Dinner Ideas: Local Beets & Fennel Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

Check your local farmers’ market or organic produce section for a selection of sweet & colorful beets! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Wow, what a wacky growing season this has been! The extremes we’ve been experiencing are challenging. From drought to flooding, cold to heat and heat to cold, the conditions this season have been erratic and stressful to the plants. Our local farmers need our support to weather difficult growing seasons. Look for locally grown produce at locally owned markets and frequent many of the area farmers’ markets.

Despite the rivers that were flowing in our garden paths a week ago, our garden is producing beautifully. We’ve been eating loads of salad greens and radishes, and about fifteen different types of cooking greens. The strawberries and peas are coming on strong now. Lots of herbs have been enhancing our meals. Garlic scapes are ready, we still have a few stray asparagus stalks, and the rest of the garden is looking promising for abundant harvests. Here’s a recipe for Roasted Beet Salad. It uses several types of vegetables and herbs that are showing up at area farmers’ markets.

If you have beautiful ingredients that you’re trying to figure out what to do with, nab me the next time you see me wandering the aisles at the Old Creamery Co-op in Cummington. One of my favorite games is “Recipe Improv.” Someone tells me ingredients that they have, and I suggest ways to use them. Sometimes I even surprise myself! My real-life, real-time version of that game is when Amy wanders in from the garden with armloads of gorgeous, just-harvested vegetables and fruits and I prepare a feast for us and whoever is joining us at our table that night. The possibilities are endless, and the results are spectacular.

Nourishing meals made from fresh, beautiful ingredients grown with respect for the earth and with gratitude, meals prepared with love and shared with friends and family — life doesn’t get any better than that for me. Enjoy the sun, rain, heat, cold, and whatever else gets tossed our way and remember to support our hardworking local farmers. I hope to run into you soon.

♦ Print Recipe: Roasted Beet Salad [V/Vg/NF*/GF/WF]

Vegetarian (V) | Vegan (Vg) | Nut-Free (NF) | Gluten-Free (GF) | Wheat-Free (WF)| *With Moderation


Alice Cozzolino

Alice has been co-owner of The Old Creamery since 2000.  She and her partner and spouse, Amy, have lived in Cummington since they built their home in 1986.  Alice and Amy are very deeply connected to their land; they grow a lot of their own food, eat well (especially during the growing season), feed many friends and loved ones and preserve as much food as possible.  Rarely a day goes by that they don’t say “Aren’t we blessed to live here?” Feeding people feels like a calling to Alice.  She was brought up with her Italian Gram and her Dad putting something wonderful to eat in her mouth and saying “Here, eat this.”  Nothing brings her greater joy than feeding people that she cares about or people that are in need of kindness and nurturing.

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