August 21st, 2011

Summertime, and the entertaining is easy…

sbfarmersmarket

People often ask how often I cook for myself (or others) and the answer is: every single day, but it doesn’t have to be a gourmet 5-course meal. I get inspired by my travels and visiting with friends and their favorite local vendors and markets. Recently, I was dazzled by the scents and colors of the Santa Barbara Farmers Market. Fresh Lavender, Sungold Tomatoes, Cranberry Beans, White Peaches, Purple Onions, and more inspired an impromptu get together at the beach. First, we headed to the Santa Barbara Fish Market where we picked up fresh Santa Barbara uni (we couldn’t help cracking one open on the spot and scooping out the fresh, sweet roe) sbuniand a whole black cod, “the Darth Vader of the Sea”, as my friend Myles described. sbfishmarket.
We wrapped peaches in prosciutto di Parma and tossed up a few salads while Darth got warmed up on the grill.
peaches
Here are three salads I made up, using produce from local dairies and farmers:
3salads
1) heirloom tomatoes, spring onions, feta cheese, cucumbers, mint, and basil, olive oil
2) cranberry beans, cilantro, green garlic, jalapeño, olive oil and lemon
3) New potatoes, lots of fresh dill, spring onion, creme fraiche, and yogurt

Everyone brought something and no one was stressed about having a perfect and elaborate dish, my recipe for simple, summer entertaining at its best!

What’s your go-to recipe for an impromptu get-together?

Comments

    Local corn, tomatoes and green beans, grilled Delmonico steaks, cherry clafouti!

    These all sound brilliant Kim! For us, like yourself, simplicity very often reigns supreme. Recently inspired by Francis Mallma’s book, “Seven Fires- Grilling the Argentine Way” (a fabulous book if you haven’t seen it), we tried one of his appetizers.

    It’s no our go-to app when figs are fresh, ripe and abundant. Simply cut in half, scattered on a platter with fior di latte or fresh mozza, drizzled with a stellar, fruity olive oil, some fresh thyme, salt and pepper and believe me- you’ll soon be swooning over something so easy and so wonderfully balanced. It wins guests over every time!

    It is a wonderful book, Mary Luz! I love fresh figs and that’s such a quick and simple way to prepare them. I’m looking forward to your recipes in the next issue of Organic Gardening!

    Yesterday my stomach was in a knot all day because I had to prepare two paellas for 25 people, along with gazpacho and really fresh melon. Half the melon pieces were wrapped in La Quercia prosciutto, the remainder went to the meatless horde. Kim, you have to try the Templeton, CA farmers market some time, really great Central Cal produce.

    Kim, this is a beautiful post! The bounty that America has to celebrate! I want to invite you to come to Raleigh, NC, to sample a few of our farmers markets and then dine with Chef Chad McIntyre at Market. He is a wonderful young chef with such an insightful, fresh take on North Carolina ingredients. He even cans leftover produce from his purveyors so nothing goes to waste! I love him. Let me know when you are this way. And congrats on this beautiful work for Organic Gardening. My dad always read this pub when I was growing up in pursuit of the perfect vegetable garden! Cheers. –susan

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks so much for your kind words. I get to NC often, and would love to tour Raleigh with you.
    I hope all is well in your part of the world and I look forward to seeing you soon.

    Thanks again!

    Wow, Bill, two paellas! That’s quite a feast. I love melon wrapped in prosciutto–a classic! As for Templeton and me: Where there’s a market, there’s a way…

    My Saturday visit to a farmers’ market in Birmingham inspired a casual summer supper for good friends………black-eyed & pink-eyed peas, yellow & zucchini squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, berries, melons for a salad. Combined this with marinated pork chops, fresh herbs, peppers from a friend, cracked wheat…….. Had 6-year old Gavin help me make cornbread and berry cobbler. What FUN!! And delicious!

    Martha, thanks for bringing me back to the flavors of the South. I miss those peas and sweet fragrant Alabama peaches, and your pound cakes, of course!

    Another beautiful post, Kim! I’ve always made prosciutto wrapped around melon, but never peaches! What a great idea as peaches are plentiful here in Michigan right now!
    AND we have fabulous farmers markets and beautiful Lake Michigan beaches here. You know I’d always love to have you..
    PS. How did Darth Vader taste? I’ve never seen a fish like that one!!

    All of those salads look delish!!

    I love the peaches wrapped in proscuitto!!! Everything looks delicious.

    Love the fish market in SB! Such a good variety and excellent service as well. I was just town and had multiple lovely meals as well as a lovely town enjoying the city! Stayed at the Sandman Inn(www.thesandmaninn.com). So affordable and the location is excellent!

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