The Exercise Space

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:

  • corn
  • tomatoes
  • swiss chard
  • carrots
  • clams
  • halibut
  • 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
  • cucumber
  • 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!

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