Long Reads

9 Items to Pick Up at the Market Now (& How to Use Them)

August 23, 2015

Every other week we get Down & Dirty with our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more. 

Today, the items to fill your bag with at the market this week.

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1. Okra 
If you’re squeamish about slime, it’s best to roast okra or cut it as little as possible.

Cook: Spicy Oven-Roasted Okra or Grilled Okra with Sriracha Lime Salt


2. Tomatoes
Did you know that it's okay (sometimes) to store tomatoes in the refrigerator? Here's how to keep them fresher longer.

Cook: Michael Ruhlman's Pasta with Tomato Water, Basil, and Garlic or Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese, Quark, Proscuitto, and Gremolata


Corn Risotto

3. Corn 
We've got all the tips you need for choosing perfect ears, no peeking required.

Cook: Summer Corn Risotto in Sweet Corn Broth or Summer Corn Cakes



4. Blackberries
No matter where you are, blackberries should be easy to find. Their native distribution spans almost worldwide—they’re found on every continent save Antarctica.

Cook: Blackberry Cornbread Buckle or No-Cook Blackberry-Lemon Ice Cream


Avocado Sandwich

5. Tomatillos 
We generally eat tomatillos before they are fully ripe: They are picked when they are green, but it’s best to wait until the tomatillo has just started to burst through its exterior layer.

Cook: Monster Avocado Toast Sandwich or Enchiladas Suizas 


Watermelon Salad

6. Melons
Use more of your melon: A spoonful of cantaloupe seeds might not sound all that appealing, but they don’t need to be relegated to the compost bin. All melon seeds are edible—try roasting them just like pumpkin seeds and enjoying them as a snack. And you can put the rind to good use, too!

Cook: Watermelon, Arugula, and Pickled Onion Summer Salad or Olia Hercules' Watermelon Rind Jam



7. Peaches & Nectarines
Although they definitely taste different, they are extremely closely related—nectarines are actually a subcategory of peaches! 

Cook: Caramelized Peach Pancakes or Nectarine Slump



8. Figs 
Figs have two seasons, and Alice Medrich says that fall figs are more flavorful than spring figs, so get shopping!

Cook: Cheese-Stuffed Figs Dipped in Chocolate or Fig and Blue Cheese Tart with Honey, Balsamic, and Rosemary



9. Garlic 
All varieties of garlic can be classified as either hardneck or softneck garlic. Softneck garlic tends to be milder in flavor and to have more cloves per bulb (up to 20!); while hardneck garlic has fewer cloves, they're larger and easier to peel. 

Cook: Garlic Cheddar Biscuits or Grilled Romaine with Corn and Creamy Anchovy Vinaigrette

Tell us: What are you picking up at the market this week?

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I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.