Grab the Last Summer Watermelons

Only a few weeks of watermelon season left, folks, so come out this week and grab the last summer watermelons from your local farmers at the East Nashville Farmers Market. We’ll be cutting slices of organic ‘Crimson Sweet’ and organic seedless  Delvin Farms varities once again for you and the kids to sample. Our special musical guest will be country, blues, rock ‘n’ roll artist Kat Elfman. The best local food trucks will be present and serving both vegetarian and kid-friendly dinner options to our picnicking families on the grassy knoll. So wheel those little wagons on down to Shelby Park this week because it’s time to grab the last summer watermelons and enjoy some gorgeous late-summer weather!

ENFM.watermeloncutie

Our younger customers love sampling watermelon slices.

Last week at the East Nashville Farmers Market, you enjoyed sampling some of our most popular late-summer recipes, including our watermelon salad recipe with sweet peppers and feta. That recipe is now available on our recipe blog for you to try at home for family or dinner guests. It pairs perfectly with locally-raised meat such as grilled Quarter Springs chicken or Laurel Mountain Farms pork chops, or simply as a delicious light summer lunch.

ENFM.nina

At last week’s East Nashville Farmers Market Tasting Tent, we sampled Watermelon Salad with Peppers and Feta, plus sweet slices of organic melon.

We’ve enjoyed sampling sweet watermelons for you and the kids all summer long, but now we’re seeing the end of watermelon season in sight, so we’re urging you to come out this week for one more sweet, juicy bite. We’ll have even more samples of ‘Crimson Sweet’ watermelon for you to taste before you grab the last summer watermelon this season. We’re also happy to carve your melons for you so you can enjoy them fresh from the farm on your picnic blankets with the kids.

ENFM.watermelonpicnic

Our neighbors enjoy having a farmers’ market picnic with lood from local food trucks and locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

Finally, if you’ve over-indulged on sweet watermelon this summer and are looking for something heartier, our local farmers are still bringing plenty of late-summer produce to market, such as tomatoes, peppers, red and green okra, plus beans, garlic, potatoes, eggplant, and more. Freshly-baked breads from Flying “S” Farm and Porter House Bistro, plus small-batch artisan goudas from Lost River Creamery will be available. Whatever your grocery needs may be, the East Nashville Farmers Market is always here to fulfill. So see you all at market!

ENFM.greendoor.shopper

Our shoppers enjoy late-summer varieties right now at the East Nashville Farmers Market.

Watermelon Salad with Peppers and Feta

The East Nashville Farmers Market is dedicated to creating fresh, seasonal recipes like this Watermelon Salad with Peppers and Feta using the best local ingredients provided by our farmers and vendors. During this time of year, watermelon is plentiful leaving many of us searching for delicious ways to enjoy it other than right off the rind or zipped into a fresh juice. This Watermelon Salad with Peppers, Mint, and Feta is not only sweet and tangy but slightly savory with just the right amount of kick to provide a well-balanced flavor profile that everyone can enjoy.

IMG_4658

This Watermelon Salad with Peppers and Feta begins with a dressing of freshly-squeezed lime and local honey.

To begin this Watermelon Salad with Peppers and Feta, start with fresh-squeezed lime juice and local honey whisked together with salt, black pepper, a splash of vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil to form a sweet and tangy honey-lime vinaigrette that serves as a foundation on which this late-summer salad is built. Next, add a handful of chopped fresh mint leaves to the vinaigrette and one de-seeded and minced jalapeno pepper if you prefer to add a kick to the backdrop of your meal. Then, chop and add whatever sweet peppers you like. I like poblano peppers or sweet Carmen available at the Green Door Gourmet booth.

Crimson Sweet Organic Watermelons from Delvin Farms

Seedless Delvin Farms watermelon is sliced and cubed.

Finally, remove the rind from a small to medium sized seedless watermelon and chop into small cubes. Toss the watermelon with the chopped sweet peppers, the minted honey-lime dressing, and crumbled feta cheese. Let marinate for 10 minutes before finishing with a fist full of toasted sliced almonds for crunch. This watermelon salad is perfect alongside grilled meats or as an afternoon snack. Enjoy!

IMG_4673

Toss watermelon, peppers, and feta with minted honey-lime dressing. Wait 10 minutes, garnish with almonds, and serve.

Watermelon Salad with Peppers and Feta

Dressing:

1/4-1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice

2-3 tablespoons Johnson’s Wildflower or Clover Honey

1-2 teaspoons white or red wine vinegar

2-3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 de-seeded jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Salad:

4-5 cups cubed seedless Delvin Farms Watermelon

1/2 cup chopped peppers

2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

 

Peppers Have Pizzazz at the ENFM

Juicy bells, crispy sweet cubanelles, and devilishly hot jalapeno peppers have pizzazz this week at the East Nashville Farmers Market, and we’re whipping-up some tasty recipes for our customers to sample. Our live musical guest will be the returning favorite Farmer and Adele performing their set of Country Western Cowboy Swing and High Lonesome Sounds. Crankees mobile pizzeria will be serving piping hot pies to our families on the lawn, and the Shelby Park Picture Show debuts with “Big”, the first film of the season. So come for your weekly groceries, stay for great neighbors, then make a night of it with the Shelby Park Picture Show this week at the East Nashville Farmers Market.

ENFM.japs.and.serranos

A peck of hot peppers have pizzazz at the East Nashville Farmers Market

First thing is first, folks, let’s talk about the pepper craze currently happening at our neighborhood farmers market. Late-August is ideal for producing a rainbow spread of peppers in all varieties from sweet bell and cubanelle peppers to spicy serranos and jalapenos. Peppers are great for stir-frying, stuffing, roasting, and pureeing into dips, salsas, and sofritos. Come to the East Nashville Farmers Market this week to taste some delicious recipes, because these locally-grown peppers have pizzazz and we are passionate about telling you!

ENFM.yumyumpeps

Warm hues of sweet snacking peppers have pizzazz at the East Nashville Farmers Market

After you’ve sampled some tasty pepper bites and shopped for your weekly groceries, why not make a full night of it and catch an outdoor movie with loved ones? The Shelby Park Picture Show is a movie-in-the-park event that begins after our farmers’ market jut a stone’s-throw over at the Old Timers Baseball Complex. The Picture Show kicks-off its opening night this Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 7:30pm with the 1980’s classic “Big” starring Tom Hanks. A $5 donation that benefits our community through two nonprofit organizations, SANDLOTT and Friends of Shelby Park, is requested at the gate. So be sure to reserve your tickets now so you don’t miss the best outdoor movie experience in the Nashville area!

ENFM.cubanellesENFM.chartreusebells

Cooler Temperatures and Late-Summer Produce

Cooler temperatures and late-summer produce joins us at the East Nashville Farmers Market this week. The Steaming Goat and Bao Down food trucks will be offering vegetarian and kid-friendly dinner options for our families on the lawn, along with Moovers and Shakers mobile milkshake and soda parlor to satisfy a sweet tooth. We are ecstatic to welcome back a returning musical favorite, Someday Soon Bluegrass, to entertain our farmers market shoppers. So do not forget your blanket this week, folks, because you won’t want to miss the cooler temperatures and late-summer produce this week at the East Nashville Farmers Market.

ENFM.late-summer

Cooler temperatures and a bounty of late-summer produces awaits our shoppers at the East Nashville Farmers Market

Last week, our market experienced much cooler temperatures for our summer melon sampler. We tasted ‘Crimson Sweet’ watermelon and juicy ripe cantaloupe until our farmers’ market stalls were completely cleaned-out of melons! This week, our local farmers will be bringing even more delicious melons for you to take home, plus a bounty of late-summer produce such as ‘Blue lake’ green beans, wax beans, both red and green okra, sweet and hot peppers, plenty of tomatoes, tons of herbs, and much, much more.

ENFM.marybeth

Having a ball at the ENFM Summer Melon Sampler.

We are so proud of the live music at the East Nashville Farmers Market and are super excited to welcome back a returning favorite, Someday Soon Bluegrass. Their ensemble of guitar, mandolin, stand-up bass and fiddle has our market shoppers boogieing down with smiles on their faces. They are young group of talented brothers and sisters brings who bring an electrifying energy to our listeners on the lawn, so be sure to stop by the market this week to enjoy the experience!

ENFM.somedaysoon

The talented young group, Someday Soon Bluegrass, at the East Nashville Farmers Market.

Sample Watermelon at Our Market This Week!

The East Nashville Farmers Market would like you to sample watermelon at our market this week! We will have loads of sweet organic watermelon and cantaloupe for you and the family to taste. Lillie Syracuse will be bringing her country blues tunes for you to enjoy on the lawn. Plus, plenty of food trucks to take care of Wednesday night dinner. So pack your blanket and your taste buds, because the weather isn’t the only thing that’s cooling-off at the East Nashville Farmers Market.

IMG_2967

Sweet organic local watermelon.

First thing’s first, let’s talk summer melons! It’s that time of year that has everyone excited to chill-out with a juicy bite of sweet Tennessee summer goodness. So come and sample watermelon at our market this week. You will more than likely be leaving with one or two melons for a weekend family treat.

ENFM.hrant.tomatosaladprep

Heirloom tomato salad by chef Hrant Arakelian.

Next, let’s talk about the other summer produce you can find at the East Nashville Farmers Market. Last week, we were crazy for tomatoes! Chef Hrant Arakelian of Holland House Bar and Refuge and Butchertown Hall prepared local, seasonal tomato dishes for our shoppers to enjoy. Read all about which tomatoes won our Tomato Throwdown 2015. Also, take a look at our recipe for Savory Roasted Tomato Galette. You’ll be making savory, hearty tomato dishes for your family in no time.

ENFM.tasters

Our shoppers sampling delicious, local fare.

After you sample watermelon at our market this week, be sure to take a break on our grassy knoll to hear the country blues tunes of the rockin’ Lillie Syracuse. Then, snag a pressed seasonal sandwich from the Jones Press. We’re on the down-slope of summer, folks, so be sure not to miss this refreshing afternoon at the East Nashville Farmers Market!

Tomato Throwdown 2015 Winners

The East Nashville Farmers Market is proud to announce the Tomato Throwdown 2015 Winners. Last week, our market shoppers gathered around the tomato taste-off tent and sampled over 15 varieties of tomatoes — all grown by our local farmers. More than 100 ballots were cast for the tastiest tomato and the results are in! So without further ado, we’d like to give credit where credit is due.

Tomato Throwdown 2015 Winners

1st Place – Oak Grove Farms ‘Sun Sugar’

2nd Place – Oak Grove Farms ‘Brandywine’

3rd Place – Delvin Farm’s Campari

ENFM.thegang

Our Tomato Throwdown 2015 Crew: Carol Hagan, Matthew Honig, and Jackie Cole Contreras

Although Flying “S” Farm’s ‘Cherokee Purples’ and the Delvins’ organic cherries were not far behind, the 3rd place position goes to Delvin Farm’s Campari tomatoes with 10 votes. These juicy hybrids are known for their high sugar levels with low acidity. They are slightly larger than cherry varieties and are often found in commercial grocery stores “on the vine”. But, boy, did these local beauties put those commercial tomatoes to shame… Congrats to the Delvins!

ENFM.campari

3rd Place Organic Campari Tomatoes grown by Delvin Farms

With 12 votes, the second place position goes to Oak Grove Farm’s classic ‘Brandywine’ heirloom. These large pink beefsteaks are known to be some of the best-tasting tomatoes around, and the vine can bear fruit that weighs up to 1.5 pounds. That’s a serious tomato, folks. Congrats to Zach Erhard of Oak Grove Farms!

ENFM.brandywine

‘Brandywine’ heirlooms from Oak Grove Farms took 2nd Place at the ENFM Tomato Throwdown 2015

And finally, the 1st Place Position for Best Tasting Tomato at the Tomato Throwdown 2015 goes to Zach Erhard of Oak Grove Farm and his unstoppable snackable ‘Sun Sugar’. These award-winning yellow cherry hybrids earned 30 votes for Zach and their sugary sweetness. We can’t stop snacking on these sweet golden jewels at the East Nashville Farmers Market, and apparently, our customers can’t either. Congratulations to Zach for his 1st and 2nd Place wins!

ENFM.sunsugar

1st Place Winner of the ENFM Tomato Throwdown 2015, ‘Sun Sugar’ yellow cherries grown by Zach Erhard of Oak Grove Farms.

 

 

Savory Roasted Tomato Galette

A Savory Roasted Tomato Galette is easier to whip-up on a weeknight than you might think. It’s also a great way to use those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes purchased from local farmers at the East Nashville Farmers Market. Simply begin your galette with our recipe for Roasted Tomatoes with Thyme and Garlic, mix together a simple pastry dough, and you’re halfway there.

A galette is essentially a freeform pie that can be filled with whatever seasonal produce that is abundant at the East Nashville Farmers Market. It’s the middle of late summer, and our market is filled with cherry and beefsteak tomatoes — perfect for roasting and using in numerous dishes. When roasted, the sugar in tomatoes becomes more concentrated and the texture more robust. Tuck them into a buttery pastry crust along with a nest of sweet caramelized onions and gobs of goat cheese and you are on your way to flavor town.

IMG_2547

Roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions wrapped in a buttery crust.

IMG_2508

Sweet caramelized onions form the base of this Savory Roasted Tomato Galette.

I begin my Savory Roasted Tomato Galette with a basic pie dough recipe and let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After, I bring it to the counter and let it come to almost room temperature before I roll it out to 1/8” thick on a floured surface trying to maintain a round shape. Once rolled, transfer the dough to a parchment covered baking sheet and begin to add your filling.

IMG_2532

Layers of caramelized onions, fresh herbs, goat cheese, and roasted tomatoes.

The filling for my Savory Roasted Tomato Galette begins with 1 full cup of caramelized onions that I cooked with a little butter and fresh thyme. I dotted the onions with 6 ounces of creamy, tangy goat cheese and layered-on roasted beefsteak tomatoes. Fresh basil or roasted eggplant or zucchini rounds would be delicious in this recipe, as well. I finished the savory galette with roasted red and yellow cherry tomatoes and folded the edges in to keep my fillings nice and cozy.

IMG_2540

Begin by folding one side of the galette to keep your fillings nice and cozy.

Before baking, I paint on a layer of egg-wash to my crust’s surface to ensure perfect browning. Then, I sprinkle the top with dried Italian herbs, cheese, or paprika. Slide your Savory Roasted Tomato Galette into a 400 degree oven and bake for 45min to 1 hour. Let cool, slice, and serve with a side salad. Buttery, crusty, tomatoey goodness.

IMG_2541

Let cool, top with fresh herbs, and slice. Voila!

 

 

ENFM Tomato Throwdown 2015

ENFM Tomato ThrowdownThis week at the East Nashville Farmers Market, we’re having a throwdown — a Tomato Throwdown! On August 5, 2015 from 3:30 to 7pm, tomato farmers and growers will unite to see who has the tastiest tomatoes. You be the judge! Come down to Shelby park and taste all that our local farmers have to offer — heirlooms, hybrids, cherries, paste/plums, and more! Plenty of local food trucks for Wednesday night dinner, and a killer musical line-up presented by the Basement East. Plus, Executive Chef Hrant Arakelian of Holland House Bar and Refuge will be giving a chef demonstration of two tomato-inspired dishes for our Throwdown attendees. So grab your shopping bags, listening ears, your favorite picnic blanket, and one giant appetite, because the East Nashville Farmers Market Tomato Throwdown 2015 is fun you do not want to miss!

East Nashville Farmers MarketFirst thing’s first, folks, let’s talk tomatoes! Our farmers and vendors will be providing the best for you to sample. The Porter House Bistro tent will be serving tomato BLT’s on their freshly-baked breads, and The Jones Press truck will be present with kid-friendly vegetarian paninis for our hungry crowds on the lawn. Soulful Soup will be serving chilled mason jars of fresh tomato gazpacho, and Fountain of Juice will offer bottles of ice-cold tomato juice to quench your thirst. And our favorite ice cream man, Bradley’s Curbside Ice Cream, may have a tomato trick or two up his frosty sleeve to help you and the little ones beat the summer heat.

tomato throwdownWe’d also like to mention our fantastic music line-up for this week’s Tomato Throwdown 2015. Our proud sponsors, the Basement East, has put together some amazing local acts for our market shoppers to enjoy. Starting at 3:30pm this Wednesday, you can find solo-artists Bill Eberle, Beau James, Darrin Bradbury, Jenny Leigh, and Kiely Schlesinger serenading our crowds on the grassy lawn. We are honored to have them as our guests and look forward to hearing their music drift through beautiful Shelby Park.

So jump on the tomato train and get on down to the East Nashville Farmers Market this week for the Tomato Throwdown 2015!

cherry tomatoes

Roasted Tomatoes with Thyme and Garlic

east nashville farmers marketWhen I come home after my weekly visit to the East Nashville Farmers Market, I like to make trays of Roasted Tomatoes with Thyme and Garlic to jazz-up pastas, sandwiches, omelettes, and more. The East Nashville Farmers Market has every tomato variety under the summer sun — beefsteak, cherry, pear, plum, and grape — and each can be used in this easy recipe. I like to leave our market with bags full of heirlooms that come in a kaleidoscope of colors such as red, orange, green, yellow, and purple to roast and store in my refrigerator for weekend meal possibilities.

tomatoesRoasting tomatoes is not only a great way to avoid waste, but also a fantastic way to coax out the complex flavors of the fruit. Tomatoes caramelize when slowly roasted at low oven temperatures, intensifying the sugars and evaporating wateriness. This creates a sweeter flavor with a more vigorous, succulent texture that is less chewy than an dried tomato.

I begin my roasted tomatoes with a saucepan of extra-virgin olive oil, thyme sprigs, and crushed garlic cloves. I heat the pan until the thyme and garlic have fully infused the oil — about 5 minutes, swirling the pan intermittently. I remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool slightly while I slice my tomatoes.
Cherry tomatoes can be roasted whole or sliced in halve, but I prefer to slice them in half because I love the appearance. Beefsteak tomatoes should be sliced around 1/2 an inch, depending on how long you can wait for them to roast — the thicker the slice, the longer it will take to get that meaty texture you’re looking for. The thinner the slice, and your tomato might roast down too much.

roasted tomatoesOnce my tomatoes are sliced, I toss them in a mixing bowl with my thyme and garlic infused oil and a little salt and pepper, and add a few extra thyme leaves and chopped garlic cloves to the mix. I arrange my tomatoes in a single layer on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for an hour or two until my tomatoes are roasted to my liking. They can be stored in the refrigerator within an air tight container for multiple weeks, and can be frozen for months.

Executive Chef Hrant Arakelian of Holland House Featured at Tomato Throwdown 2015

Executive Chef Hrant Arakelian

Executive Chef Hrant Arakelian

Executive Chef Hrant Arakelian of Holland House Bar and Refuge will be featured at the East Nashville Farmers Market’s Tomato Throwdown on August 5, 2015. Chef Arakelian will be demonstrating two dishes prepared with tomatoes grown by our local farmers — a fresh salad of mixed heirloom tomatoes and a saucy spiced shakshuka with Roma tomatoes and poached farmers’ market eggs. Chef Arakelian’s passion for utilizing seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients is ever-present on the menus at Holland House Bar and Refuge, and the East Nashville Farmers Market is delighted to have them as a top-tier sponsor for 2015.

Holland House Bar and RefugeIf you have ever enjoyed a meal at East Nashville’s Holland House Bar and Refuge, you have experienced the influence of Chef Arakelian’s Lebanese heritage. Seasonality, freshness, local , and made-in-house ingredients are standard components to his finely-tuned craft. The Executive Chef’s success at the Holland House eventually led to the owner Tery Raley’s other culinary venture, Germantown’s rustic Butchertown Hall. Chef Arakelians currently serves as executive chef of both. Dishes such as the ones Arakelian will be serving at the East Nashville Tomato Throwdown 2015 can be found on the menus of both highly-acclaimed restaurants.

When asked why he and Holland House Bar and Refuge sponsor the East Nashville Farmers market, Chef Arakelian’s response is simple: “As a local East Nashville restaurant, it’s important to support the East Nashville food scene. We use lots of local produce grown by local farmers at both Holland House and Butchertown Hall, so we support a venue for them to sell what they produce.”

When asked why he chooses local, Chef Arakelian is honest and direct: “Food grown locally tastes better and is fresher. It’s not an easy thing to do — growing food. So we enjoy forming relationships with farmers instead of buying from a local supply company.”

Come chat with Executive Chef Hrant Arakelian at the Chef Demo Tent this Wednesday at the East Nashville Farmers Market’s Tomato Throwdown 2015.