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    Locally Grown, Locally Enjoyed

    Early Saturday mornings, when there’s still a slight chill in the air and the rising sun hasn’t yet evaporated the dew from the ground, you’ll find Aiken County’s oldest market in full swing off of Williamsburg Street.

    The Aiken County Farmers Market has a long history that dates back to the early 1900s and the tables that you see in the market today are the same ones that were hand-built over fifty years ago by farmers and families from Aiken County. The market today is the place to go for locally grown produce, fresh flowers, meats and cheeses, and more. Farmers gather each week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays to bring their harvest into town for residents to browse and purchase for their weekly meals.

    Local chefs, like Executive Chef Ed DeFelice of The Willcox, are often seen perusing the market to find ingredients to use in their locally sourced specials each week. If you’ve dined at The Willcox this summer, chances are that you’ve enjoyed produce that came from the Aiken County Farmers Market.

    Love fresh, locally grown zucchini? Next time you’re at the market, pick up a pound of it and try your hand at making Zucchini Fritters!

    ZUCCHINI FRITTERS WITH MARINARA SAUCE

    INGREDIENTS
    1 lb zucchini, grated
    1 tsp salt
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup chives, chopped 1/4 cup parsley, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp oregano, chopped 2 tbsp basil, chopped 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, grated
    1 tbsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 cup all purpose flour 2 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    4-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    DIRECTIONS
    1. Grate the zucchini using the large holes of a box grater and place in a colander over a medium sized bowl. Toss with 1 tsp of salt and let sit for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, squeeze out as much liquid as possible, and set to the side.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add in the grated zucchini, chives, parsley, garlic, oregano, basil, and cheeses. Mix properly.
    3. Stir in baking soda, baking powder, and flour.
    4. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium high heat.
    5. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into the pan per fritter. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and firm.
    6. Serve immediately with a side of marinara sauce.

    Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Ed DeFelice at The Willcox