Author Archive | Edible Atlanta

FARM TO PANTRY: Capturing the Seasons in a Jar

BY LYN DEARDORFF
PHOTOS BY LYN DEARDORFF & JENNA MOBLEY

Nothing says summer like fresh tomatoes! When ripe, juicy tomatoes start to appear in farmers markets, I know warm weather is here to stay. We plan picnics, dine alfresco and take road trips to the north Georgia mountains with food baskets in hand. Our menus are laden with tomato salsas, veggie pizzas with fresh-cut tomato slices, Mediterranean tomato sauces, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches—a never-ending list of uses for tomatoes.

Here in the Atlanta area, we are lucky to have a long tomatogrowing season. But when it ends, how can we hold on to that succulent summery taste all year long? Canning allows us to capture this freshness and flavor in a jar—loading our pantry with 12 months of goodness. No more flavorless tomatoes off-season.

I choose organic tomatoes because they are grown without pesticides and have the best flavor since they need to be picked close to ripeness. This means they will usually need to be canned within a day or two of harvesting. You can choose any kind of tomato for canning. While Roma is often suggested, I choose with my nose. If it has a great aroma, … Read More

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Wild Plates

Fresh, Local, Organic and Free—
What’s Not to Like About Foraged Food?


Bottom to top: lambs quarters, sorrel, chickweed & dandelion greens

STORY AND PHOTOS BY DANA NAHAI

It’s the smell of the hot—hot asphalt, hot roofs, hot Atlanta—that drives us out of the house. We navigate the worn sidewalks, investigating our city with curiosity and disbelief as the mid-year temperature begs sweat from our shirts. The branches above us heave with leaf and berry, and our path is wearing the dark stains of the fruit-laden weight.

Rounding the corner, a man turns toward us, pulling his tree-stretched arms to his chest and offering a dripping, purple-stained smile. His obvious embarrassment leads him to simultaneously chew and babble at us.

Giving this stranger my hospitable Southern best, I listen while he desperately tries to explain his posture. Yes, the berries that I’ve been hopelessly lecturing my toddler not to touch are indeed edible—a sweet, delirious edible that is dotting the underside canopy of the entire neighborhood.

“Help yourself,” he encourages. Astonished, I hoist my toddler onto my hip, stretch up to the tree and partake in the chance picnic. I have now joined the modern army of urban foragers. Most … Read More

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GRIST FOR THE MILL SUMMER 2013

When I was a child I remember summer days seeming to last forever without the structure of the school day to mark the time. During the longer, hotter daylight hours, I cherished the time with my siblings and friends playing childhood games, swimming in the backyard pool and exploring the nearby woods.

Now, as an adult chasing around two vibrant and active children, slowing down and savoring the season becomes more difficult, but certainly not impossible. In this issue, we hope you find some reasons to explore the outdoors, gather with friends and family and enjoy the bounty that summer brings.

Summer is an exciting time for food lovers. Every week farmers markets put on a colorful show with tables overflowing with freshly picked produce, farm-fresh eggs, locally raised meats and other delicacies exploding with flavor. As our gardens mature, we experience firsthand the farm–to–table—or, in many cases, farm–to–mouth—movement. The abundance of produce picked at the peak of freshness makes it easy to create and savor simple dishes that accentuate the flavors of summer.

One of the highlights of summer for me has always been picnics and barbecues with family and friends. In this issue, Virginia Willis shares with us … Read More

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FARMERS MARKET DIRECTORY SUMMER 2013

CARROLL COUNTY

Cotton Mill Farmers Market
Saturday, 8am–noon, April–September
401 Rome St., Carrollton
cottonmillfarmersmarket.org

CHEROKEE COUNTY

Canton Farmers Market
Saturday, 8am–noon, May–September
Cannon Park, Canton • 770-704-1548

Cherokee Fresh Market
Saturday, 9am–noon, Memorial Day–Labor Day
Cagle’s Dairy Farm
678-491-5843

Waleska Farmers Market at Reinhardt University
Thursday, 4:15–7:30pm, May–October
Hwy. 108 and 140, Waleska
770-720-5988

Woodstock Farmers Market
Saturday, 8:30–11:30am, May–October
Main St. & Towne Lake Pkwy., Woodstock
770-924-0406

CLAYTON COUNTY

Jonesboro Farmers Market
Tuesday, 11am–1pm, Saturday, 8am–noon, June–
September, Jonesboro City Parking Lot
770-473-5434

COBB COUNTY

Acworth Farmers Market
Friday, 7–11am, May–October
4846 S. Main St., Acworth
770-974-3112

Farmers Atlanta Road Market (FARM)
Tuesday, 4:30–7:30 pm, April–October
St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church, Smyrna
facebook.com/FARMSmyrna

Kennesaw Farmers Market
Tuesday, 7am–1pm, May–October
2753 Watts Dr., Kennesaw
770-794-7075

Marietta Square Farmers Market
Saturday, 9am–noon, year-round
Sunday, noon–3pm, April–November
Historic Marietta Square
mariettasquarefarmersmarket.net

Smyrna Fresh Market
Saturday, 8am–noon, May–September
1275 Church St., Smyrna
770-431-2863

COWETA COUNTY

Our Community Farmers Market—Newnan
Wednesday, 9am–1pm
Histortic Society Train Station, Newnan
ourcommunityfarmersmarket.com

DEKALB COUNTY

Brookhaven Farmers Market
Saturday, 9am–1pm, May–December
1441 Dresden Dr., Atlanta
brookhavenfarmersmarket.com

Chamblee Tucker Farmers Market
Saturday, 9am–noon, April 20–October 12
4046 Chamblee-Tucker Rd., Atlanta
chambleetuckerfarmersmarket.org

Clarkston Farmers Market
Sunday, 10am–2pm, April 21–October 27
3701 College … Read More

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ARUGULA AND WATERMELON SALAD WITH SWEET BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

Serves 4

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Watermelon slices, seeds and rind removed
5 ounces arugula or rocket lettuce
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

In a mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pineapple juice and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange watermelon slices on serving plate and top with arugula greens. Drizzle vinaigrette over arugula greens and add crumbled goat cheese to serve.

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EGGPLANT GRATIN WITH SAFFRON CUSTARD

By Chef Linton Hopkins

2 pounds Globe or Japanese eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅔ cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon savory or oregano
2½ pounds peeled, seeded, chopped tomato
2 eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
¾ cup cream
2 milliliters or ½ teaspoon saffron threads
4 ounces Parmesan
10 leaves fresh basil
3 ounces pecorino Romano

Peel and slice eggplant ¼ inch thick. Lightly baste with olive oil on both sides and bake at 460° for 4–5 minutes on a mesh tray. Set aside to cool.

To prepare the sauce, sauté onion, garlic and herbs in olive oil. Add tomato and cook until thick. Season with salt and pepper. To prepare the custard, beat eggs; add ricotta, cream, saffron and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble starting with a little tomato sauce on bottom of pan. Then layer eggplant, sauce, pecorino and basil. The top layer should be just eggplant. Pour custard over all. Allow to set and bake at 350° for 40 minutes.

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CHUNKY PEACH POPSICLES

Makes 12

Make sure to reserve a portion of the peaches as you purée the mixture so the pops will be packed with icy cold, chunky bits of fruit. For a grown-up twist, try adding 1–2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, basil or lemon verbena.

1¼ pounds ripe peaches, (3–4 medium), halved and pitted
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup sugar, or to taste
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Coarsely chop peaches in a food processor. Transfer 1 cup of the chunky peaches to a medium bowl. Add juices and sugar to taste (depending on the sweetness of the peaches) to remaining peaches in the food processor. Purée until smooth. Add to the bowl with the chunky peaches and stir in vanilla. Divide the mixture among 12 2- ounce or eight 3-ounce freezer-pop molds (or small paper cups). Freeze until beginning to set, about 1 hour. Insert Popsicle sticks and freeze until completely firm, about 1 hour more.

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LIGHTENED UP POTATO SALAD

Serves 8

7 russet potatoes (about 3 pounds)
½ cup white wine vinegar
¾ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
¼ cup 2% Greek yogurt
5 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1 small onion, preferably Vidalia, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
¼ cup sweet or dill pickle relish
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel potatoes and cut into ½-inch cubes. Immediately place them in a large pot with water to cover; season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and then decrease the heat to low. Simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well in a colander. While still warm, transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and drizzle with vinegar. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Halve 2 eggs lengthwise and remove the yolks (set aside for another use or discard). Grate the remaining egg whites and 3 whole eggs. Place in a medium bowl. Chef’s note: To easily peel hard-boiled eggs, gently tap shells on the counter to crackle the egg. Roll between your hands to loosen the shell. Peel, starting at the large end, while holding the egg under running cold water; this facilitates peeling and also removes any stray shell fragments.

To make … Read More

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PICKLED VEGETABLES

Serves 8 to 10

1 cucumber
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
8 cups assorted cut vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower florets, green beans, wax beans and small okra
6 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups sugar
¾ cup kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, cut into slivers
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
4 small red chili peppers

Prepare an ice-water bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. Remove alternating stripes of peel from the cucumbers. Thinly slice and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Place the 8 cups of vegetables in the boiling water and let cook until vibrant in color but still firm, 1–2 minutes. Drain well in a colander, and then set the colander in the ice-water bath (to set the color and stop the cooking), making sure the vegetables are submerged. Drain well. Set aside.

Place half the red onion, garlic, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns in the bottom of a large, sealable, non-reactive bowl or jar. Transfer the blanched vegetables to the jar, layering to alternate the color and texture. Layer in remaining … Read More

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MIXED GRILL: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CHICKEN AND BLUE BURGERS

Serves 8

For the chicken:

½ cup water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup canola oil, more for the grill
3 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning the chicken
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Freshly ground black pepper

For the burgers:

3 pounds ground beef
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces crumbled bleu cheese
8 buns, toasted, for serving
Sliced tomatoes, romaine lettuce, very thinly sliced Vidalia onion, for serving

Combine the water, vinegar, oil, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and garlic powder in a large bowl. Remove about ¼ cup of the marinade and set aside. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the remaining marinade and toss to coat. Refrigerate while you prepare the burgers and the grill.

Place the ground beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 8 equal patties. Make a depression in the center of each patty and place 1 tablespoon cheese in the center of the meat. Form meat around the cheese to enclose it. Then, gently press down on the center … Read More

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