Montclair Farmers Market: Late Summer Favorites


Without a doubt my favorite part of traveling is finding what local food markets have in season. Like the gorgeous tiny strawberries in Montreal,  or the tiny haricot vert and haricot yellow (as I have been known to say) in Paris, the flats of flowers at the Eastern market in Detroit, and even meat sitting in the open sun in Manaus that smelled so rancid it had me running for the nearest exit to chunder — totally gross, but a memory none the less.

Some might say I love marketing because I am a foodie and my pictures of food are food porn (needle across the record scratching loudly) — NO. A thousand times no. Right here and right now I am officially killing both the word “foodie” and “food porn.” Enough people. How about “someone who enjoys food” a SWEF if you will and or a “foodist.” It is 2013 folks, time to change it up. As for the term “food porn,” which might be the dumbest term ever, porn does not belong in the kitchen (unless it is a porno taking place in the kitchen, which many of them do).  With that said, if food really gets you that excited, it’s time to get out of the house and converse with humans.

blue cheeseSo fellow foodist, here are my favorite picks from this year’s late summer Montclair Farmers Market:

Golden Beets
I have never been a big fan of beets until I tried this golden variety. Golden beets are not only clean/stain-free to work with, but they also have a sweeter and milder flavor than the red variety. Peel them and roast or boil the beets and serve them as a side or on a salad.
Roasted Beets: Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast them in the oven at 350 degrees until they brown a bit.
Golden Beet and Arugula Salad: Peel the beets and boil for about five minutes, until tender. When they are cool, dice them up and toss them with arugula, chopped red onion and a bit of sumac. Dress with olive oil and vinegar.

oysterRosemary Bread
Montclair Bread Company
I’m still in shock that this bread made it home in one piece as it was still warm from the oven and the smell of fresh rosemary baked inside was killing me. Slice it and serve on its own or with fresh tomatoes and a soft cheese. The loaf lasted one hour in my house before it vanished — it is that good.

Shore Catch
The old rule is only eat oysters in months that end in the letter r and it is Septemberrrrrrr. These blue point oysters were gorgeous, large and full of liquor (the liquid inside). Served raw with a splash of balsamic vinegar and diced red onion or with a dash of malt vinegar and freshly ground pepper.
Shucking Tip: I always hold the oyster in a kitchen towel  (to protect my hand from being stabbed) with my one hand. Using my other hand, I take an oyster knife, stick it in the back at the hinge, wedge it in and then pry it open. Make sure to hold the oyster level to avoid letting the liquor pour out. Serve immediately.

tomatoesRambo Apples:
The first of the super crisp apples that you cannot find in the supermarket. I found these at the  at Sunden Farm stand, they are always nice and super helpful.
Peaches: A Jersey peach is like a Jersey tomato, outstanding and only available for a short period of time. I love buying them from farmer’s market because they only sell tree ripened peaches.
There is no way I can pick just one favorite fruit at this time of year. Cantaloupes are at their peek, so much so that you can smell them as you walk by a bin bursting with these buggers. It’s probably the only time you can say, “Nice lopes!” without getting cracked in the jaw.

More Beer and Tallegio Cheese
The Valley Shepard
Both have a super creamy and a nice sharp flavor. I paired both with the rosemary bread and a slice of heirloom tomatoes (let me tell you — that was heaven).


More favorites:
Scallops from Shore Catch: Check out Alison Bermack’s recipe here
Celosia or cockscomb flowers: Velvety red and long lasting
Purple  potatoes: Diced and roasted, they look stunning.

cantaloupeAt the market? Let us know what you are buying? Making? Growing? Smelling?

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  1. I completely agree with you, it’s time to move on. As a food blogger ( and self-proclaimed “SWEF” I will happily join you in pledging to never agin use the terms foodie or food porn.

    As for Valley Shepherd Creamery… I just picked up the wheel of cheese I made at one of their classes, it’s fantastic!

  2. Amen to that! Never liked foodie or food porn. I just love food. Plain and simple.

    Shore Catch has the best fish ever, Jimmy’s scallops are like no other. Vacchiano’s beef is excellent. And the Tassot Apiaries are my favorite bee keepers in the world. I have to limit my cheese purchases at Valley Shepherd as I eat it far too quickly.

  3. On the same note, friends, I am not now nor have I ever been a “gourmet chef.” For one, I am not a chef — I am a cook. And cooking gourmets is next to impossible because the little bustards are so hard to clean. But I have enjoyed cooking since my teens, I have done it for a living but never for long, and I enjoy a well thought-out and executed meal, be it at our home, friends’ homes, or in restaurants. The best parties are always in and around the kitchen, whether it escalates into porn or not. These days, not is better. Thanks, Holly, for once again Explaining it to us All.

  4. Those tomatoes look lovely, too. If you have some beautiful, juicy, flavor-full tomatoes on hand: slice them thick, like they are pictured above. Line a bowl with the slices to keep as much in one layer as possible, and salt them heavily with kosher salt. Let them sit for 30 to 45 minutes, until they exude their tomato water. Coarsely chop a whole mess of basil leaves, a few cloves of garlic, and a spoonful or two of olive oil, and add the mix to the tomatoes. Toss gently (very gently) and plate with a few torn leaves of basil on top. Drizzle some oil on them and perhaps a few twists of black pepper from the mill. Enjoy.

  5. Great stuff, Holly! We just got back from our annual summer vacation and can’t wait to hit the farmer’s market next week. We’ll have to get stuff to go with all the volunteer tomatoes that sprung from our compost bin!

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