounces firm white fish fillets (cut into chunks) and/or shrimp (peeled and deveined).
1/4 cup chopped parsley
In a large stockpot over medium heat, fry the bacon until it begins to crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
Add the oil to the bacon drippings in the pot. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the turnip, squash, potato, garlic and thyme and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the fish stock or clam juice and the tomatoes, bring the mixture to a boil and simmer just until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a boil. If using clams or mussels, add them and continue cooking until shells open. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp or fish, cover and let sit until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove clam or mussel shells, if desired. Sprinkle with the bacon and parsley and serve immediately.
Per serving (based on 8): 190 calories, 18 gm protein, 15 gm carbohydrates, 7 gm fat, 116 mg cholesterol, 1 gm saturated fat, 763 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber
"Easiest, Bestest Cobbler in the Whole World"
(6 to 8 servings)
David Hagerdorn, a local chef active in the annual Chef's Best benefit for AIDS, has fond memories of this childhood favorite, an incredibly rich cobbler.
4 cups fruit (nectarines, peaches, plums, rhubarb, blueberries or other fruit), peeled (if necessary) and cut into large chunks*
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
3/4 cup milk
Vanilla ice cream or heavy (whipping) cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, gently toss the fruit with 1 cup of the sugar. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish in the oven until melted, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, cardamom (if using) and the remaining 1 cup sugar. Add the milk and stir just until incorporated. Pour the batter over the melted butter. Spoon the fruit over the batter and bake until the cobbler is golden brown and crusty, about 40 minutes. Serve with the ice cream or heavy cream, if desired.
* Note: Blackberries and raspberries are not recommended for this recipe since they tend to fall apart while baking.
Per serving (based on 8): 370 calories, 3 gm protein, 77 gm carbohydrates, 7 gm fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 280 mg sodium, 4 gm dietary fiber