Monthly Archives: July 2016

Charred Vegetable Summer Salad

With our farmers market full of fresh summer vegetables, bursting with flavor, give this delicious charred summer salad recipe of okra, tomatoes, corn and candied onions a try!

Seasonal cooking is not only healthy it's fun! A Bounty of Healthy Eating awaits you at the Franklin Farmers Market.

Seasonal cooking is not only healthy it’s fun! A Bounty of Healthy Eating awaits you at the Franklin Farmers Market.

Growing up in Tennessee summer vegetables played a major part of our nightly dinners, especially okra, corn, tomatoes and onions. My parents always had a garden while I was growing up, and we had onions in the ground and tomatoes on the vine. I remember one summer they grew a whole bunch of corn as well. In this recipe I used beautiful okra and little tomatoes from Bloomsbury Farm, the corn was “Super Sweet” from Conry Farms in Morrison, TN and Candy Onions form Kirkview Farms. I picked the fresh basil from our herb garden.

organic cherry tomatoeslocal okrafarm fresh okralocal sweet corn

Charred Summer Salad with Okra, Corn, Tomato & Candy Onion

This summer salad is the perfect base for grilled chicken or pork chops.

Serves 4-6

1 pint okra, split lengthwise

4 ears sweet summer corn, shucked and silks removed

1 pint little tomatoes like cherry or pear, split in half

2 Candy Onions, cut into quarters

2 tbls olive oil

1 tbl red wine vinegar (I also love Sherry vinegar!)

sea salt and fresh black pepper

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (fresh mint works well too)

charred sweet corncharred vegetablescharred candied onionslocal candied onions

 

 

 

 

 

Heat a 10 inch cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Season the split okra with a little salt and set aside to draw out moisture while you cook the corn. Break the ears of corn in half and place them in the hot iron skillet. Sear on all sides turning often until blistered, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside. Blot the okra with a paper towel to remove the water that has come to the surface. When dry add them to the skillet cut side down, and blister 3-4 minutes. Tun over and continue to roast for 1-2 minutes further. When dry roasted set aside (the okra should be quite dry and a bit crispy, even a little burnt). Place the Candy onions cut side down in the skillet and roast until almost black. Then turn to roast the other sidescharred okra until almost black. When well blistered remove to a plate to cool. Place the split tomatoes and charred okra in a large shallow bowl. Add the olive oil red wine vinegar and little salt. Toss well together and set aside while you cut the corn and onions. Place a clean dish towel on a cutting board and put the charred cron on the dish towel. Using a sharp knife, trim the kernels off the corm. When all of the corn has been cut gather the corn in the towel and pour into the bowl with the okra and tomatoes. When the onions a cool enough to handle trim the root end off and then slice the onions crosswise into 1/8 inch slices. Add the cut onions to the bowl and then tear the basil leaves into small pieces and add to the vegetables. Toss everything together and add a little salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Keeps well for 24 hours.

Enjoy!


Chef Michael R Martin
South Fork Catering Co.

South Fork Catering

Franklin Tomato Festival: Fresh, Local and Fun!

The Franklin Farmers Market held its 6th annual Tomato Festival on Saturday, July 16, hosted by market sponsor, Amerigo Italian Restaurant. Rain didn’t keep market customers away and children were treated to Maribelle the Clown with free face painting and balloon animals. But our local farmers weren’t interested in face painting; they were ready to compete in what have become the bragging rights for the year- the best tasting tomato!

 

Amerigo Italian RestaurantLocal TomatoesFranklin Tomato FestivalFranklin Face Painting

Customers were treated to free tomato tastings from our local farmers. Amerigo Chef Steven delighted us with his famous gazpacho and bruschetta with free samples made from ingredients from our farmers.

Amerigo Italian Restaurant“Every year our Tomato Festival grows bigger and we are blown away by the number of tomato entries grown by our local farmers. We had over sixteen farms enter their tomatoes, a record year! We are honored to have the largest selection of farmers in middle TN in one location, and proud to be a producers only market. You won’t find a better tasting homegrown tomato than right here in Franklin, grown by the farmers who are here,” says Franklin Farmers Market Event Coordinator, Ryan Palmer.

Franklin Tomato FestivalCherry TomatoesDelvin Farms Organic TomatoesHeirloom Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

With over sixteen farms participating in the contest, market supporter Kristy Williams of the Franklin Heritage Foundation was charged with the task of finding just the right person to judge the contest. Eight judges were called upon to judge tomatoes in categories: Ugliest, Heirloom and Standard, and their job was not an easy one! A heartfelt thank you goes to our Tomato Festival judges, Rick Warwick, editor of the Williamson County Historical Society Journal, Representative Charles Sargent, Lynne McAlister, Heritage Ball fundraiser, Theresa Mascola, fitness instructor for Williamson County Parks, Shelley Robertson Birdsong, owner of Robertson Media Group, Matthew Antonovich, owner of Franklin’s Trattoria A, and Ali Gernsert, Marketing Director of market sponsor, Amerigo.

Tomato Festival Judges

Local Celebrity Judges with the job of tasting selecting this years Tomato Winners

After many tastings and few re tastings, judges came to a decision and our winners are:

Heirloom Tomato: 1st Place- Vu Family Farm
2nd Place- Colbert Farm
3rd Place tie: Sturbridge Farm and Teston Nursery

Standard Tomato: 1st Place- Colbert Farm
2nd Place- Rainbow Hill Farm
3rd Place- Delvin Farms

Ugliest Tomato: 1st Place- Sturbridge Farm
2nd Place- Evans Produce
3rd Place- Beaverdam Creek Farm

Ugliest Tomato Winner

1st Place Ugliest Tomato Winner Sturbridge Farm

Best Tasting Tomato Winner

1st Place Winner Best Tasting Heirloom Tomato Vu Farm

The judges’ decision was announced with much enthusiasm as market staff and market sponsor Amerigo’s Ali Gensert presented each winning farm with a ribbon and certificate. Another year of bragging rights go to long time winner, Sturbridge Farm, whose tomatoes win one or more category every year!

1st Place Best Tasting Standard Tomato, Colbert Farm

1st Place Best Tasting Standard Tomato, Colbert Farm

Festival attendees enjoyed all that our market has to offer- fresh, locally grown produce, locally made artisan goods and local food trucks for breakfast and lunch. Admission to the festival and the market as always, was free.

The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 15 yr old producers only market with the largest assembly of local farmers providing fresh farm food all year long each Saturday morning. Find us at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. Visit us online at www.franklinfarmersmarket.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest market news.
Visit this link to view all photos from this years 6th Annual Franklin Tomato Festival.

Rainbow Hill FarmBeaverdam Creek FarmEvans Produce FarmTeston FarmDelvin FarmsTomato Festival JudgesFranklin Tomato FestivalFranklin Farmers Market

Franklin Tomato Festival Celebrating Queen of the Farm

Franklin Tomato FestivalThe Franklin Farmers Market will host its 6th annual Tomato Festival on Saturday, July 16 beginning at 8am, hosted by market sponsor, Amerigo Italian Restaurant. Farmers will vie for the best tasting tomato in the popular taste test judged by local celebrity judges, and children will have many free activities for fun and entertainment, including free face painting by Maribelle the clown.

Customers will be in for a real treat with free tomato tasting from our local farmers. Amerigo Chef Steven Robilio will delight us with his famous menu with free samples made from ingredients from our farmers, and no one will want to miss the tomato tasting contest.

“The farmers market summer season is in full swing now that the “queen” of the farm has made her way to the market. Everyone waits for the perfect homegrown tomato and that wait is finally over! We are honored to have the largest selection of farmers in middle TN in one location, and proud to be a producers only market. You won’t find a better tasting homegrown tomato than right here in Franklin, grown by the farmers who are here,” says Franklin Farmers Market Event Coordinator, Ryan Palmer.

Free tasting from over 30 different varieties of locally grown farm tomatoes

Free tasting from over 30 different varieties of locally grown farm tomatoes

It’s a family affair at the Franklin Tomato Festival with free children’s activities, free samples from Amerigo, tomato tastings and locally grown tomatoes from our farmers picked less than 48 hours before the event. You can’t find better, homegrown event than the Franklin Tomato Festival!

Chef Steven & Owner Paul of Amerigo Italian Restaurant

Chef Steven & Owner Paul of Amerigo Italian Restaurant

Festival attendees can enjoy all that our market has to offer- fresh, locally grown produce, locally made artisan goods and local food trucks for breakfast and lunch. Admission to the festival and the market is free.

This years Tomato Festival Judges are:

Chef Matthew Antonovich-Proprietor of Trattoria A

Shelly Robertson Birdsong-Owner and Publisher of Robertson Media Group

Ali Gensert-Marketing Director of Amerigo Italian Restaurant

Theresa Mascola-Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor for Williamson County Parks and Recreation

Lynne McAlister, Planning and Fundraising for the Heritage Ball

Ernie Reynolds, owner of Outdoor Classic Structures in Historic Downtown Franklin.

State Representative Charles Sargent-State Farm agent

Rick Warwick-Editor of the Williamson County Historical Society Journal.

The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 15 yr old producers only market with the largest assembly of local farmers providing fresh farm food all year long each Saturday morning. Find us at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. Visit us online at www.franklinfarmersmarket.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest market news.

Amerigo Logo main use High Res

Franklin Tomato Festival

Summer Blackberry Preserves with Lemon and Honey

Blackberry Preserves
Harvesting local Blackberries for Blackberry Preserves is a summertime treat. I remember one summer when I was a kid, my cousin Tony and I wandered down the road from my Aunt’s house to pick wild blackberries that grew along a little creek. We picked a lot, and to carry them back we decided to use our white t-shirts as a kind of pouch for our haul. My Grandmother saw us coming back to the house and started to laugh, but my Aunt was not amused, at all. After we were scolded for ruining our nice white t-shirts with blackberry juice, we pulled them off, threw them in the wash tub and ran down to the pond and jumped right in. That is one of many summers in Greenbrier, TN that I will never forget. Making Blackberry preserves this morning with Romana reminded me of that Sunday afternoon 40 years ago.

Blackberries

Making any fruit preserves takes a little extra care but well worth the effort, especially when you open a jar of blackberries or tomatoes in the middle of January. Keep it simple and take your time.

franklin farmers marketlocal blackberriescanning blackberriespomona's universal pectin

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Blackberry Preserves with Lemon and Honey
Makes 5 8oz. Jars        Recipe by South Fork Catering

Be sure to wash the blackberries well, and remove any stems of leaves that might be present.

*We used Pomona’s Universal Pectin for this batch, it’ available at Whole Foods Market. Be sure to make the calcium water in a little jar before you begin.

local blackberry Preservesblackberriescanning blackberriesblackberry preserves

 

 

 

 

 

*You will need a large 8 quart pot with simmering water to be ready to process the jars once filled.

 

5 8oz. glass Mason Jars with lids and rings
4 cups mashed blackberries (about 5 cups whole)
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup local honey (we used Johnson’s)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp calcium water
2 tsp pectin powder

  1. Wash and rinse the 8oz. jars in hot water. Bring lids to a boil; turn off the heat; let stand in hot water. Wash screw bands; set aside.
  2. Prepare the blackberries. Measure the fruit and put it into a 5-6 quart pan with the lemon juice.
  3. Add 2 tsp calcium water and stir well.
  4. Measure the sugar and honey into a separate bowl and thoroughly mix in the pectin powder.
  5. Bring the blackberries to a full boil (212F, 100C). Add the sugar-honey-pectin mixture. then stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes as the fruit returns to a full boil. Then remove form the heat.
  6. Fill each prepared jar up to 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe the rims clean. Screw on the lids with the rings. Put filled jars in boiling water to almost covered.
  7. Boil for 10 minutes, not too hard, a gentle boil is just fine. Carefully remove the jars to a clean kitchen towel to cool. Check the seals; lids should be sucked down and tight. Let cool to room temp. Eat within 1 year. Lasts refrigerated 3 weeks once opened.Summer Blackberry PreservesEnjoy all year long!

Chef Michael R Martin
South Fork Catering Co.
SouthFork_White

Grilled Vegetables with Infused Olive Oil and Balsamic

With summer vegetables now in peak season it’s time to fire up the grill for some grilled vegetables. You can find the largest selection of locally grown vegetables this week at the Franklin farmers Market! So many varieties of squash, zucchini, onions, peppers, fennel and tomatoes just in time for The 4th of July weekend. So when you fire up the grill to put on some grass fed beef burgers give this recipe a try. And for a little twist, give the grilled vegetables a splash of Basil Infused Olive Oil from Herban Market.

What a beautiful platter of fresh local grilled vegetables!

What a beautiful platter of fresh local grilled vegetables!

With peak season for local summer vegetables it's time to fire up the grill for some grilled vegetables with Infused Olive Oil and Balsamic

With peak season for local summer vegetables it’s time to fire up the grill for some grilled vegetables with Basil Infused Olive Oil and Balsamic-Honey Reduction and Fresh Basil

Grilled Summer Vegetables with Balsamic-Honey Reduction & Fresh Basil

We used fresh organic summer vegetables from Delvin Farms.
Serves 8-10

For the vegetables-

4 small zucchini
4 small yellow squash
2 small fennel bulbs
4 new Spring onions
3 tbls olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 small bunch fresh basil

summer vegetablesfresh cut basilfarm fresh basilbalsamic honey reduction

 

 

 

 

 

Fire up the grill!

Cut the zucchini and squash lengthwise into quarters and cut out any large seed clusters. Cut the fennel in half. Split the onions length wise. Place all of the vegetables in a shallow baking pan and season with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pick 10-12 basil leaves and make a small stack on your cutting board. When the grill is hot, grill the vegetables over high heat for 4-5 minutes, turning a few times, until the skins are blistered and just cooked through. Remove to a serving platter and drizzle a few spoonfuls of the balsamic-honey reduction over the vegetables. Cut the basil leaves into thin slices and evenly distribute over the vegetables. Now you can serve local grilled vegetables at room temperature along side your favorite summer dishes. Enjoy! And Happy Independence Day!

Having a sharp knife and wood cutting board provides perfectly sliced vegetables

Having a sharp knife and wood cutting board provides perfectly sliced vegetables

For the Balsamic-Honey Reduction-

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup local honey, we used Johnson Honey Farm Wildflower Honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

balsamic honey reductionIn a small 2 qt sauce pan combine the vinegar and honey and place over medium low heat. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until reduced by almost half. stir in the salt and pepper and set aside to cool. Store in a small glass jar until ready to use. This will keep for a month in the refrigerator. Use over grilled veggies, on a salad or as a light finish to grilled steaks or chicken.

Chef Michael R Martin
South Fork Catering Co.

South Catering