Simple Ways to use your delicious ‘Small Farm’ produce

Some of you who live in and around Upper Arlington have joined Ron Hord’s Small Farm produce delivery service.  If you are not familiar with this and would like to learn more about it, email Ron at or click on my Chocolate Zucchini Bread post to learn more about it.  It is great to to come home to a basket of fresh, seasonal produce delivered weekly to your doorstep.  As advertised, Ron delivers a basket of whatever is fresh and ripe on his farm that week.  Personally, I enjoy not knowing what is coming each week and then finding ways to use the produce even if it is something new to me.  I’m starting this new category on my blog to list ways, most of which will be pretty easy and straightforward, to use the Small Farm produce (or just seasonal produce if you do not get the delivery service).  I hope this makes your life a little easier to have some tried and true recipes and ideas for this produce (some of which you may never have used before and some for which you just need a new, fresh idea).  For now this is just going to be one post, which I keep adding to each week with new ideas, so keep checking this post each week for something new.  I can’t promise pictures for all of these recipes/ideas but I do promise I’ll keep them short and to the point!

DO YOU HAVE A PLETHORA OF ZUCCHINI AND/OR SQUASH ON YOUR HANDS?  Check out this article from The Kitchn (  12 Ways To Use Up All That Summer Zucchini and Squash for some inspiration!

Have a lot of extra ripe and ready tomatoes this summer?  Check out my Tomato Basil Soup and my Italian Chicken Mushroom and Zucchini Skillet


Smashed Red Skin Potato Salad with Green Beans and Fresh Peas

Last week, my basket from Ron came and it was overflowing with red skin potatoes, fresh green beans, fresh spring peas and large spring onions.  As soon as I saw those four lovely fresh ingredients paired together, I knew I wanted to make a cold Greek Yogurt based lemony potato salad.  So here you go…

Trim green beans and slice into 1 inch pieces.  Pull peas out of pea pods.  Cook red skin potatoes in boiling water for approximately 20-25 minutes.  While potatoes are cooking whisk together in a large bowl 3/4-1 cup plain greek yogurt or mayonnaise (or a combination of both), 1/4 cup olive oil, juice of 1/2-1 lemon, 2-3 green onions sliced, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1 Tbsp capers (optional), fresh ground pepper and fresh basil, mint and/or parsley.  Add green beans and peas to boiling potato water for the last 5 minutes (so after about 15-20 minutes).  Drain potatoes, green beans and peas.  Smash potatoes gently with a fork.  Add potatoes, green beans and peas to the yogurt mixture and mix together thoroughly.  Serve warm or chill and serve chill.  Add fresh herbs and/or more lemon before serving.

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Mark Bittman’s Chickpea Ratatouille (click for the recipe)

A friend of mine who receives my email updates, sent me this recipe a few weeks ago (thanks, Karen!).  I just made it the other day and it was delicious.  Even my husband, who really does not care for zucchini and squash really enjoyed it.  I decided to see if any other food bloggers had posted about this recipe….turns out I found it on a blog titled This Chick Eats Clean so I am providing that link (looks like a great blog too!).  This recipe calls for a lot of the type of produce that Ron brings to us; eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers…

I omitted the eggplant (even though I bought it at the store, it never made it home — so frustrating!) and added yellow squash and some dried oregano and parmesan cheese on top. Great leftovers the next day…taste like vegetable soup but more like a stew.

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Grilled Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

Slice 2 green tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick.  In shallow bowl, mix together about 1/4 cup olive oil, a 2 teaspoons lime juice, 2 tsp chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Bring grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.  Dip both sides of green tomato slice in olive oil mixture and place on grill.  Grill about 3-4 minutes, flip and add a tsp of goat cheese on each slice.  Grill for another 2-3 minutes.  Place top on grill or foil on grill pan to help melt the goat cheese.  Drizzle remaining olive oil mixture and more fresh cilantro on tomatoes.  Serve immediately.  This would be awesome on top crostini or toasted baquette slices.

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Panzanella Salad

Click on the above link for Panzanella Salad posted in August 2013.  Use those ripe red and green tomatoes, onion, peppers etc.

Sauteed Garlic Green Beans and Red Peppers

Blanch green beans in boiling water for a about 3 minutes then drain (you don’t want to cook them too much).  Cut red pepper into long slices.  In saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil, saute blanched green beans and red peppers with 1 tsp minced garlic (use bottled for quick and easy).  Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Pan Grilled Eggplant with Melted Mozzarella or Parmesan Cheese

Eggplant is not a vegetable with which I have much experience.  But last year in my daughter’s class, Tricia Wheeler (owner of the Season Farmhouse…see my Carnitas post for details) cooked produce from the Tremont Garden.  Much to my surprise, my daughter came home and decleared that she LOVED grilled eggplant.  Of course, not until Ron included an eggplant in my basket last week, did I finally make it for her.

Slice eggplant horizontally about 1/4 in thickness.  Sprinkle salt (I often use Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt) and pepper on both sides of eggplant.  Heat grill pan (if you don’t have one, they are a great investment for the winter months) or saute pan to med-high heat.  Lay eggplant slices down.  Drizzle olive oil lightly over the eggplant.  Cook for about 3 minutes on one side (check for grill marks).  Flip and cook another 3 minutes.  If you want, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella, a chunk of fresh mozzarella or shredded parmesan on each slice.  Cover with a lid or tin foil until cheese melt.  Serve immediately.

Roasted Red Skin Potatoes (add Peppers, Onions, Zucchini, Squash, Cauliflower)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Clean potatoes.  Cut potatoes in 1 in. chunks.  In a bowl, mix potatoes with some Garlic Expressions Vinaigrette (found in the produce area at most grocery stores — this stuff is a must to keep around the house for salad dressing, marinades, pasta salads…).  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, spread potatoes out and cook for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.  Often times, I broil them for the last few minutes to get them crispy.

Tyler Florence’s Recipe for Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

This recipe is really good!  I have made it multiple times.  It takes a little while but leftovers are great for lunch the next day.  It calls for something called Ghee, which is separated, clarified butter.  It isn’t hard to make but if you are in a hurry just substitute some olive oil and it will work just fine!  Add fresh cilantro at the end…yum!!!

Roasted Lemon and Garlic Cauliflower

Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Cut 1 head cauliflower in to florets.  Put in a single layer in baking dish.  Toss in 2-3 cloves minced garlic (fresh is good in this, but minced will work if in a hurry).  Squeeze juice of 1/2 -1 whole lemon over cauliflower.  Drizzle each piece with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast uncovered for 25-30 minutes (check with fork for tenderness).  Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Serve immediatlely.

Easy Fresh Salsa

I make this a lot but I eyeball most of the amounts so I’ll give you some approximate but you can alter to your taste.

Cut about 3 large tomatoes and let them rest for a bit in a strainer to get the juices out.  In blender or food processor, add tomatoes, 1 small/medium onion chopped, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp garlic powder (or minced or fresh garlic), 1 jalapeno chopped (seeds removed), 1 tsp cumin, and salt and pepper. Pulse it so it blends together but still remains a little chunky.  Add a large handful of fresh cilantro and pulse to blend. Eat immediately.  This makes a nice little gift too!

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Stay tuned for more ideas….