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


Despite a little rain this week the weekend is shaping up beautifully and there are plenty of beautiful things to look for at the farmer’s market.

Black Locust Flowers – You might encounter these flowers, which look a little bit like clusters of white snapdragons, at market this weekend. The blooms of the black locust tree, they have a pleasant sweet aroma and they’re edible! Add some elegance to your salad by adding them to a mix of greens, or fold the flowers into a batter for pancakes or sweet fritters. Keep in mind that they have a very short season, so if you’re curious about them and you encounter some don’t pass them over or you might miss your chance!

Garlic Scapes – Another seasonal favorite is here! Garlic scapes are the flower stalk that emerges from the garlic bulb growing underground. Snipping them off forces the plant to focus on the development of the bulb instead of the flower, and, fortunately for us, these immature flower stalks and buds happen to be delicious. They have a grassy, garlicky flavor and a texture not unlike a firm green bean. Grind them up into pesto, pickle them, or massage them with a little oil and blister them on a hot grill. Look for them from Happy Cat Farm at Headhouse and at plenty of other vendors.

Andouille – Canter Hill Farm at the Bryn Mawr market is having a bit of a sausage party this weekend. Not only are they debuting a new flavor – spicy, smoky, New Orleans style andouille – but they’re having a sale on their chicken, turkey and lamb sausages as well. Save $2 dollars when you buy 2 packages or more!

Green Beans – Queen Farm brought the first green beans of the year to Headhouse last weekend. Though it’s still a little early for new potatoes this year, you’ll still find some from last season at vendors like Landisdale at the Rittenhouse market, and once you have the these two ingredients you’re on your way to an excellent salad Niçoise.

Speckled Lettuce – One of the perks of farmer’s market shopping is that you find certain vegetable varieties that you’ll otherwise only find at the most special of specialty food stores. The perfect example is the gorgeous speckled and freckled heads of lettuce from Pennypack Farm at Clark Park. Even if you stick to lettuce and a simple vinaigrette this variety makes for a stunner of a salad.

Strawberry Eclairs – Market Day Canele (Chestnut Hill, Rittenhouse, Headhouse) is taking advantage of strawberry season by adding them to eclairs. Is there a more perfect breakfast in the world than a strawberry eclair and a hot cup of coffee from Philly Fair Trader Roasters? I think not.