Farmers Market Finds: 11 Top Chefs Share Their Favorite Recipes

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If you frequent farmers markets to stock up on fresh produce, you could be rubbing elbows with more than just local vendors. More often than not, some of the country's top restaurant chefs are featuring recipes that incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farms. As we head into late summer and early fall—the prime season for finding fruits and veggies at the peak of their freshness—we asked some acclaimed chefs to share recipes that are showcasing their farmer's market finds.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Chef Bruce Moffett from Barrington's Restaurant
Recipe: Corn Soup (Serves 8)

In his light and creamy corn soup, Chef Moffett uses North Carolina's fresh yellow corn, along with onion and potato.

8 ears of yellow corn
1 onion (peeled and sliced)
1 potato (peeled and sliced)
1 cup white wine
10 oz heavy cream
2 qts water
Salt, white pepper, sugar to taste

  • Slice corn off cobs
  • Save cobs for stock
  • Steam onions and potatoes in the white wine until tender
  • Add water and corn cobs and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Pull the cobs out and add kernels
  • Bring to a boil and cook kernels until tender
  • Turn off heat and add cream
  • Blend until all the kernels are broken down
  • Strain through a medium strainer and adjust the seasoning to taste

Image credit: Barrington's Restaurant

Houston, Texas

Chef Antoine Ware of Harold's Restaurant, Bar and Terrace
Recipe: Beer-Battered Shrooms (Serves 2-3)

This recipe features a variety of ingredients sourced from several local farms in Texas. It showcases Texas Oyster mushrooms from Indian Creek Farm and Shiner Beer from Shiner, Texas.

½ lb oyster mushrooms from Indian Creek in Coldspring, TX
2 bottles Shiner Bock Beer from Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX
2 cups rice flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt and pepper
¼ cup shredded Redneck Cheddar from Veldhuizen Farms in Dublin, TX
2 cups Béchamel (1 oz flour, 1 oz butter, 2 cups whole milk)

Fondue Instructions: 
  • Make a roux by first melting the butter and then adding the flour, stirring continuously until a blonde color is achieved 
  • Add the milk and whisk until all roux is dissolved
  • Strain and return to a clean pot
  • On low heat, add the cheese and stir until fully melted
  • For better texture, allow the mixture to cool and put in a blender for smoothness
Batter Instructions:
  • In a mixing bowl, add the rice flour, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper and Shiner Bock and whisk to batter consistency. 
  • Dip the mushrooms in the batter and deep fry at 325 degrees until crisp and golden
  • Evenly divide the fondue into bowls and layer the fried mushrooms on top of one another in the fondue
  • Garnish with green onions

Image credit: Harold's Restaurant, Bar and Terrace

New York, New York

Chef Marcus Samuelsson from Red Rooster Harlem
Recipe: Watermelon & Heirloom Tomato Salad with Blackberry Tea Vinaigrette and Pimento Cheese (Serves 2)

Beautifully capturing the taste of summer, this savory salad features fresh watermelon and tomatoes harvested from local farms.

Salad Ingredients:
3 pieces of watermelon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 scallion, roughly chopped
4 leaves of mint, ripped
1 sprig of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tbsp of peanuts, roughly chopped

Salad Instructions:
  • Combine the watermelon, tomato, scallion, mint and cilantro in a medium bowl and gently toss with vinaigrette
  • Smear several teaspoons of the pimento cheese on each plate
  • Place the watermelon salad on top of the smear
  • Crumble the peanuts on top of the salad
Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp fish sauce
½ tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Black Tea Wild Blackberry & Sage
½ tbsp white wine vinegar

Vinaigrette Instructions:
  • Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl
Pimento Cheese Ingredients:
2 red peppers, charred and chopped
½ habanero pepper, pureed
½ pound cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
Frank’s hot sauce, to taste
2 tsp paprika
Finely ground white pepper, to taste
½ cup bread and butter pickles, finely chopped
2 lbs sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Sugar, to taste

Pimento Cheese Instructions:
  • In a kitchen stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat all the ingredients except the chopped red pepper
  • Whip until incorporated and creamy
  • Fold in chopped peppers
  • Adjust seasoning to taste; keep refrigerated

Image credit: Red Rooster Harlem

San Francisco, California

Chef Matthew Accarrino from SPQR
Recipe: Chilled Summer Soup (Serves 7-8)

When temperatures are soaring outside, stay cool and fueled with this easy, breezy summer soup. Locally sourced fresh produce—including tomato, cucumber, strawberries and peppers—are the stars of this refreshing dish.

Soup Ingredients:
2 qts tomato, diced
2 cups cucumber, peeled and seeded
1-½ cups pepper, diced
1 cup onion, diced
2 cups strawberries, diced
1 garlic clove
½ jalapeno, seeded
½ cup basil leaves
¾ cup country bread, crustless, cubed
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ cup olive oil
1/8 cup sherry vinegar
1-½ cups Pure Leaf Tea House Collection™ Sicilian Lemon & Honeysuckle

Soup Instructions:
  • Combine all ingredients and blend finely. Rest overnight.
Garnish Ingredients:
Sliced strawberries, dried at low heat in oven on non-stick baking sheet
Basil oil or herb-infused oil (optional), as needed

Garnish Instructions:
  • Serve soup chilled with herb oil and topped with strawberry chips.

Image credit: SPQR

Charlotte, North Carolina

Chef Larry Schreiber of Good Food on Montford
Recipe: Salmon with Summer Vegetable Succotash & Basil Pesto Cream (Serves 4)

4 6-oz salmon filets

2 ears corn
2 large squash, diced
2 large zucchinis, diced
½ lb lima beans
2 large tomatoes, diced
Juice of 2 lemons

2 cups heavy cream

¼ cups basil pesto
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Salmon Instructions:
  • Season salmon with salt and pepper
  • Place salmon in small pan
  • Sauté for one minute on presentation side
  • Flip over and place on baking sheet
  • Bake at 350 degrees for eight minutes
Succotash Instructions:
  • Shuck corn cobs and cut kernels off of the cob
  • Heat pan over medium heat
  • Drizzle olive oil in pan
  • Add corn and sauté for 20 seconds
  • Add squash, sauté one minute
  • Add lima beans, heavy cream and dash of salt and pepper
  • Bring to a boil for 20 seconds
  • Remove from heat and add lemon juice, pesto and diced tomatoes just before serving

Image credit: Good Food on Montford

Chicago, Illinois

Chef Lee Wolen from Boka
Recipe: Apple Ginger Tea Smoothie with Blueberries and Kale

Stay hydrated while curbing cravings with this infusion of antioxidants, fresh fruit and invigorating greens.

1 cup chopped kale
1.5 cups Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Fuji Apple & Ginger
1 banana, frozen
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled
¼ cup almond milk
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • In a blender, combine all ingredients
  • Serve in a tall glass and garnish with chopped apple and fresh grated ginger

Image credit: Boka

Waynesboro, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley

Chef Caitie Maharg of Iris Inn 
Recipe: Piccadilly Omelet

Chef Caitie's Piccadilly omelet is made using local eggs and cheese served with local pork sausage.

3 large eggs
1 tsp heavy cream
½ tsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp goat cheese
½ tbsp roasted asparagus 
½ tbsp caramelized onions
½ tbsp roasted cherry tomatoes
¼ tsp fresh dill, chopped

  • Beat eggs and cream together until well combined
  • Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat
  • Grease pan with ½ tsp butter
  • Pour beaten eggs into heated pan and cook
  • Add omelet ingredients to half of the omelet and fold other half over
  • Let cook an additional minute and serve immediately

Image credit: Iris Inn 

Santa Monica, California

Chef Makani Carzino of Pono Burger 
Recipe: Ponzo Guacamole (Serves 8)

Chef Makani shops the Santa Monica Farmer's Market and purchases her edible blossoms mixed with micro greens and baby lettuces from the local, organic farm Harry's Berries. For the summertime, she uses edible flowers in her Ponzu Guacamole, served with wonton chips. The salad blend features nasturtium, bachelor button and calendula flowers.

Wonton Chip Ingredients:
1 package wonton wrappers
1 qt rice bran oil

Salt, to taste

Sesame Ponzu Dressing Ingredients:
½ cup soy sauce

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup sugar

¼ cup wasabi powder

½ cup sesame oil

Guacamole Ingredients:
4 ripe avocados

1/3 cup grated red onion

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp sake

1 tsp sriracha sauce

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

1 pinch cayenne

Salt, to taste

1 package microgreens

1 package edible flower petals

  • Separate wonton wrappers and cut in half diagonally
  • In a 4-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil over moderately high heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 375 degrees F
  • Fry wonton triangles, 2 at a time, turning constantly with a slotted spoon to ensure even browning, about 5 seconds
  • Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt
  • Whisk together soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar and wasabi powder until well incorporated
  • While continuing to whisk, drizzle in sesame oil
  • Pit and peel avocados and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • In a mixing bowl, gently stir together avocados, onion, lemon juice, sake, sriracha, ginger, cayenne and salt
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary
  • To serve, arrange wonton chips on serving platters
  • Top each chip with a scoop of guacamole and a sprinkle of microgreens and edible flowers
  • Finish with a drizzle of sesame ponzu dressing and serve immediately

Image credit: Pono Burger 

Columbus, Ohio

Chef Bill Glover of Gallerie Bar & Bistro
Recipe: Gruyere Gougere

"This recipe is a perfect showcase for this incredible Ohio cheese from Turkeyfoot Creek Creamery in Wauseon, Ohio," says Chef Glover. "We have been buying it on a regular basis and have showcased his 18-month gouda here in a relatively simple recipe that people can make at home."

1 qt of water
14 oz of butter
3 tbsp of Kosher salt
3 tbsp of white sugar
20 oz of all-purpose flour
18 eggs
20 ounces of gouda cheese (Chef Glover uses Turkeyfoot Creek Creamery Gouda)

  • Bring water, sugar, salt and butter to a simmer
  • Whisk in flour
  • Cook while stirring constantly with wooden spoon for about 12 minutes, allowing a ball to form
  • Remove the mixture and put it into a mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on low
  • Slowly begin adding the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to completely mix into the dough before adding the next
  • Add the cheese and stir into batter until mixed well
  • Allow the batter to cool for 4 hours before cooking
  • Using a size #100 metal scoop, drop the balls of batter into a fryer set at 350 degrees until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes)

Image credit: Gallerie Bar & Bistro

Boston, Massachusetts       

Trisha Antonsen, Chief Cocktail Officer at Drizly
Drink: Carrotini

This refreshing drink recipe uses fresh carrots and cucumbers, which are in season in Boston from June through September.

1 1/2 oz Spa-infused Vodka
2 oz Carrot Ginger Orange Juice

Spa-Infused Vodka Instructions:
  • In a clean glass jar, pile lemon peels, fresh mint leaves and cucumber slices (cut in half and seeds removed) about 1/3 of the way up
  • Add 4-8 oz of plain vodka
  • Seal with lid and let sit on the counter for 2-3 days
  • Lightly turn and shake the bottle a couple times a day
  • Once done, strain vodka to remove pieces and store in the fridge
Carrotini Instructions:
  • Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice
  • Shake until cold and strain into a martini glass
  • Garnish with carrot and cucumber

Image credit: Drizly

Montclair, New Jersey

Chef Michael Carrino from Pig & Prince Restaurant
Recipe: Scallop Crudo

Since it's summer and there's an abundance of great seafood, Chef Carrino has masterfully created this light, refreshing dish with fresh Jersey scallops and great produce, including English cucumbers and ramps.

6 ounces fresh (dry) diver scallops
½ small English cucumber, diced
2 tbsp chopped mint
4 tbsp minced ramp or spring onion
2 tbsp high quality olive oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
Fine-ground sea salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste

  • Remove tendon from scallops and small dice; reserve in a small bowl over ice
  • Gently fold in diced cucumber, mint, onion, olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste

Image credit: Pig & Prince Restaurant

Which of these restaurant recipes would you like to replicate at home with your farmer's market finds?