Don’t even ask me where time has gone. I can’t believe August is coming to an end. Today is the first day of school, wait – what? Summer is such a busy time! I have been enjoying every bit of it outdoors, which has prevented me from working on blog posts. That is why when the summer blog hop from Whisk came to my inbox, I had to jump in. What better way to get me going on creatively using my fresh ingredients from the market and photographing them, than a push from a great group of food lovers to collaborate once again? So, make sure you scroll to the bottom of the recipe to hop to the other Whisk member’s blogs and see their market creations.
This time there was a group visit to the Dane County Farmer’s Market involved. I was vacationing in Madeline Island and couldn’t go with them, instead I visited the island’s small Farmer’s Market for inspiration. I absolutely love the time we spend in the island every year; this is our third year camping there for a week in the summer. Even though I bring a lot of veggies to cook while camping, I always pay a visit to the Friday morning market to grab few more things.
Yesterday I visited the Monona Farmer’s Market. I didn’t really “need” anything for this recipe, but I figured there are only few weeks left of the outside market. I found fresh onion and the gorgeous purple sweet pepper I used on this recipe. I am sharing a super simple tomato & celery salad with cumin. This is the perfect time for fresh tomatoes. I love to eat them as candy, but making them into juicy fresh salads is my second favorite way to eat them. The best part of summer produce is that you don’t really need to do much work because fresh ingredients already have so much flavor. The use of whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground in my wooden mortar gives a subtle addition of flavors to this salad (you could substitute with ground cumin if you prefer).
Keep it simple, visit your local farmer’s market, use the best ingredients of the season, and enjoy the journey of bringing them to your table to share with family and friends!
1 pint assorted cherry tomatoes
3 celery stalks with leaves, from the heart of the celery preferably
1 small sweet pepper
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
A handful of cilantro leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
1 ripe avocado
Place the cumin seeds in a small skillet, cook over medium heat shaking few times until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Turn them onto a plate to cool, grind them using a spice grinder or a wooden mortar. In a salad bowl add the ground cumin, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar. Whisk in olive oil in a slow string. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add diced onion and stir to coat.
While the onion marinates in the dressing start chopping the salad. First chop cilantro and celery leaves, add to the bowl. Cut cherry tomatoes in halves or quarters, slice the celery stalks very thin (I use a mandolin), slice sweet pepper, add to the bowl and toss gently. Peel and cut the avocado in chunks. Transfer the salad to a serving dish, top with the avocado and serve. Enjoy!
Note: the salad can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 2 hours, top with the avocado before serving.
This recipe was adapted from the book Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison
Remember to visit other blogs for more farmer’s market recipes on the link below: