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Cook with fresh, local ingredients

Experiment with fresh, local food from farmers markets

With farmers markets in the area going strong, this is a good time to cook with fresh, local ingredients. Deirdre Parker Smith, editor of the Post’s Home & Garden and Book pages and our website, is sharing recipes she’s trying this year after shopping at the Salisbury Farmer’s Market.

Farmers Market Beef Stir-Fry

• 1 1 lb. package beef kabobs, Wild Turkey Farms

• 1 bunch asparagus, Correll Farms

• 2 cups spinach, torn into bite-size pieces, the Lys

• 1 cup pea shoots, roughly chopped, Lys

• 1/4 cup fresh garlic tops, chopped, Lys

• 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

• 1/4 cup soy sauce

• 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce

• Flour for dusting meat

• Salt and pepper

Season beef with salt and paper and toss lightly in flour. Cook beef over high heat in a wok or skillet, allowing it to brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Cut asparagus into 1-inch lengths, saute about one minute. Add spinach, pea shoots, garlic tops. Return meat to skillet/wok. Add about 1/4 cup soy sauce and the same amount of Hoisin and stir to combine. Serve over white rice.

For dessert: cinnamon bread from The Bread Basket.

Here’s a farm-to-fork treat

Speaking of local food, Bread Riot will hold its fourth Riot in the Pasture this Sunday.

Riot in the Pasture has become the signature event for the local foods advocacy group. The dinner features ingredients from Rowan and surrounding counties.

But the event is more than dinner. It includes live music, local beer and wine, vineyard tours, local producers on-site with fresh product for sale and activities for children.

Who: Some 400 local food enthusiasts

What: An afternoon of music and fun in the vineyard featuring a farm-to-fork dinner

When: Sunday, 3-7 p.m., dinner served at 5 p.m.

Where: Morgan Ridge Vineyard, 486 John Morgan Road, Gold Hill

Tickets: $10-$35. Info at www.breadriot.org

Blueberries popping up on menus

QSR, the website of the quick-serve restaurant industry, says blueberries are appearing on more menues as consumer interest in healthy dining options continues to rise.

“Overall blueberry mentions on American menus have increased 97 percent since 2007 — a stronger growth rate than that of strawberries, respberries or blackberries,” QSR reports.

Key areaas of growth:

• Non-aloholic beverages, including smoothies

• Entrees, including salads

• Dessert dishes

“Increased use in beverages and entrees shows how blueberries are gaining traction as a little way to make a commonplace dish a great one, and the upward trend in the dessert category is consistent with the finding that 60 percent of consumers now say they choose fruit for dessert at least once a week.”

Quote of the week

“Chicken is boring. Chefs see it as a menu item for people who don’t know what they want to eat.” — Anthony Bourdain “Kitchen Confidential” author

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