A trip to your local Farmer’s Market can inspire a fresh and healthy meal! On a sunny afternoon some friends and I met at the local Farmer’s Market (Mercer Island). We each selected things from the market vendors and return home and cook a beautiful spread together. The food was colorful, fresh, & full of nutrients!
Simple fresh ingredients are delicious and don’t need a lot of tedious and time consuming prep. We met at the market at noon and by 2pm we were eating this amazing meal.
Things we bought:
- swiss chard
- lettuce with nasturtiums
- fresh baked rustic bread
- basil, thyme & rosemary
- hummus & babaganoush
- green sauce (pesto like sauce with mint and various herbs)
- pea tendrils
- sugar snap peas
- peaches, cherries & nectarines
- smoked salmon
- onions & chives
- fingerling potatoes
- local white wine
Dishes We Made:
- Green Salad with nasturtiums and balsamic vinaigrette
- Baked halibut with green sauce and fingerling potatoes
- Steamed clams cooked in white wine, garlic, and rosemary with rustic bread for soaking up sauce
- Grilled corn, onion, & tomato salad with basil, thyme & olive oil dressing
- White sangria with peaches, cherries and nectarines
- sugar snap peas dipped in hummus and babaganoush
- Sushi hand rolls wrapped in chard and stuffed with smoked salmon, basil, carrots, pea tendrils and cucumber
Tips for Farmer’s Market shopping:
- Begin by walking the entire perimeter before opening your wallet. Find who has the prettiest stuff and best prices.
- Bring a sack to carry your goodies!
- Shop early if you want the best selection and variety/ shop near closing if you want the best deal
- Ask the farmers about their growing philosophy. Just because they don’t list it as organic, doesn’t mean they dont’ grow their produce without pesticides, or raise their livestock without antibiotics
- Ask for a sample if you are unsure. Most vendors are more than happy to share their offerings.
- Build a dish around 1 main ingredient and season simply.
- Choose ingredients for texture, flavor, and color
- Ask the farmers for suggestions on how to cook an unfamiliar item
- Spend a little more on a specialty item, it’s worth it!
- If on a budget, look for ‘seconds’ bins. Normally they are not as pretty, but taste just as good as the others!
Grab a friend or two (or many) and head to your local farmers market and be inspired by the fresh offerings and get creative!