The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend
Spring is progressing, even warmer weather is coming, and though this weekend will likely be your last chance for ramps, asparagus is still going strong and there’s plenty more to be found at local farmer’s markets. Plus, it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, and farmer’s market strolling is an excellent post-brunch activity to aid in digestion…
Fresh Flowers– Look, I’m sure that your mom is happy to just see you and all, but you should do your best to sweeten the deal this weekend and show up to celebrate Mother’s Day with flowers in hand. Tom’s arrangements and bouquets from Longview Flower farm at the Headhouse Market are always gorgeous, but one thing that makes them especially lovely is that they often include culinary herbs like fresh dill or lemon balm in addition to seasonal blossoms unlike those you’ll find at most florists. Rittenhouse shopper? Well then you already know to stop by and see the folks at Petal Plants & Flowers or Triple Tree for more gorgeous blooms.
Arugula & Salad Mixes – Steadily warm weather means that feathery, fluffy little salad mixes are going strong at market vendors all over. For the most delicate flavor and texture, go for a straight up mix of lettuce varieties. Like things spicy? Opt for straight-up arugula or an Asian greens mix for a blend of baby mizuna, juicy tatsoi, and peppery little mustard greens. Classic mesclun might include baby kale or rainbow chard in addition to lettuces and spinach, and if you’re really lucky you might find a blend that even includes delicate cuttings of fresh herbs like parsley.
Mint – True, Kentucky Derby day was last weekend, but this weekend’s temperatures climbing into the 80’s mean that you can’t really go wrong with classic mint juleps. If bourbon isn’t your thing you could trade it out for rum and make mojitos instead. Landisdale should have bunches of the fresh stuff at the Chestnut Hill Market.
Scallions – We’ve been seeing spring garlic and ramps for a couple of weeks, and now scallions, their onion brothers, are joining the party, too. Weaver’s Way had delicate little pencil-thin scallions at Headhouse last week, while Queen Farm’s were robust and thick, with long, luxurious greens. Regardless of which type you prefer, pick up a bunch to add zing to salads, marinades, and any other application you can think of. Also? Don’t believe the hype about using the white parts of scallions. As long as they have a juicy texture they’re all good eating!
Hakurei Turnips – Different kinds of radishes are beginning to pop up all over, and this week you can also add pretty little Hakurei turnips to your shopping list. Eat these moony little roots raw with hummus or vinaigrette, and be sure to eat the leaves, too! Small ones can be eaten raw, and even large ones cook quickly into a tender tangle.