Locavores

Fresh: Farmers markets are a wonderful way to buy your produce, but figuring out how to get the produce home and then what to do with all that bounty is an ongoing issue. (Dan Honda/Contra Costa Times/MCT)

Serves 2

1 bunch broccolini (about 6-8 stems), cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 garlic glove, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled

1. In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil. Blanch broccolini for 3-4 minutes. Submerge broccolini in a bowl of iced water or rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

2. Meanwhile, mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic in a medium-sized serving bowl. Add broccolini and toss to combine. Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve chilled or at room temperature or chilled.

-- Jillian Abernathy, www.farmandafryingpan.com

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GOLDEN BEET AND BLOOD ORANGE SALAD

Serves 4

4 medium golden beets

Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Champagne or white wine vinegar

Sea salt, black pepper

Salad

2 large or 3 small blood oranges

1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced

1 heaping tablespoon thinly sliced fresh mint

1. Preheat oven to 375. If the beet greens are attached, remove all but a 1/2 inch of the stem. Reserve the greens and stems for another use. Put the beets in a baking dish, add water to a depth of 1/4 inch, cover tightly and bake until a knife pierces the beets easily, 45-55 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and slice into thin rounds.

2. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together.

3. Cut a slice off the top and bottom of each orange. Working with one at a time, set the fruit on a cutting board, cut side down. Slice away the peel from top to bottom, following the contour of the fruit and removing all the white pith. Slice the orange thinly crosswise. Repeat with remaining orange(s).

4. To assemble the salad, alternate slices of beet and orange on a platter. Scatter the onion evenly over all. Whisk the dressing briefly and spoon it over the salad. Sprinkle with mint and serve immediately.

-- Janet Fletcher, "Eating Local, The Cookbook Inspired by America's Farmers" (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 304 pp, $35)

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(c) 2010, Contra Costa Times ( Walnut Creek, Calif.).

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