All Hail the Farmer’s Market!

Just sitting here, munching on a fresh Jersey peach, taking in the perfume and letting the juice run down my chin…sigh. Supermarket stuff just ain’t the same. Lousy weather or not, I was too impatient to wait for the Lacey farm market on Friday, so I dragged John and Jules to the Toms River market yesterday.

It was worth it. Though I could hardly believe it, Jersey corn was making its debut early this year (one advantage to the ridiculously early heat wave in June), and the blueberries were still plump, sweet, and just in from Hammonton. I also picked up some gorgeous kale and zucchini from an organic grower that I didn’t see last year in Lacey…but I was overjoyed to see my favorite cheese and bread vendor (I promise I’ll mention the name when I get it next week-all I remember is that they are the only ones at the Lacey market and are from up North). I always find amazing artisan breads at their stand, their fresh mozzarella and asiago are to die for, and sometimes they have little delicacies like marinated olives. Sadly, I had to settle for only the mozz, since the asiago was already gone. Sniff.

On a beautiful evening when it’s too hot to be in the kitchen and you want dinner on the cheap, I invite you to check out your local farmer’s market. My favorite thing is to grab a fresh loaf of focaccia , some zucchini or corn, mozzarella, asiago, marinated olives, and blueberries; when I get home, I put a spice rub on some chicken and throw it on the grill. If it’s zucchini, it gets salted and coated in balsamic vinegar, but if it’s corn it only gets partially de-husked; both also go on the grill. Cut up some tomatoes and basil (I grow my own, but if you don’t, be sure to add it to your market list), slice up some of that luscious cheese and bread, open the olives, and throw everything on a platter-drizzle it with olive oil, and add fun things like chopped garlic and salt and pepper. Open a fine bottle of red (ahem-if you’re not pregnant), sit down at your backyard table, and you’ve got the stuff that memories of sweet summer evenings are made of. With blueberries and whipped cream for dessert, of course!

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