Because the best things in life are simple

Before and After Farmers’ Market

To celebrate the opening of several farmers’ markets in New England this week we’re introducing a new RootsLiving feature called “Before and After Farmers’ Market.”

Each post will feature a photo of items we purchased at a local farmers’ market and another photo of what we were able to create with those items.

BEFORE: Items from the Foxboro Cheese Co., Fiore Di Nonno, and local farms.
BEFORE: Items from the Foxboro Cheese Co., Fiore Di Nonno, and local farms.
AFTER: A salad made with greens, arugula, fresh mozzarella and grape tomatoes provided a good side dish to grilled chicken.
AFTER: A salad made with greens, arugula, fresh mozzarella and grape tomatoes provided a good side dish to grilled chicken.

The farmer’s market in Davis Square, Somerville opened yesterday. It’s still early in the growing season so the variety of produce was limited. There were no tomatoes and many of the farmers were selling small vegetable and herb plants. But here’s what we got:

  • Arugula
  • Pea tendrils (my new favorite green)
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Fresh cheese spread with chives
  • A lemon curd cake
The farmers' market in Davis Square, Somerville (above) is open on Wednesdays, from noon to 5 p.m.
The farmers' market in Davis Square, Somerville (above) is open on Wednesdays, from noon to 5 p.m.

And to supplement this bounty we stopped at a local grocer in Davis Square and bought some grape tomatoes that were very good for this time of year. We also stopped at a wine shop and bought a bottle of white wine from Argentina and a bottle of Chimay Ale, made by Trappist monks in Belgium. The ale, sold in a 12-ounce bottle, was yeasty and a little spicy.

The farmers’ market experience is all about trying new things. The new things from this excursion included the fresh mozzarella (made in Somerville that morning at the Fiore di Nonno company, it had a light, tangy, fresh taste); the fresh cheese/chive spread (made from the milk of grass-fed cows in Foxboro, Mass.); and the small round of lemon curd cake (a yellow cake with the bold sweet flavor of lemons).

But by far the biggest surprise were the pea tendrils. The first time we bought these was at a farmers’ market in the South End about a week ago. We bought them again yesterday because they make a great addition to any salad. They have a light, sweet pea flavor with a mild crunch.

This year we had considered purchasing a share in a local farm (a CSA which stands for community supported agriculture). This means putting up a few hundred dollars at the beginning of the season for the promise of getting fresh produce each week throughout the season. But we weren’t ready to make that commitment and opted instead to try and shop at a farmers’ market once a week.

The result should be healthier and tastier meals that reduce the size of our carbon footprint. The bonus, however, promises to be great adventures in eating. We hope you come along for the ride.

Find a Farmers’ Market Near You

Learn About CSAs

Learn About Eating Local at Boston Localvores


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