Summer is here, along with tomatoes, corn, squash

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2016

By Deirdre Parker Smith

SALISBURY — Summer is officially here and the Salisbury-Rowan Farmers’ Market is bustling.

Cantaloupes and peaches are coming in from South Carolina, local tomatoes are at many different vendors and the Millers have corn.

Two meat vendors are stocked up on pork, beef and chicken, and the seafood is fresh and straight from the coast (mostly).

The Wednesday morning and evening markets are up and running, with a number of vendors set up behind the Gateway Building, near New Sarum brewery, from 4-7 p.m. The morning market, from 8-12, is in the usual place, the corner of Fisher and Church streets.

This Wednesday, there will be an ice cream social at the evening market, with a scoop of ice cream topped with blueberries from Sandy Creek Farm and maybe some granola from the Bread Basket.

The market would like to get an idea of how many people might show up looking hungry, and asks people to respond to

Parking is available right at the market, and there’s plenty more in the parking lot on Depot Street, across from New Sarum, with an entrance from the side.

Fading D Farms, which is making cheese from its herd of water buffalo, is asking for preorders for their fresh mozzarella. It has become very popular. You can email them at, call 980-330-8189 or go to their Facebook page.

You can find almost any color tomato now, and Spring Lake Family Farms has basil, grown using aquaponics, which is a little different from hydroponics, which is provided by All Grown Up. Look for a story on how the methods are similar and different.

All Grown Up has small, Persian cucumbers that are perfect for eating on the spot. These cucumbers have a little less burp in them.

Correll Farms was quite patriotic with its red, white and blue potatoes. OK, they’re purple, close enough, The new red ones, Adirondack Red, taste just the same as a white potato, and cook up to the prettiest pink. A mix of the potatoes in salad could be just the thing for the fourth of July.

Zucchini and crook-neck squash seem less plentiful so far, but Twin Oak Farms and Miller had some, as well as Correll. Next thing you know, both will explode and everyone will be looking for recipes to use it up.

Not much is better than a summer meal of tomato sandwiches and corn on the cob, or a squash casserole with a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers.

But there’s plenty of meat for summer, too. Both Two Pigs Farm and Thomas Family Farms have sausages, pork chops, ground beef and more, from briskets to butts.

Tomatoes love basil. If you are willing to take a walk on the wild side, make this mayo for your next tomato sandwich:

Easy Basil Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise

10-15 basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. minced garlic

Whisk all ingredients together, and spread on good white bread. Tops with slices of your favorite tomato — Big Boy, Pink Girl, Cherokee Purple, Tiger Stripe, yellow. Be sure to get extra napkins for the juice that will run all over your hands.

For a red, white and blue potato salad, just use your favorite recipes and get a selection of the different-colored potatoes. They cook at the same time, have the same texture. Think about adding one different ingredient, like dill or basil. Cut up some radishes for an extra bite.

If you’re trying to avoid fat, here’s a different way to dress your salad.

After you cook your potatoes and allow them to cool, use this:

Lemon Mint Dressing

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

3/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers, rinsed

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Whisk the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cooked and cut-up potatoes, toss to coat. Just before serving, add peppers, green onions and mint.

This version is lower in calories than the mayonnaise version. Personally, I would skip the roasted red pepper.

This summer side dish from Southern Living uses a bevy of things that are fresh right now.

Zucchini, Squash and Corn Casserole

1 1/2 pounds yellow squash cut into 1/4 inch rounds

1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

2 cups diced sweet onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups fresh corn kernels

1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups soft fresh breadcrumbs, divided

1 cup grated Asiago cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring first two ingredients and water to cover to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and boil five minutes, until crisp tender. Drain, gently pressing between paper towels.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, and saute 10 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, saute two minutes.

Stir together squash, onion mixture, corn, next six ingredients and 1/2 cup each bread crumbs and Asiago cheese until just blended. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch pan.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Asiago cheese. Sprinkle over casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

This recipe, from the Food Network Kitchen, also uses several ingredients that should be fresh right now.

Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 ears fresh corn

2 cups grape tomatoes, red or yellow or both

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves

Whisk together vinegar, 2 tsp. salt and some pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting with a few drops then adding the rest in a steady stream to make a smooth dressing.

Cut off the corn kernels with a sharp knife over a bowl to make about 4 cups. Toss in the tomatoes, mozzarella and scallions. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Cover and let stand for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours. Before serving, tear the fresh basil over the salad and stir.