Farmers Markets are where you can find me every weekend! I love finding new versions of fruits and vegetables to try; all the colors and bright produce for these warmer summer days. I’m always intrigued by what is “in season” at the farmers markets from late April through mid-Fall….and how much better it tastes than what we get at the grocery stores during these summer months.
There is something about supporting local businesses, walking through the market aisles and learning new ways to prepare some old favorites. Here’s a round up of my first few trips to the farmers market, and what was offered through June. We’ll see what the markets have on hand as we roll into July….so we’ll consider this Part One.
Heirloom Tomatoes –
These don’t last long in my kitchen. The ways we go through these are endless. Grilled tomatoes, tomato salads, bruschetta, tomato toast, fresh tomato salsa….so many ways to use these before we get to Monday morning! But, we always keep a few thinly sliced just for the fresh sandwiches we make for lunches when we work from home.
- Heirloom Tomato Salad (on toast) from Half Baked Harvest
- Greek Village Salad from What’s Gaby Cooking
Persian Cucumbers –
These mini cucumbers are honestly the best. You can use them with humus, in a salad, as an appetizer, the list goes on. But, they don’t have a thick skin, which makes them easy to eat, they are small, so kids love them, and they are a bit more tender/sweet from a regular cucumber. My latest favorite has been spreading a bit of cream cheese or goat cheese on them, and sprinkling Everything but the Bagel seasoning on top!
Sugar Snap Peas –
Hands down my FAVORITE thing at the farmers markets this year. I buy larger containers each week and still can’t get enough. I eat them raw, as a snack, as dinner, in salads, with dips (though it’s not my favorite served with dip), cooked in pasta and I’ve tried to freeze some to use in a fall or winter dish, we’ll see how that goes!
- Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas from Ina Garten
- Sugar Snap Pea Pasta from What’s Gaby Cooking
I don’t know about you, but grocery store carrots are just not as good once you’ve had a fresher farmers market carrot. Sweeter, easier to chew and absolutely amazing with hummus.
If you’re looking for something different to do with carrots – throw them on the grill and then toss with some olive oil and herbs; or roast them in the oven and serve with a tangy dipping sauce.
- Roasted Carrots from New York Times
Red, Yellow and Blue Potatoes –
These have always intrigued me – but the farm to table ones are so tender, easy to cook and taste amazing. Roasted, grilled, with dips and spreads, in salads, etc.
- Roasted Potatoes with Burrata from Half Baked Harvest
Always go with high heat and a bit of olive oil and salt for the crispiest and fluffiest potatoes – nothing worse than a soggy potato or par-cooked but charred on the outside potato.
Grilling potato slices is always a favorite around here -served with a fancy ketchup or dipping sauce for some different flavor combination.
What’s fun and great about Farmers Market (and all summer) produce is that they don’t take much fuss to taste great and satisfy a crowd. And, you’re helping support food producers in your own neighborhoods and regions – shopping local is always better than shopping big, when you can!
What are your favorite Farmer’s Market purchases and what do you anxiously await each year? I’ll be on the hunt for corn and more fruit options in the coming weeks, so make sure to check back for our “Part 2” of Farmer’s Market Finds!
Have a great weekend!