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Tomato Madness in Lexington drives winning recipes

The Lexington Farmers Market had a tomato recipe contest during its Tomato Madness event.

The first place winner was Dori Krahn from Salisbury. Ralph Antonelli won second and Ray Howell won the Bloody Mary Contest.

The winning recipe is very simple and does not include amounts, so you may have to play with it a little before it tastes right to you. Kimchi is a fermented vegetable condiment from Korea and available in some grocery stores.

Grilled Tomato & Cheese Sandwich

Grill Ashe County mild cheddar cheese on sourdough English muffins (made by the Krahns). When done, add kimchi and sliced tomato.

— Dori Krahn

Second place:

Yemista

(Greek stuffed tomato)

6 large tomatoes

3 medium zucchini

1 pound ground beef or lamb

1/2 cup olive oil

1 large onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup fresh parsley, minced

6 Tbsp. uncooked rice

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Pinch of ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

3 large potatoes, cut into wedges

1/4 cup bread crumbs

12 pats butter

Slice tops off tomatoes and reserve. Use a spoon to scoop pulp into a bowl.

Slice zucchini in half and scoop pulp into tomato pulp. But both pulps in a food processor, leaving a chunky liquid.

Brown ground meat, add olive oil. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic, sauté 1 minute.

Add parsley, rice, half pulp mixture, tomato paste and tomato sauce. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer sauce for 15 minutes, then reduce heat. Sauces should thicken. Add pine nuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle olive oil in bottom of pan and add the rest of the pulp mixture to bottom of pan.

Stuff tomatoes and zucchini about three-quarters full. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and put a pat (about 1 tsp.) of butter on each. Replace tomato caps. Season potato wedges with salt and pepper and use to prop veggies up in the pan. Bake for 1 hour.

— Ralph Antonelli

And the Bloody Mary winner was Roy Howell, for this recipe:

Freshly Juiced Bloody Mary

3/4 cup freshly juiced tomatoes

1 Tbsp. fresh horse radish

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup vodka of choice

Juice of one-fourth lime

Juice of one-eighth lemon

Salt, pepper, celery salt and smoked paprika to taste

Garnish with a celery stalk, an olive stuffed with jalapeno, Jake and Amos pickled asparagus (found at Conrad and Hinkle) and two homemade pickled Carolina Shrimp.

To pickle shrimp, put boiled shrimp in a jar with garlic, onions, lemon, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar and stone gruond mustard and let marinate for a day or so.

Rim the Bloody Mary glass with Old Bay seasoning before serving.

Lexington Farmers Market presents Melon Mania on Saturday, Aug. 5. You’ll find a wide assortment of mouth-watering watermelons for sale from vendors.

Watermelon lovers will race to eat their melons. Kids sign up to compete at 10:30 for a $10 prize and adults compete at 11 for $20. 

The largest watermelon will be awarded a $20 prize at 11:30.

A basket filled to the brim with vendor products will be raffled off at noon.

The public is encouraged to participate in all the above activities.  Music will be by Ken Davis.

Come to The Old Depot and start your weekend with a cup of coffee and sweet roll while you explore the home-grown and homemade Farmers Market products. Call the Market Manager, Bobbi Pinto, for more details, 336-287-6017.

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