Caprese Panini/ Westford Farmer’s Market

Summertime makes me think of a couple of main things. The smell of BBQ wafting into the streets as you drive or walk by. Sunscreen white as snow sticking on sections of your face you forgot to rub in. Cold ice tea or lemonade dribbling down thirsty lips and throats. Fire cracker red, white, and blue popsicles in all their patriotic glory. Of course, the one thing I always look forward to is caprese. The room temperature mozzarella clinging to the juicy ripe tomatoes with basil to accent it all into perfection. A wonderful snack, and an even better panini sandwich.

This is the most easy snack or meal you could ever make besides a PBJ.

You Need:

  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • large fresh basil leaves
  • thick cuts of mozzarella, but if you are watching potions you can use the thin pre sliced at your local market
  • olive oil
  • 2 slices of your favorite bread. I think pumpernickel would be amazing with this but I lacked it. Whole wheat worked.
  • Grilled mushrooms (optional)

1. Make your sandwich with mozzarella, tomato, basil and optional mushrooms.

2. Lightly coat each outer side of the bread with olive oil. You can make it grilled version in a skillet or put it into a panini press.

3. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until you get how you like it cooked.

Besides gorging myself on this little piece of heaven, I got to pick out my classes today. I enrolled back into college to finish with a BS in Environmental Health. I want to really focus more on the Food Safety and Agricultural studies. According to my advisor I should be done spring of 2015, but I plan to take summer courses to make the graduation date come sooner. I’m also enrolled in the Honors Society; the smart cookie I am.

On my way home I remembered that the Westford Farmer’s Market is every Tuesday, 2:30-6pm. I’ve been meaning to swing by there for awhile now, and I finally got a chance to explore some local produce and products. I recently found out that there is one in my town and a couple towns around me as well. I wish they would advertise more or at least had a section in the Local Paper dedicated to local farms/products/ and a sort of highlight of the week. Maybe I will have to do that on here. I will just need to research some more. But back to the Farmer’s Market…

This stand that has Hill Orchard on the sign had some of the most gorgeous looking berries and peaches I’d laid eyes on this year. On top of that they had multiple blueberry bushes for sale in front of their stand.

La Bella Dolce had a wide variety of sweets. This woman who bakes all of these treats was so kind letting me know that she wasn’t completely sure that it was all completely nut free. I love when places can be very upfront and honest with you even though they may lose out on a sale. For that I suggest, no urge you, to order something from this classic Italian style bakery. Her chocolate chip cookies looked like they would have melted in my mouth.

Dragonfly Farms had so many colors and neatly were sectioned off. The ladies running the stand sadly ran out of fresh eggs before I could snag any. I suggest getting there early if you want to get your eggs. Even if you miss out on the eggs, check out their other produce.

There were two wine stands. I’m not a huge fan of apple wine, but it was one of the main things we did in America as our first spirits. Apples were only really used for cider (hard cider would be redundant). Apple wine is worth a try if you are only used to grape wines.

I really loved La Belle’s red wine they offered. Both gave wine samples so you aren’t in the dark with what you are buying.

From this stand, I tried buying something I’d never tasted before. I heard a similar comment made by a mother to her daughter. She took her over to the stand and told the little girl to pick out at least 2 new pieces of food she had never tried before. I love that. Allowing not only a child to explore but to take control of her own tastes and understand her food. I ended up picking the Kohlrabi for 2 dollars. It sort of tastes like cabbage at first and then the quick spice flavor of a radish. I’m trying to figure out what to do with it, any ideas?

I picked up some fresh honey from Pepperell, MA. I keep being told that if you eat a spoonful of local honey it will help with your allergies. If you remember, my allergies to food comes from the pollen issue I have with trees. I love nature… nature hates me. I’ll keep hugging though.

The final purchase that I got was a bagel.

I’m a terrible carb fiend. The yellow sign called to me and I was lured toward the table filled with large paper bags stuffed with assorted bagels. The owner of the stand assured me that none of his bagels had any form of nuts or peanuts. I’m going back next week to grab a lot of them, but for now this one attracted me:

Oh I will have a feast for breakfast based around this one bagel. I swear it!

So if you have some time and are local on Tuesdays, head on over to Westford Farmer’s Market and support local. I’m off to go weed my crazy garden. Apparently I have summer squash growing in.

Isn’t she lovely?

Happy cooking or baking!


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