The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

Consider this your public advisory announcement: we have now entered the point in the year where we can scarcely keep up with the new produce items popping up every week. You’re just going to have to go to market and see for yourself. But still, it’s not like we’re not looking out for you. So here are some of the highlights for the week ahead…

Puntarelle & Purple Asparagus – While the fanciest and most unusual of heirloom veggies seem to make it to restaurants and chefs before they make it to us commoners, this weekend might be different. Stop by the Headhouse Market for purple asparagus from Three Springs Fruit Farm and puntarelle, a kind of Catalonian chicory at Culton Organics.

Broccoli Rabe – Pick up a juicy bunch of broccoli rabe alongside late season apples and strawberries at Beechwood orchards.

Fresh Beets – It might seem early, but Fruitwood Farm at East Passyunk’s Fountain farmer’s market has enormous, glorious bunches of red and gold beets. Even if you’re still in a root vegetable rebellion due to the long winter, these beauties, with their lush greens still attached, would be tempting. Match them with some Shellbark Hollow Farm’s fresh goat cheeses and you’re good to go.

Zucchini – Lovely little green zucchini from A.T. Buzby Farm made their debut at Headhouse last weekend.

Asian Veggies – The Asian veggies are where the really exciting produce developments are happening this week. Queen’s Farm at Headhouse has edible bamboo shoots and Chinese lettuce, sometimes called celtuce or stem lettuce. Celtuce greens can be eaten just like head lettuce, but the most distinctive aspect of this vegetable is the thick, edible stem which has a mild, broccoli or asparagus flavor that is best peeled, sliced, and stir fried. If you make it to the Bryn Mawr Farmer’s Market, stop by Two Gander Farm for yukina savoy, a kind of spinach similar to tatsoi, and Weimer’s Organics, for foot long beans.

Find something great at your local market? Instagram it and tag accordingly: @foobooz #fooboozthedirt