I was talking to a friend of mine about how much I enjoy the Farmer’s Market in the summer.  He saw my eyes light up and the passion I had.  He said this should be your next blog!!  I am a personal chef and I love my job.  It all starts with having the right ingredients.  I go to the Marblehead Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings and the Swampscott Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings.  Why both?  Each market has different farmer’s who specialize in different things.  For instance, at the Marblehead market there is a farm stand that specializes in Asian produce, I can get beautiful diakon radish, baby bok choy and pea pod tendrils.  At the Sunday market I like getting my corn to eat that night and there is also an organic farmer with the biggest and brightest Swiss Chard and garlic.  It’s so much fun to meet the different farmers and talk to them about their crops and what might be great this week.  I always introduce myself to the farmer’s and tell them I’m a personal chef and much of the produce I am buying will be used in their dishes for the coming week.  It’s that extra step of being closer to the source of what I’m making that I enjoy.

What to do with the produce?  Here is a recipe that I love from the fresh vegetables in the Farmer’s Market

Farmstand Gazpacho
2 cups diced (1/4 inch) pickling cucumber
2 cups diced (1/4 inch) red bell pepper
2 cups diced (1/4 inch) ripe tomato
1/2 cup diced (1/4 inch) red onion
2 cups V-8 juice
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 dashes hot sauce

1. Place all of the diced vegetables in a large bowl. Add the tomato juice, vinegar, oil, and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

2. Transfer half of the mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse the machine on and off to coarsely puree the contents. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours before serving.   Can be topped with slices of avocado.  Gazpacho soupYou can easily double this recipe for a large party.

If you want to know what to do with your fresh produce or don’t have time to shop at the Farmer’s Market, contact Gloria@ChefGloriaB.com to help.  www.ChefGloriaB.com