Thursday, September 27

Farmers’ Market Veggie Medley with a Cumin-Chile Vinaigrette

I love vegetables. Yes, even Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. In fact, my adoration for carrots led me to claim them as my #2 Reason for living in California. Of course, now that butternut squash is in season, carrots might get bumped to #3.

Fall is a wonderful time to visit your local farmers' market. Here in Southern California, farmers' markets are busy year-round, but September is an especially popular month because of its dazzling array of produce. Right now, summer's blazing red tomatoes compete with autumn’s sweet, crispy jujubes (pronounced like the popular movie theater candy) for market-goers’ attention. For the record, the jujubes won, hands down.

September is also prime time for many Mexican vegetables, such as creamy Hass avocados, tart tomatillos, and fiery chiles. Seeing them inspired me to make this healthy vegetable medley; it is delicious served with some warm corn tortillas.

The variety of crunchy and creamy textures is satisfying, while the cumin-chile vinaigrette provides a sweat-inducing kick. Though parsley or cilantro works well, I would suggest using fresh rather than dried herbs for a bold, clean flavor.

If you haven't seen it, then check out the September Eat Local Challenge and their 10 Reasons to Eat Local Food.

Farmers’ Market Veggies with a Cumin-Chile Vinaigrette
Makes 4 side servings

Print recipe only here.

1 cup fresh corn (or canned, if unavailable)
1 c diced zucchini
1 cup red bell pepper
1 cup diced jicama
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup diced tomatillos
2-3 green onions, finely chopped
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed
1 Hass avocado, diced, optional

Cumin-Chile Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp fruity olive oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
Juice of 1 lime (about 2-3 Tbsp)
1/8 tsp cumin
1 small serrano chile (which is hotter) or jalapeno (with some seeds for extra heat)
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped parsley or cilantro
Salt, to taste

Place vegetables and black beans in a large bowl. Meanwhile, whisk vinaigrette ingredients until fully blended. Pour over vegetables and serve.

Note: Fresh sweet corn on the cob can be eaten raw, which is delicious and crunchy.

Here are some other farmers' market dishes you might like:
Mexican Citrus Salad with an Orange-Lime Vinaigrette
Roasted Acorn Squash with Medjool Dates and Toasted Almonds
Pasta with Lemony Broccoli, Toasted Walnuts, and Breadcrumbs

Here are more delicious corn and black bean recipes you might like:
Emily's Corn and Black Bean Tortilla Cakes
Laura Rebecca's Grilled Flank Steak with Corn, Black Bean, and Avocado Salad
What Do I Know's Black Bean and Rice Cakes with Chipotle Remoulade

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KellytheCulinarian said...

Looks so colorful. I love markets!

Anonymous said...

Hi susan...I tried earlier to leave a ccomment, but there was a bug on internet1
I love your bright photo's seem the sun is still shining in France it is already cold and cloudy! the vinaigrette sound interesting and I can imagine using it in a variety of salads to lift it...will sure try it.

Asha said...

That is one beautiful and colorful fresh veggie platter! I LOVE farmer's market.I love looking at the flowers, veggies and so many types rice too.
Good post Susan!:))

Nabeela said...

We get A.M.A.Z.I.N.G jujubes in India...only they're callled ber(pronounced bear) there. As for the cumin dressing, we have a similar one in Andhra Pradesh too(that's a state in India)'s suddenly like I'm on an Indian blog :)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I always love your visits to the Farmer's Market and the colorful and delicious dishes that you create! Have you read the new biography on Alice Waters? It has so much insight into how ideas about local produce and sustainability got started.

Susan said...

I've pretty much neglected the markets in favor of tending and looting my mother's garden, but now that the plot is petering out, I'll hit the stands until they close shop late October. The mild seasons of southern California are appealing, but I couldn't give up the promise of snow.

Snazzy salad, Susan. The colors and flavors are made for each other.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Clean, fresh, bright, oh yes this works wonders for me. And only fresh herbs would do for this one! Really lovely. I'm in Seattle for a little longer and really enjoying Pikes Place Market.

Anonymous said...

What with all these beautiful photos and the figs below, I'm really jealous! Our farmers markets weren't much to write home about this summer, what with the floods and endless rain. I haven't seen a single fig yet, in the shops--not sure they even grow here. The southern European crops got ruined too, so we're pretty much out of luck.

Anonymous said...

I never get tired of black beans and corn but I'm pretty new to tomatillos and jicama, so thanks for this recipe! What do the jujubes taste like? I've never seen one before.-Brenda

Anh said...

Susan. this is wonderful! I love the sound of your Vinaigrette, especially with the presence of cumin!

Anonymous said...

yum yum yum yum yum! i just ate the most delish butternut last night. this salad looks so refreshing and delicious. oh, i've also been eating apples like they'r going out of style!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Kelly-Colorful produce and people!

Ronnell-It is a versatile vinaigrette that's lovely on regular salads and warm veggies.

Asha-I know. How could someone not love farmers' markets?

Nabeela-Ooh, I wish I could have Indian jujubes. I'm sure they are amazing!

T.W.-I was just flipping through it at Borders on Saturday, believe it or not! It looks like it will be a great read. She's an inspiration.

Susan-I do miss the snow sometimes, but I don't miss the shoveling. ;) Thanks, it is colorful and tasty!

Tanna-We loved Pike's Place Market when we went to Seattle. It was so much fun seeing them toss the fish!

Kathyf-Oh, that's right. I'm so sorry to hear about that. I wonder if a lot of produce will end up being imported?

Brenda-Jujubes taste sort of like an apple. They are slightly sweet and very crispy, and the darker they are, the more flavor they have. This year's crop is the sweetest I've ever had.

Anh-I love cumin too!

Aria-We got some amazing Fuji apples last week, though truthfully, I miss East Coast apples.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Another reason to move out of Rhode Island -- we never, ever see jujubes at the farmers' markets here! Lovely recipe -- thanks.

sra said...

I love all veggies too. And I love salads, but when I make my own, the dressing never seems to stick to them!

Deborah Dowd said...

I have never seen these jujubes, maybe they are a west coast thing. Your medley looks great, especially since, while the calendar says fall, the heat and humidity still says summer!

Anonymous said...

Oh, just look at that sea of produce ! Quite the amazing picture, Susan!

Katie Zeller said...

I love the vegetables this time of year! If asparagus was a gall vegetable life would be perfect!
Now I know what a jujube is!

Anonymous said...

Jujubes at the farmer's market sounds so exotic. I've never had those kind -- only the movie theatre kind. When I read about what's available at your farmer's market I get a little case of farmer's market envy.

Anonymous said...

Your vwggies look delicious, although my husband would veto the zucchini. It doesn't matter how I try to hide it, he always finds it and objects.

Lisa Johnson said...

These are beautiful pictures of the market. And I love brussel sprouts too! ; )

Nora B. said...

Such a colourful dish. I can almost imagine the refreshing and lively flavours. I strongly advocate buying local, even beyond fresh produce.

Anonymous said...

I love going to markets where there are only farmers' products. That's a beautiful bowl of salad. :)

Unknown said...

That looks fantastic. Of course living in the NorthEast, eating local food means nothing but apples this time of year.

Kajal@aapplemint said...

oh you are so lucky to have such a wonderful market to go to. I can only see your pictures and feel happy .

Amy said...

Your markets look amazing! Now that it's fall in Seattle I'm envious of your gorgeous weather too!

Anonymous said...

What a delicious recipe! I often like to scramble some eggs and eat them with a corn tortilla for breakfast ... I usually just use my Cholula hot sauce on them, but this would be an amazing accompaniment. A nice little veggie salad in the morning, very Israeli.

Ari (Baking and Books)

J said...

Colourful and fresh! I'd love to try!

Stella said...

Beautiful salad with fresh vegetables!:)

bazu said...

Oh, what a lovely post and recipe! Your photos are keeping summer alive for me! That "buy local" sign is very cool, indeed.

The Secret Ingredient said...

I have never seen these at Connecticut farmer's markets----do they need California's sunny climate to grow? And how are they prepared----are they eaten raw or cooked in some way? I'm fascinated by this new discovery and want to get my hands on some SOON!

Toni said...

This sounds absolutely fantastic! And what perfect timing! I recently made a pork and tomatillo stew, and have a couple of tomatillos left over. Thank you for giving me a great idea for what to do with them!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Lydia-Yeah, my parents said, "How come we've never tried those jujubes?" Looks like I'll be sending some their way.

Sra-Hmmm...I try not to make the dressing too thin, and the herbs help it stick better too. Good luck! :)

Deborah-Yeah, it's a good transitional dish between seasons.

Veronica-Thanks! They're hard to take sometimes with the lighting and all the people, but it's a fun challenge!

Katiez-I hope you get to try one soon now. They are so yummy!

Julie-I wish I could share with you.:)

Lynn-Could you pass them off as cucumbers? ;)

Anali-Yes! Another sprout lover. We have to stick together, you know.;)

Nora B- So true. I've begun buying local meats as well, and there is a palpable difference.

Cooking Ninja-I just love them too--they inspire me cook and eat healthfully.

Bradley-I'll swap you some California jujubes for some New England apples.;)

Kate-Oh, I'm glad they make you happy. :)

Amy-Funny...and I miss New England fall time.

Ari-Huh, I didn't know it was "very Israeli." Very cool. :)

Jyothsna-I hope you do!

Valentina-Thanks so much!

Bazu-I know what you mean, but I'm envying your fall weather too!

Secret Ingredient-The jujubes are eaten raw like an apple. According to the farmer, their other name, "Chinese dates" come from the fact that as they dry up, they shrivel, and their consistency becomes more date-like. I've had them both ways, but I really prefer them raw.

Toni-Well, I'm so glad I was able to help!

Cate said...

Looks like a great recipe to celebrate farmer's market bounty.

s'kat said...

My, but that is just one gorgeous place to stroll through. And a beautiful dish to honour it by!

Rachael said...

Oh I am so jealous! We have limited farmer's markets here on the east coast, and although the fall tree fruit is always wonderful, fresh avacados would be much better...

Madame K said...

That looks so fresh and delicious, Susan. Love it!