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


It’s definitely starting to feel like summer out there–and starting to look like it at the farmer’s markets, too. Berries are still going strong, greens and spring garlic are holding steady, peonies are blooming, and there’s an abundance of vegetables all around.

Zucchini & Yellow Squash – The first of the summer squash for all your sautéeing, stuffing, and zoodling (zucchini noodling) needs! While summer squash tends to wear out its welcome as summer goes on, in the first few weeks of the season it represents one of the first big, juicy summer vegetables before the tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants begin to arrive. Try them roasted or grilled, dressed with the top shelf olive oil and scattered with sea salt and fresh herbs. Look for them on the table at AT Buzby Farm at Headhouse.

Head Lettuce – Small salad greens are still readily available from market vendors all over, but in addition we’re starting to see the larger heads of lettuce as well. Take advantage of their arrival by grilling up some of Griggstown Farm’s (Headhouse) soy and ginger marinated poussin and serving up some old school lettuce wraps.

Bamboo Shoots – Nope, they don’t simply come out of a can. Ed over at Queen Farm (Headhouse) has fresh bamboo shoots available, but before you start heating up that curry paste beware: fresh bamboo shoots contain hydrocyanic acid. Eat too much of it and you’ll have a problem. But don’t let that deter you, because it’s potency is diminished the longer the shoots are cooked. While canned bamboo shoots typically taste tinny, cooked fresh ones have a tender-crisp texture and a mild and sweet artichoke flavor.

Tarragon – One of France’s favorite culinary herbs, tarragon can be tough to find locally, so pick-up a bunch this weekend from Blooming Glen Farm (Headhouse). Use it fresh or infuse some white wine vinegar vinegar and keep that grassy anise flavor around a little longer.

Sugar Snap Peas & Pea Shoots– Though you’ve already been seeing them on restaurant menus for months, local peas are finally beginning to show up in all of their sweet, crunchy, juicy glory. You’ll find fresh sugar snaps on the tables at Taproot Farm (Chestnut Hill) and pea shoots ready to add to your salads at Weaver’s Way (Headhouse).