Two Cheesy Summer Salads Straight from the Farmer’s Market

My husband and I often joke that he is not allowed to do the grocery shopping, and I am not allowed to do the Target runs. Somehow a shopping list that had toothpaste, toilet paper and dog treats quickly expands to include ‘necessary’ items such as a new sports bra, hairspray, green sprinkles and a travel mug when I go to Target. Similarly my husband will come home with 12 additional items from the grocery store that weren’t on his list. And so we divide and conquer, keeping to our assigned errands.

But when it comes to farmer’s markets, I don’t know what to say – I go a little crazy. I cannot control myself. The produce from my favorite local farm looks so amazing, and increasingly amazing as the summer progresses, I often come home with items for which I have no plan. Like garlic scapes, white baby eggplant, an entire basil plant or 17 pints of strawberries.

These salads were both born from an overabundance of farmer’s market finds. They are light, super easy to throw together as a weeknight dinner, or an appetizer for entertaining.

If making a pesto from garlic scapes and spinach sounds scary, just use some store-bought pesto. But if you are feeling adventurous you can also try arugula hazelnut pesto or one of my other favorites, kale basil pesto.


mozzarella w garlic scape spinach pesto


Mozzarella with Garlic Scape & Spinach Pesto


For the garlic scape-spinach pesto:

1 bunch fresh garlic scapes, trimmed

2 cups fresh spinach

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup whole walnuts

salt and pepper

1/2 – 3/4 cup olive oil

For the salad:

8 ounces fresh mozzarella

cherry tomatoes

salt and pepper

olive oil


Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add garlic scapes. Cook for one minute then add spinach. Cook for one more minute then remove both. Place in a colander over the sink and drain. Wring out excess water from spinach.

Heat a small pan over low-medium heat. Toast walnuts until fragrant, just 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

Place spinach, garlic scapes, basil and walnuts in the blender. Start pulsing, adding olive oil slowly until desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut mozzarella into thin slices and arrange on a platter. Top with halved cherry tomatoes and about 2 Tbsp of the garlic scape-spinach pesto. Drizzle additional olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.


Haloumi with Peaches and Balsamic Vinegar

haloumi w peaches1


Heat a saute pan over medium heat. (No need to add oil.)

Cook haloumi on each side around 3 minutes, or until golden brown and starting to ooze.

Place haloumi on a platter and top with sliced peaches, torn basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Top with light sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste.


8 ounces haloumi cheese, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 ripe yellow peach, sliced into thin wedges

2-3 basil leaves

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

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