Farmers’ markets throughout the area have been helping local growers get their product to the people in a very direct way, but as Bethany Beach’s farmers’ market is demonstrating, it’s not just the general public who choose the local produce and goods offered at the markets. Restaurants throughout the region rely heavily on the breads, fruit, vegetables and other products from local producers to help assemble their menus, and at Bethany’s farmers’ market, cooking demonstrations have been sharing the benefits of bringing local flavor right into the kitchen, at home and at area restaurants.
Cory Scordo, executive chef at Rehoboth’s Pucini House and Espuma, stopped by the market this past Sunday, July 19, to share some recipes and the benefit of purchasing ingredients from local farmers.
“I always try to get to as many farmers’ markets as I can,” he explained. Scordo has been taking advantage of the Rehoboth Beach-area markets for several years, as well. “They’re a great presence for the restaurant,” he added, “and it’s all about being seen. You can let people know that we do use all the fresh ingredients in our food, and at the same time, our business helps local farmers. If we don’t come out, they won’t be here in the future.”
On Sunday, he presented his chim churri sauce, which was served over roasted shrimp. Fresh herbs and spices, purchased from local growers, go into the zesty mix. The sauce itself also works as a marinade for meats and fish. “I use this sauce quite a bit at the restaurants,” he said.
He also featured his roasted squash hummus, which served as a complement atop slices from the loaves produced by Old World Bread, which is a top seller at the market.
“There’s so much squash right now,” said the 10-year self-taught chef. “You can’t let it go to waste.”
Local produce and products play an intricate part in Scordo’s recipes.
“At this point in the year,” he said, “50 percent of our products come from farmer’s market. That’s where the produce comes from. We get involved with sourcing out farmers and, a lot of times, go directly to their farms. It’s a great way to market ourselves and get as much stuff as we can to put on the plates.”
While many home cooks turn to the produce section of a supermarket for their vegetables and fruit, the freshness and quality in taste from area growers is unsurpassed, according to Scordo.
“The fresher the ingredients in the cooking,” he said, “the better the product. And if you have the product, you’re halfway there.”
Fans of Scordo’s recipes can pick up some local ingredients from the Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island farmers’ markets to try them.
Chim Churri Sauce
p 1 tablespoon diced onion
p 1 tablespoon diced roasted garlic
p 1 teaspoon diced garlic
p 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
p 1 tablespoon fresh diced parsley
p 1/2 teaspoon salt
p 2 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Mix first six ingredients together, then slowly whisk in olive oil.
Serve over steak, shrimp, etc., or use as a marinade.
Roast Squash Hummus
p 4 pounds mixed squash
p 1 1/2 tablespoons roasted garlic
p 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
p 2 tablespoons lime juice
p 1 tablespoon diced tarragon
p 1 teaspoon salt
Roast squash in oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Puree squash and roasted garlic in a blender. Mix together with remaining ingredients.
The Fenwick Island Farmers’ Market is continuing this summer, every Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. until noon, at the corner of Coastal Highway and Essex Road, in the grass lot beside the Dairy Queen. The Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market continues every Sunday from 8 a.m. until noon at the PNC Bank parking lot, located at the corner of Garfield Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue.
There will also be cooking demonstrations at the Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market every Sunday at 10 a.m. through Aug. 30, set up right in the parking lot. Stop by Sunday, July 26, for a cooking demonstration put on by new Bethany Beach restaurant Blue Water. On Aug. 2, there will be a cooking demo from DiFebo’s, with one from Baha Beach Grill on Aug. 9. Chefs from Mango’s will stop by on Aug. 16, and Sedona’s cooks will provide local cooking demos on Aug. 23 and 30.
“The demos have been a great success so far,” said Jean Wode, who has been a strong supporter of the Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market since its start. “The summer’s going by fast, but it’s a great way for farmers and chefs to show off their products.”