Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Too many greens, mountains of fruit—no problem!

Rebecca Firkser
August 06, 2018

I think at least 30 percent of my paycheck has gone to the farmers' market this summer, and I’m not the least bit upset about it. I buy tomatoes with fervor (this is really the only time of year I truly love them), I pile carton after carton of perfect cherries, raspberries, and blueberries into my arms, and don’t even get me started on the peaches. Or the peppery radishes and crunchy-sweet corn. While my farmers' market haul has enhanced the vibrancy of my meals these days, because I just can’t stop myself from buying more than I can chew, I change up my classic breakfast routine of yogurt and nuts or eggs and toast to incorporate more of that glorious produce. Here’s just a smidgen of what possibilities lie in your own farmers' market-sourced breakfast.

Leafy Greens

You’ll of course find the classics at a farmers' market, like kale, lettuce, and arugula (without the plastic container!). But why not open your mind to other greens for your quiches and breakfast salads, like microgreens, frisee, mustard greens, and sorrel? This also includes vegetable tops, like carrot, beet, or radish, which make shockingly flavorful pesto.

Herbs

Pile as many herbs as you can into a Persian frittata known as kuku sabzi. This recipe recommends cilantro and dill, but anything from parsley to chives to mint will work—use a blend of them for even more flavor explosion. I also like to toss a handful of herbs into my salad greens and grain bowls.

Fruit

I almost feel like I shouldn't even have to tell you how to eat fruit for breakfast, especially superior farmers' market fruit, but whatever, let’s get into it. Short of shoveling berries and sliced peaches into your mouth, I strongly recommend them as a topping for oatmeal, yogurt, or toast. Watermelon can and should be eaten with a squeeze of lemon or a sprinkle of chile powder (that’s right, we season melons in these parts), or blended into juice for the most refreshing morning cocktail or mocktail. When in doubt, chop whatever fruit you have on hand (maybe not the melons) and melt them down with a bit of sugar into jam.

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Eggs

Many farmers' markets sell eggs from all manner of fowl, but let’s talk about those farm-fresh chicken eggs. They’ll be very tasty, but also expensive. I’d suggest buying half a dozen if you can, and seeing if you think they taste significantly better than the ones from your local supermarket. Because unlike berries, store-bought eggs often taste just as good as the ones from the farmers' market, but they’re half the price. On the other hand, when you buy farmer's market eggs, you're supporting local farmers who probably treat their chickens much more kindly than massive corporations do. If you have the means to spend a few more bucks, think about what your dollar is supporting and perhaps spring for market-fresh.

Summer Squash

The other day, I had one farmers' market yellow zucchini and two from my local grocery store. The market squash was yolk-yellow and firm, while the grocery store one was more the color of watered-down scrambled eggs, and softer. Case in point: if you have the means to shop the market, do it. Zucchini and yellow squash will simply be 100 percent better than the ones you can get year-round, but keep an eye out for unique varieties like pattypan, zephyr, costata romanesco, and eight ball squash.

Tomatoes

If I were a sonnet-writer, my only subject would be summer tomatoes. On toast with a bit of garlicky mayo, on a salad, on pasta, on a piece of mozzarella with a pinch of salt. If you’re near a farmers' market in the Northeast sometime between now and the end of the month, you should be buying tomatoes. Stop reading and go do that.

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