My favorite signs of summer — the “Farmers’ Market Is Now Open” placards — are popping up all over town. The season for Maryland produce is short, so don’t let any grass grow under your feet: Take advantage as soon as you can.
There is no better way to test new family recipes than this time of year, when you have farm-fresh, non-processed foods to create new dishes. You can find the freshest produce any day of the week from a simple roadside cart to a large marketplace, where you can spend hours “grazing.” Plan ahead by using the Maryland Farmers’ Market Guide (marylandsbest.com) for dates, times and locations. Some markets include carts with hot, prepared foods, so you can have lunch while you shop. And some markets have craft booths with homemade jewelry, clothes and more. A shopper’s delight.
My personal bests: I never pass up farm-fresh eggs or heirloom tomatoes, as they are so exceptional. I always look for what I call “crazy corn” — corn with mixed white and yellow crisp kernels. My family is crazy about this sweet corn.
I always try to experiment with one new item, such as squash blossoms. Don’t be timid about adding a new ethnic ingredient to your kosher recipe. And don’t be afraid to ask the farmers and other shoppers what recipes they are planning with their purchases. A farmers’ market can be a “living cookbook” full of great ideas.
Farmer’s Market Tips & Tricks
• Go early. The best selections sell out fast. But the best bargains are at
• Reuse, reduce, recycle — bring canvas bags or a wheeled cart, wagon or even a stroller for purchases.
• Bring small change: Dollar bills and coins make shopping easier and faster.