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Celebrate springtime at the farmers market
Some Kinda Good
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The return of the Farmers’ Market for me each season is just about as exciting as Christmas Day. Springtime brings me so much joy! With fresh herbs and local produce on my mind, I love getting up on Saturday morning, throwing on my weekend clothes and oversized sunglasses, and heading out the door. Sometimes, I even pack up my 10-pound Shih Tzu, Ewok, and we ride with the radio up and the windows down on the way. The Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market showcases our area’s finest fresh produce, herbs and local fare. This month, pints and pints of gorgeous, red-ripened strawberries, sweet Vidalia onions, lettuce varieties, deep purple radishes and garden peas await. Visions of homemade jams and flavored syrups, fresh cheeses, grass-fed beef, farm eggs by the dozens and wildflower honey run through my dreams. Stone ground grits, French bread and caramelized onion focaccia, oh my! I have to pace myself as my eyes devour everything in sight faster than my wallet can keep up.

If you’ve never visited our local farmers’ market, you are truly missing out. It is one of Statesboro’s most charming attractions, not to mention most viable resources for locally sourced ingredients. There is such value in getting to know where your food comes from and building relationships with local farmers. I highly encourage it, not only because the food is affordable and top quality, but because you’re preserving the community where you live, work and play. April is Strawberry season and today, I’m sharing my Strawberry Basil Sauce--luscious, sweet and oozing with fruity flavor. Paired with fresh basil from my garden and a hint of lemon juice, the sauce comes together in minutes and can be used in so many ways:

●     Add the sauce to a Strawberry Trifle

●     Serve it over Grilled Chicken

●     Pour it over cold vanilla ice cream

●     Add it to cocktails

●     Pour it into ice cube trays and freeze for a flavorful addition to any drink

Be sure to visit this spring for more Farmers’ Market inspired recipes like Grilled Panzanella Salad, Bruschetta and Blackberry-Peach Crumble.

Some Kinda Good Strawberry-Basil Sauce
The cornstarch helps the sauce to thicken, resulting in a velvety smooth finish, while the acidity from the lemon juice cuts the sweetness slightly, balancing the flavors.

●     4 pints or 1/2 gallon of fresh strawberries, hulled and washed

●     1 cup sugar

●     Slurry: 1 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tsp water

●     Juice of half a lemon

●     1 tsp lemon zest

●     6 leaves of fresh basil

●     Pinch of kosher salt

Place strawberries and sugar in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Add cornstarch slurry and reduce temperature to medium-low. Allow the sauce to cook and thicken for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Carefully pour the sauce into a food processor or blender, adding lemon juice, zest, salt and basil. Pulse to desired consistency.