No matter how many times we visit the famous Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market, we never get tired of the sights, sounds, smells, and seasonal offerings of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Situated in one of the most productive agricultural regions in the United States, California’s Central Coast gets the first pick of fresh produce at local farmer’s markets, which make cooking delicious, seasonal food fun and easy! Here are three recipes that have inspired our farmer’s market picks this fall:
What’s In Season?
Roasted Brussels Sprout with Blue Cheese, Walnuts, and Cranberries (via A Cedar Spoon)
- 1 lb. brussels sprouts, rinsed, trimmed and cut in half
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- dash of pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup walnuts
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet.
- Roast the brussels sprouts in the oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the oven and return to the large mixing bowl. Add the blue cheese, dried cranberries and walnuts. Put on a platter and serve warm.
Cheesy Butternut Squash Macaroni (via The Recipe Critic)
- 1 and ½ cups macaroni noodles, uncooked
- 3-4 cups cubed butternut squash, peeled and de-seeded
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- ¾ cup 1% milk
- 1 and ¼ cup sharp cheddar
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- fresh parsley (optional)
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the butter in a skillet over medium low heat.
- Meanwhile, peel the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Cut into large chunks.
- Boil the squash until completely tender and then drain. Place the squash in the blender with the butter, lots of salt, pepper, broth, paprika, and milk.
- Pulse until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked noodles and add the cheese. Stir until melted.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with parsley if desired.
Persimmons & Pomegranates
Persimmon & Pomegranate Tarts (via Sugar Hero)
For the Tart Dough:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup finely ground almonds
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 tbsp cold unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
For the Filling:
- 5tbsp unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup finely ground almonds
- 1 tbsp flour
- Pinch salt
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 10 Fuyu persimmons
- 1/4 cup honey
- Pomegranate arils (optional)
Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For the tart dough:
Place the finely ground almonds, flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse briefly until everything is well-blended. Add the cold cubed butter and pulse until it is in small pea-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk and pulse in long 5-second bursts until the dough starts clumping together.
Turn the dough out of the food processor and knead it lightly several times to incorporate any extra flour. At this point, the dough can be wrapped and refrigerated for several days. If you’re ready to use it now, spray five 6-inch tart shells with removable bottoms, and spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
Press the dough in an even layer into the bottom and sides of the pans. Freeze the shells for 30 minutes, and while they are in the freezer, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray the tops of the tart dough with nonstick spray, then press a sheet of foil onto each shell, shiny side down, and fill the foils with dry beans, rice, or pie weights.
Bake the tart shells for 15 minutes, until the sides start to take on a little color and the center no longer looks raw, then carefully remove the foil and weights. Allow to cool before adding the filling.
To assemble the tart:
Combine the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add the egg, almonds, flour, salt, and almond extract, and blend in long pulses until well-combined.
Scoop two big spoonfuls of the almond mixture into the bottom of each par-baked tart shell, and spread it into an even layer. Bake the tarts at 375 F for 12-15 minutes, until it is just starting to set. It shouldn’t take on any color, and should still be quite soft.
Slice the tops off of the persimmons. Use a very sharp chef’s knife or a mandolin to slice the persimmons into paper-thin slices. Arrange them in a rosette shape in the tart shells by starting at the outside edge and placing the slices in concentric circles, pressing down slightly to embed them into the almond layer. Overlap the persimmon pieces slightly as you go around, continuing until the entire top of the tart is filled. Repeat with remaining tarts.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 F, and bake the tarts for a final 10-15 minutes, until the almond filling is puffed and set, and the persimmon slices have softened but are not leathery or hard. Drizzle each tart with a spoonful of honey to serve, and if desired, top with a few pomegranate arils.
These tarts are best the day they are made—the moisture from the persimmons will make them soggy eventually. The tart dough and the almond filling can both be made in advance and kept for several days in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the tarts.