Summer’s First Farmer’s Market Hurrah

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While I’ve already waxed poetic about the farmer’s market in fall (and even dismal winter), I realized recently that I’ve never mentioned the bounty of produce now, as spring eases into summer. It’s a shame, since this is one of the best times to visit a farmer’s market, at least in the mid-Atlantic region.

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Spring staples such as asparagus, peas, favas, alliums (leeks, green garlic, garlic scapes) and spring lettuces  still abound, but summer produce also makes its first forays into the market. (Granted, I’m lucky enough to work near the Union Square Greenmarket, which is extremely large and well-established. There are smaller farmer’s markets nearer to my apartment that are a bit limited in their offerings, but I’ve been finding more and more new produce each week!)

Summer squash, both butter yellow and emerald green, almost candy-like carrots, crisp green beans, and even bumpy, scarred heirloom tomatoes are the first markers of summer, along with my beloved cherries and berries. There are even a few potatoes left, meaning you can make pretty much any meal from just one trip to the farmer’s market.

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Much like the oppressive humidity and garbage can aromas that also define summer in the city, corn, bell peppers, eggplant and peaches (all of which I consider quintessential summer produce) have yet to make an appearance. But in the meantime, here are a few of my favorite summer recipes, along with must-makes from around the web. So much good stuff — yet another reason why I look forward to summer all year!

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Berry-Stuffed French Toast (Chez Sasha)
Blueberry Mojitos (Life Tastes Like Food)
Fresh Blackberry Brambles
Grilled Chicken and Fresh Cherry Salsa (Iowa Girl Eats)
Grilled Fontina and Blackberry Sandwiches (How Sweet It Is)
Strawberry Rhubarb Tartlets

Corn (ok, totally cheated on this, but I love summer corn!)
Charred Summer Steak Salad
Corn and Goat Cheese Pizza (Sprouted Kitchen)
Esquites *made these for Father’s Day and they were bomb (Serious Eats)
Summer Corn Pudding (Food 52)

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Green Beans
Fresh Green Bean Fries (The Daily Meal)
Paprika Shrimp and Green Bean Saute (Eating Well)
Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans
Radish and Wax Bean Salad with Creme Fraiche Dressing (Chow)

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Alice Waters’ Ratatouille (Food 52)
Caprese Panzanella
Julia Child’s Tomatoes Provencal
Rainbow Trout Baked with Tomatoes, Garlic and Thyme (NY Times’ Recipes for Health)
Scalloped Tomatoes (Ina Garten)
Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits (Joy the Baker)

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Zucchini/Summer Squash
Lazy Zucchini Spaghetti with Peas and Creme Fraiche (Top With Cinnamon)
Roasted Zucchini-Black Bean Enchiladas (Prevention RD)
Zucchini-Eggplant Bake
Zucchini Tarte with a Yogurt-Based Crust (Chocolate and Zucchini)

What are your favorite summer farmer’s market finds?

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