There are myriad reasons to patronize your local farmers market – from the open-air environment that lends safety and peace of mind to coronavirus-conscious patrons to the produce-related tips and conversations shared between vendors and shoppers. But today, we focus on one reason: the quality of farmers market produce during the peak summer season is unmatched in comparison to its grocery store counterpart.
Incorporating the bountiful ingredients of the summer months, these recipes highlight the best of farmers market ingredients.
Chimichurri: pesto’s herbaceous and overachieving sister
- ⅔ cup of different herbs. Recommended: an assortment of mint, basil, parsley, cilantro or dill
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 2 ½ tablespoons of citrus juice
- 2 cloves of garlic or a bunch of scallions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a food processor or blender, blend ingredients together to the texture of your desire.
- Eat with veggies, mixed with mayo on sandwiches, topped on steaks or fish, or on the Perfect Summer Tomato Toast (see below).
The Perfect Summer Tomato Toast
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 slice of bread (preferably French)
- A few slices of an heirloom tomato or 5-6 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of chimichurri
- 2 tablespoons of mayo (vegan variety optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Begin by mixing the mayo and chimichurri together.
- Cover a frying pan with olive oil, then place a slice of bread on. Let it cook until the toast develops a deep golden brown color – you want a darker and sturdier toast to soak up the tomato juices.
- Slather chimichurri mayo atop the golden brown toast. Then, slice and place your tomatoes atop the toast. Garnish with salt and pepper, and enjoy.
Berry Galette: Step aside berry pie! There’s a new pastry in town.
- Store-bought pie dough, chilled
- 1 pound of farmers market berries (half raspberries and half strawberries are strongly encouraged)
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- ½ cup of granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of almond extract (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- Extra sugar for sprinkling (turbinado sugar is encouraged but granulated white sugar will suffice)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and cut berries. Cut strawberries into thirds and leave raspberries as is, placing the fruit into a bowl. Then, add the juice and zest of one lemon, white sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and/or almond extract and cinnamon. Mix all ingredients together until the mixture is coherent and each berry is coated, taking care to not squish the berries while mixing.
- On a greased sheet pan, prepare one disk of pie dough. Lay the dough out flat. Then, place the berry mixture in the center of the dough. Once the berries and the macerated juices are leveled in the center, begin folding the edges of the pie dough inward, creating an almost pentagonal pastry shape.
- Mix together the egg and milk. With a pastry brush – or more realistically, your hands – cover the exposed pie dough with the mixture. This will increase the shine of the dough and provide a caramelly hue while cooking. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Place in the oven for an hour or until the fruit has softened and the dough is a deep golden hue.