Farmers' Market Finds: More than just produce
|Right Food for the Season - Early Summer|
|Written by Lara Zelman|
Local farmers markets aren’t just for freshly harvested fruits and vegetables anymore.
Stop by almost any market and you’ll find a wide variety of vendors. You’ll definitely see the traditional farm stand booths – with items like tomatoes, greens, corn, and berries. But you’ll also meet food entrepreneurs with prepared salads, jams, baked goods, smoked fish, and more. Almost every market around the Boston area has booths with freshly made cheese and locally raised meats. With the availability of so many diverse products, it is easy to make the farmers market your one-stop-shopping destination. I’ve been able to change my food buying habits to reduce the amount of meat and fish I buy at the grocery store.
Growing up, one of my grandmother’s specialties was breaded veal cutlets. She would pan fry the cutlets and serve them with a hearty side of spaghetti and tomato sauce. I really enjoy veal, but I’ve never been comfortable picking it up at the local big chain grocery stores. On my trips to the farmers market this winter and spring, I was excited to find local veal available from Lawton’s Family Farm. They raise all their cows on their farm in Foxboro and manage every step of the process, ensuring that their animals are humanely raised. This attention to the animals results in high quality beef and veal available at the market. No matter who is working at the booth, they can answer any question you have about the meat. You can’t get that at the grocery store! Lawton’s Family Farm is also the home to the Foxboro Cheese Co.
You can find them at a number of markets around Boston – the SoWa Open Market, Prudential Center, Natick, and more.
I decided to buy a package of veal cutlets to make for dinner. The veal cutlets are huge. By North End standards they would be one serving, but in our house it was about four servings. If you’ve never made veal cutlets before, the trickiest part is not cooking them too long. They are thin pieces and need just a few minutes in the pan before they are ready. I pulled out my skillet and got to work on my version of my grandma’s signature dish, which includes some fresh basil from the market. Before I started I followed the advice of the farmer and pounded out the cutlets a little more before cooking. For the side dish I served farfalle with a few other farmers market finds, English shelling peas and purple scallions.
Next time you’re at the market be sure to look for more than just veggies. Try some grass-fed beef, humanely raised veal, local seafood, pork, and more.
See you at the market!
Grandma’s Breaded Veal Cutlets with Fresh Basil
2 veal cutlets (about 1 lb.), lightly pounded to even thickness
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of water
1 cup breadcrumbs
About a tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped into small pieces
Basil leaves for garnish
A few tablespoons of olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan)
Salt and pepper
Wash the veal and pat dry. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Set up an assembly line with three pie plates. Put the flour in the first dish, eggs in the second, and the breadcrumbs and chopped basil in the third. Take one cutlet and dredge in flour, coating evenly and shaking of the excess. Dip quickly in the eggs, being sure to coat the entire cutlet. Dredge in the breadcrumb and basil mixture, coating evenly. Set aside onto a plate and repeat the process with the second cutlet. Place both cutlets into the skillet with the hot oil. Cook for about 3 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Garnish with basil leaves before serving.
Farmers' Market Farfalle
1 lb. farfalle pasta
½ cup English shelling peas, shelled
3-4 purple scallions, chopped
¼ cup red pepper pesto (or your favorite sauce)
Salt for cooking pasta
Cook pasta according to directions. When there are about 3 minutes left, add the shelled peas to the pasta pot. While this is cooking, sauté the scallions in a small skillet over medium heat until just softened. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add in scallions and pesto and toss.
BE SURE TO VISIT GOOD COOK DORIS for more from Lara!