Three Recipes to Try Now

Prepare three sweet and savory recipes using farmers' market ingredients

Several Madison restaurants offer farm-to-table cuisine year-round prepared from ingredients found at farmers’ markets around the city. But if you want to make farm-to-table cuisine on your own, try the fun alternative of cooking on the grill at home. The perks? You conserve cash, practice those coveted grill master skills and can finally use that back patio for something other than storing your lawn ornaments.

Tomato Time

The classic Caprese salad is always a hit. But by making a few simple modifications, like using pepper jack cheese instead of squeaky mozzarella and a skewer instead of a conventional plate, your tomatoes are sure to have a new punch.

Recipe: Balsamic Cherry Tomato Kabobs

2 cartons cherry tomatoes
6 oz. fresh pepper jack cheese (smoked, if possible)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil

Preheat grill to medium heat. Mix oil and vinegar in a bowl. Chop fresh basil and add to the oils, leaving a few sprigs for garnish. Cut pepper jack into 3/4 inch to one inch cubes. Using metal skewers, string tomatoes and cheese, alternating with a one to one ratio. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Cook indirectly for two to five minutes, until tomatoes seem soft but have not ruptured. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.


Green Goddess

Ever heard of having your salad grilled? This fresh take on mixed greens is a spin on a classic salad.

Recipe: Grilled Greens

4 Romaine hearts (found at most grocery stores)
1 carton fresh blackberries
1 carton fresh raspberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup cherry tomatoes
8 oz goat cheese

Preheat grill to medium heat. Cut the Romaine Hearts in half, lengthwise and place on a baking sheet. Lightly coat all sides with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to grill, flat side down and cook until lettuce is not wilted, but has lost its firmness. Take off when grill marks appear on all sides.

Meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half. Season with salt and pepper; wrap in aluminum foil. Place on grill and cook indirectly for about 3-5 minutes.

Place two halves of lettuce on each plate. Sprinkle tomatoes, berries, coconut and dressing of choice on top. Serve warm.

Serves 4.


Sweet Treat

When it comes to chin-dripping foods, categories ensue. Peaches and plums seem a snack, ice cream a dessert. But combining them makes a lovely burst of flavor—and it's even a healthier alternative to a bowl of ice cream.

Recipe: Berry Burstin’ Plums

4 plums
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
1 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh chevre, crumbled
Aluminum foil

Preheat grill to medium heat. Slice plums in half and remove pits. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil, flesh side up. Slice raspberries and blackberries and set aside. In a bowl, mix nutmeg, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly on plum flesh, leaving one tablespoon. Place berries on top. Spread remaining sugar mixture on berries and sprinkle goat cheese on top. Fold sides of aluminum up, creating a boat-like structure. Transport to grill and cook indirectly until the fruit is bubbly and juicy, about 15 minutes. Add mint for garnish and serve warm, with vanilla ice cream. (Photo above).

Serves 4-6.

The Dane County Farmers’ Market, located on the Capitol Square, is open every Saturday through November 5 from 6 a.m.–2 p.m. Also check out the Wednesday market on the 200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It runs every week from 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m. through November 2.

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