The season's best produce, a summer favorite

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - August 2, 2011

When produce is so fresh and so local, you don't have to do much besides enjoy it. You probably have your favorite ways of enjoying these summer treats.

Chefs, on the other hand, are constantly challenging themselves to do do something else. We visited Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar in Center City, where co-owner/chef Marcie Turney likes the daily challenge of basing her creations on whatever growers bring her. She buys from three local organic farmers and also from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Pop-Up Garden at 20th and Market.

Whatever comes through the kitchen door that morning is likely to be that day's special. A salute to her farmer friends is the Farmer Salad. It contains whatever the growers bring that morning, typically some fresh lettuce, an assortment of heirloom tomatoes, and corn lightly charred on her grill.

Since pasta is always featured, she has a gnocchi dish containing hard-to-get sungold tomatoes and fresh-cut smoked corn. These creations are likely to be on the menu throughy the month of August.

When growers start bringing other crops, she envisions a roasted fall vegetable dish. You don't have to be a chef to create ike this. You might go on a recipe website like and type in whatever garden favorites you have on hand.

You'll get recipes that incorporate your choices. Or do what a chef does and just create from scratch. Since your cooking will be driven by your own tastes, you and your family will most likely prefer what you develop. Barbuzzo is located at 110 S. 13th Street in Center City.

It's open weekdays for lunch from 12:00 Noon to 3:00pm and nightly for dinner from 6:00pm to 12:00 Midnight.

There's also a bar offering creative cocktails as well as standard favorites.

For information or a reservation, visit or phone 215-545-9300.

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