In the peak of summer, I look forward to Saturday mornings more than anything else. I rush through my stint at the gym in order to get to the good part of the day (aka my stroll through the farmers market). I tend to load up my tote with more than it can carry, especially this time of year when everything from tomatoes and zucchini to lettuce and berries are in abundance. But I always save just enough room among all the produce for one additional item: a loaf of bread.
Why You Should Always Buy a Loaf of Bread at the Farmers Market
Among all the picture-perfect produce, the bakery stalls at farmers markets are easy to breeze by in the name of produce, but they shouldn't be forgotten. Skip running to the grocery store after the market and pic up a loaf right then and there instead. Some of the freshest, most artisanal breads can be found at the farmers market, and it can turn all those vegetables you bought into a full-fledged meal.
My favorite loaf to look for is a rustic whole-wheat sourdough. At my market, it's sold in large quarters from a giant round loaf. It stays fresh on the counter for a few days and can be transformed into so many meals. On day one, I usually eat it fresh, alongside a salad I've thrown together or next to a simple piece of grilled fish and some grilled vegetables — maybe with some good olive oil for dunking.
The next day, it gets toasted for pan con tomate, bruschetta, or any iteration of vegetables piled on toast, which I eat alongside some prosciutto, cheese, and a glass of white wine for my most favorite summer meal.
Then there's usually still enough for a panzanella salad another night during the week. If there's anything left after all of that, it's blended into gazpacho or blitzed to make breadcrumbs to top my pasta.
Summer meals come simply, thanks to that loaf of bread I tucked into my tote. That's a great thing because fussy ones really should be saved for another season. Add a loaf to your list the next time you're at the market and your dinner will be as easy and breezy as the season itself.
Do you buy bread at the farmers market? How do you turn good bread into dinner?