When I found Jess's blog CookSmarts I instantly loved what she was doing. Her recipes are fresh and easy, the directions are clear enough that anyone can cook (yes, YOU!), and her graphics were eye-catching. The more I followed her and tried her recipes I knew I found something great. What I didn't know was that we were neighbors awhile back... until I got her farmers' market post! This market that she is sharing today was the one I used to visit in my neighborhood. What a small world! Enjoy a glimpse into OUR Californian market :)
Hi there! Jess from Cook Smarts here, and I was lucky enough to be asked by Tiffany to contribute to her Farmer’s Market Friday series. I’m not gonna lie. I don’t get to the farmer’s market nearly often enough. Weekends are often packed with travel and social plans, but on the rare occasion when I’m home and free, I have the hard decision of choosing from 4 different markets. Luckily, the largest and most vibrant one also happens to be the one closest to me, the Mountain View Farmer’s Market.
This last visit to the market was at one of my favorite times of the year when summer produce is just arriving. Every fruit stand vendor is handing out samples of their sweet harvests. Tomatoes, asparagus, and strawberries blanket the market stalls. The sun is out and an outing to the farmer’s market feels more like a trip to the county fair than grocery shopping.
My typical approach is to take one lap to soak it all in before making any purchases. Once I’ve gotten my share free samples, then I get down to business and start coming up with menu ideas. We just launched a new meal planning service over at Cook Smarts, and it’s always fun to use the market to inspire our menus.
On this last trip after a few laps, I picked out:
- A pint of strawberries ($3)
- A bulb of fennel ($2)
- Basil ($2)
- Arugula ($3)
- Fingerling potatoes ($3)
- Lacinato kale ($2)
When I got home with the bounty, I got to work on making one of my favorite salads - mixing strawberry, fennel, and arugula with a balsamic vinaigrette. The pepperiness of the arugula combined with sweet strawberry and fennel and tart balsamic is one of my absolute favorite combinations. Here’s the recipe below:
Strawberry Arugula Salad
Fennel, sliced - 1 small bulb
Strawberries, sliced - ½ pint
Basil, sliced - A few leaves
Arugula - 4 oz
Pecans - ¼ cup
Balsamic vinegar - 1 ½ tbs.
Dijon mustard - 1 tsp.
Salt & pepper
Olive oil - 3 tbs.
Clean and prep all salad ingredients. Mix together vinegar, mustard, and a good pinch of salt & pepper. Whisk in olive oil, and toss everything together
See what I am talking about with the fresh and easy recipes?! My favorite dish right now is Jess's sweet potato tacos, and the chances are if you come to visit that is what I will be serving :) Make sure you stop over at CookSmarts or find Jess with one of the links below to see what goodness she is cooking up today! Thank you Jess, for sharing your/our bit of the globe with us and maybe we can hit up the market together one of these days!!! And to the rest of you, I hope you get out and enjoy your farmers' market this week!