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Eat farm fresh this holiday

’Tis the time of year to eat your heart out, but there’s no reason you should do it farm fresh and local. With two farmers’ markets from which to choose in Corpus Christi, you can complement your turkey or ham main dish with any number of locally grown, fresh vegetable sides. • The Downtown Farmers’ Market is open 5-8 p.m. Wednesdays at the Art Center of Corpus Christi, 100 N. Shoreline. • The Southside Farmers’ Market is every Saturday morning beginning at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of The Market on Everhart shopping center. After checking with local farmers for available produce, we found a few easy, seasonal recipes to present to your holiday dinner guests. (Recipes found on epicurious.com) Grilled Eggplant and Bell Peppers with Roasted Garlic Oil INGREDIENTS • 1 large eggplant (1¼ to 1½ pounds), unpeeled, trimmed, sliced crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rounds • 3 large bell peppers (preferably red and yellow), quartered lengthwise • Olive oil (for brushing) • 2 tablespoons (or more) roasted garlic oil (se

’Tis the time of year to eat your heart out, but there’s no reason you should do it farm fresh and local. With two farmers’ markets from which to choose in Corpus Christi, you can complement your turkey or ham main dish with any number of locally grown, fresh vegetable sides.

• The Downtown Farmers Market is open 5-8 p.m. Wednesdays at the Art Center of Corpus Christi, 100 N. Shoreline.

• TheSouthside Farmers Market is every Saturday morning beginning at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of The Market on Everhart shopping center.

After checking with local farmers for available produce, we found a few easy, seasonal recipes to present to your holiday dinner guests. (Recipes found on epicurious.com)


Grilled Eggplant and Bell Peppers with Roasted Garlic Oil

INGREDIENTS

• 1 large eggplant (1¼ to 1½ pounds), unpeeled, trimmed, sliced crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rounds

• 3 large bell peppers (preferably red and yellow), quartered lengthwise

• Olive oil (for brushing)

• 2 tablespoons (or more) roasted garlic oil (see separate recipe)

PREPARATION

Prepare grill (medium-high heat) and place eggplant rounds and peppers on rimmed baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place vegetables on grill and cook until tender and golden, about 4 minutes per side. Arrange vegetables on platter and drizzle with 2 tablespoons (or more) of roasted garlic oil.


Roasted Garlic Oil

INGREDIENTS (makes about 1 cup)

• 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat garlic cloves in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in oven-proof skillet. Roast for about 15 minutes or until garlic is just golden, occasionally shaking pan. Add extra-virgin olive oil and cool in skillet. Transfer oil (the garlic is for flavor and looks) to jar. It will store up to two weeks in refrigerator.

Green Beans with Bacon

INGREDIENTS

• 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths

• 2 ounces regular or turkey bacon, finely diced

• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh savory (or fresh oregano)

• salt

PREPARATION

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook beans for 3 minutes then drain in a colander. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-low heat, stirring until most of the fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Add garlic to skillet and cook over medium-low heat for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Raise heat, add beans and savory and toss 1 to 2 minutes to blend flavors. Season with pepper and salt, if needed.


Beet Chips

INGREDIENTS

• 6 medium beets (about ¾ pound)

• ¼ cup cornstarch

• 4 cups safflower or vegetable oil for deep-frying

PREPARATION

Peel beets. Using a mandoline or other manual slicer, cut beets into paper-thin slices and transfer to a large bowl. Add cornstarch and toss well to coat.

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat oil until a deep-fat thermometer registers 350 degrees. Working in batches of 8 to 10 slices, separating them from one another, fry beets, turning once or twice, until crisp and beginning to shrivel, 30 seconds to 1 minute, making sure oil returns to 350 degrees before adding next batch. Transfer chips with a large slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Beet chips may be made 12 hours ahead and kept uncovered at room temperature.

Happy Holidays and happy eating!

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