Farmers Market Finds

Today I FINALLY got to visit our local farmers market for the first time this season.  My excuse of "this is the only day I get to sleep in" wasn't going to work this time seeing as I have taken a few weeks off for some R&R before moving, SO, at the crack of dawn (ok, like 8:00 a.m.), I jumped on my bike and off I went!  Now...I would consider myself an experienced cyclist, however, my phone rang (it was my fiancé), my charm bracelet proceeded to get stuck in the zipper of my bag, and on the ground I ended up; luckily only my pride was hurt, and I eventually arrived at the market.  The market was larger than I remembered it being, and there was live music to listen to while talking with the vendors. I even scored a couple recipes off of a sweet, old man who had about 10 different kinds of hot peppers– he even gave me a bunch of freebies to take home!

All in all, I fared really well – I ended up with my whole bicycle basket full of zucchini, onions, a variety of grape tomatoes, ginormous banana peppers,  fingerling potatoes, and a 1/2 dozen of lemon-doodle cookies for around $8.  Ahhh, the reward for waking up early is a sweet one.

With the tomatoes, I made a couple of toasty sandwiches that tasted as good as they looked!

  • 8-10 grape tomatoes in a variety of colors
  • quality mozzarella cheese (it's worth the extra buck or two)
  • quarter to half inch sliced hearty baguette (whole wheat)
  • olive oil
  • a handful of basil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Turn on your panini press to medium-high heat and let warm for a few minutes.  Place baguette slices on for a minute or two, just to begin toasting.  Remove bread, brush a little olive oil on one side and place oiled side back down on panini press for another minute or two.  Meanwhile, slice mozzarella and put on top of bread slices to begin melting for 2 minutes (also, I like to add my pepper and salt now so it will stick to the cheese).  Slice tomatoes in half and tear basil leaves by hand.  Place tomatoes and basil on top of mozzarella and toast for 2 more minutes.  Remove when mozzarella is completely melted and tomatoes are heated thoroughly.  Drizzle with balsamic and enjoy!