Tomorrow is officially the Summer Solstice, which makes it the longest day in 2014 and the official start of summer. Without getting all woo-woo hippie mama on you, I think it seems fitting that this weekend will bring some real summer favorites to market tables…
Strawberry Seconds – If we’re lucky we’ll get another week or two of local strawberry season, but just to make sure that you stash some in the freezer before they’re done for the year ask your local grower about buying strawberry “seconds.” Three Springs Fruit Farm is offering flats of strawberry seconds by pre-order.
Basil – It’s pesto time, y’all. Sweet-smelling, leafy bunches of basil are starting to show up at markets, a bargain at a few bucks each. Get the most time out of them by trimming the ends of the stems, like you might cut flowers, and keeping them in a jar of water on your kitchen counter out of direct sunlight. If they start to look wilty? Drape a plastic bag over the whole set up to create a humid little microclimate for them.
Early Heirloom Tomatoes – Some vendors have been bringing basic red slicing tomatoes to market for weeks now, but it was Queen’s Farm at the Headhouse Market last weekend that had the first boxes of colorful heirloom purple cherokee and black cherry tomatoes.
Pickling Cukes & Cornichons – Slicing cucumbers are showing up more readily at markets and their smaller, knobbier, denser cousins the pickling cukes aren’t far behind. Though this isn’t yet the time to buy a bushel to put up a big batch of pickles, consider picking up some of Tom Culton’s cornichons at Headhouse to make a single jar of them to eat with some PorcSalt charcuterie.
Fava Beans – Like giant, mutant pea pods the favas have made their debut. Notoriously fussy to prepare, somehow we love them anyway. Try throwing them on the grill to expedite the process. Topped with a hit of lemon juice and some good salt, and accompanied by a chunk each of bread and cheese and you’ve got a pretty stellar early summer supper.
Find something great at your local market? Instagram it and tag accordingly: @foobooz #fooboozthedirt