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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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!

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‘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!

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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.

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Roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions wrapped in a buttery crust.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

Fresh Organically-Grown Corn Right Off the Farm

organic cornFresh organically-grown corn right off the farm will be arriving at the East Nashville Farmers Market in Shelby park this week! That’s right, folks, truckloads of the sweetest Tennessee corn delivered straight from the field to you, our market shoppers. Come try a sample and taste the freshness! We’re pleased to announce Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass Playboys as our special musical guest. Food trucks will be the popular Jones Press serving Panini sandwiches for you and the kids to enjoy, plus Pita Pit and Bradley’s Curbside Creamery to beat the summer heat. We’re also excited to announce Professor Bailey’s new Spicy Pimento Cheese Gougeres to the list of items found at our farmers’ market. So grab the kids, your blanket, and some extra large shopping bags, folks, because you aren’t going to want to miss all the freshness to find down in Shelby Park!

Organically grown corn from Delvin Farms

Organically grown corn from Delvin Farms

Fist thing’s thing, let’s talk sweet corn. Our farmers grow the sweetest organically-grown corn varieties in some of the most fertile regions of Tennessee and will be bringing it fresh from the field to you our market shoppers. We’re excited to announce Cam Conry from Conry Farms will be arriving with a truckload of his favorite sweet corn this Wednesday at our farmers’ market. You can also find an extra load of Delvin Farms organically-grown sweet corn brought to you fresh from the field. This local sweet corn is so fresh — juicy, sweet, crunchy, and nutritious. Come try a sample and taste the freshness yourself. We love to grill sweet corn and slice leftover kernels into a giant pot of grilled corn soup with roasted chicken.

heirloom tomatoesIn addition to loads of fresh, Tennessee sweet corn, our market is over-flowing with giant heirloom tomatoes for summer tomato sandwiches and sweet cherry varieties for salads. From Oak Grove Farm to Flying “S” Farm to Green Door Gourmet and Old School Farm, our farmers have all the heirlooms you need — Cherokee Purple, Amish Paste, Brandywine, White Beauties, and much more! And if you’re a tomato fan, check out the East Nashville Farmers Market Tomato Throwdown 2015 on August 5th.

Grilled Sweet Corn Soup with Roasted Chicken

This combination of flavor guarantees a new family summertime favorite

This combination of flavor guarantees a new family summertime favorite

Sweet corn soup with roasted chicken is perfect to make in the summer when sweet corn is being picked fresh from the fields. Sweet corn adds a starchy thickness to soups, stews, and chowders creating a luxurious, hearty meal. This soup’s bright Mexican flavors make it a fun choice for summer, plus using tons of fresh farm veggies and chicken breast makes it delicious and full of nutrition. We love roasted chicken with local sweet corn for a great summertime meal!

I begin with the backbone to every soup — the stock. A homemade stock is so easy to make while improving the end result exponentially. For my stock, I begin with two small roasted chicken carcasses, one quartered yellow onion (skins still on), one carrot chopped, two celery ribs chopped, two cloves garlic, one tablespoon black peppercorns, two Mexican oregano sprigs, and salt to taste. Once all my ingredients are added to the stockpot, I employ my secret weapon — two ears of sweet corn, kernels and the cobs. Corn cobs give soup stock a wonderful flavor and the starch from the kernels act as a thickening agent. I cover all ingredients with cold water in an eight quart stockpot until the water reaches the top. I place my stock on the stove at medium high heat and boil for about an hour. Once my stock reduces by one third, I strain out all the remnants and set in my refrigerator until the fat coagulates at the top. I skim the fat and set my stock to the side.

Farm fresh veggies is a key for this flavorful soup

Farm fresh veggies is a key for this flavorful soup

I then return back to my stockpot to build my roast chicken and sweet corn soup. I begin by sautéing one medium to large yellow onion, one carrot, and one celery rib in olive oil over med-high heat. Once my aromatics begin to brown, I add one tablespoon chopped Mexican oregano, one chopped red bell pepper, and a chopped jalapeno (optional) and sauté until all the aromatics are soft. I then pour my homemade stock over my aromatics (about two quarts) and simmer for a good 15 minutes. The aromas in my kitchen for this sweet corn soup with roasted chicken are amazing!

Once my soup base is ready, it’s time for the flavor. I add one-half cup of freshly-squeezed lime juice, one-quarter of a cup of chopped cilantro, two full cups of shredded chicken breast, and two full cups of smoky grilled sweet corn that I sliced off the cob. Once that simmers together for a few minutes, my soup is complete. Top with fresh avocado, heirloom tomatoes, more cilantro, and a extra lime wedges.

sweet corn soupRoasted Chicken and Grilled Sweet Corn Soup
For the stock:
2 roasted chicken carcasses, meat picked from the bone and set aside
1 yellow onion
1 large carrot
2 celery ribs
2 garlic cloves
2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed and added to the stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 sprigs Mexican oregano
salt and pepper

For the soup:
1 medium-large yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 tablespoons chopped Mexican oregano
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 heaping cups shredded chicken
2 heaping cups grilled corn cut from the cob
salt and pepper
sliced cherry tomatoes (garnish)
avocadoes (garnish)
lime wedges (garnish)

 

Why We Love Grilling Sweet Corn

Tennessee Sweet corn is the best!

Tennessee Sweet corn is the best!

We love grilling sweet corn at the East Nashville Farmers Market. The sweetness of the kernels and the smoky char from the grill makes the perfect flavor combination that we can’t get enough of. Grilled sweet corn is delicious both on the cob and off. We add grilled sweet corn to salads, soups, entrées, and side dishes.

There are many different ways to grill sweet corn. Some prefer to presoak ears in water before grilling. Some use hot coals to roast corn in its husk. But when we are limited on time, we opt for the easiest method. We begin our grilled corn in the microwave for 3 minutes to slightly steam and remove all the silks. Then we slather in melted butter and place directly on a hot grill for a nice smoky char. Adding lime zest and herbs such as basil, cilantro, or Mexican oregano to the butter can impart herbal flavors. Or, simply chop fresh herbs and add after the corn has grilled.

local grilled sweet cornWe like to give our grilled sweet corn the Mexican treatment and sprinkle on cotija cheese, cayenne, and a nice squeeze of fresh lime juice. Sweet, smoky, tart, and savory — this grilled sweet corn has a flavor profile that really fulfills. When ears are leftover, we slice it off the cob for chicken soups and summer salads. Grilled sweet corn livens up every summertime meal with a its smoky sweetness and chewy bite.

Professor Baileys Spicy Pimento Cheese Gougères— a Southern Favorite Meets Classic French Cuisine

professor baileysWe love Professor Bailey’s Spicy Pimento Cheese so much at the East Nashville Farmers Market, we’re ecstatic to introduce his new line of Spicy Pimento Cheese Gougères a Southern favorite meets classic French cuisine. If you are unfamiliar with gougères, think a savory puff pastry made of cheesy pâte á choux dough. Slightly crunchy on the outside, light and airy on the inside, with 50% of the dough being Professor Bailey’s Spicy Pimento Cheese.

If you have ever stopped at Professor Bailey’s tent at the East Nashville Farmers Market, you may have had the opportunity to meet the gregarious Tom Bailey— founder of Professor Bailey’s Spicy Pimento Cheese. The original Professor Bailey was Tom’s great great grandfather who played an integral role in pioneering secondary music education in Nashville. Tom began his pimento cheese business in 2013 and had his first sales at the Nashville Farmers Market. Today, Professor Bailey’s Spicy Pimento cheese can be found in six stores, eight farmers’ markets, and offers not only pimento cheese, but pimento cheese biscuits and the new spicy pimento cheese gougères.

gougeresWhen asked why Tom chose gougères, he explains in the simplest terms, “Because they are delicious.” He goes on to tell about the night he knew his gougères would be a hit. “I had four friends over to taste the new recipe, and 50 gougères were eaten in less than five minutes. I knew that night they needed to be a new product.”

If you have never tried this locally-made Nashville favorite, stop by the Professor Bailey’s tent at the East Nashville market this Wednesday and taste a sample of his spicy pimento cheese. You’ll leave with a tub, a bag of biscuits, or the new Spicy Pimento Cheese Gougères, for all your weekend noshing.

 

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