Although shopping at farmers’ markets is wonderful any time of year, summer is prime time, when the stalls are overflowing with vine-ripened tomatoes, ears of sweet corn, fragrant herbs and much more. These fruits and vegetables are the freshest and most flavorful available, often picked just hours before you buy them. Quick cooking methods like grilling and sautéing are ideal for summer produce because these techniques help to maintain the delicate textures and flavors of the food.
We’ve selected recipes that showcase peak-of-season produce, but feel free to improvise with whatever inspires you at the market. Our recipe for fruit galettes, for example, calls for plums and blackberries, but if you prefer peaches and raspberries, by all means, use those instead.
To help make your farmers’ market shopping more pleasurable, keep these tips in mind: Bring plenty of small bills plus shopping bags or baskets. Arrive early for the best selection. Before you buy, stroll through the market to see what's available and compare prices and quality. Many vendors encourage customers to taste before buying. And be sure to talk with the farmers. They’re happy to introduce you to new and unusual produce and to offer cooking suggestions.