I find myself spending more and more time at the Farmers Market these days. As summer draws near, the stalls are filling up with fresh vegetables, leafy greens and juicy stone fruit. If you are a chef or food lover, this is an exciting time of year.

It’s easy to get caught in a routine of eating the same produce each and every week. But as crops continue to sprout, it’s fun to experiment with new ingredients. Plus, the more variety in your diet the more health benefits you receive—because each fruit and veggie has it’s own vitamin, mineral and antioxidant profile.

On my shopping adventures, I’ve picked up some new culinary gems and encourage you to give them a try!

Farmers Market Finds:

Green Filet Beans

Filet Beans: Last week I shared my love of fava beans and this week I want to tell you about the filet bean. Also known as “hericot verts”, this French bean is delicate and tender. The filet bean is delicious and crisp when simply steamed and adds just the right amount of texture to salads, like a composed nicoise.  Here is a simple recipe for making a side dish to go with dinner “French Green Beans with Butter and Herbs” (preferable a grass fed butter, or if you cant have dairy, replace with a good olive oil.)

Garden cress organic sprouting seedlings

Microgreens: Perhaps viewed as nothing more than garnish, microgreens are actually a nutritional powerhouse. They’re the shoots (or immature) versions of other vegetables, but offer 40 times the amount of nutrients than their full-grown counterparts. Toss into salads or pile onto avocado toast for a satisfying crunch. You can even add a handful to smoothies to give them a health boost.
Here is a great recipe using microgreens, “Roasted Acorn Squash, Microgreens and Quinoa Salad“. It is getting a little too warm out for roasting squash, but you could replace that with some sweet potato or any other cooked vegetable. I really like this recipe for the Sesame Garlic Dressing that gets poured over the salad.

Morel Mushrooms

Morel Mushrooms: With its short growing season, morels are all the rage right now. They look like little sponges and are packed with flavor. Morels are said to be an excellent source of Vitamin D, especially important for those who live in cooler, darker parts of the world. Unfortunately, the morel season is ending soon (it’s pretty short), but still check out your market’s mushroom stall for other varieties.  Here is a great guide on picking, cleaning and cooking Morels “How to Clean and Cook Morel Mushrooms

What are your favorites from the Farmers Market? Leave a comment below or share a picture on Facebook.