The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend
Independence Day has arrived and with it, plenty of goodies to barbecue and fruits to transform into pies, cobblers, and even that flag cake that somebody at the block party inevitably makes. All your favorite farmer’s markets are happening on schedule this weekend, ready to fuel the party. For the moment, cherries are still going strong, so even if there aren’t local watermelons yet you can still have a holiday with a spitting contest of some Kind. Best of all, whether you spend your weekend down the shore or in the city, this is the time of year when you scarcely need to cook. Just cut up the vegetables, make a dip, grill a few things, and above all, enjoy your holiday.
Peaches – Oh yes, my friends. Break out the paper towels because the local peaches made their debut at market last weekend, along with a few apricots and pluots as well. Expect these early ones to be the “clingstone” variety, where the flesh clings to the pit. They’re just as delicious, but more difficult to cut into neat wedges for pies or tarts. Freestone peaches will appear in a few weeks.
Kohlrabi – The weirdest looking vegetable around, kohlrabi is here to add a subtle broccoli flavor to your slaw game this weekend. A cousin to cabbage, kale, and brassicas like broccoli and cauliflower, kohlrabi can be eaten cooked, but it’s at its best raw, simply peeled and shredded or cut into matchsticks. Think of jicama, but even sweeter, and without that starchy aftertaste. Cook up the greens just the way you would kale. Look for it from Landisdale at Clark Park and Blooming Glen at Headhouse.
Cantaloupe – Before you even see them you’ll know that the melons have arrive at market from their perfume in the air. AT Buzby farm has the first cantaloupe of the season at Headhouse. Juicy and sweet, it’s lightyears from what typically passes for cantaloupe adding bulk to fruit salads in brunch restaurants everywhere. Pick-up some charcuterie from La Divisa and you’ve practically got a party on your hands already.
Clams & Oysters – Nothing says summer like your drunk brother trying to demonstrate his shucking skills after a few too many PBRs. But that doesn’t mean you should pass up the New Jersey shellfish that Shore Catch has for sale. Instead of trying to pry them open, give them a scrub and lay them right on the grill. Then, holding them in oven mitts, pry, dress, and slurp.
Tri-Color Beans – Green Beans! Wax Beans! Purple Beans! They look stunning, and in any combination they’re a vast improvement on that three bean salad from the can.