Thursday, September 10, 2009

Joys of Summer: Farmer's Market and Vegetable Dill Sandwich

Lately I've become obsessed with veggies, and I think I've discovered the reason. I have an enormous appetite and enjoy eating so much that I sometimes overeat. However, if I'm eating a vegetarian meal full of healthy and delicious vegetables, I can eat as much as I want without the guilt! I especially love eating extra veggies for lunch, because I know I get my required nutrients during the day, leaving more flexibility for dinner (pizza anyone?). I am not a vegetarian, but I think I could be.

Below is a salute to farmer's markets, a true joy of summer, with unlimited fresh veggies at low prices! Every time I go to a farmer's market I try to bring home something new to try. Recently I've fallen in love with a fabulous herb- dill. Dill is sweet, aromatic and earthy without being overpowering. My favorite way to use dill is to flavor creamy dressings, such as in mayonnaise on a sandwich or in salad dressings.

Minnesota Farmer's Market
The farmer's market at the University of Minnesota has many local garden-grown vegetables along with fresh fruit, flowers and honey. A weekly tradition!

Venice, Italy Farmer's Market
This is another farmer's market- Venice style. The city in the sea has no roads, so vegetables are brought in on gondolas and sold to customers right out of the water. I was intrigued by this concept and had to snap a picture!


Florence, Italy Farmer's Market

I loved this mini Farmer's market in Florence outside of a wine shop. The vibrant colors of the fruit could be seen from blocks away, and the fruit was so fresh and pure it could be eaten straight out of the bin. I once bought an apple and asked if I could use the sink to rinse it off. Well, the shopkeeper looked at me as if I was crazy and said "È pronto a mangiare ora!"- It's ready to eat now! I guess that's what it's like not to worry about pesticides on fruit!

Enjoy the fresh bounty of your local farmer's market with this delectable sandwich. I served it at a picnic on a hot summer day and it was light and refreshing. A perfect take-along sandwich that is not only delicious but also good for you! (Courtesy of Food&Wine Magazine)

Vegetable Sandwich with Dill Sauce
Crunchy veggies, tangy sauce and healthy multigrain bread makes the perfect lunch! 
Serves 4

  1. 1/2 cup plain yogurt
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
    1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon cooking oil
    1 teaspoon wine vinegar
    Fresh-ground black pepper
    8 thick slices multigrain bread
    8 lettuce leaves
    1/2 pound sliced provolone
    2 tomatoes, sliced
    1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
    1 small red onion, sliced very thin
    1 ripe avocado, preferably Hass, sliced
    1 cup alfalfa sprouts 

    In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, dill, mustard, oil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

    Spread a tablespoon of the dill sauce on one side of each of four slices of bread. Top each slice with lettuce, provolone, tomatoes, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, the cucumber, onion, avocado, and sprouts. Drizzle another tablespoon of dill sauce over each sandwich. Cover with the remaining four slices of bread. 
Recipe Author: Food and Wine Magazine

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