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

At the risk of being too self congratulatory, this week represents a full year of The Dirt here at Foobooz! A year of eagerly anticipating the next new arrival at market, whether asparagus or apples, and a year of bidding them goodbye as each season marches into the next. Here’s what’s marching in at the moment:

Cipollini Onions – Yes, it’s true that cippolini is Italian for “little onions” so saying “cipollini onions” is a bit redundant, but whatever. This is ‘Murica. Cipollini are lovely little squat onions. They’re sweet and juicy and they’re brilliant roasted or caramelized and deglazed with a little balsamic.  A bit of a pain to peel, you can use the same trick that your grandma uses on pearl onions at Thanksgiving – pour a kettle of boiling water over them – to loosen the skins. Look for them at 3 Springs Fruit Farm at Headhouse or at Z Food Farm at Rittenhouse.

Lettuces & Lettuce Mixes– Cooler weather means the return of the greens in force, including head lettuces and baby lettuce mixes for salad season. Branch out from basic romaine and look for bib lettuces and red or green leaf varieties.

Mizuna – You might not realize that you’ve already eaten this delicate Japanese green, but you very likely have chowed down on its feathery fronds in a salad more than once. Technically a variety of mustard green, mizuna has a spicy flavor, but it’s typically more mild than arugula. Pick up a bunch of mizuna from Root Mass Farm at Headhouse this weekend. Try young leaves fresh, or chop mature ones and toss with hot pasta and late season tomatoes.

Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes and yams are beginning to crop up all over, but Landisdale Farm at the Chestnut Hill market takes the prize for variety. Try the dense, white-fleshed White Hamon variety, sunny Jewel yams, or the red-skinned Beauregards. Additionally, look for “finger sweets” or fingerling-sized sweet potatoes.

Pears – The window for local pears sometimes feels oddly brief, but we’re smack in the middle of it at the moment. Look for tree-ripened Boscs at Three Springs (Headhouse), green and red bartletts at Frecon (Rittenhouse, Bryn Mawr), and bartletts, boscs, and seckels at Beechwood Orchards (Rittenhouse, Headhouse, N3rd).

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