Before you hit the farmers market, take a look at these recipes that incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lemon Strawberry Jam
Recipe provided by The Root Cafe in Little Rock, Arkansas
5 cups fully ripe strawberries
1 box SURE-JELL fruit pectin
¼ cup lemon juice
7 cups of sugar
Funnel jar lifter
Fill jars with water and place in large pot, also filled with water, so that water level is even with tops of jars.
Cover pot and boil for 10 minutes. Wash strawberries and trim. Pulse strawberries in food processor, or chop them up with potato smasher.
Measure 5 cups of processed strawberries into a pot. Add ¼ cup lemon juice. Grate in rind of 1 lemon. Place mixture on stove and add pectin.
Bring mixture to boil and give a gentle stir. Let it come to full boil and add 7 cups of sugar while stirring. Bring to rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute. Stir gently.
Turn heat off on the jars. Keep jars covered in the pot to keep warm and avoid adding hot jam to cold jars.
Turn heat off the jam and remove everything from stove. Pull out jars. Be careful — they are very hot!
If you don't want foam in jam, skim foam off the top. Fill jars with jam using a funnel and leave a ¼-inch space at top.
Carefully wipe sticky parts off outside of jars with wet paper towel. Do not to touch inside of jars. Place lid tops on jars with magnetic lid lifter. Screw on lid rings.
Put jars back in big pot of hot water. Make sure jars are covered by at least an inch. Bring to boil, cover and let boil for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and let jars sit for 1 minute before
removing. Make sure jars are sealed by looking at top of lid — it should be smooth with no raised bumps.
Wait 24 to 48 hours to open a fresh jar and enjoy! Your jam will last at least a year.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
2 cups strawberries, quartered
1 ½ cups baby spinach
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
½ cup sliced toasted almonds
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
Red wine vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss together strawberries, spinach, goat cheese, almonds and red onion in a large bowl.
Drizzle with red wine vinaigrette. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
You can substitute pecans for almonds, blue cheese for goat cheese or balsamic vinaigrette for red wine vinaigrette.
Farmers Market Pasta Primavera
4 cups vegetables
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup heavy cream
1 lb. small cut pasta
1 cup spring herbs
½ cup parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Cut assorted vegetables (asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, etc.).
Sauté assorted veggies. Start with vegetables that take longer to cook (carrots) and add in softest vegetables last (cherry tomatoes).
Set aside when vegetables are tender but still a bit crunchy.
Start boiling water and cook pasta (penne, rotelle, farfalle) according to package. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in large sauté pan. Add onion and cook until it softens.
Add garlic, stock and cream, and bring mixture to a simmer. Allow the mixture to thicken for 1-2 minutes.
Add in the veggies and cook until vegetables are heated through.
Drain pasta and stir into the mixture. Add a few tablespoons of pasta water if needed.
Plate dish and top each serving with finely chopped fresh herbs and freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy! Makes 4 servings.
1 cup hot water
¾ cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups sliced hulled strawberries
Additional berries for garnish
Stir hot water, sugar and lemon juice in small bowl until sugar dissolves.
Blend strawberries in processor until smooth. Add sugar syrup and blend until combined.
Pour mixture into a 9-by-13" nonstick metal baking pan. Freeze 25 minutes, or until icy around the edges.
Using a fork, stir icy portions into middle of pan. Freeze until mixture is frozen, stirring edges into center every 20-30 minutes for about 1 ½ hours.
Using a fork, scrape granita into flaky crystals. Cover tightly and freeze.
Scrape granita into bowls. Garnish with berries and serve.