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Farmers’ Market Eats

The Farmers’ Market in Salt Lake is one of my favorite places in the city. Every Saturday, I never really know what I’m going to bring home from its vendors — and that usually translates to a heck of a lot of fun in the kitchen. I love experimenting with seasonal ingredients (especially those I’ve never heard of), and supporting local farmers comes with a case of warm-fuzzies I can’t find on the shelves of any supermarket.
Though I usually buy enough produce at the market to last a week, my stomach overrides my logic and I start to make all the things as soon as I get home. I can’t help it — it just looks so good! I never feel guilty about my impatience, either. Farmers’ Market eats are always good eats, and a day of good eats is always a great day.


On my walk to the market, I stopped at the neighborhood bakery, Les Madeleines, to grab a cup of coffee. Though I didn’t intend to get breakfast at the bakery, the tray of freshly-baked kouign aman, a rich French pastry (think a custard-y croissant) was just too much temptation for me to ignore. While walking over to the market, I devoured every last delicious crumb.

Market Shopping

While browsing through the aisles of the market, I sipped my coffee and sampled the many great offerings of local farmers. I love when the vendors allow us to try their wares — in addition to being able to taste a product, it allows me to ask questions about the best way to prepare it. Don’t be scared to ask a vendor what something is (I was a little baffled the first time I saw kohlrabi) or how to cook an unfamiliar item — some of my favorite recipes have come from these questions.SLC Market


As soon as I got home and unpacked my goodies from the market, I knew I had to start cooking. The rainbow chard, with its bright colors and crisp leaves, was incredibly enticing.
Chard Before
After dicing the stems and leaves, I threw them into a pan to soften with caramelized shallots and fennel. This, along with goat cheese from the market and fresh herbs from my backyard, made an amazing filling for a frittata. It was so good, I went back for seconds.
Chard After


After lunch, I hopped on my bike to complete that day’s workout — a three-hour bike ride in the mountains outside of Salt Lake. Toward the end of the ride, my stomach started growling and my brain began fantasizing about the radishes I bought at the market.
Radishes Before
Yes, I said I fantasized about radishes. My radish love is well-documented, but my obsession really kicks into full gear in late spring, when the tables at the market are covered in these pink beauties.
When I got home from my ride, I made a quick snack by tossing a bunch of radishes, along with a few strawberries from my own garden, in a splash of white wine vinegar. For a hit of protein, I paired the red radness with a mix of fresh basil and part-skim ricotta. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it — the combination is delicious, and one of my favorite summertime snacks.
StrawRad After


That night, I grilled up some veggie burgers from a market vendor, which I served on a bun from a bakery stationed in the adjoining booth (excellent product placement!). I also sliced up some locally grown tomatoes and greens for the toppings. Served with some leftover apple-chia coleslaw I had in the fridge, the burger made for a hearty, satisfying meal.
Of course, I still had room for a sweet treat! While picking up the buns from the bakery vendor, I noticed their dessert section, and … well, my breakfast made it pretty clear I can’t resist a good pastry! To top off my day of farmers’ market eats, I split this chocolate cup with my husband — and we fought over who got to eat the last bite. Next time, I’ll just have to get two.
What’s your favorite thing about shopping at your local farmers’ market? —Susan

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