Sunday, July 01, 2012

Veggie City at Markets

A.T. Buzby's summer squashes and eggplants
Buzby's carrots
Summer vegetables are hitting their peak at local farmers' markets. Today at Headhouse Square was no exception.

Corn is coming into its own, though prices can vary widely. Over at the Reading Terminal Market Ben Kauffman was selling his Lancaster County ears for 75 cents apiece, but Iovine's has Bucks County corn for less than half that price: three ears for a buck.

Tomatoes are also starting to taste real. Blooming Glen, one of the Headhouse vegetable stalwarts, had field tomatoes for $3/pound, and a few heirloom varieties for $4.

Those cheap frying peppers I found at Iovine Brother's Produce over the last few weeks have gone up in price to $1.49/pound; they were 99 cents. But we're starting to see bell peppers at the farmers' markets: Tom Culton had green peppers today, and Weaver's Way purples.

Cultton's cornichons
I've making my third batch of kosher pickles of the season right now, using Mark Bittman's recipe which is nothing but cucumbers, salt, garlic and coriander seeds (you could use fresh or dried dill if you prefer). I wasn't going to make the third batch, but Tom Culton's gherkins just looked too good to pass up. Although at $5 for a box with a net weight of one pound, six ounces they were priced considerably more than full sized kirby cukes, I think they'll make great crisp pickles. Culton, who is into all things French these days (just take a look at his new sign, here) calls them cornichons.

Among the other interesting veggies Culton had this week were chickpeas in the shell ($7 a box) and good looking red and golden beets, sans leaves. Here are the pix:

Culton's chick peas
Beets from Tom Culton

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