No doubt you're either hosting or attending an Independence Day party with friends this week - so make it your own personal culinary crusade to ply your loved ones with some snacks that will simultaneously satisfy and impress - and why not take it a step further by stopping by your local Farmers' Market to gather the majority of wares for the recipes below? Buy, Eat LOCAL!
Braised Tomatoes with Burrata and Grilled Bread - Impressive, simple, and will make your home SMELL INCREDIBLE!
What to gather: Burrata cheese, small market tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, olive oil, wine
What to do: Tomatoes are rampant, beautiful at the farmers' market right now, so i's the perfect time to take advantage of the myriad shapes, sizes, and colors - procure three or four smaller varieties, braise in a tall pan with olive oil, basil, rosemary, garlic, and red wine - once softened, finish under a broiler until tomatoes are slightly charred, blistered - then serve on a platter with creamy burrata cheese and fresh basil alongside grilled baguette - Divine!
Refrigerator Cucumbers - Nostalgic, quick, refreshing
What to gather: Sliced cucumbers, thin sliced red onion, vinegar, water, S&P
What to do: Cucumbers are one of my favorites, and were a staple in my childhood, bathed in ice cold white vinegar, salt ,and pepper. Even though I'm growing them myself this summer, I still buy them almost weekly at the Fayetteville farmers' market, and a muong farmer told me this weekend that if you can grow a lot of cucumbers you’ll be rich – I’m growing tons this summer, so far, NOTHING! to make this cherished memory from my childhood in the Low Midwest of Missouri, simply layer sliced cumbers in a jar with thinly sliced red onions, draped in vinegar with a whisper of salt and pepper.
Ozark Carrot and Chickpea Dip - Beautiful, local, healthy
What to gather: carrots, chickpeas, olive oil, bay leaf, garlic, salt and pepper
What to do: Carrots are vibrant, colorful, delicious, and healthy - simply boil 2 pounds of chopped market carrots with garlic and bay leaf - once soft to the touch, drain and allow to cool for a few minutes - add carrots, garlic to a food processor with chickpeas - puree together, then slowly add olive oil until the mixture is light, creamy - add salt and pepper accordingly - serve with raw tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery, and grilled bread.