Farmer’s Market Skillet

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Put your fresh, Farmer’s Market finds to good use in creamy, wholesome Farmer’s Market Skillet.

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Last year I made a wretchedly shameful confession on this blog.

I am totally guilty of going to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, not buying a thing, then going to the grocery store the next day to purchase my produce there.

I know. I hate me enough for the two of us!

It’s just that, I don’t usually do my weekly meal planning until Sunday, and as much as I hate not buying directly from the farmers themselves, I hate the thought of buying something and letting it go to waste even more, as I’m not the type of person who can come up with a fabulous dish upon seeing a spectacularly arranged pile of vine-ripened tomatoes, or something, at the market.

Sistah needs a plan!

Anyways, this year I’ve vowed to change my despicable ways and am creating a bunch of Farmer’s Market friendly recipes to keep handy so I can pick up whatever looks fresh and beautiful at the market, and know it won’t go to waste at home.

The first recipe in my Farmer’s Market Collection? Farmer’s Market Skillet!

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This creamy, quinoa-based dish utilizes in-season, locally grown produce including zucchini, sweet corn, and tomatoes, wrapped up in melty feta cheese, and seasoned with herby, fresh basil. Plus it’s made in just one skillet!

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I used what’s available to me here locally, but use whatever produce you’ve got available in your area to make this a Farmer’s Market friendly meal wherever you live.

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Start the Farmer’s Market Skillet by cooking 1 cup rinsed quinoa in 1 3/4 cups chicken broth. You could make this dish completely vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead. Cook the quinoa until the broth is absorbed, then fluff it with a fork, and let it cool slightly.

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While the quinoa’s doin’ it’s thang, get to work on the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette for the skillet. Yeeeeah…it’s the same dressing I used on the Sweet Corn & Quinoa dish a few weeks ago. I am obsessed with it and can’t help myself, mmkay? ;)

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Honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper swirl together to create the most magnificent flavor combo. I just love it!

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If you don’t think you can get into the honey flavor in here (I hate the flavor of honey, but I absolutely adore this dressing,) I would try any of the lemon vinaigrettes or balsamic vinaigrette dressings here, or a good olive-oil based Italian dressing would be divine as well.

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PS I used the leftover lemon zest to make a refreshing drink to sip on while I cooked. It’s just lemon zest + water + ice. The lemon zest floats to the bottom of the glass, but permeates the water and is SO NICE TO SIP ON, AHHH.

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Served up nice and cold in one of my Cat Studio drinking glasses. I got a set as a bridal shower gift (what seems) like a million years ago. I always forget about them, but aren’t they adorable? There are designs available for tons of states/cities/countries!

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Anyways. :)

After the dressing is made, heat 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a very large skillet – the skillet in Farmer’s Market skillet – then add in 2 cloves minced garlic, and saute until they’re golden brown, about 30 seconds.

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Next, add in the veggies!

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Like I said, my Farmer’s Market always has a plethora of sweet corn, zucchini, and green onions, so that’s what I used, but you can use whatever is in season and available locally to you. That’s the whole point!

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Add the veggies to the skillet, season liberally with salt and pepper, then saute ‘em until they’re just barely tender, about 4 minutes.

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Next, add in the cooked and slightly cooled quinoa, then drizzle in half the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette and let that cook for about another minute.

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I happen to love the sweet-tart flavor contrast of raw lemon juice vs cooked lemon juice, like in Lemon Chicken Pasta, which is why I add half now, and half when the skillet is off the heat.

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Now add 1 chopped tomato,

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(another classic Farmer’s Market find!)

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and 1/2 cup feta cheese.

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Finish ‘er up with 2 Tablespoons chopped basil, then give everything a good stir, taste and add more salt & pepper if you need to.

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Let the skillet cool for about 10 minutes, then dig on in!

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Farmer’s Market Skillet

Print this recipe!

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced (or half a large one)
2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut off the cob (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 green onions
salt & pepper
1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
1/2 cup feta
2 Tablespoons chopped basil

For the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette:
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove, microplaned or finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add rinsed quinoa and place a lid on top, turn the heat down to medium-low, then cook until the broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 25 minutes. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette in a jar or bowl, then shake or whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini, sweet corn, and green onions, season with salt and pepper, then saute until barely tender, about 4 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and half the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette, then stir and cook for 1 more minute.*
  4. Add remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, feta cheese, and basil to the skillet. Stir well, taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

*If you want to make this a cold salad, cool cooked quinoa and veggies separately, then mix with the remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, feta cheese, and basil, and chill completely.

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Fresh and ultra flavorful! The crispy, chewy, poppy textures are too fun, while the sweet, herby, tangy flavors are totally mouthwatering. Repeater, fa sho!

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I included a mandatory (I’ll be watching…) 10 minute resting period before eating this skillet, simply because it tastes so much better when it’s not piping hot. You can really pick out each individual ingredient when it’s come down a bit in temp.

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I also included instructions for making this a cold salad, which I think I might like even better. The feta melts when it’s hot, which kinda makes this taste like healthy mac & cheese, but I do adore a nice cold salad in the steamy summahtime! 8)

In other news, raise your hand if you can’t wait for The Bachelorette tonight?! EMILY! WHEE!! I was so sad to hear that she and Brad didn’t work out (although it sounds like she and her daughter are better off without his temper…) so I’m curious to see what kind of guy she goes for this time around.

#talkingaboutrealitystarslikeiknowthem

Have a nice night! :D

~~~~~

Is it easy for you to come up with meal ideas on the spot, or do you need to have a plan/recipe?

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Comments

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  1. This dish is a BEAUTY. I am loving your tailor-able recipes these days :)

  2. I’m so excited for the Bachelorette!! It’s my guilty pleasure :)

  3. Susan 05.14.2012

    Great photos. I totally love the glass you are holding. My hometown right there above Des Moines. It is a good thing.

  4. Lindsey 05.14.2012

    I am a planner for sure. Every Thursday/Friday I meal plan for the next week, and make my grocery list from that plan. I am tad OCD… haha

  5. Hi, I’m hungry now. Thanks for that.

  6. Lindsey 05.14.2012

    Definitely need to plan. I usually start planning around Wednesday when the local store ads come out. If there are really great deals I like to work around those! And of course when the garden is ready I plan around what I’ve got in there.

  7. Amanda 05.14.2012

    And I found dinner tonight! Thanks for a great recipe! I’m excited to use up the veggies in my fridge.

  8. Funny, I am enjoying a quinoa salad right now!

  9. Machelle 05.14.2012

    i love the FM but really…..probably more than half the produce sold there is not grown locally. and alot of it is Hot House grown. or trucked in from southern states. it’s just too early in the season for the majority of the stuff i saw there on opening day to have been grown outside in Iowa in a garden. i did buy some delicious red radishes from a nice Asian lady that possibly were grown here. i wanted some asparagus, but it was all too thick….i like it skinny and delicate! ha!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.14.2012

      Yeah you definitely have to be diligent about checking signs to make sure what you’re buying is grown locally (if that is important to you!)

  10. Diana 05.14.2012

    It was nice to visit with you at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. What fun to meet you after getting to “know” you through your blog. Thanks for the yummy recipe idea. Next week my friends and I can shop with a plan!

  11. Yum! I just bought my first box of quinoa at TJ’s today so I’ll try this soon!

  12. I love mixing up quinoa with whatever veggies I have on hand – so delicious! I need to hit up a farmer’s market, I haven’t been yet this season.

  13. Teresa 05.14.2012

    Love that your featuring farmers’ market recipes. Just wanted to mention (and maybe you already know), that zucchini, tomatoes & sweet corn aren’t in season here in Iowa until late June-September. The produce you bought likely came from down south or from California, although the tomatoes were probably grown here in Iowa in a greenhouse or high tunnel. The green onions are in season right now, though. Radishes & asparagus are, too. Strawberries should be in the markets by Memorial Day or shortly thereafter.

  14. Melissa 05.14.2012

    This dish looks so delicious! My husband (who refers to salad as ‘rabbit food’ and thinks ‘healthy’ is a four letter word) leaned over my shoulder while I was reading this, and after an “Oooh, yum!” asked that I make it. This has actually been a common theme with your blog (healthy food my husband actually wants to eat), and for that I thank you!

    And, yay for The Bachelorette starting! Much like my enthusiasm for healthy food, my husband is just not as excited about this as I am, haha. Enjoy watching the show tonight!

  15. Lauren 05.14.2012

    I definitely am guilty of this too! For some reason, I feel so much more in control of my weekly grocery shopping when I can buy it ALL from one place. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE going to the FM’s but I don’t like going there to do my weekly shopping.

  16. Nicole (the other one) 05.14.2012

    This link saved my life when we joined a CSA…so many recipes for greens! http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/2009/07/cheap-healthy-leafy-greens-246-recipes.html

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.14.2012

      This is awesome and will come in handy when the kale and spinach start producing in my garden! :)

  17. Kim 05.14.2012

    I love the color in this one – beautiful!

  18. Marilyn 05.14.2012

    You’re killing it with the quick meals. :-) Just last night, I used your “how to make dinner with things you already have” post to make dinner and loved it! And this skillet looks great too!

  19. This looks so delicious! I love the option to add some of the lemon juice at the end too. My trips to the farmers market in Madison always involved buying fresh cheese curds. I can’t wait to check out Iowa farmers markets!!!

  20. This looks so good. I live for farmers markets and I usually end up buying way too much (I’ve never walked away empty handed!). I love meal planning, but sometimes nothing is better than creating something on the fly.

  21. Jen C. 05.14.2012

    You need to check out the Victory Garden Cookbook if you haven’t already. It is a tad expensive if you buy it on Amazon… even a used copy is almost $30, but it is seriously amazing for farmer’s market cooking. It is organized by vegetable! First she lists all of the different ways to cook it, and includes her favorite way to eat it. Then there are a bunch of different recipes featuring that vegetable. She also has some growing tips at the beginning of each vegetable section. Seriously my favorite!

  22. Stephanie 05.14.2012

    This just might be our dinner tomorrow night!

  23. Taryn 05.14.2012

    OMG I absolutely LOVE your glass I see my hometown of Dubuque on there. This looks delicious. Now just need to motivate myself to get up early enough for the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday Morning. OY!

  24. Vickie 05.14.2012

    I would love to see a picture of the plate under the food. It looks like burlap with French words on it. Where did you get it from?

  25. Um yeah… Yum. Perfect for a meatless Monday!

  26. Mindy 05.14.2012

    Thanks so much for coming up with Farmer’s Market themed recipes. I LOVE the DM Farmer’s Market and we belong to a CSA (The Homestead), so these recipes will come in super handy. Can’t wait to try this one!

  27. Martha 05.15.2012

    I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE your blog. Thanks to you, I have become a bit obsessed by quinoa (better late, than never). The Farmer’s Market Skillet will definitely be in my future!

  28. [...] Follow this link: Farmers' Market Recipe Collection: Farmers' Market Skillet | Iowa … [...]

  29. Culinarystorm 05.15.2012

    what gorgeous produce! the corn in particular- love it :)

  30. I really love this idea. One-skillet meals are my favorite. Plus, being able to use the bounty at the farmer’s market is awesome. My only conundrum: I have to get groceries tonight (Like, HAVE TO. we are bone dry in the cupboards, yo.) but the farmer’s market isn’t until Saturday. what to do?? :)

  31. Sarah 05.15.2012

    Sometimes I can throw stuff together, but I do like to have a plan beforehand! :) I’m starting to LOVE menu planning and really buying only what we need and saving money too :) You inspired me!

  32. Michelle 05.15.2012

    Our markets don’t open up until June, and I am patiently (well, trying to) waiting. I buy my quinoa at the markets, we have a great local farmer who harvests organic quinoa. I found out that during the winter months, my favorite deli carries it!

  33. I’m totally that girl too who basically only buys corn and tomatoes at the farmer’s market because I KNOW I can always eat them, but I rarely take advantage of all the other great stuff because I just don’t knowwwww what I’m going to make that week!

  34. Teresa K. 05.15.2012

    Okay, okay – I will give quinoa one more try – but truthfully? – our family all kind of looked at each other and said – ummm – bitter? And yet – you always make it look so good!

    And – my fave thing to do is go to the Farmer’s mkt on Saturday mornings, and then make Sunday sit down supper out of it – love buying directly from local small time guys, and the organic meats – yum.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.15.2012

      Make sure you rinse it really well before cooking it, as there is a bitter coating on the outside of the quinoa!

  35. Michelle Wollin 05.15.2012

    Kristin,

    1st I’m happy to hear you’re going to be buying locally this season! 2nd, being that I’m a midwestern girl living in California (but only for 1 1/2 more weeks!) farmer’s markets here are year round. I took a cooking course last semester at the community college and we had a guest speaker come talk about a book she wrote and about buying locally/growing locally. The book she wrote is called Real Food and she basically got a group of her friends together every monday night and they prepared whatever was in season for that week and wrote a recipe for it. It’s 52 weeks of recipes.

    Obviously the growing season is not 52 weeks long in the midwest, but I bet there are a ton of recipe ideas you could use from that book to help with your farmer’s market trips on Saturday mornings! Here’s the link to her website where you can purchase it and view some recipes.

    http://www.placercountyrealfood.com/

    Enjoy!!

  36. Michelle Wollin 05.15.2012

    BTW, not sure if you and Ben ever go to any Triple A Baseball games in Iowa, but a friend of mine and I went to one in Sacramento last night. They were playing the Iowa Cubs and Iowa won. I guess the Cubs are owned by the Chicago Cubs and they are based in Des moines, Iowa. Great times!!

  37. That looks wonderful and so healthy!

  38. Tricia 05.15.2012

    I want to hire you as my Chef please!!! that looks so yummy!!Cant wait to try it!

  39. Renee 05.15.2012

    Yummmmmmm!

  40. Emily 05.15.2012

    Hey Kristin. This looks scrumptious! I have made skillet dishes before and people really liked the idea when I blogged it.

    I can come up with dishes on a whim but it helps if there’s a lot of food in the house. If we’re getting down to bare bones the only thing I can come up with is take out! Lol.

    Have a great day

  41. Erin 05.15.2012

    Another great quinoa recipe from you! When I saw the photo, I was like, “I’ve seen this dish before!” It wasn’t the same, obviously, but I still dream about that quinoa salad. Made it; it was awesome. Need to make again, but might make this one instead! :-)

  42. So I was totally obsessed with your sweet corn and quinoa recipe that I have already recreated it twice at home. IT IS SO DELICIOUS OMG I can’t get enough of that vinaigrette. Thanks for posting more variations!

    BTW Bachelorette was great..how much did you love that letter from the single dad’s son?

  43. I just got an inbox from Eating Well and it was full of produce packed meals! Made me think of this post and your mission to use up farmers market goods :D Here’s the link for anyone interested! : http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/produce_packed_recipes_for_spring?slide=1#leaderboardad

  44. Georgie 05.15.2012

    That looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it! Looking forward to your next one!

  45. Looks awesome! Starting his weekend I’ll have a farmers market across the street from me every weekend! Can’t wait!

  46. Brittany 05.15.2012

    This looks delicious. I love the name Farmers Market Skillet and the fact that it only dirties up one (well two) pans. :)

  47. Heidi 05.15.2012

    Thanks for the great recipe! I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I love quinoa, so anything with it and im sold :)

  48. Julie 05.15.2012

    I whipped this up for dinner tonight and it was delish! Thanks for the great recipe!

  49. This looks so FRESH and tasty!

  50. Anna 05.16.2012

    yum! This looks so delicious and fresh!

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