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Pick out some potatoes, peppers and beets

Pepper palooza

Deirdre Parker Smith/Salisbury Post Saturday's bright sun lit up these red and green peppers.

Deirdre Parker Smith/Salisbury Post Saturday’s bright sun lit up these red and green peppers.

Time for some ideas with what’s available at the Farmers’ Market and area produce stands now.

June arrived in the blink of an eye, along with hot, humid weather. Vegetables you might expect later are coming in now, with the first field tomatoes showing up.

There was a little corn at Miller Farms this week, and lots of peppers and potatoes, along with several kinds of onion, some herbs and pretty carrots. You can also find a bevy of beets, which make a great, bright side dish.

Vendors can give you ideas and recipes for what they have; some even have printed recipes ready and waiting for you.

Otherwise, here are a few recipes we dug up that take a turn from traditional, but don’t veer too far off the path.

The red, white and blue potatoes at Correll Farms were just begging to jump into a potato salad, now that the heat is on.

Veggie Potato Salad

2 1/2 pounds red, white or purple potatoes, or a mix

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup whole buttermilk

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise with olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 carrots, grated

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup sliced radishes

1/2 cup steamed, cut fresh green beans

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 garlic clove, minced

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring potatoes and salted water to cover to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat, and simmer 7 to 10 minutes or until tender. Drain. Place potatoes in a large bowl; sprinkle with vinegar and oil, and toss gently. Cool completely (about 1 hour).

Whisk together buttermilk and next three ingredients. Stir in carrots and next six ingredients; season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon buttermilk mixture over potato mixture; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours before serving.

Zesty Potato Salad

5 pounds potatoes

4 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled

1 tablespoon table salt

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 cup sweet salad cube pickles, drained

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup yellow mustard

1/2 cup red bell pepper

2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

1 to 2 tsp. celery salt

4 drops of hot sauce

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover 20 minutes or until tender; drain and cool 15 minutes. Peel potatoes, and place in a large bowl. Add eggs, and chop mixture into bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with salt; toss to coat. Stir together mayonnaise and next 13 ingredients; gently stir into potato mixture. Sprinkle with paprika; add black pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 2 days.

This is a very simple and very tasty roasted beet recipe that’s good hot or cold. It’s easy to add carrots while the beets roast and you’ll have a colorful combination rich in vitamins and other nutrition.

To save your skin from turning brilliant pink, use gloves when peeling.

Roasted Beets and Carrot with Orange and Honey

1 1/2 pound beets, scrubbed, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. honey

1/3 cup orange juice

3 tsp. grated orange zest

2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place beets on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold foil around beets and crimp ends to form a packet. Toss carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place on baking sheet next to the packets. Roast carrots and beets until tender when pierced with a fork. The carrots can also be wrapped in foil, if desired.

Transfer to a large bowl. Mix vinegar, honey and orange juice and drizzle over vegetables. Sprinkle with zest and thyme.

Quick Cabbage Salad

1/2 head (medium to large) cabbage or Napa cabbage

2 carrots, shredded

2 green onions, sliced

1 Tbsp. fresh dill

1/2 tsp. celery seed

1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

Shred the cabbage or cut into thin strips. Use a vegetable peeler to shred carrots. Use green parts of green onion, and some of the white. Toss vegetables together. In a measuring cup, mix oil, vinegar, dill, celery seed, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk well to emulsify. Pour over vegetables and serve immediately or refrigerate to allow flavors to blend and toss again before serving.

And what about all those bell peppers? You can slice them for salad, sauté them for fajitas or to serve with grilled sausages, you can stuff them with rice, meat and vegetables.

You can roast or grill peppers and marinate them to use on sandwiches, in dishes featuring chicken, beef or pork, in a green salad or potato salad, or even as part of an omelet.

If you have a gas stove, you can blister the peppers all over on top of a burner, turning the pepper with tongs until the skin blackens. You can do it the same way on a grill, or you can roast peppers in a hot oven, around 450 degrees.

To roast in an oven, preheat to 450, place whole green, red or any other color bell pepper directly on the oven rack. Roast about 15 minutes, turning if needed, until the skin is blackened. Place in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to steam. Remove the skins from the peppers and rinse briefly in cold water. Cut in half, remove seeds, stem and ribs, then cut in strips.

Place peppers in a clean bowl and add a mixture of 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. chopped fresh basil, 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley, 2 cloves garlic, sliced, salt and pepper to taste. This is enough for four or five roasted peppers. Toss peppers and marinade together and refrigerate in a jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Use within 2 weeks.

Another marinade idea is 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 wide strips of lemon zest (no white pith), 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 2 smashed garlic cloves, 3 sprigs of fresh oregano and salt and pepper to taste.

With either recipe, you can make a pepper dip by mixing plain, non-fat yogurt or sour cream with the same amount of mayonnaise and some of the peppers in a small food processor until all ingredients are pulverized and well mixed.

And here’s a healthy twist on the traditional stuffed pepper

New Wave Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

scant 2 cups vegetable stock or water

4 large bell peppers, any color, halved and seeded

1/2 cup salsa (your favorite)

2 tsp. cumin

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained

1 cup fresh corn (canned or frozen will do)

Bring quinoa and stock in a saucepan to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and summer until all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes, and quinoa is fluffy.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or sheet. Brush peppers with vegetable oil.

Add quinoa to a mixing bowl and stir in salsa, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, black beans and corn. Add salt and pepper to taste, or more chili powder, if desired.

Stuff pepper halves with mixture and cover dish with foil. Bake 30 minutes covered, remove foil and increase heat to 400 degrees, bake for another 15-20 minutes until peppers are soft and beginning to brown.

Serve with toppings of avocado slices, lime wedges, hot sauce, diced onion and cilantro. Add a dollop of sour cream on top.

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