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A California Summer Market Menu

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Celebrate the bounty of the farmers' market with glazed chicken, colorful tomato stacks, and more

This menu serves eight, but the green bean and tomato napoleon recipes will need to be doubled. The shopping list reflects the scaled up amounts

This menu is all about celebrating the amazing bounty of California’s farmers markets. When you find such beautiful variety, why not show it off? The playful tomato napoleons are a riot of color; kernels of sweet corn take an even sweeter turn in a dessert, and even flowers turn up in surprising places, like the lavender syrup drizzled on the cake. 

Menu Timeline

Up to one day ahead:

  • Make the apricot glaze for the chicken.
  • Make the parmesan crisps.
  • Make the vinaigrette for the salad.
  • Make the lavender syrup for the cake.

In the morning:

  • Bake the cake.
  • Cut up the extra corn kernels for topping the cake.

1 hour ahead

  • Slice up the tomatoes and prepare the herbs for the salad
  • Preheat the grill.
  • Parboil the haricots verts.

30 minutes ahead:

  • Grill the chicken.
  • Saute the haricots verts.
  • Assemble the tomato napoleons.

After dinner:

  • Cut the cake, finish the compote and serve it on the cake.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 3 large ears sweet corn
  • 4 to 6 lb. heirloom tomatoes, preferably of different colors, sizes, and shapes
  • 40 heirloom cherry tomatoes, preferably of different colors and sizes
  • 1-1/2 lb. haricots verts
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 8 oz. baby arugula
  • 4 small shallots
  • 2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bunches fresh basil
  • 2 bunches fresh tarragon
  • 2 bunches fresh chives
  • 20 small nasturtium leaves (optional)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Meat, Eggs & Dairy

  • Two 4-lb. chickens or 5 to 6 lb. good-quality bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, drumsticks, and breasts
  • 10 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 oz. (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Other Groceries:

  • 2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves (preferably a brand without corn syrup, such as St. Dalfour’s)
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 tsp. dried lavender

Pantry Staples

  • 1-3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbs. grapeseed oil or canola oil, extra for grilling
  • 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. Champagne vinegar
  • 4 tsp. walnut oil
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • Kosher salt
  • Black peppercorns

The Menu


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