The Hippo


Apr 22, 2019








 Local corn bruschetta

From the kitchen of Joe Drift
Makes 6 to 8 servings
4 ears of corn
2 local heirloom tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
1 small red onion
1 large red pepper
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
Black pepper and salt, to taste
1 small bunch fresh basil
1 large French baguette
Balsamic reduction
4 ounces local micro greens
4 ounces fresh Parmesan wheel
Roast corn and cut off the cob. Then chop tomato, onion, red pepper, cilantro into a small dice. Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Take fresh herbs and chop finely and mix with ricotta cheese in a separate bowl. Take French baguette and cut in half the long way. Spread the ricotta mix on to the bread, covering it heavily. Spread the corn mixture on top of the ricotta covered bread and bake on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until crispy. Cut bread into sections. Spread out micro greens on serving plate and top the bruschetta with balsamic reduction and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Market inspiration
Produce and dish ideas to carry you into September

By Allie Ginwala

 Although August may seem like the month bursting at the seams with fresh local produce, it’s only part of the height of the harvest season, which NH Farmer’s Market Association President Jane Lang said really kicks in once September rolls around.

“This is when you get all the full benefits of everything that's out there, so not only do you still have the lettuces, but you now are going gradually into the squashes and cantaloupe … so it’s offering a very large variety of the height of it all,” she said in a phone interview.
Be on the look-out at local markets in the next couple of weeks for plenty of greens, broccoli, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, tomatoes and even certain fruits.
“I’m still actually seeing raspberries and blueberries and even some cherries and peaches, of course, and plums,” Lang said.
One of the reasons for such a wide range coming from local farms right now may be due to the very snowy winter, which set back the beginning of the growing season. 
“I think we’re seeing more of that abundance that we may not have seen last year at this time,” she said. “So more people will have more of an advantage to enjoy fresh local produce later in the season.”
Most farmers markets continue through late September or early October, depending on the weather and the specific market. As fall approaches, be on the lookout for more jams, breads and prepared food, which Lang said tends to become more prominent as summer fades. 
Joe Drift, executive chef at Sky Meadow Country Club in Nashua, loves the shift in seasons because September and October are his favorite months to cook.
“It gets more hearty [with] braising, grilling … a lot of poaching, smoking, one-pot cooking,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s nice to get apples and plums. There’s plums at the farm so I can make a plum pudding or plums with duck. I could make a plum compote to go with a [really] nice bone-in pork chop.”
Often times he talks to the farmer to see what’s going to be in soon and plans menus around that. While it’s still a few weeks away, he’s already looking ahead to apples and corn.
Recently, Drift took a trip to Brookdale Fruit Farm, Lull Farm and Lavoie’s Farm in Hollis to take a look at what’s in season and provide suggestions for how to plan meals around the freshest ingredients possible. With no particular dish in mind, he scoped out the farms and came away with heirloom tomatoes, spinach, pattypan squash, herbs, peppers, zucchini, onions, peaches and cherries. 
The ingredients he found at the farms inspired him to make an heirloom tomato salad (which was recently a special dish at Sky Meadow) with local burrata cheese, basil and garlic toast, crispy onions and balsamic reduction. Other pairings he came up with are farm vegetable ravioli with squash puree, crispy beet chips and caramelized onion cream with sage and candied cherries and an herb-crusted domestic lamb rack with pattypan squash risotto, manchego tater tots and spinach.
“I mean I love the squash that's out right now so you get some creamy risotto … it kind of flows pretty good,” he said. 
His favorites pieces of produce later in the season are corn and butternut squash, which sometimes gets overlooked because people are unfamiliar with it.
“A lot of people I know [think they] don't like butternut squash and I’ll make things with it and they'll be like, ‘Oh I guess I like it,’” he said. “It’s in the way that you prepare items.”
He'll make a butternut squash hash to go alongside a “salty, peppery pork chop,” hoping that people won’t overlook the oddly shaped squash just because they aren’t sure what to do with it.
“I mean [I] just encourage people to keep going out and eat local produce,” Drift said. “It’s great for the economy and for everybody.” 

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