What's Fresh @ The Westport Farmers Market

Stephanie Webster

Chef Nicole and I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the Westport Farmers Market all Winter, and finally the day had arrived. The weather held up, and under the new leadership of Market Director Lori Cochran, we were delighted to see some exciting new vendors in the mix. Chef Nicole made the rounds looking for ingredients for a Memorial Day market fresh lunch, and while gathering the goods we chatted with a few of the vendors who made this menu possible.

Check out the video to hear about a new sustainable coffee roaster, buying your milk straight from the cow, backyard chickens, and a great reason to clean out your pantry every Thursday.

Here are Chef Nicole's recipes from the market:

Roasted Radishes & Asparagus w/ Balsamic & Parmesan 

This is a simple and delicious way to enjoy these early spring vegetables.  The balsamic vinegar adds a sweet and tangy punch to this rather addictive dish.  The dish can be enjoyed either hot or at room temperature.

1 bunch radishes, cleaned and tops removed

1 bunch of asparagus, bottoms snapped off

2 tbs. olive oil

pinch of kosher salt and pepper

balsamic vinegar

Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425.  Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat mat or aluminum foil.  Rinse vegetables and place in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.  Roast for 10-12 minutes until golden and crisp.  Remove from pan and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave a few thin slices of Parmesan cheese over vegetables. 

Farmer’s Market Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

These sandwiches pair a delicious loaf of caramelized onion sourdough bread from SoNo Bakery with a savory queso blanco cheese from "Ladies from Levita Road" based in Lebanon.

Dip these sammies in a little chutney if you’d like to add an extra bite.

1 loaf caramelized onion sourdough bread (Sono Baking Co.) 

½ lb. queso blanco cheese, grated

unsalted butter

Dijon mustard

Optional: Chutney, sliced tomato, arugula 

Preheat a large nonstick or cast iron pan on medium heat.  Slice 4 pieces of bread about ½” thick.  Butter the outsides of each piece of bread and add Dijon mustard to the inside of 1 piece of bread.  Place 1 piece of bread in the pan and add about ¼ C. grated cheese.  Add chutney and sliced tomatoes now if you’d like.  Place the other piece on top, making sure the buttered side faces out.  

Brown on each side for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is golden.  Cut in half and serve with a simple salad of arugula drizzled with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, kosher salt and black pepper.