Tabbouleh

We all love a recipe that can be made in bulk and doled out for lunches throughout the week. Tabbouleh is perfect for a big batch, with its hearty grains, crunchy vegetables, and tangy dressing.

Tabbouleh generally uses bulgur for its base, but you could easily swap this out for another grain option like quinoa or couscous. Bulgur is lauded for its nutrition value, with high amounts of fiber per serving, beating out brown rice and quinoa both! This means it is more likely to keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. Keep scrolling to see the recipe we recently demoed at our market!

Our friend Margaret Alicea who brought her take on tabbouleh to the market back in August! Thanks, Margaret!

Tabbouleh

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 1/2 bunch of mint
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup of kalamata olives
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • optional: feta or other crumbly cheese

To prepare the bulgur, boil 1 cup of water. Add the bulgur, with garlic and 1/4 tsp of salt. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let stand for an hour, or until no liquid remains. Fluff with a fork before serving.

While the bulgur soaks, chop all vegetables and herbs. You want the parsley and mint to be as finely chopped as possible, so this may be a good job for your food processor.

In a wide bowl, add your lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Whisk to emulsify. Add the cooled bulgur, and fold in vegetables, herbs, and if using, cheese. Taste to adjust lemon, salt or pepper levels.

This recipe is best once the flavors have had a chance to meld together in the bowl, so it’s a great option for Sunday meal prepping!

What tastes more like summer than a delicious, fresh ear of corn?

Do you feel overwhelmed when faced with piles of corn, all snugly wrapped in their husks? If you’re like me, then you’re terrified of investing in corn that’s not at all the sweet, creamy option you crave midsummer. Your best bet? Come see the experts at Foothills Farmers’ Market to help you pick the freshest corn around. Ashley Nader, our resident RD-in-training-extraordinaire, demoed a DELICIOUS corn salad a few weeks ago, and we wanted to make sure you had all the details. First off, her tips for picking out ears!

Picking the right ears shouldn’t be hard, but our vendors love giving our customers a hand!

Picking the Right Cob

  • Corn on the cob is available fresh or frozen and canned corn kernels are available canned or frozen
  • Choose fresh corn that has firm, small kernels
  • Skip those with mold or decay at the tip of the cob or brownish silks
  • If possible, it’s best to eat corn right away, but if you have to store it do so in the refrigerator
  • You can also freeze it, even on the cob!
  • Corn is naturally sweet and doesn’t need much flavoring to taste good
  • To avoid excess calories, sodium, and fat, keep your corn simple or add some flavor to it by dipping it in herbs and spices
  • Peak season: May – September

White Balsamic Blueberry, Corn & Feta Salad

  • 4 medium ears sweet corn (Our favorite thing about this salad? The corn is raw!)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh chives (more for garnish)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1) Remove corn husks within 1 in. of bottoms, remove silk, rewrap the corn, place in pot with cold water. Soak for 20 min & drain.
2) Cut raw (uncooked) corn from cob and transfer to bowl.
3) In a small bowl whisk oil, vinegar, chives, salt, pepper. Pour over corn. Fold in blueberries and feta. Garnish.

Thanks, Ashley!
We love having you as part of our team!

Cucumber Salad, with a twist!

When I was 8 years old, I confessed to my uncle that I did not like cucumbers. He was apalled and immediately suggested I just hadn’t had a good cucumber yet. He plucked one from the garden, and demanded I eat it whole right then and there. This did not make me any more happy to see the vegetable in my salads, but I did eventually learn to love it.

The following recipe is taken from The FeedFeed, a wonderful resource for recipes galore. While we’ve all had cucumbers splashed with vinegar and some red onions, this recipe knocks those salads away by adding a dash of excitement with some unexpected ingredients. Try it this weekend, 7/6/19, in the Chef’s Corner!

Adapted from Cucumber Peanut “Kachumber” Salad

  • 2 tablespoons oil (The FeedFeed recommends vegetable oil, but we used olive oil and it turned out fine!)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. In a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds followed by crushed peanuts, and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, 2 minutes. Set aside and let cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, toss cucumbers and red onion with the peanut-cumin mixture, lime juice, and salt, then mix to combine. Stir in cilantro and transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Market Mint Julep Mocktail

Fragrant and slightly sweet, mint is easy to grow.

If you’ve ever tried to start an herb garden, you’d be crazy not to include mint. I’m speaking from personal experience, but I have found that mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow. Be careful though! It can quickly take over your garden.

When you find yourself with an excess of mint, we recommend using it in as many creative ways as possible, including in your drinks. Mint steeped in ice water with fresh fruit or cucumbers can be delicious! Below, we offer a take on the Kentucky Derby classic cocktail that is sure to bring some joy to your front porch.

While it may be tempting to use sugar in your simple syrup, the honey in this recipe offers a nice round flavor to balance the fizz of the ginger ale and tartness of the lemon. Grab some honey and your very own mint plant next Saturday at the market!

Sweet, minty and fizzy!

Market Mint Julep Mocktail

  • 1 c honey
  • mint leaves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2L ginger ale

Start by making a honey mint simple syrup. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat, and add one cup of honey. Stir to dissolve, then add 10 mint leaves. Let cool.

Once cooled, remove mint leaves. Combine the ginger ale, 1 cup of the syrup and the lemon juice in a pitcher. Adjust sweetness (more simple syrup) or tartness (more lemon) as needed. Serve over ice with a mint leaf garnish!

Strawberry Salsa

We have been so lucky to have some great volunteers this season! One such volunteer is Ashley Nader. Ashley is currently in a program to become a Registered Dietician and we are so grateful for her expertise! You may have met her in our Chef’s Corner, where we feature local foods in recipes. Earlier this season, Ashley brought a sweet and savory option to the market, Strawberry Salsa! Check out her recipe below.

So juicy!

Strawberry Salsa with Mango

  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed and diced
  • 3/4 cup diced mango
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 small red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons honey, or more to taste
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  1. Chop strawberries, mango, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Adjust any flavors as needed.
  3. Serve immediately with grain-free tortilla chips!

Yum! Thanks Ashley!

Strawberries & Cream

Nothing helps welcome the warmer weather like a good North Carolina berry season! The first berries to pop up at our market every season are bright and juicy strawberries. To show off these berries, we like to feature a simple no-bake recipe that can be pulled off with a minimum of four ingredients!

Buckets of berries from Lewis Farms

This recipe can easily be dressed up with garnishes, but is just as delicious when the berries are left to shine on their own.

Farmers’ Market Berries & Cream

  • strawberries, tops removed and quartered
  • heavy cream
  • ricotta or mascarpone cheese
  • honey
  • optional garnishes: mint, toasted coconut, chocolate shavings… the possibilities are endless!

Okay, before we start: a note on recipes. Lots of people love and depend on a recipe that uses exact measurements. We don’t have that here. This is a “taste & adjust” kind of recipe. It’s great for people who want a stress-free option that can be whipped up with a kitchen full of guests! We recommend a 1:1 ratio of cream to cheese, but it all depends on what you like!

Start by tossing the strawberries in a bowl with just enough honey to coat. Set aside while you prepare the cream.

Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl. Gently fold in the cheese. The goal here is to incorporate the two without liquefying the cream again. Add honey until the desired level of sweetness is reached.

In a glass or a baking dish, layer cream and macerated berries, ending with berries. Garnish with whatever you choose, or leave it off!

Our berries & cream sample in the Chef’s Corner

Let us know if you try it! Remember to tag us on social media @foothillsfarmersmarket

What to do with those pretty pink radishes?

If you’re like our Market Manager, Carol, you were never a fan of radishes. They seemed bitter and spicy, and who wants a mouth full of that? Maybe the bright red and pink hues got to you, or maybe it was Tiffany and Alan at Under the Sun who convinced you to try them. Either way, we thought we’d share two ways to enjoy these root veggies while they last!

Radishes
Bundles of radishes at our market

The first way is the simplest, and the method that won Carol over. Inspired by the French, consider this for your brunch table: crunchy pink circles, smeared with a dab of high quality butter, and sprinkled with a smidge of sea salt. The creaminess of the butter pairs delightfully with the bitter and spice of the radish, and salt balances it all.

The next method of serving radishes is a little more involved, but has been a hit in our Chef’s Corner. Turn your radishes into a bright and crunchy slaw for tacos, salads, and more!

Here are the ingredients we recommend, but you could easily add some cabbage or another crunchy vegetable.

  • 1 bunch of radishes, chopped into slivers
  • a handful of cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and adjust to taste. The result is a bright, slightly pink, taco topper that will please everyone.

Kale yeah!

Opening day of our 2019 season was a smashing success! If you swung by our Chef’s Corner, you saw a new face: Ashley Nader, a local RD student who is extremely passionate about nutrition and local foods. She featured a delicious and easy smoothie, chock full of nutrients. The ingredient she was most excited to use came directly from farmers at our market, KALE! This dark leafy green gets a bad rap for being tough and bitter, but blending the raw greens into a smoothie gives you the most bang for your buck in terms of vitamins and nutrients galore. See her recipe below for a delicious option for a filling on-the-go meal! We would even eat it as a smoothie bowl, topped with market berries and granola.

Two varieties of kale featured in this photo: lacinato kale in the top right corner & curly kale bagged in the bottom left!

Green Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup kale (cut out the thick ribs and stems)
  • 1 cup of spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup milk (use your preferred dairy or alternative here!)
  • 1 Tbsp. Chia seed
  • 1 Tbsp. flax or hemp seed
  • 3-4 ice cubes if not using frozen produce

Add all ingredients to a blender, and press blend! Super simple, just like we like it! For a creamier texture, Ashley recommends blending in stages. Start with liquids and greens, then add fruits and seeds in a second step.

Thank you so much to Ashley for being a friendly face at our market! If you are interested in being featured in our Chef’s Corner, please don’t hesitate to reach out!