Our TV has been tuned to Rio lately, delivering contests from the traditional (gymnastics, track and swimming) to the unexpected (judo, racewalking and handball). So I’ve been thinking about contests. And then next month, on September 10, Weaver’s will also be hosting a contest: a 5k mud run through the orchard, up and over hills and obstacles, and across neighboring Plow Farms Christmas tree farm. It benefits local cancer patients. You should totally do it.
But while we’re watching the Olympics and before we run through orchard obstacles, let’s look at the results of a different kind of contest: a race to the top of the recipe charts.
When it comes to late summer recipes, many contenders stand at the starting line. Produce abounds this time of year! In our market, we have blueberries, tomatoes, sweet corn, peaches, and even the first early season apples. With plenty of in-season ingredients, you can make many a scrumptious dish. But here are the top five that you have chosen from our blog–recipes (or groups of recipes) our customers return to time and time again.
In 5th Place:
Focaccia Pizzas with Tomatoes & Focaccia with Peaches
Focaccia, an Italian flatbread traditionally made with herbs and olive oil, is one of those baked goods that you can’t look at without wondering how hard it is to make. I always thought it must be difficult enough to put it way off limits to any but the most daring baker. But then home cooks I knew and trusted began to make focaccia on a regular basis. Like learning to bake any new kind of bread, getting the hang of focaccia takes some time up front, but the pay off is a bread that’s fluffy yet chewy and ready to soak up whatever you top it with.
This version, made by my sister Rachel, creates a pizza-like dish with a thick crust that is wonderfully crispy on the bottom. She makes it two ways: topped with fresh tomatoes and an entire block of Parmesan cheese, or graced with fresh peaches, ricotta and a balsamic vinegar glaze.
Sweet & Savory Blueberries
This selection, from a cooking class Phoebe Canakis led last year, is packed with all the blueberry recipes you can dream of. Phoebe walked the class through ways to use blueberries for breakfast, lunch, dinner and–of course–dessert. Blueberry salsa, blueberry chia jam, and blueberry chutney are just a few of her offerings here.
Who doesn’t need an extra recipe or two to use up tomatoes this time of year? These recipes–some using fresh tomatoes, some made with tomatillos–really are authentic. They come from the lovely and gracious Janell Weaver Gutierrez, who lives in Puebla Mexico with her husband and two sons.
Skinny Blueberry Plum Smoothie
Plums come and go this time of year. The candy-sweet ones, sugar plums, have finished, but we may still see some later varieties out in pick-your-own. And since blueberries are beginning to wind down, freeze them after picking so you have a trove to return to. (Frozen blueberries are wonderful. I brought some out of my freezer to use in a smoothie and just ate them out of the bag, so frosty and sweet.)
A special perk about this recipe? The spinach balances the natural fruit sugars and brings even more nutrients, yet the whole smoothie stays sweet.
Artisan Pizza with Bruschetta
I agree, this one’s a winner! It uses up tons of tomatoes (every ambitious gardener’s dream), gives you an alternative if you’ve already “put up” your sauce and salsa, and walks you through how to make restaurant-worthy pizza at home.
* * *
In addition to our top five, you chose a few runners up:
Applesauce and Apple Pie Filling for Canningg
Peach Amaretto Jam & Blueberry Chutney
Bruschetta-Pancetta Quiche & French Apricot/Plum and Berry Tarts
Berry Crostata & Sweet Corn Ice Cream
* * *
The great thing about recipe races is that each one really is a winner because variety is what makes for a successful kitchen.