Make sure you add "salad night" to this week's meal plan, because no matter what you bring home from the farmers market, this summery take on a classic Cobb will be your new favorite. Fill your bowl with leafy greens and then cover them with a blanket of seasonal veggies, a hard-boiled egg, some crumbled bacon and blue cheese, and an herb-filled white wine vinaigrette.
Here's What to Pick Up at the Farmers Market
You can pick up nearly everything for this dish from the market. Look for lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, corn on the cob, radishes, herbs, and garlic. Depending on your market you might even be able to get the mustard for the dressing and bacon, eggs, and blue cheese for the salad. In addition to an avocado, the remaining few ingredients for the dressing are all pantry staples that you likely already have at home. A variety of vegetables not only makes for a more colorful salad, but also changes up the texture, which makes dinner more interesting.
- Lettuce or greens
The basic template for farmers market salad:
any greens + 3 or more veggies from the list above + extra protein and cheese + a go-with-anything white wine vinaigrette
Can't find something on the list of ingredients, or spot something different at the market that's too good to pass up? No problem! This salad is a template rather than a recipe, so revisions are encouraged. It's more important to pay attention to the building blocks you need to make it.
How to Pick the Best Lettuce
To be sure you're headed home with some good greens, you'll want to examine both the leaves and the stem of the lettuce. Look for a head of lettuce with leaves that look vibrant and firm, and avoid those with wilted leaves. The stem, or cut end, will brown and dry out with age, so look for one with a moist, lighter-colored base.
Use Fresh Herbs for a Better-Tasting Vinaigrette
I'm a firm believer that fresh herbs make even the most basic salad stand out. Here, instead of mixing them in with the greens, a few spoonfuls of herbs are whisked into classic white wine vinaigrette for a bright and fragrant twist. It's a big reward for not a lot of work, and — best of all — any type of herb you have handy will make a delicious addition to the dressing. Be sure to make the dressing before assembling the salad because the more time the ingredients have to meld together, the more flavor they'll bring to dinner.
Farmers Market Salad
For the dressing:
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, tarragon, dill, mint
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
For the salad:
1 medium bunch green leaf lettuce (about 8 ounces)
2 medium tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
1 medium ear corn, shucked
6 medium radishes
1 medium avocado
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Make the dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl until emulsified and well-combined; set aside.
Make the salad: Cut the lettuce leaves crosswise into thin shreds and place in a large bowl. Core and dice the tomatoes; add to the bowl. Trim the cucumber, dice, and add to the bowl. Cut the corn kernels from the cob and add to the bowl. Trim and thinly slice the radishes, and add to the bowl. Halve and pit the avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice, and add to the bowl. Add the bacon, eggs, and cheese to the bowl.
Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine. The salad is best served the day it's made.
- Make ahead: The dressing can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Farmers Market Suppers
Shopping the farmers market for seasonal veggies and herbs is one of the greatest joys of summer. It's so easy to get excited by all the fresh produce of the moment and fill a tote with a little bit of everything. If you don't have a plan, figuring out what to do with your haul once you get home can feel a little overwhelming. This series will help change that. We're sharing five versatile and delicious templates that will teach you how to turn any farmers market purchase into dinner.
These photos were shot at The Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market in Flemington, New Jersey.