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Serves 6; recipe by Courtney McDonald

-4 pounds sweet potatoes
-2 cups heavy cream or half and half
-1 stick unsalted butter
-zest of 4 meyer lemons
-2 vanilla beans
-salt and pepper, to taste

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut unto large chunks. Place in a pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low. Cook until potatoes just begin to fall apart and are very soft, about 15-20 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, heat the cream and butter in a small pot over low heat, just until butter is melted. Add the meyer lemon zest. Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape out the vanilla pulp. Add the pulp to the cream and save the pods for another use. Set cream mixture aside until potatoes are cooked.

Drain the sweet potatoes and discard the cooking water. Return the cooked potatoes to the pot and heat over low flame for a minute to remove any excess moisture. Using a potato masher, mash in the cream-lemon-vanilla mixture. Add the liquid until sweet potatoes are at the consistency you prefer – less liquid for starchier potatoes and more for creamier. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately! This dish would pair well with a Placer County chardonnay or viognier wine.

Serves 2 (with leftovers!)

-2 large eggs, lightly beaten
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 Tbsp. heavy cream
-3/4 cup buttermilk
-4 Tbsp. melted butter
-1 ½ Tbsp. fresh Meyer lemon juice
-zest of 1 Meyer lemon
-3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
-1 prebaked tart crust (you could use a store-bought graham cracker pie crust)
-1/4 cup sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, buttermilk, and melted butter. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice, zest and flour. Whisk until all lumps of flour have disappeared. Carefully pour buttermilk mixture into the prebaked tart shell. Place onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until tart is just set (when gently tapped the center should no longer jiggle), about 35-45 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, then slice into wedges. To serve, top with whipped cream and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint, if desired. Wrap leftover tart in plastic and store in the refrigerator.

Foothill Farm­ers Mar­ket Asso­ci­a­tion Recipe

Mixed Greens with Plums, Feta, Red Onion and Pistachios

Serves 6 —  recipe by Court­ney McDonald


  • 6 cups mixed greens, washed and spun dry
  • 3 ripe plums, pit­ted and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed in cold water
  • 1/4 cup Snow’s Cit­rus Court Orange Bal­samic Dressing
  • 3/4 cup crum­bled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup roasted and shelled pistachios
  • Salt and freshly ground black pep­per, to taste

In a large bowl, toss the mixed greens, plums and red onion.  Driz­zle enough of the bal­samic dress­ing over and toss to coat to your lik­ing.  Sea­son to taste with salt and pep­per.  Arrange salad onto 6 serv­ing plates and top with the roasted pis­ta­chios and crum­bled feta cheese.  Serve immediately.

Serves 6; Recipe By Courtney McDonald

For the pickled red onion:
-1 medium red onion peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
-1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup sugar

In a small saucepot, heat the vinegar and water with the sugar until warm to the touch. Remove from the heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the sliced onion and let marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Drain the onion. The pickling liquid can be reused, refrigerated, for up to one month.

For the salad:
-2 heads lettuce, such as red leaf, green leaf or romaine, washed
-2 baskets strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
-1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
-1 tsp. Dijon mustard
-1 Tbsp. strawberry balsamic vinegar
-1/2 tsp. reserved onion pickling liquid
-3 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 pickled red onion
-1/2 cup goat cheese (optional)

Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss with the strawberries, walnuts and fresh mint. Set aside. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the dijon mustard, strawberry balsamic and pickling liquid. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly until incorporated. Pour over the lettuce and toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper, top with the pickled red onion and goat cheese (optional). Serve immediately.

Serves 6 – recipe by Courtney McDonald

-2 medium winter squash, such as acorn, kabocha or butternut
-3 Tbsp. local honey
-4 Tbsp. salted or unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
-8 sprigs fresh thyme
-salt and pepper, to taste
-8 slices bacon, cooked to your liking

Preheat oven to 425. Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lay out the squash on a rimmed baking sheet or large glass baking dish, cut side up. Drizzle evenly with the honey and butter pieces and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place a sprig of thyme on each piece of squash.

Add a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the baking dish, cover with foil and bake until squash is tender, 30-40 minutes. Remove foil and allow to caramelize for another 5 minutes. Add the cooked bacon slices just to warm and serve immediately!

Recipe by Courtney McDonald
Serves 6

-2 Tbsp. olive oil
-6 pork loin chops
-2 Tbsp unsalted butter
-8 fresh thyme sprigs
-3 tart green apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
-2 Tbsp honey
-sat and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Season the pork chops to taste with salt and pepper and add to the pan (in batches if they won’t all fit together). Avoid crowding the pan or the pork chops will steam. Cook the chops until well-caramelized on both sides and cooked just under your liking. Remove chops from the pan and set aside to rest.
Wipe excess oil from pan and add the butter, thyme, apples and honey. The apples will start to release moisture and absorb any browned bits left from the pork chops. Cook this mixture, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to soften – about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once apples are soft, place the cooked chops back into the pan, on top of the apple mixture. Put the whole pan in the oven to heat through – about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Serves 6 – recipe by Courtney McDonald

-3 fuyu or gosho persimmon, pits removed, cut into 8ths
-4 radishes, washed and thinly sliced
-2 cups winter greens such as arugula, mizuna or spinach,
washed and torn into bite-size pieces
-2 crisp apples
-juice and zest of 2 meyer lemons
-1/4-1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
-salt and pepper, to taste

Place the persimmon wedges, sliced radish and greens into a large mixing bowl. Dice the apples into large chunks and add to the bowl. While tossing gently, slowly add the meyer lemon juice and zest. Next add the olive oil and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a serving bowl, top with the chopped walnuts and serve immediately!

Recipe by Courtney McDonald

Serves 6

-1 ¼ cups strained plum puree (about 1 pound plums, pitted and pureed in the blender)
-1 ¼ cups strained apricot puree (about 1 pound apricots, pitted and pureed in the blender)
-1/3 cup- 1 cup sugar (to taste, depending on the sweetness of the fruit)
-1 Tbsp. vodka (optional)
-a few sprigs opal basil, for garnish

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the fruit purees. Whisk in the sugar gradually, until fruit puree is quite sweet (the sugar will keep the finished sorbet from freezing too hard). Stir in the vodka, if using (this will also help the final consistency of the sorbet), and continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Chill the sorbet base overnight in the refrigerator, then freeze according to manufacturers instructions on your ice cream machine. Serve immediately, garnished with the basil, or let set in the freezer for a few hours. Enjoy!

Serves 6; Recipe by Courtney McDonald

-2 pounds small potatoes, any variety, washed
-1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, washed well and sliced into ½ inch ribbons
-2 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-2 leeks, cleaned well and sliced thinly crosswise
-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1/4 cup heavy cream

Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until leeks are translucent. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, collard greens and broth to cover. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Once potatoes are cooked, remove the pot from the stove and add the cayenne and heavy cream.

Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve immediately.

Recipe by Courtney McDonald
Makes 1 quart jar

-5 Meyer lemons
-1 mandarin
-1/3 cup kosher salt
-2 whole star anise
-1 cinnamon stick
-2/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (from about 5 lemons)

Scrub lemons and mandarin and dry well. Quarter lemons and mandarin lengthwise, leaving 1/2 inch at bottom intact. Toss fruit with salt and spices and transfer to a sterile quart-sized mason jar. Use a wooden spoon to press lemons to fit. Add lemon juice and any remaining salt. Seal jar tightly and shake to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days, shaking jar each day. Transfer to refrigerator for 3 weeks until rinds are soft. Rinse before using the rind, and pulp can be used in salad dressings and marinades.

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