This week is the official start of summer, although it already feels like August in Central Kentucky! With temperatures persistently in the 90s, we can’t bear to turn on the stove or oven, hence this cool and flavorful summertime Mediterranean Tomato and Cucumber Salad! It features Z&B Za’atar, a Middle Eastern blend of herbs, toasted sesame seeds, and tart and fruity sumac.
I added purslane, a succulent and lemony-tasting wild plant that you may recognize as a “weed” growing in your yard or garden. Don’t get rid of it, though—it’s high in omega-3s and vitamin E, and is great in salads, pesto, and smoothies, and makes a nice addition to this dish!
The olive oil is the only ingredient in this salad that I bought at the store; everything else is from the farmers’ market or our garden! I’d call that a local and seasonal success! This salad is great on its own, over a green salad, or with lentils or chickpeas. It makes about 6 servings.
I made it by combining the following in a bowl:
A super simple and super tasty way to beat the heat! Enjoy!
Zelda & Bramble have some farmers’ market news to share! We’ve been selling spice blends at the Franklin County Farmers’ Market in downtown Frankfort, KY, every Thursday and Saturday since April 2018. We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve now joined the Woodford County Farmers’ Market and are selling at the brand-new Wednesday market at the renowned Kentucky Castle in Versailles! It’s quite an experience to buy and sell locally grown and produced food with a medieval-style castle as a backdrop!
Last week was the very first market at the castle, and it was incredible mayhem—reportedly more than 2,000 people visited the market over the course of three hours! The following week was also very well attended, not to say well-fed!
We love all the conversations we have at the farmers’ market with food lovers from all walks of life. There are folks who stride towards the Z&B table with purpose, knowing exactly what they want. Others read the descriptions of each blend in depth, taking advantage of our “sniffers” before making a choice.
Some people craft a dinner plan based on what is available at the market, and it is fun to help them decide which spice blend will bring their meal together. Many people are looking for seasonings compatible with their favorite cuisine, ingredient, or go-to technique. Some love to cook, and they light up when they approach our table. Others are a little more tentative, saying that they don’t do much cooking. We tell them not to worry: with the right flavors and quality ingredients, anyone can make a delicious meal!
We’re excited to continue meeting new friends and seeing established Z&B fans at the farmers’ markets in both Frankfort and Versailles! Will we see you there this week?
It’s an exciting and delicious time of year at the farmers’ market! Here in Kentucky, we’re at that fleeting sweet spot when summer produce like zucchini, carrots, and broccoli are just coming on as asparagus, snap peas, and other spring vegetables finish out for the season. A vegetable stir fry is a great way to combine spring and summer into a big, fresh, flavorful mess of veggies!
Stir frying is a quick, high-heat, low-oil cooking method that preserves the flavor, texture, color, and nutrients in vegetables. It’s also very flexible and prime for improvisation. Here’s our tried and true stir frying method, detailed by Z&B Chief Thumbs Operator Kevin Archer! It can take a little practice to perfect timing and technique, but fortunately, practice is delicious!
Udon or soba noodles, brown or basmati rice, quinoa, and other grains all make great beds for your vegetable stir fry. Many of these cook quickly and can be cooking while you make the stir fry. Brown rice takes about 45 minutes to make, so be sure to plan ahead.
Roasted Tofu with Z&B Five Spice, Z&B Garam Masala, or your spice blend of choice is a delicious and protein-packed add-in!
To sauce your stir fry, try this awesome Teriyaki Sauce, or my recent go-to for uber-umami goodness:
Miso Sauce with Z&B Umami Seasoning!
Here’s all I do:
Have fun exploring the season’s produce with your new stir fry skills! What’s your favorite combination?