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Bringing ?in the harvest Try our summer supper tool kit and take advantage of ?the freshest vegetables and berries available

This just in: Blueberries will join strawberries on offer this week, plus peas, beets, and myriad greens.

That's thrilling news for all the cooks who enjoy strolling farmers' markets and backyard gardens as they start to explode with fresh produce, imagining summer suppers to come.

Here's a summer supper tool kit, recipes that make best use of some of the freshest vegetables and berries available in Western New York. Think of these as starter recipes waiting for the contents of your shopping basket. Substitute at will.

On Saturday mornings, nobody's cooking fresher food than Amelia Nussbaumer. Known for her vegan dishes at The Eights on Main Street, Nussbaumer hits the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings with another chef, Martin Danilowicz.

They bring tables, olive oil, salt and little else. After a scouting walk through the vendors, they plan a menu on the spot. The goal is to cook with the best stuff they see, and offer it to marketgoers for around $5. "We're trying to make the best quick food from the freshest ingredients," Nussbaumer said. "That will change week to week, and hour to hour," as sellers run out of the choicest wares.

Last week they made vegan French toast (from Great Harvest Bread Company loaves) with strawberry-rhubarb compote (from Weiss Farms fruit) and L&J's maple syrup.

Then sandwiches of fried egg (Painted Meadow Farm), jack cheese (First Light Farm & Creamery) and chili sauce (Blackman Homestead Farm). Plus a salad of sauteed beet greens, strawberries, grilled asparagus and leeks with balsamic vinegar.

The pair shared a simple recipe for beet carpaccio salad that they might make at the market – and a complicated one, too, for a home kitchen – a chilled soup of fresh peas, coconut milk and mint.

Daisy King of Cheektowaga and Salvatore Bordonaro of Cheektowaga, both former News Cooks of the Month, contributed pasta preparations.

King's is a cold pasta salad that uses spinach or other greens with shrimp, garlic and cheese. Bordonaro drew from his Sicilian roots for a simple broccoli pasta that can also use escarole, or other greens, and another with peas in tomato sauce, which works well with Swiss chard.

Editor and food writer Lauren Newkirk Maynard shared a favorite of her English-German family, a "dead simple" blueberry kuchen. She notes that the recipe, from Karen Loprete, her mother's cousin, can be adapted to other fruit. Later in the season, the recipe can be used on a mixture of blueberries and peaches, peaches alone, or other stone fruit.

As in the original, the kuchen recipe below encourages you to mix with your hands. Can't get simpler than that.

> Beet Carpaccio Salad

1 red beet

1 yellow beet

1 candy striped beet

1/2 cup each, picked leaves of ? basil, mint, tarragon, dill, ? fennel fronds, flat leaf ? parsley, shiso

4 nasturtiums, or other edible ? flowers, and their leaves

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

Salt and pepper

Slice each beet as thinly as possible, preferably using a mandoline, keeping kinds separate.

Arrange slices on a plate in a mosaic form, drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss the herbs and flowers with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste. Serves 2.

– Amelia Nussbaumer and Martin Danilowicz, Buffalo

> Chilled Sweet Pea Soup with Coconut and Mint

4 1/2 cups shelled peas, ? reserving 1/2 cup for garnish

1 leek, white part only, sliced

2 cups water

1/4 cup of coconut milk, ? plus 2 teaspoons

1/2 cup mint leaves

1 spring onion

Combine all ingredients, except mint, in medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and transfer contents to blender (only filling up halfway, as the liquid will be hot).

Purée until smooth. Pass though a fine mesh strainer or sieve. Allow to cool, in fridge for at least an hour. Add mint leaves, purée again in blender.

Blanch peas in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and chill in ice bath. Finely julienne spring onion, add salt and pepper, to taste, along with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add peas to that, and toss.

Ladle soup into two bowls, and add pea salad (garnish) to each bowl. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon coconut milk. Serves 2.

– Amelia Nussbaumer and Martin Danilowicz, Buffalo

> Fettuccine Salad

1/2 cup oil

4 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon onion salt

8 ounces fettuccine pasta

1 bunch fresh spinach, ? cut into strips

2 medium carrots, shredded

1/2 pound tiny shrimp

Black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook and drain fettuccine.

In large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sesame seeds, garlic and onion salt. Toss with cooked pasta and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Before serving, add spinach, carrots, shrimp, cheese and black pepper, to taste. Toss again, and serve.

– Daisy King, Cheektowaga

> Blueberry Kuchen

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 scant cup plus ? 1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons (g stick) butter

2 cups well-drained ? blueberries, or other fruit

1 egg yolk

2 eggs

1 tablespoon lemon juice, ? or more

Zest of one lemon

(Makes one 9-inch pie plate or if doubled, 13 x 9 pan.)

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, mix 1 cup flour, salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and butter, with pastry blender or use your hand.

Add egg yolk and mix again. Spread and tamp with spoon to form pie crust in plate. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Add blueberries or other fruit.

In small bowl, beat eggs. Add scant 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon flour, lemon juice and zest, and mix well. Pour over fruit.

Bake for 1 hour. If not browning, bake 10-15 minutes more.

– Karen Loprete via Lauren Newkirk Maynard, Buffalo

> Pasta Piselli (Pasta with Peas)

1 pound sweet green peas

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

12 leaves chopped fresh basil ? (or 1/4 cup dried)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

1 28-ounce can crushed ? tomatoes

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 paste can of water

1 pound whole wheat ? penne pasta

Romano cheese, grated

Pour olive oil into a 2-quart pot and saute onion and garlic. Add green peas and continue to saute for 2 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes along with tomato paste. Add water to empty paste can, stir to remove paste from can, and mix with the green peas. Cook for 30 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and add basil.

Meanwhile, boil water in 4-quart pot, add handful of salt and then add pasta. Cook pasta until al dente, then strain and mix sauce with peas.

Dish out and top with Romano cheese. Serves 4.

(You can skip the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, cooking the peas for about 10 minutes with onion, garlic, olive oil, etc. and mixing together with cooked pasta. You may also substitute a chopped bunch of Swiss chard for the peas.)

– Salvatore Bordonaro, Kenmore

> Pasta with Broccoli

2 pounds broccoli crowns

5 garlic cloves, chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1 pound spaghettini pasta

Romano cheese, grated

Saute garlic in olive oil in frying pan until golden.

Cut broccoli crowns into small pieces, add to frying pan and cook for about 10 minutes at medium heat, or until al dente.

Boil water in a 4-quart pot, add a handful of salt along with spaghettini, and cook until al dente. After pasta is cooked, strain into a glass or metal bowl and retain some of the water.

Mix ingredients with pasta, then add a little pasta water so it's not on the dry side. Top with Romano cheese. Serves four.

(Broccoli can be replaced with escarole, other cooking greens or broccoli rabe.)

– Salvatore Bordonaro, Kenmore

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