We’ve all been there. You go to the farmers market and load up on all the produce you can find with lofty goals of becoming the gourmet home chef of your dreams. Back at home, the veggies get unloaded into the fridge, unused, where they remain until trash day.
But not this time.
Use these five recipes (plus a bonus one) that are packed with farmers market flavor but don’t require culinary school training. Each one can even be modified with whatever fresh produce you have on-hand. So feel free to fill those bags with fresh tomatoes, bundles of kale, hand-picked zucchini and ruby red beets.
Farmers Market Panzanella Salad
There’s more to this salad than just your typical veggies. Enter French bread, which is torn up into bite-sized pieces and sprinkled among tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and more. Dress it up with a honey-Dijon-red wine vinaigrette, and you have a seasonal dish that’s fit to share or pack up for a weekday lunch. Get the recipe here.
Kale Pesto Pasta
Grab your pasta of choice — fusilli, gnocchi or conchiglie, aka shells, all work well here — and a food processor. Kale, walnuts, garlic and parmesan combine into a sauce that’s perfect on pasta, but can be used on just about anything. There’s probably some of you out there who want nothing to do with kale. That’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with a traditional pesto recipe filled with earthy basil and salty cheese. Feel free to add other ingredients such as cherry tomatoes or grilled chicken to spice this up, too. Get the recipe here.
Vegan Beet Fried Rice
Beet lovers, this one’s for you. This recipe blends the comforts of takeout with the flavors of the farmers market. Use up day-old rice and the entire beet — yes, stems and all. To balance out the heaviness and sweetness of the beets, add fresh garlic and scallions. If beets aren’t your thing, you can still find a way to pack some summer produce into fried rice. Get the recipe here.
Thai-Inspired Chicken Satay Stir-Fry
Making a stir-fry is an easy way to use a bunch of vegetables, but it’s not always the most exciting way to get your five a day. This recipe changes that. A four-ingredient peanut sauce jazzes up the veggies of your choosing. Chicken, ginger, cilantro and crushed peanuts complete this exciting and flavorful dish. Get the recipe here.
Greek Salad Pita
This pita-salad combo dish has brightly flavored ingredients such as tart lemon juice, tangy feta, refreshing cucumber and sweet bell peppers. A mere 10 minutes in the kitchen gets this recipe done, and you’ll be set for a week’s worth of lunches or a dinner with the family. Sub in your favorite veggies to make this dish all your own. Get the recipe here.
Bonus Recipe: Summer Sangria
Every farmers market-filled dinner needs an equally summery drink to go with it. Besides, with all this talk about veggies, we can’t forget the fruit. Strawberries, oranges and limes (plus whatever berries you stock up on) go in this refreshing wine cocktail. Get the recipe here.
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