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‘Farm to Table’ offers inspiring recipes for fresh foods

Summer is the perfect time for this new cookbook.

Ivy Manning’s “The Farm to Table Cookbook: The Art of Eating Locally” will help you wile away long summer nights dreaming of your next garden feast or get you planning your trip to the farmers’ market.

The recipes focus on fresh, regional produce and the book is arranged by season. There are more than 110 recipes in the book, with inspiring color pictures. She includes tips for choosing the best produce and ideas for navigating the farmers’ market with ease (arrive early, bring cash, ask the farmer about things you don’t recognize).

Among the recipes are dishes by Seattle chefs at Lark, Crush, Tilth, Carmelita and Boat Street Cafe. Portland chefs from The Farm Cafe, Carafe, Pearl Bakery and Paley’s Place also contribute recipes.

Among the tasty-sounding recipes that caught my eye: A Versatile Recipe for The Hearty Greens You Don’t Know What To Do With, Spicy Minced Pork in Lettuce Bundles, Rhubarb Streusel Tart with Brown Sugar-Sour Cream Ice Cream and Twice-Baked Irish Potatoes with Stout Onions and Kale.

Here are two recipes from the book, because I couldn’t choose just one:

Sweet Corn Chowder with Tomato and Basil

“This soup really shows off the rich flavor of corn at its peak. The chowder is creamy while managing to be relatively low in fat; the richness comes from the starchy corncob stock and potatoes. The tomato basil garnish is a tasty but optional addition,” Manning writes.

4 ears fresh yellow corn

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups water

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 red or orange pepper, finely chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 pound Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt

1 pinch cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 medium (1/2 cup tomato), seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil

2 green onions, chopped

Shuck the corn. To shave the kernels from the cob, hold a cob upright at a slight angle on a cutting board and cut off the kernels with a sharp chef’s knife, being careful not to cut the cob. Repeat with remaining ears. Set kernels aside.

Put the cobs, stock, water and bay leaf in a large soup pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the broth into a large bowl and set aside; discard the corn cobs and bay leaf.

Place pot over medium-high heat. Add the butter, onion and pepper and then cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in the warm broth and bring to a boil. Add half the corn kernels, potatoes and salt; reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the remaining corn kernels and cayenne pepper; cook 5 minutes. (If you prefer thicker chowder, smash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot to thicken.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the stove and gradually whisk in the cheese until it melts completely.

In a small bowl combine the tomato, basil and green onions. Ladle the soup in to 4 bowls and gently spoon the tomato-basil garnish on top.

Yield: 4 servings

Approximate nutrition per serving: 431 calories, 17 grams fat (10 grams saturated, 34 percent fat calories), 15 grams protein, 61 grams carbohydrate, 46 milligrams cholesterol, 7.5 grams dietary fiber, 1,020 milligrams sodium.

Peach and Blackberry Hazelnut Crisp

Manning writes: “Peaches and blackberries are natural flavor partners; fortunately they come into season at the same time (late summer). If you like fruit crisps especially juicy, reduce the flour in the fruit mixture to just a few tablespoons. I leave the skins on the peaches because they add fiber and flavor; they can be peeled if you prefer.”

For the hazelnut topping:

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

4 teaspoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pinch salt

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and chopped (see note)

For the fruit:

1 pound ripe peaches, pitted and sliced

11/4 pounds (3 cups) blackberries or marionberries

1  teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 2 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the hazelnut topping, in a food processor or large bowl combine the flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the butter pieces and pulse until they are the size of small peas. (Alternatively, blend with a pastry blender or your fingers.) Add the oats and hazelnuts and refrigerate.

To prepare the fruit, toss the peaches, berries, lemon juice, lemon zest, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle hazelnut topping evenly over the top.

Place the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is golden, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool 30 minutes and serve with the ice cream.

Note: Toast hazelnuts in a 400-degree oven on a rimmed baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, until the nuts are colored lightly and the skins crack. When cool enough to handle, rub small handfuls between your palms over the sink to loosen the papery skins.

Yield: 8 servings

Approximate nutrition per serving, without ice cream: 214 calories, 10 grams fat (3 grams saturated, 41 percent fat calories), 3 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrate, 12 milligrams cholesterol, 5 grams dietary fiber, 39 milligrams sodium.