Recipes fresh from the farmers market

Pita pizzas made with veggies and herbs fresh from a Saturday market pair well with a fruity glass of Strawberry Lemonade or Blueberry Limeade. Photo by Madoline Markham.

By HANNAH KLINGER

I grew up in Edgewood, just a couple blocks from New York Pizza, Broadway’s and Moneer’s (long before it became Sam’s Deli) and loved walking to the library and the park, especially for Free Friday Flicks. I always wanted to have dinner outside. Although it was never a proper cookout (we didn’t own a grill), nothing tasted better than the peppers and tomatoes from our own garden.
Today bringing home local farmer’s markets finds to cook for family and friends evokes the same summer evening bliss we had on our Edgewood patio.

Farmer’s Market Pizzas
Yield: 6 servings

A quick, simple pizza shows off the best of our local farmer’s markets. Find tomatoes, basil and squash at the downtown Homewood market in the SOHO parking lot or the West Homewood market at Shades Valley Community Church (160 Oxmoor Road) on Saturday mornings.

6 (6-inch) whole-wheat pita rounds
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 large tomato, sliced thin
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1 medium yellow squash, sliced into thin rounds
1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Brush each pita round with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese on each pita. Top three pitas with sliced tomatoes and basil; top remaining three pitas with zucchini, yellow squash and thyme. Drizzle remaining tablespoon olive oil over tomatoes and squash. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over pitas.

3. Bake on a sheet pan at 400° for 6-8 minutes or until cheese has melted and edges are browned.

Strawberry Lemonade
Yield: 8 servings

This twist on classic lemonade makes a refreshing drink on a hot day, and comes in a fun, vibrant pink color. You can also blend bottled lemonade with strawberries and ice for a short cut.

1 cup sugar
5 cups water, divided
3 cups halved and hulled strawberries
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
2 cups crushed ice

Make a syrup by heating sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool. Puree strawberries in a blender until smooth. Add syrup, lemon juice, ice and remaining 4 cups water. Blend until smooth.  Strain lemonade through a sieve or colander to remove strawberry pulp if desired. Garnish glasses with a strawberry or lemon wedge and serve.

Blueberry Limeade
Yield: 8 servings

Blueberries turn ordinary limeade into a seasonal beverage. Blend pre-made limeade with fresh blueberries if you don’t want to make your own.

1 cup sugar
5 cups water, divided
1 cup blueberries
2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
2 cups crushed ice

Make a syrup by heating sugar, 1 cup water, and blueberries in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar has dissolved. Let cool. Add syrup with berries, lime juice, ice, and remaining 4 cups water to blender; blend until smooth. Garnish glasses with fresh blueberries or lime wedge and serve.

Homewood native Hannah Klinger is a culinary student, recipe developer and food writer. She blogs at onebowlonespoon.wordpress.com.

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