The 5 Types of Dinners You Can Make After a Trip to the Farmers Market

published Jul 29, 2017
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

I have two personas when it comes to food shopping: my grocery store persona and my farmers market persona. The former, without fail, hits the store with a carefully curated shopping list arranged by the layout of the aisles; the latter arrives without a shopping list or a plan at all (I prefer to just see what’s in season and grab the produce and herbs that catch my eye).

They key to making this approach work and easily turn my farmers market haul into dinner is knowing a few simple and versatile types of meals that can be made with anything I bring home. Instead of trying to find a specific recipe that matches exactly what I buy, I begin with a dinner template. From a veggie-packed frittata to a summery pizza, these five meals show how to turn a trip to the farmers market into dinner.

(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

Your Farmers Market Dinner Starts with a Template

The selection at the farmers market inevitably varies from location to location and week to week, not to mention that your preferences will shift from one trip to the next. We want you have a go-to solution to turn your farmers market haul into dinner, regardless of the veggies you pick up or the quantity you have on hand.

(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

The very best way to turn any trip to the farmers market into a meal is by starting with a dinner template, rather than a set recipe. Each one of these dinners will give you the foundation necessary to turn your produce into a meal. Get the building blocks down, then make it your own with whatever vegetables and herbs you have handy. Using this approach you can make any of these once a week without feeling like you’re eating the same thing over and over again.

(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

The Best Types of Dinner for Any Farmers Market Haul

While the bulk of the ingredients in these recipes are vegetables and herbs you buy at the farmers market, a few pantry staples that you likely already have at home tie it all together.

  • Farmers market pasta: This versatile dinner partners pasta and a buttery white wine sauce with three or more vegetables and an herb, like basil, dill, or tarragon.
  • Farmers market pizza: Start with pizza dough, ricotta, and mozzarella, then rely on your farmers market haul for the toppings. You’ll want at least two vegetables plus any herb for a super-summery twist.
  • Farmers market risotto: Start with pantry staples like rice, olive oil, and stock, then chop up your choice of veggies and any herb. A variety of vegetables will not only make for a more colorful bowl of risotto, but it also changes up the texture, which makes dinner more interesting.
  • Farmers market frittata: The beauty of the frittata is that any and all veggies and herbs are fair game here. Consider it an added bonus if you can also pick up farm-fresh eggs and a local cheese at your farmers market.
  • Farmers market salad: No matter what you bring home from the farmers market, this summery take on a classic Cobb salad is one to keep in your meal plan all summer. The heart and soul of the salad will come from your farmers market haul, then lean on pantry ingredients for the dressing.

5 Types of Dinners to Make After a Trip to the Farmers Market

These photos were shot at The Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market in Flemington, New Jersey.