Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kitchen Maestro

Join us for this week’s Chef Demo with
Gerry Klaskala of Aria – 10:00 am on 7/ 31

Chef Demos are sponsored by Whole Foods Market

Buckhead’s Aria is in its 10th year of serving up music to our palates in a dining room that’s a feast for our eyes. Owner and Executive Chef Gerry Klaskala’s menu reflects his passion for both art and food, and has earned him a spot among only five other restaurants in the city to have achieved five stars from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Klaskala’s love for food and art began early, with robust home-cooked meals prepared by his grandmothers and a talent for painting. But the culinary arts won out when he went in search of some extra spending money and found a job in a kitchen at the age of 15. He went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America, where he graduated with honors, and has been creating culinary masterpieces ever since.

In Atlanta, he earned national acclaim as Executive Chef of The Buckhead Diner before leaving to open Canoe, one of Atlanta’s most celebrated restaurants. It was at Canoe, where he’s still an owner today, where his career as chef and restaurateur began. Its success enabled Klaskala to plan and orchestrate an even more intimate dining experience, which became Aria. His principles of fresh ingredients, simple flavors, and time-honored techniques have been highlighted in Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Esquire and The New York Times.

When he’s not in the kitchen at Aria, Klaskala, donates his time to numerous food events benefiting organizations like the Atlanta Community Food Bank, American Cancer Society, Georgia Organics, High Museum of Art and Share Our Strength.

Join Chef Klaskala for this week’s Chef Demo and also for the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, benefiting Georgia Organics, on August 8. This is the last weekend to buy your tickets at the Farmers Market before prices go up on August 1 – the early bird gets the tomatoes, y’all!

- Jennifer Maley

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Purple Power

It’s eggplant season! Part of the “nightshades” family, these bright beauties are related to other summer favorites like tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes. Eggplant was first cultivated in China in the 5th century B.C., later introduced to Africa before the Middle Ages, and into Italy in the 14th century. It then spread throughout Europe and the Middle East and, centuries later, was brought to the Western Hemisphere by European explorers.

It wasn’t always smooth sailing for eggplant, though – early varieties’ bitterness gave it the undeserved reputation of causing insanity, leprosy and cancer. So, for centuries after its introduction to Europe, eggplant was purely used as garden decoration. It wasn’t until new, less bitter varieties came along in the 18th century that eggplant took its rightful place as just as good to eat as it was to look at.

We now know that eggplant is just plain good for us, too. It’s a great source of dietary fiber, potassium, thiamin, folate, magnesium, niacin, and vitamins B1 and B6; plus, it contains phytonutrients such as nasunin, otherwise known as “brain food.” Study up with this recent AJC article on eggplant, featuring Heirloom Gardens’ Paula Guilbeau, and look for fresh eggplant starting this month at the Market!

Photo by Flickr user jayluker

- Jennifer Maley

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Market to Table

Check out this week’s Chef Demo with Ford Fry
of JCT. Kitchen & Bar - 10:00 am on 7/ 24

Chef Demos are sponsored by Whole Foods Market

Chef Ford Fry has a passion for “Southern Farmstead Cooking,” and his authentic, gourmet comfort food has made JCT. Kitchen & Bar a home away from home for many of us foodie Atlantans! A Houston, Texas native, Chef Fry puts it best saying, “Food is a necessary ingredient to our culture in the South. We want good, fresh foods that are expertly prepared and pleasurable, both in taste and from the social aspect.” His menu at JCT. elevates traditional family favorites through perfect preparation of the best ingredients our local farms have to offer.

Prior to the 2007 opening of JCT., Chef Fry spent nine years with EatZi’s Market and Bakery, developing gourmet meals for folks on the go. His extensive culinary background also includes stints in executive and sous chef positions at The Ritz Carlton in Aspen, where he was honored to work with some of the world’s top chefs, including Emeril Lagasse, Dean Fearing, Julia Childs and Jacques Pepin at the acclaimed Aspen Food & Wine Classic.

Since its opening, JCT. Kitchen & Bar has garnered accolades not just locally, but also nationally in publications like Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Elle Décor and has been recognized by John Mariani and The Today Show’s food editor, Phil Lempert. Chef Fry’s “Angry” Mussels have even appeared on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”

Join Chef Fry for this week’s Demo and learn how to turn your Market groceries into the best thing you’ve ever eaten (and if rumors are true, famed mixologist Laura Creasy will be on hand to make the best virgin Bloody Mary you’ve ever had, too)! Don’t forget to ask them about the upcoming Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, hosted by JCT. Tickets for the annual tomato throw-down are available for purchase all month at the Market – get yours before they sell-out, or risk being a rotten tomato!

- Jennifer Maley

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On WABE: Sweet Sounds of the Ice Cream Social

July is National Ice Cream Month and, while it is clearly our duty to enjoy a bowl or two of this frozen treat as often as time and pant sizes allow, it’s even better to have enjoyed 30 fantastic flavors at last month’s Ice Cream Social! The fourth annual event benefiting Slow Food Atlanta brought together top chefs and home cooks, one delicious bowl at a time. Take a listen to the sounds of this year’s Social here, originally aired on WABE’s City Café. Warning: side effects to listening include hand to spoon reflexes and frequent trips to your freezer or local ice cream purveyor.

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month and the Farmers Market by making up a batch of homemade ice cream, yogurt or sorbet, like this easy Blueberry Sorbet, made with fresh berries from the Market!

- Jennifer Maley

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Around the World with Okra

Photo by Flickr user NatalieMaynor

Most folks in the South think of okra as one of our native veggies, and rightfully so. The little green pods, belonging to the same family as cotton, cocoa, and hibiscus, were introduced to southeastern North America in the early 18th century and have been an integral part of our food heritage ever since. But okra’s history and uses go back much farther than just our ancestors here in the States. The plant is native to West Africa, first originating in the Ethiopian Highlands, and can be traced back to Egyptians and Moors of the 12th and 13th centuries. From Arabia, okra spread around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea eastward, and later was documented in India and Brazil.

As evidenced in the list of countries where okra thrives, it’s among the most heat and drought-tolerant vegetable species in the world – right at home here in the American South! And, if you’ve ever walked around Decatur’s ethnic grocery store, Your DeKalb Farmers Market, you’ll see the many other cultures that associate this tasty summer staple with home. Okra is a traditional food plant in Africa, India, Syria, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Palestine, among others. Preparations include usage in thick meat and vegetable stews (eastern Mediterranean); young pods cooked whole (Middle East); stir fried with spices, pickled, salted or added to gravy-based preparations (India and Pakistan); eaten as soup, often with fish (Caribbean); cooked with rice and maize (Haiti). And, at the end of the 20th century, okra became popular in Japan, particularly as tempura. We can relate.

Here are three great recipes with southern roots from Chef Steven Satterfield of Miller Union, including fried okra. Try them out with this week’s batch of fresh okra from the Market!

Pickled Okra
1 pound okra, washed
1 Yellow onion, peeled and sliced
6-8 Dried hot chiles
2 T. Coriander seeds
1 T. Black peppercorns
1/4 cup Kosher salt
3 T. granulated sugar
1.5 cups water
1 quart apple cider vinegar

Canning jars
Clean towels
Large pot with lid
Extra water for boiling

In a large pot, boil lids, seals, and jars for several minutes. Remove carefully, drain, and place onto clean towels to dry. Leave the pot of water on the stove for future use.
Wash okra and trim any long stems. With clean hands stuff the okra into jars and pack tightly. Add 1-2 dried chiles 2-3 slices of onion per jar, and distribute the spices evenly among each jar. Meanwhile, bring the sugar, salt, vinegar and water to a boil in a nonreactive saucepot. Ladle the hot vinegar brine into the jars and quickly seal them. Then place the sealed jars into boiling water. Make sure the water is at least an inch above the top of the cans. Cover with lid and boil gently for 10 minutes. Pull the jars out carefully with tongs and then allow to cool. Check the lids to make sure the jars sealed properly, then once cooled, store in a cool dry place for a minimum of 5 days before opening.

Sautéed Okra
3 T. EVO
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 pound of okra, washed and trimmed
1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 ripe tomato, skin removed, and diced
1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes

Small pot of boiling water to remove tomato skins
Heavy bottomed skillet or non-stick sauté pan

In a small pot or medium sized saucepan, bring some water to a boil. Place the tomato into the boiling water for approximately 60 seconds or until the skin bursts. Remove the tomato immediately and plunge into ice water. Peel the skin off then trim and dice into medium sized pieces.
Wash and drain the okra, trim the tops off, and then cut in half lengthwise.
Heat olive oil in a wide skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently, then add slivered garlic, hot pepper, okra, and season again. Cook for five minutes, then add chopped tomatoes, seasoning again. Serve as a side dish or add to pasta for a main dish. Also delicious if cooked with shrimp, added with the tomatoes.

Fried Okra
1 # washed and drained okra, cut crosswise into pieces as thick as the okra is wide
Cold water
Sea salt
2 cups finely ground white cornmeal
1/2 cup cornstarch
6-8 cups vegetable oil for frying (canola, safflower, peanut, etc.)

Skimmer or wire mesh basket
Thermometer for measuring oil temperature

Place okra into a container with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This allows the okra to produce a thick natural coating.
Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a bowl to make the dredge and heat the oil to approximately 350 degrees.
With your hands, pull the okra out of the liquid and allow to drip dry for a few seconds, then drop into the dredge. Toss to coat well. Pick up the coated okra and shake well in a sifter or mesh strainer basket.
Drop the okra carefully into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Using a skimmer or something similar, pull the okra from the hot oil and drip dry for a few seconds, then toss into a paper towel lined bowl. Season with salt to taste and serve immediately.

- Jennifer Maley

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Viva Italia!

Chef Demo this Saturday with Keira Moritz of Pacci Ristorante and AltoRex Rooftop Lounge
10:00 am on 7/17

Originally heading for a career in criminal justice, it’s a good thing for us that Chef Keira Moritz chose to follow her passion for cooking instead! Since finishing culinary school at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, and receiving her foodservice management degree from the university’s campus in Denver, Colorado, Moritz honed her skills at Denver’s Panzano and San Francisco’s Puccini & Pinetti. A Georgia native, Chef Moritz returned home to express her talent for creating exciting Northern Italian dishes and traditional steakhouse classics at Midtown’s Pacci Ristorante and AltoRex Rooftop Lounge. She supports local farms and artisan producers to provide the best meats, seafood and seasonal produce at the peak of their quality. Moritz and Pacci were recently recognized in Esquire magazine as one of the “Best New Restaurants of 2009.”

When she’s not in the kitchen at Pacci and AltoRex, Moritz is spending time with her border collie, Magnolia, running marathons and kayaking. She also enjoys growing her own herbs and tomatoes.

This Saturday, Chef Moritz will show you how to take this week’s harvest and create your own Italian masterpiece – molto bene!

- Jennifer Maley

From “Who’s your farmer?” to “Where’s your farmer?”

Peachtree Road Farmers Market and Love is Love Farm volunteer Emma Lacey-Bordeaux explores the unique situation today’s farmers face: small scale farming vs. increasing commitments. In this piece for CNN’s eatocracy, Emma talks with Judith Winfrey about our current generation of farmers.

Want to lend a hand to your local farmers? Take a look at what Crop Mob Atlanta is doing to help.

- Jennifer Maley

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You Say Potato

Yes, potatoes DO have a season and for us Georgians, this is it! Fresh potatoes are juicier and more tender than “storage potatoes” you’ll often find at the grocery store. Check out this post and recipe from Market vendor Riverview Farms and, come this Saturday, “consider the potato.”

Photo by Flickr user di_the_huntress

- Jennifer Maley

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cool as a Cuke

It’s hot out there, y’all! As we enter the dog days of summer, when it’s too sweltering to consider turning on the oven, take pleasure in these two cooling cucumber recipes from Market-shopping bloggers Sweet Pea and Punkin Seed. And visit their blog to learn more about the history behind these heirloom recipes. 

Don’t forget, you can send us your own recipes to post for Peachtree Road Farmers Market shoppers! Just send your recipe and a photo of the finished product to 

Recipes and images courtesy of Sweet Pea and Punkin Seed

Mimi’s Sliced Cucumber Salad with Vinegar

Cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced

White Vinegar, enough to cover sliced cukes

Sliced sweet white onion (preferably Vidalia)

Salt & pepper

Ice cubes

Peel and slice as many cucumbers as you’d like and place in a bowl. Add sliced white onion, season with salt and pepper to taste, and mix. Cover with white vinegar – if you want the salad to be a little milder and less vinegary, replace some portion of the vinegar with water. Top with ice cubes and place in refrigerator to chill before eating. This is best made an hour or less before you plan to eat, so that the cucumbers are at their freshest.

Mimi’s Buttermilk Salad

Serves 6

3 medium cucumbers

1 small clove garlic

1/2 tsp. thyme (I used fresh lemon thyme)


1 quart buttermilk

Optional: thin slices of sweet white onion

Peel and slice cucumbers as finely as possible. Put the garlic through press and add with thyme to the cucumber. Add onion if you’re going to use it – only use a small amount and slice very thinly. Mix thoroughly with the cold, fresh buttermilk and season to taste with salt. Serve immediately or chill for an hour and serve.

- Jennifer Maley

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Follow That Beard!

Don’t miss this week’s Chef Demo with Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill – 10:00 am on 7/10

You’ve seen Chef Kevin Gillespie on last season’s Top Chef as a finalist in the top three and voted “fan favorite” by viewers. Gillespie is a “
farm favorite,” too, named one of Mother Nature Network’s top “40 Chefs Under 40” in November 2009 for linking farms to forks and promoting better health for people and the planet. The love for his quality cuisine, utilizing seasonal, organic and sustainable products, keeps coming in 2010: honored by as a “Top Five Rising Chef” and named as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award. Just last month, Gillespie was invited to prepare a meal at the James Beard House in New York City and was also featured on “Cooking with Emeril” on SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

And yes, even Gillespie’s beard has a following! Not only did he and his beard visit the Beard House, but Gillespie’s beard was also honored here at home as Facebook Fans of Kevin Gillespie’s Beard hosted a Beard Bash at the W Midtown.

You can find Gillespie and his beard at
Woodfire Grill, where he is executive chef and partner. An Atlanta native, he’s also a member of Slow Food Atlanta, Southern Food Ways Alliance, Chefs Collaborative and the Society for the Preservation of traditional Southern Barbecue.

Come check out tips and recipes for your Market groceries with Chef Gillespie this Saturday!

- Jennifer Maley

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Real Simple Loves Our Real Farmers

This month’s Real Simple magazine features recipes from farmers markets across the country, including one from Peachtree Road Farmers Market’s own Greg Brown. His recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Crostini is the perfect summer snack or party food. And you can find almost every ingredient at this week’s Market!

Greg and his wife Maeda have owned and operated Greenleaf Farms in Barnesville, GA since 2007. This is their second year offering naturally grown produce and flowers at our Market each Saturday. Learn more about Greg’s journey returning to the land and about his unique produce varieties in this great article from Atlanta Magazine.

- Jennifer Maley

Friday, July 2, 2010

Keepin’ it Fresh

Finding fresh, beautiful produce is not hard to do at your weekly Market. Storing it properly so that you can make the most of it? That can be a bit trickier. For instance, did you know that basil is actually better off at room temperature than in your fridge? Check out more tips like this, including which veggies are best in a sealed bag vs. a perforated one and which produce shouldn’t hang out together in your crisper, in this article from SAVEUR.

The Market is open this Saturday and the tomatoes are looking gorgeous! Thanks again to our friends at Saveur for this quick, tasty recipe for Roasted Tomatoes. Share some with your family this Holiday weekend – Happy 4th!

- Jennifer Maley