Tips for Farmer’s Market Shopping and a Recipe


With
warmer weather upon us, farmer’s markets are back in season. With a
momentum toward local produce, farmer’s markets are popping up in towns
and cities throughout the country. There’s no place better for local,
seasonal, fresh-from-the-field produce. Live in the US and not sure where to go? Click here to find a market in your area. Then check out our tips below to get
the most out of your shopping experience:

1) Shop early or late:

Looking
for a certain produce item (like strawberries) or want the best
selection? Then plan on arriving at the market right when it opens as
quantities are often limited. Looking for a deal? Shop late when stands
are starting to pack up and close. It is often more appealing for
farmers to sell remaining produce at a discount (like buy one, get one
free) than to take it back home with them.

2) Be Flexible:

Usually
I recommend planning meal ideas in advance before heading to the
grocery store. But with a Farmer’s Market, flexibility is key. Depending
on the growing season, weather and other factors, you may or may not
find what you are expecting. Being flexible in the kitchen means you can
substitute say, the spinach you got for a great price (since the farmer
had a bumper crop), for the collard greens in the recipe you were
planning to make.

3) Come Prepared:

Don’t
forget to bring your own re-usable shopping bags and, in hot weather,
cooler to the farmer’s market. Coming with small bills is helpful as
well. Also come prepared by knowing that not everything offered at a
farmer’s market is by necessity a healthy food choice. Those cookies and
donuts at the bakery stand are still sweet treats!

4) Make New Friends:

Do
you tend to buy the same, safe items at the grocery store each week? A
farmer’s market is a great chance to break out of your produce rut!
Expand your horizons beyond the familiar and try something new each
week. Maybe its a different variety of lettuce or pepper. Or maybe
something you can’t identify and have to ask the farmer for an
introduction.

5) Talk to the Source:

Speaking
of new friends, make sure to chat with the farmers and vendors. This is
your chance to talk to some of the people who actually grow your food.
You can ask about everything from farming methods to storage suggestions
to favorite recipes.

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Recipe: Grilled Endive with Sage Vinaigrette

Back from the Farmer’s Market (or produce store) — try this recipe for a new twist on greens and the grill:

Prep Time:

8 minutes

Cooking Time:

8 minutes

Yields:

4 servings

Ingredients:

4 heads Belgian endive

1 tablespoon olive oil

Dressing:

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Wash endive heads, slice in half and remove cores.

Whisk together dressing ingredients in a bowl.

Heat outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan.

Brush endive with olive oil and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Place on serving dish and drizzle vinaigrette on top.

Notes:

Try this with radicchio or hearts of romaine.

Recipe from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition

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