Dana Slatkin

May Cooking Contest

Farmers markets are now opening all over the country. Maybe there’s one right down the street, or one you discovered on a trip, or one that you would happily travel many miles to, just to hunt down those blushing-orange raspberries, candy-striped beets, or delicate zucchini flowers. Tell our readers all about your farmers market, and then send us a recipe for your favorite salad.

Rialto Market in Venice, ItalyTwo markets stand out in my mind when I think of my favorites. When I was 19, I experienced my first, the famous Rialto Market in Venice, Italy, one of the oldest existing open-air markets in the world. I had come to spend my junior year abroad as part of an exchange program between U.C. Berkeley and L’Universit´ de Venezia. As I wandered Rialto’s bustling stands every day in search of my dinner, it became clear that my mastery of college-level Italian was completely inadequate. For a foreigner who hadn’t yet learned the saucy Venetian dialect, purchasing produce in Venice could be potentially humiliating (of course, the locals found it hysterically funny). I learned early on that to buy a fresh fig, for example, you must always use the masculine form (fico), because the feminine word (censored!) refers to part of the female anatomy below the equator (oops!).

Farmers Market in Kauai, HawaiiAnother market I’ll never forget is on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. While driving along the breathtaking Napali coast, my children and I met these fresh-faced young girls at the Kolo Kai Organic Farm stand. They gave us an enthusiastic education on their prized offerings, ginger and turmeric. Then the girls assured us that consuming these roots daily would give us glowing skin and life-long exuberance. We stuffed handfuls in our bags and smuggled them back home. And I think I did feel the glow while it lasted!

This month, I will be posting recipes for salads and other ways to enjoy the bounties at your local farmers markets. Send me your favorite salad recipes here. I look forward to testing them! The winning recipe will be featured on my website, and the winner will receive an autographed copy of my cookbook, Summertime Anytime. Send in your recipe by submitting it in the comment box below.

Congratulations, Shonny Ramlijak, on winning the April cooking contest with Prosciutto (or Poached Egg) and Brie with Arugula and Caramelized Onions!

Photo credit: blog.nzatvenice.com

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  1. dana says:

    Thanks so much for your contest entry. Best wishes and keep on cooking!

Please share your thoughts!