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Eat Local Challenge

As part of Howl's Farm to Fork series, we asked you, dear readers, to subit your favorite recipes from the farm or garden. Howl will publish your recipes and pictures to help our fellow locavores get great tips and ideas on how to make the most of farm-fresh offerings. 
Keep 'em coming! We’ll post your recommendation and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a gift certificate for two at Fuse Bistro, 45 Palmer St., Lowell, where fresh eats from Brox Farm in Dracut can be found all over the menu.
Howl's Farm to Fork locavore series follows Greater Lowell chefs to area farms, farmers markets, roadside stands and gardens for delicious ideas that go from land — or sea — and straight to your dinner table.
Marianne Gries and pooch
Locavore Marianne Gries and her trusty K-9 Simon. Howl gives a big thanks to Marianne for her delicious recipes!

By Marianne Gries

Every Friday afternoon during the growing season I stop by the Lowell Farmers Market – my favorite – to shop for ingredients for these two dishes, and every single weekend during the growing season we eat Panzanella for supper and Red Flannel Hash for breakfast.

The entire experience is such a treat: I get to say hello to all of my favorite vendors at the market, pick up some great produce and treats, drink a freshly-squeezed lemonade, and ride my bike home and start cooking.

Every ingredient in both of these recipes, except for the vinegar, spices, bacon, and butter, can be (and are) purchased at the Lowell Farmers Market.

Lowell Farmers Market Panzenella - Marianne Gries
Lowell Farmers Market Panzanella

  • 3 loaves of UTEC Fresh Roots Bread, or one baguette from Jones Farm
  • As many cherry tomatoes as you can get your hands on (at least two pints)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 big bunch of basil
  • Good olive oil
  • Good balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ ball of mozzarella from Jones Farm
  • Salt and pepper

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss bread pieces with 2 tablespoons oil and ¼ teaspoon salt; arrange bread in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Toast bread pieces until just starting to turn light golden, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, cut the cherry tomatoes in half (or chop if you are using heirloom tomatoes,) seed and slice the cucumber, finely slice the red onion,  chiffonade the basil, and cut the mozzarella into small pieces. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, and onion to a big bowl and toss with olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Add the bread and toss, add the basil and cheese and toss once again. Let the whole thing sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Lowell Farmers Market Red Flannel Hash - Marianne Gries
Vegetarian (or not) Farmers Market Red Flannel Hash 


The ingredients for this dish are completely flexible – hash is a great clean-out-the-fridge meal.

  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • 2 to 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 medium to large beet
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of roasted ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • Chipotle chili powder to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of ketchup
  • Salt and pepper
  • Eggs
Optional ingredients that are also great in this recipe:

  • Bacon (this eliminates the vegetarian from the title)
  • Parsnips, peppers, kohlrabi, fennel, butternut squash, sweet potato, mushrooms, turnips, beet greens, kale, rutabagas

The night before – cook the potatoes, beet, and corn. If I am making Panzanella, I will just pop the potatoes, beet (wrapped in foil,) and corn (right in its husk) into the oven with the panzanella bread. If not, I “bake” the veggies right on the grill.

The potatoes get scrubbed and poked with a fork, the beet gets wrapped in foil as it is (once it’s cooked, the skin will slide right off), and the corn gets cooked right in its husk. I bake or grill them for about 30 minutes. Either way, once they are cool, the veggies go in the fridge for the night. I husk and remove the corn kernels, and I take the beet out of the foil and rub off the skin with a paper towel in the morning.

The day of - heat a large pan over medium high heat. If you are using bacon, cut it into rashers and cook it, reserving some of the fat. Place the cooked bacon off to the side on a paper towel-lined plate.

If you aren’t using bacon, add a pat of butter and a glug of olive oil to the pan. Once your fat is hot, add the onions and carrots and cook them until the onion and carrot are soft. Add the spices and the clove of garlic and cook one minute more.

While the onions and carrots are cooking, roughly chop the potatoes and beet. Add the chopped potatoes, beet, and corn kernels to the pan, and use a spatula to press down on the veggies, you want to create a delicious brown crust on the bottom. Add the ketchup to the top of the pressed down veggies – I use ketchup that comes in a squirt bottle and usually just do a couple of turns around the pan. Let the hash cook for five to seven minutes without disturbing it. A crust should form on the bottom.

Stir, then press down again and cook for another five to seven minutes, until a crust forms again.

At this point, you can add the bacon back to the hash (if you’re using it.) Stir the hash once more, taste it to adjust seasonings, press it down, and lower the heat to medium while you poach your eggs.

Spoon the hash onto plates, press down in the center, lay one or two poached eggs on top and enjoy!

Take the Eat Local Challenge

Got a favorite summer dish fresh from the farm or garden? Send Howl your recipe, a picture of the dish and the name of your favorite farm, farm stand, farmers market or community garden. We’ll post your recommendation and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a gift certificate for two at Fuse Bistro, 45 Palmer St., Lowell.


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