Shoots and Sprouts and Other Market Finds
There’s nothin’ that says “South In Your Mouth” like tomato pie and this one says it all! Also, learn how to make a melting, fragrant, nutty pesto that is delicious as a condiment on summer sweet corn, pasta, and atop your avocado toast! Click to skip to the recipe
In the age of “New Normal”, strolling the early Saturday morning Farmer’s Market takes on new character.
Gone is the plucking of a purplish tomato, brought to the nose for a quick sniff. The mask gets in the way!
The lines at the veggie stands are a little longer, now that we queue up six feet apart.
Displays of fresh baked goods are abandoned and replaced by take home bake-it-yourself wrapped containers.
It can all be a tad disheartening.
Except that if you spend a slower amount of time strolling, you may just see something you’ve missed during your past visits.
And that, my friends, happened to me this past weekend. I discovered Sunshine Cove Farm.
Sunshine Cove Farm is a small-scale farm with a big mission. They are working to build local resilience in the mountain community by finding ways to grow A LOT of nutritious food with a limited footprint.
They specialize in produce that packs BIG nutritional value into a little space. Their harvest includes microgreens, shoots, edible flowers, and specialty vegetables.
I was drawn to the stand because of their unique marketing. Gourmet packets held mixes with names like Pico de Gallo and Immunity Mix.
Well, I just couldn’t resist.
I bought a couple of packages and slipped them into my basket with my other goodies and headed home.
Since my Pico de Gallo Mix included cilantro, onion, and lime basil, I decided to incorporate these shoots and sprouts into my garlic scape pesto.
It was YUM!
Pesto is great on veggies or pasta, but I slathered some on a rack of lamb the other evening and it was beyond delish.
When company came a-calling for a little Sunday night potluck, I topped my utterly Southern Tomato Pie with some of the shoots and sprouts from the Market Mix and the edible flowers were the perfect garnish.
If you can’t make it to the market, you can order from Sunshine Cover Farms online. It’s worth the effort! (So, is the pie!!)
There’s nothin’ that says “South In Your Mouth” like tomato pie and this one says it all!
1 pre-baked pie shell (see note)
4 large tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated, about 1 cup
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated, about 1 cup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 to 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Assorted microgreens for garnish
6 to 8
Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice the tomatoes and place them into a colander. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and let them sit for 10 minutes.
Mix together the cheeses and mayonnaise in a bowl. Fold in the green onions. Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the bacon over the bottom of the pie crust. Layer the tomatoes on top of the bacon. Sprinkle the tomatoes with basil and green onions. Spoon the cheese topping over everything.
Bake the pie until the topping begins to turn golden and is melty and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and cool. Spread the microgreens over the top of the pie. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Get a head start on this delicious dish by using a refrigerated pie crust. To prebake the crust, preheat your oven to 400°.
Place the pie dough into a pie pan and crinkle the edges. Pierce the bottom of the dough with the tines of a fork. Lay a piece of parchment paper over the pie shell. Fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake until the edges begin to turn golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pie shell from the oven. Remove the parchment paper and the weights.
Bake until the bottom of the shell is just golden, about 5 to 8 minutes more. Remove the shell from the oven and reduce the heat to 350° to continue the recipe.
Garlic Scape Pesto
In the early summer market, you can find long, green, circles of thin stalks that are garlic scapes. These are the flower bud of garlic plants. They are cut off the plant so that the bulb grows fatter and fatter. These strands of garlicky goodness can be used in the same way as garlic cloves with no peeling of course! I use them to make pesto and then I spread that pesto on everything. Melting, fragrant, nutty pesto is delicious as a condiment on summer sweet corn, pasta, and atop your avocado toast!
About 2 Cups
2 bunches garlic scapes (about 20 shoots)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, about 4 cups
Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, about 1 cup
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 package Pico de Gallo shoots and microgreens (substitute with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro)
1 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
Place the garlic scapes into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to finely chop.
Add the basil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. Pulse to combine. Add the microgreens and pulse one more time. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. The result will be a smooth paste. Stop the machine and season with salt and pepper. Pulse one more time.
Transfer to a mason jar with lie, or resealable container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week or store in ice cube trays in the freezer for up to 6 months.