Monthly Archives: August 2019

Summer Zucchini “Pasta” Salad with Tomatoes & Fresh Basil

Summer is in full swing at the Franklin Farmers Market!  Summer squashes, tomatoes, and eggplants are everywhere, so now is the perfect time to try a new recipe that South Fork created for our Market tasting last Saturday. For this recipe, Romana used a vegetable spiralizer to transform the zucchini into thin “pasta” noodles to toss with fresh basil, garlic, and diced tomatoes. If you don’t have a spiralizer just use a vegetable peeler to shave thin ribbons or use a sharp knife to carefully cut the zucchini into your favorite pasta shape. You can also make this using yellow squash no problem. Good luck with the recipe and we’ll see you at the Market next Saturday



Summer Zucchini “Pasta” Salad with Tomatoes & Fresh Basil
Serves 4-6

6 medium green & golden Zucchini (Paradise Produce)
2 large ripe tomatoes (Paradise Produce)
1 small clove garlic (Beaverdam Creek Farm)
½ bunch fresh basil (Bloomsbury Farm)
2 tbl olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Wash and dry the zucchini, tomatoes, and basil to get started. Pick the basil leaves and set aside. Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, turn the zucchini into noodles or thin ribbons, place in a bowl and dice the tomatoes, then add them to the bowl. Chop the garlic finely as well as the basil leaves and add them to the tomatoes and zucchini. Season with the olive oil, sea salt, and pepper and toss to combine everything. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving. The key to this dish is its freshness, but feel free to prep everything the day before and keep it covered in the fridge, but don’t mix it together until you’re ready to serve.


Michael R Martin
South Fork Catering Co.


Franklin Kids and Adults Celebrate the Watermelon!

The Franklin Watermelon Festival presented by AlphaGraphics of Franklin and hosted by the Franklin Farmers Market delivered smiles, sticky fingers, and soaked shirts of full of sweet watermelon juice. Our local Farmers did not disappoint with a large delicious crop of 8 different varieties that nearly sold out from all Farmers. Events ranged from the popular Watermelon Eating Contest for Kids and Adults, hence the wet shirts, free watermelon slices, face painting, and kids games. Visit this link to our website photo gallery for all the photos of this year’s Watermelon Festival.

Our market picnic tables were full of eager Kid and Adult watermelon-eating contestants. A fast one-minute time frame determined who would get to enjoy this year bragging rights as the quickest watermelon eaters of Franklin, Tennessee!












Last years first-place winner in the Kids contest returned this to defend his title, and he won again. Congratulations Shamarion Cooksey! Also, note his younger brother took 2nd pace.

Great job Kids!

Winners of the 2019 Kids Watermelon Eating Contest are:

1st Place – Shamarion Cooksey 2nd year in a row

2nd Place – Corey Cooksey

3rd Place – Avah Bramante





Winners of the 2018 Adult Watermelon Eating Contest are:

1st Place – Alan Tang

2nd Place – Jacob Blaze

3rd Place – T. Michael Twardowski






The Leiper’s Fork Carving Club attends each year carving beautiful and unique creations from watermelons during the Watermelon Festival. It was truly amazing what their hands and imagination can create each year, even a sailboat with sails this year. Thank you to each talented carver for making our event so special again this year.


A special thank you to Ryan Whited of Springfree Trampoline for supplying the incredibly safe trampoline for the enjoyment of kids jumping and dunking a small basketball through a hoop.

Our Farmers and Food Vendors provided refreshing drinks and foods. Padrino’s Pops sold many of their famous watermelon pops, and Belle Springs Lemonade wowed the crowd with their handmade watermelon lemonade with melons sourced from the farmers. And Ellie’s Old Fashioned Doughnuts served up beautiful watermelon red donuts!

Market presenting sponsor AlphaGraphics of Franklin provided much-needed signage and free Kids Coloring Books with Crayons. The Franklin Watermelon Festival is not possible without the generous support of community business leader Jim Bright, owner of AlphaGraphics of Franklin.Visit this link to our website photo gallery for all the photos of this year’s Watermelon Festival.

The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 16yr old producer’s 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 or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest market news. Visit this link to our website photo gallery for all photos of this years 2018 Franklin Watermelon Festival.

Watermelon & Tomato Salad with Local Goat Cheese and Mint

The Franklin Farmers Market is bursting with fresh watermelons and tomatoes right now. Come out this weekend and explore the market and see all of the different varieties to choose from. Evans Produce, Delvin Farms, Bloomsbury Farm, Paradise Produce, Beaverdam Creek Farm, Kirkview Farm, Colbert Farm, and others will have bushels of fresh summer vegetables and melons ready to take home! This week’s recipe is featuring 2 of the summer’s top offerings, watermelon, and tomatoes, as well as local goat cheese from Noble Springs Dairy. It’s delicious and it couldn’t be easier to make. Pick up a loaf of sourdough bread from Lucy’s Kitchen and toast off a few slices to serve alongside for a perfect summer lunch. Give it a try and I hope to see you in the Market this Saturday!

Watermelon & Tomato Salad with Local Goat Cheese and Mint

Serves 4-6

1 small Sugarbaby watermelon (Delvin Farms)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (Beaverdam Creek Farm)
½  small red onion, thinly sliced (Rosecreek Farm)
2oz. fresh goat cheese (Noble Springs Dairy)
Fresh mint
1 tsp sea salt flakes (I use Maldon)
Black pepper from the mill
1 tbl olive oil
½ fresh lime

Cut the watermelon in half and reserve one half for later. Trim the rind from the melon and pick out the seeds using the tip of a knife. Cut the melon into fork size pieces and arrange on a large platter. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place around the melon pieces on the platter and add the red onions on top. Crumble the goat cheese over the melon, tomatoes, and onions. Tear the mint leaves and scatter over the platter, then season with the sea salt flakes and a few turns of the pepper mill. Drizzle the olive oil and squeeze the half of lime over everything. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the flavors come together then serve. Enjoy!

Michael R Martin
South Fork Catering Co.

Family Fun at the Annual Franklin Watermelon Festival

The Franklin Farmers Market will host its annual Franklin Watermelon Festival on Saturday, August 24th from 8am-1pm. Market sponsor, AlphaGraphics of Franklin, is hosting what is sure to be the highlight of your weekend as we celebrate summer’s favorite treat.  AlphaGraphics of Franklin is an invaluable partner for the Franklin Farmers market, providing Print and Marketing Solutions to Franklin and Middle Tennessee including new market signage for 2019. Visit their booth at the front of the market shed during the Franklin Watermelon Festival and pick up a pack of our new 2019 recipe cards featuring produce and meat from our farmers. 

We greatly appreciate AlphaGraphics of Franklin as a new market sponsor this year. They’ve supported our community market with new signage and printing of the new recipe cards and so much more! Congrats on consistently being one of the top ten largest AlphaGraphics in the USA!

At the Franklin Watermelon Festival, local farmers will have the best of their watermelon crops ready for tasting, and customers will have their chance to win the watermelon-eating contest. 

Franklin Farmers Market farmers have carefully tended the watermelons in the field in preparation of this annual event and they tell us that this year looks to be a record year for delicious watermelons. Colbert Farms, Delvin Farms, and Kirkview Farm will have watermelons ripe and ready for tasting, watermelon carving and more. 

Fun events include a watermelon eating contest beginning at 9:30am for kids and 10:30 for adults. There will also be a kid’s activity area with face painting and games and fun for the whole family. For a special treat, the Leiper’s Fork carving club will be carving beautiful creations from watermelons. Visit the patio area at the Franklin Farmers Market to see the amazing artwork and marvel at the unique designs carved from fresh watermelons. 

Market vendors and local farmers are joining in the fun celebration in their own way. Padrino’s Pops will have watermelon pops, Belle Springs will have watermelon lemonade and Ellie’s Old Fashioned Doughnuts will have a special red donut that is sure to be superb. Join in the fun from 8-1pm Saturday, August 24th for a fun celebration to see what other market vendors have prepared for the Watermelon Festival. 

The Leipers Fork Carving Club always provides the best Carving Entertainment this side of the Mississippi River.

The Franklin Watermelon Festival is more than just celebrating the best of summer. It is a fun, family-friendly event celebrating all that is good about our community farmers market, from wonderful market sponsors such as AlphaGraphics of Franklin to loyal customers who support the farmers every week, rain or shine.  

The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 16-year-old producers-only market with the largest assembly of TN farmers providing fresh farm food all year long each Saturday morning. Find them at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. Visit online at or follow on Facebook and Instagram for the latest market news.

Enjoy this new Watermelon Festival Reicpe prepared by Chef Michael Martin of South Fork Catering.

How to Can Tomatoes

Canned TomatoesOne of my favorite things to do in the summer is to can tomatoes with Romana. We usually buy 4 or 5 cases of just ripe tomatoes and spend the day “putting up” tomatoes to use in the winter. There really is nothing like opening a jar of home canned tomatoes in January and making some rustic tomato sauce to go over pasta with a little grated Parmesan cheese. It’s just like opening a jar of summer sunshine. They also make great gifts! So here’s an easy way to can tomatoes!

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Canned Local Tennessee Tomatoes

(count on using 3 pounds of tomatoes for each quart Mason jar)


15 pounds just ripe local Tennessee tomatoes
15 teaspoons of sea salt

Bring 6 quarts of water to a simmer in an 8 quarts stock pot. Score a little X in the bottom of each tomato with the tip of a sharp paring knife. Remove and bits of stem on the tomatoes.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside to shock chill the tomatoes after blanching.
Working in batches of 4-5 blanche just ripe tomatoes in simmering water for 1 minute or until the skins begin to wrinkle. Remove each one to the ice bath. Peel off the skins and cut out the cores, then cut into quarters. Pack into clean, hot prepared quart Mason jars and press down with a clean wooden spoon until the jars fill up with tomato liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart. Wipe the rim of each Mason jar with a clean paper towel
and place on a new clean lid and then close and tighten the ring. Process in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes (35 minutes for pints, if using). Remove form the water bath using special jar tongs and place on kitchen towels to cool. Lids should seal so there is no movement when pressed. If you have some jars that don’t seal properly you can still use them, but you need to refrigerate them and use them within 2 weeks. Learning how to can tomatoes will deliver some delicious pasta winter meals. Enjoy!

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Michael R. Martin
South Fork Catering



Grilled Tomahawk Steak with Roasted Potatoes, Onions, and Parsley Sauce

Franklin Farmers Market; it’s honestly hard to choose what to grill first. This week’s recipe features a beautiful 100% grass-feed, bone-in ribeye from River Cottage Farm, a.k.a. The Tomahawk. I keep it pretty simple when it comes to grilling most steaks using sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and a touch of olive oil and here is no exception. This approach lets the quality and flavor of the beef shine through. Organically raised new crop fingerling potatoes and onions from Delvin Farms roasted in the iron skillet, and a quick bright and acidic parsley sauce round out a perfect summer dish. Don’t forget to let the steak rest before carving, makes all the difference in the world. Hope to see you on Saturday at the Market! Visit this link for the downloadable pdf Recipe file.


Grilled Tomahawk Steak with Roasted Potatoes, Onions and Parsley Sauce
Serves 4

11/2 lb bone-in ribeye (Tomahawk steak from River Cottage Farm)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 lbs fingerling potatoes, cut into ½ inch slices (Delvin Farms)
2-3 smaller new onions sliced ½ inch thick (Paradise Produce)
1 tbl olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
Touch of black pepper from the mill






Fire up the grill to medium-high heat, about 450F. Season the Tomahawk steak with the olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper and let come to room temp. Heat a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop to medium heat and lay the potatoes then drizzle ½ the olive oil over them. Pan roast for 6-8 minute on each side until golden and tender. Set aside and then add the onion slices and follow the same steps as for the potatoes (you can also grill the onions while you’re at it!). Set aside while you grill the steak.

Grill the steak over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, turn and grill 2-3 minutes more. Turn over again and continue grilling and turning for another 2-3 minutes. Check the internal temp using an insta-read thermometer, 130-135F for medium-rare and 145F for medium. Remove the steak to a serving platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Now carve to bone off the meat and slice the steak into 8 pieces and serve with the potatoes, onions and parsley sauce. Be sure to spoon over any juices accumulated on the serving platter. Enjoy!

For the Parsley Sauce

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley (Rosecreek Farm)
1 little clove garlic, peeled
2 tbl olive oil
1 tbl red wine vinegar or lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt
Touch of black pepper from the mill

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until roughly combined, don’t go too smooth here. Set aside or refrigerate covered for up to 4 days.

Michael R. Martin
South Fork Catering Co.