Looking for a new way to use your latest haul from the farmer's market? A recent cook-off yielded some real winners.
A Richland woman won first place in the Leafy Greens category of the Vegetable Recipe Contest held annually by the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing & Research Program.
Sally Kocan, a first-time finalist, won her category with "Garden Fresh Greens and Beans."
She also won first place in Giant Eagle's annual burger contest last year.
The contest's other winners came from the central and eastern parts of the state. Frances Dietz of York won first place in two categories for her "Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry" (which topped the Snap Bean/Lima Bean/Pea category) and her "Corn and Black Eyed Pea Salad" (tops in the Corn category). Marilyn Goldfarb of Boalsburg won the Broccoli/Cabbage/Cauliflower category with "Asian Style Stewed Cauliflower."
Four finalists in each of the four categories traveled to Lebanon, Pa., for the cook-off on Aug. 8. Forty-three cooks submitted a total of 90 recipes for this year's competition.
The contest yields a fresh batch of recipes for the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing & Research Program to use each year in its promotion of local veggies. Each winner received a $25 gift certificate to the farm market of her choice.
Ms. Kocan said that when she entered the competition, she didn't realize she'd need to travel to the Harrisburg area for the cook-off, but "I felt like I had to follow through" after being named a finalist.
All of the finalists' recipes are available on paveggies.org.
Here's her beans and greens.
Garden-Fresh Beans and Greens
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups mixed greens, stems removed and chopped -- use one or all of the following greens: arugula, kale, mustard greens, spinach, collard greens, and/or Swiss chard
1/2 cup chicken stock
15.5-ounce can cannellini beans or great Northern beans, drained
15.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1/2 pound cooked, sliced Italian sausage (optional)
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh grated parmesan cheese
Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet on low heat. Add greens in 2 or 3 batches and stir to coat with the oil and garlic. Add the chicken stock to further wilt the greens. Add beans and tomatoes and continue to stir.
For a hearty meal, add pre-cooked sliced Italian sausage. Toss greens with hot pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Top with a generous portion of fresh grated parmesan cheese. Serves 3 to 5 as a side dish or 2 to 3 as a main dish.
-- Sally Kocan
Rebecca Sodergren: email@example.com or on Twitter @pgfoodevents.