Sunday, October 2, 2011

Beautiful Filet Beans and Fresh Local Cod

So it's over . . .

. . . Summer and outdoor farmers' markets.

I'll miss the farmers' markets and farm stands. It was a great season with a lot more farmers' markets making shopping a lot more convenient.

Or, maybe, I was just more aware of them. I saw signs everywhere. Farmers' markets and farm stands were ubiquitous it seemed.

Since I have a vegetable garden, I was always looking for different vegetables, preserved goods, baked goods, cheese, eggs, and meat. And there were plenty of options to choose from. Mostly, I enjoyed interacting with proud farmers and vendors who were more than happy to talk about their products.

While the experience is wonderful, in truth, it isn't easy in the beginning with respect to cooking. Meals are new and different, but so amazingly fresh and simple. I'm thankful that my family was open-minded and patient. I wish I could have shared more through my blog but I took a little blog vacation over the summer. And trips to farmers' markets or farm stands can take time, unless you're lucky enough to live near one. This year they weren't far from us and the more I asked and researched the more I found.

The experience was also educational with each visit exposing me to new local vegetable varieties, flowers, products, ideas, or even art.

I especially liked asking farmers how to prepare vegetables that I'm not familiar with. Most recipes are simple, like roasting these long beans in olive oil, sometimes I was instructed to enjoy it "raw!", and a fisherman I met had copies of his favorite recipes to take home.

I hope everyone gets a chance to visit a farmers' market even if it's just once in a while. The emotional connection between food and farmer has such a presence that it's palpable, almost as edible as the food itself! And everyone is happy and enjoying themselves, whether there's entertainment or not.

In addition to farmers' markets, I visited a few farms where I also purchased meats, cheeses, and eggs.

Meadowstone Farm

The dairy fridge. They also have vegetables and meat on site but we were all set with those.

A small purchase yet local, fresh, and delicious.

Another favorite of mine is this community-run farm. I stopped by the other day to pick up a few fresh tomatoes since my garden has stopped producing them - how I'm lamenting the end of tomato season!

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Beautiful Beans And Fresh Cod
These beautiful beans caught my eye one day and the farmer told me he likes to saute them in a little olive oil. Seemed simple enough so I picked up a batch and got to work, but I had a few more ingredients in mind.

With about two cups of shelled filet beans (tongue of fire) I started by sauteing the beans in a little extra virgin olive oil over a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.

When they started to get soft, I added 1 shredded carrot, a diced 1/2 red pepper, 1 minced shallot, and 1 minced garlic. Covered the pot and simmered about 20 minutes. (It was taking longer than I expected to tenderize the beans. Next time, I would boil the beans a little first to tenderize them, then saute with vegetables.)

Just before serving, I reheated and stirred in chopped fresh tomatoes and parsley until the tomatoes softened a little. Added pepper to taste.

Baked Fresh Cod
This wonderful fresh cod came from a local fishery.

To make the crumb topping, I ground 1/4 cup unsalted whole almonds and 1 tablespoon melted butter into a fine crumb in a food processor. Then I added 1 teaspoon paprika, a dash of pepper, and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (Buttered crackers could be used, a flavor my kids like, but I didn't have any on hand. I tried these gluten-free crumbs, and they were pretty good!).

I spread more melted butter, about 1 tablespoon, over the fish and topped with the crumb mixture. Finished by squeezing a little lemon all over and baked in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Mustard Vinaigrette: this was a simple whisked blend of about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of lemon, a teaspoon whole grain mustard, and a sprinkle of pepper. I topped the salad off with about a half teaspoon of the whole grain mustard because I like the way it looks and I just love the flavor.

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To Be Continued
With farmers' markets and stands closing soon and my kids' busy schedules, I'll try my best to visit winter farmers' markets in my effort to continue supporting local producers and keeping fresh food on our family table. And when at the supermarket, I'll look for local first.

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Locally made relish over locally made hot dogs, organic whole-wheat roll, grilled garden zucchini, leftover beans from a neighbor.

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Going local philosophy that I like at Local Works Marketplace at WREN in Bethlehem, NH.


  1. I'll miss the stands, too, although the popularity of all farmers' markets and "local" buying has seemed to increase their numbers. I haven't found too much new this year, but fresh is always i good taste.

  2. Oh, you had a such a fun, delicious summer! Good to see you blogging again...and I'm looking forward to some more fabulous recipes from you this fall :) xo

  3. Funny, we had cod just last night. Like trying to hold onto summer for one last weekend.

    Great market photos from around New England! We've so much to offer, don't we? Yes, it does take a little more time, but definitely worth it. ;)

  4. I have seen the beans at the supermarket but just don't know how to cook it, will try out your recipe with the beans, thanks for sharing.

  5. Fabulous post - I'm so jealous of you and all the farm fresh stuff in your neck of the woods. I'm coming u[ there next summer to experience this. love the honey pic!