How to Prep your Farmers Market Haul
Words Amalia Safran
You can buy most vegetables year-round, but if you shop for produce that’s actually in season, you’re guaranteed better flavor.
You can taste (and smell!) the difference when fresh fruits and vegetables are picked during their peak season – just try a strawberry in the summer and compare it to one in the winter.
The best way to do this is by shopping at a local farmers market, where the produce is local and fresh. For some, a farmers market trip can be a little overwhelming – it’s not uncommon to see produce you’ve never seen before or to be completely lost when it comes to how to prepare it. That’s where we come in. Here’s our take on how to best prep your latest farmers market haul to get you started:
In-season asparagus means stalks are much more tender and sweet than the bundles you’ll find in stores year-round. Shave the asparagus to add to salads or top off a grilled pizza with the swirls. This peeler’s curved blade helps you get a more consistent depth of cut.
Beets can be very messy to work with – they instantly stain cutting boards, knives, hands and any foods they touch. But when beets are spiralized with the spaghetti cut blade, they don’t release as much purple juice, which makes working with them a breeze. Try roasting, pickling, or keeping them raw for a salad.
Summer squash has thinner skin and a nutty flavor (think: green and yellow zucchini). One of the most fun ways to eat them is to turn them into loopy noodles—which you can dress however you like.
Celeriac has a funny look to it – its knobby skin can also be intimidating to work with. For easy prep, we recommend cutting off those knobs and spiralizing the bulb. Long strands are great in salads or mixed into soups and stews –celeriac takes on the same flavor as celery, but a little more intense.
Radishes are abundant at farmers markets and with good reason. They add a burst of flavor (and color!) to dishes. Slice them thin and add to a salad or try roasting them with sea salt and olive oil.
Rhubarb is one of those items you might be less familiar with: it looks like a pink/red-ish celery, but it’s flavor packs in more punch. Rhubarb is only in season for a blip of time, but when it is, it’s prime time to bake with it. Try making a pie filling or rhubarb preserves by cooking it down. Rhubarb is intensely tart, so don’t forget to add sugar to offset it.