You know, my favorite time of year may well be from April to October, aka the months when the farmers market is open. I mean, when else can you get homemade jam; purple, red, orange, green, and/or yellow bell peppers; cucumbers; heirloom cherry tomatoes; peaches; or fairy eggplants in one place for less than you could pick them up at the grocery store? Heck, I can’t get purple bell peppers or fairy eggplants at the grocery store, period!
That’s my way of saying that I’ve been to the farmers market twice this week and plan to go back tomorrow before we go to the lake with friends. Seriously, three times, and I didn’t come away empty-handed earlier in the week either time. The first day I picked up heirloom cherry tomatoes, which I had never even seen before but which were absolutely delicious, a purple bell pepper, and a couple of sweet onions and apples. The second day I grabbed regular cherry tomatoes; I’m putting together a pasta salad for tomorrow and the heirlooms are too sweet for that.
Today I finally got to take my bounty for a spin, and it was absolutely delicious! I don’t get to cook as often as I’d like, so I thoroughly indulged on my day off and celebrated the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics with a Caprese salad and whole wheat pitas filled with grilled vegetables and topped with a homemade white wine vinaigrette.
Heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil, torn
Preheat oven to 350*. Halve the tomatoes, spread them on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately fifteen minutes.
If you don’t have mozzarella pearls, which I didn’t, just chunk up your mozzarella by hand or knife. I also grabbed some basil leaves from the front porch and tore them.
Once the tomatoes have cooked and been allowed to cool for a few minutes, combine them with the mozzarella and basil. Then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
White Wine Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh parsley and basil, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients and whisk to emulsify.
Grilled Vegetable Pitas
Sliced bell peppers (I used purple, green, red, and orange)
Slice sweet onion
Zucchini, cut into strips
Yellow squash, cut into strips
White mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
Whole wheat pita, cut in half
Sliced Roma tomato
Toss the fresh vegetables, except the tomatoes and cucumber, with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place all the vegetables in a foil pouch and place on a hot grill. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Toss the pita on the grill, too, for a couple of minutes to warm them.
When everything is ready, put two to the three slices of tomato and cucumber in each half of the pita, then load down with your grilled vegetables. Top everything off with the white wine vinaigrette.