What to do with all that fruit

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Greetings! Hope you’re enjoying these warm summer days and eating as much fruit as possible. We’ve been a bit boring and mostly have just been eating blueberries on yogurt and granola. (We made the yogurt and the granola, though, so perhaps it’s less boring than it sounds.)

For a little something beyond breakfast, Alison Roman just published several recipes using summer fruit in the New York Times, and we are here for it — especially this Summer Pudding With Blackberries and Peaches, made from layers of yogurt-spiked whipped cream, sliced bread soaked with berry juices, and of course, lots of blackberries and peaches.

If you’d prefer a savory direction for your fruit, add them to risotto (yes, risotto!!). We’ve tried all of these recipes and loved each and every one — but the Peach and Pancetta Risotto was our favorite.

For your other market produce: Do you have any melons? We recently brought home a super juicy cantaloupe from Garner’s Produce. We blitzed it up in a blender with a little cardamom to make a sort of juice/sort of smoothie situation, but next time we’re eyeing these mozz and prosciutto skewers.

If you’ve got eggplant, make yourself some baba ganoush. There are tons of variations on this dish from the Levant, so really, you can’t go wrong; taste as you go, don’t forget to add plenty of salt and a little lemon juice, and serve it with plenty of warm bread for dipping.

Here’s what to expect at markets this weekend. As always, remember to bring your reusable market bags/containers to transfer that delicate fruit into. And friendly reminder that we take back the teal berry cartons and red mesh berry toppers — we reuse them for as long as we can.

  • Lots and lots of tomatoes, in all sizes, shapes, and colors:

    • Kellogg's Breakfast

    • Cherokee Purple

    • Paul Robeson

    • Black from Tula

    • Brandywine

    • Green Zebra

    • Red Zebra

    • Sunsugar Cherry Tomatoes

    • Sweet Million Cherry Tomatoes

    • Carbon

  • White and yellow peaches

  • Donut peaches

  • White and yellow nectarines

  • A whole variety of plums

  • Blueberries

  • Blackberries

  • Champagne grapes!

  • Apples:

    • Earligold (sweet-tart, perfect for applesauce)

    • Magnum Bonum (fragrant and slightly tart)

    • Pristine (a distant relative of McIntosh and Starking Delicious)

    • Ginger Gold (a cross between Golden Delicious, Albemarle Pippin, and an unknown variety)

    • Sansa (sweet but not overly so; a cross between Japanese Akane and New Zealand Gala)

    • Zestar (a cousin to Honeycrisp)

    • Tsugaru (a cross between Golden Delicious and Orange Pippin)

Plus, our usual canned goods — apple sauce, apple butters, and more. See you there.

A quick little salad for all those heirlooms

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Did you pick up blackberries at the last few markets? The extra warm temperatures mean that those berries are extra sweet and juicy — we’ll have some again this weekend, so if you’ve been meaning to get some but have been putting it off, well, get some!

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Our stone fruits are in full swing too, of course, and we’ve got just the little thing to make with them: a super speedy nectarine, tomato, and cheese salad. It makes a lovely side to anything coming off the grill, or the perfect quick lunch when paired with a nice hunk of crusty bread. Here’s how to make it: Slice a few nectarines and arrange them on a plate, then add a sliced tomato or two (whichever type is ripe and ready, but we are partial to Green Zebra this time of year). Top with plenty of fresh, soft cheese — we got a small block of a mild, feta-like cheese from Keswick, our neighbors at the Bloomingdale Farmers market — and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add a few big pinches of salt (unless your cheese is particularly salty), and a few pinches of spicy pepper flakes, if you’d like. And that’s it! It’s so easy and fast, and incredibly satisfying.

How are you doing with the rest of your produce from your weekend haul? If you need to use up corn, might we suggest a batch of esquites? It’s corn kernels with crema, butter, queso fresco, and chiles — what more could you ask for? For all of summer’s fresh beans, we’ve been eyeing this easy blistered bean on miso butter situation for a while now. And we know you know this, but it’s worth repeating: Do not underestimate the glory of the tomato sandwich. We are partial to a Martin’s potato roll spread generously on both sides with mayo (use whatever brand you like. Use Miracle Whip for all we care!!), a few leaves of crunchy lettuce, and two big fat salted slices of tomato. We could eat this every day and be better humans for it.

That’s all for today’s suggestions — take care of yourself out there, and remember to enjoy the little things. Even if the little thing is a lot of mayo.

Stone fruit sorbet

Happy Friday! Last weekend’s steamy temperatures are still haunting us, so we’ve been dreaming about frozen desserts all week long. Today we whipped up a batch of sorbet — but, since it’s Friday, our stash of fruit supply was, um, dwindling and a bit too soft in spots. (Yep, we’re just like you — we let our produce linger a little longer than we ought to, only to make a mad dash to find a way to use it and avoid waste in the 11th hour.)

Happy to report: We did it. We took the last apricots, yellow peaches, and white nectarines that we had and made them into a beautiful, slightly tart sorbet the color of a dusty summer sunset. The recipe is adapted from one for peach sorbet from Fany Gerson’s Mexican Ice Cream: Beloved Recipes and Stories. It’s super easy, happens to be vegan and gluten-free, and ready in a snap — provided you have an ice cream machine.

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Stone fruit sorbet

(adapted from Mexican Ice Cream: Beloved Recipes and Stories by Fany Gerson (Ten Speed Press, 2017)

  • 2 1/2 pounds mixed stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots)

  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1 cup water

  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar (depending how sweet your fruit is — use less if it’s sweet enough)

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried culinary lavender, optional (we got ours from Mountain View, a Bloomingdale Farmers Market vendor!)

Wash and dry the stone fruit, but leave those skins and peels on. Chop the fruit away from the pits, dropping the fruit chunks into the bowl of a large blender or food processor as you go. Add the lime juice, water, sugar, salt, and lavender, if using. Puree until smooth and the sugar dissolved, about 3 minutes. (You might have to do this in batches if your blender/processor isn’t large enough!) Scrape the mixture into a bowl, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.

Everything blended up and chilling before getting churned.

Everything blended up and chilling before getting churned.

Freeze and churn in your ice cream maker according to your contraption’s directions. (If it doesn’t all fit, just pour the little that’s leftover into a glass and drink it. It’s almost health food.) After it’s done, transfer to a wide and shallow-ish container to freeze (better to use something with a larger surface area, so that it freezes quickly and thus leaves you with lower chances of having ice crystals form).

Freeze for a few hours and store in your freezer for up to a week. Yield: About 1 quart.

It’s wonderful plain, of course, but we’re thinking it’d be even better with a generous splash of bubbly wine poured over top. Cheers to the weekend!

Speaking of the weekend, here’s what to expect at market. As always, remember to bring your reusable market bags/containers to transfer that delicate fruit into! Also friendly reminder that we gladly take back the teal berry cartons and red mesh berry toppers — we reuse them for as long as we can.

  • Peaches (white and yellow)

  • Nectarines

  • Plums (we’ll have shiro plums this week!)

  • Blackberries — lots of them

  • Blueberries — they’re on the way out, so now’s the time to stock up and freeze for winter

  • Raspberries (red and black)

  • Currants (red and black)

  • Gooseberries

  • Apples (Earligold, Pristine, Zestar)

See you out there!

On gooseberries

Our midweek posts will tend to be short and sweet — a little teaser for the weekends to come, you might say. On today’s docket: Gooseberries! Like currants, gooseberries are part of the Ribes genus. You’ll usually see them in red or green, with red gooseberries skewing slightly more sweet than their green counterparts. It’s almost like eating a SweetTart, but, you know, better for you. Also like currants, gooseberries seem to be more well known outside of America — but here’s hoping we all can change that.

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Depending on your gooseberries, you might see “tops” and “tails” — aka the nubby thing on one end and the slightly longer spindly thing on the other. If you’d like to remove them, simply slice off with a sharp knife, or, even easier, just pinch and twist them off with your fingers.

A few ways to use your gooseberries (beyond simply eating them straight):

Do you have any clever ways to use the berries? Share in the comments. See you back here Friday with market details, more recipes, and the answer to the question you’ve always wondered but never asked: What the heck are clingstone peaches?

Announcing our blog, with recipes, market updates, and more

Happy humid summer, folks. We’re excited to announce the start of a blog to help keep you in the know about what’s coming to your local farmers market each weekend. (See which markets you’ll find us at, here.) We’ll also delve into background information on our family farm, our valued workers, and our growing practices. And of course, what would a blog be without recipes and cooking tips? We’ll feature a few ideas each week to help you use up your produce -- because we want you to get the most out of what we’re growing.

Have any burning questions you’d like answered? A long-loved family recipe that you think everyone should know about? Tell us all about it via our contact form and we’ll do our best to address your thoughts here.

A list of produce coming to markets is below, but first we’ll highlight a uniquely tart fruit that we are so pleased to grow: currants. Like clockwork, every time this member of the Ribes genus crops up at markets, we get loads of curious people asking what the heck to do with them. (An unfamiliarity with currants may be in part to their time of being outlawed in America, due to their ability to spread a fungus that killed white pine trees -- read all about that in these Business Insider and Atlas Obscura articles.)

Currants are small, round berries that grow on shrubs in temperate climates. There are some 120 species native to North America and western South America (a.k.a. the Andes); other varieties were cultivated even way back in the 1600s in the cool-temperature regions around the Baltic Sea. Currants are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, among many other health benefits. (They also just taste really good.)

Our red currants tend to be slightly tarter and with a more acidic kick than the black currants (the red ones are a little smaller, too). Here are several ways to use both the red and black currants:

  • Make into jams, syrups, and sauces.

  • Add to baked goods such as cakes, muffins, or pies.

  • Toss raw into smoothies (with some peaches too, hint, hint!) or juice them to make a killer cocktail (we’re thinking they’d pair well with bourbon and gin -- and maybe a fresh basil garnish). Turn them into sorbet, even!

  • For a delightful no-proof drink, add currants to kompot, a fruity punch from Russia.

  • Make a shrub -- we like the 1:1:1 formula spelled out here by Polina Chesnakova in The Washington Post: Take one part sugar, one part vinegar (such as apple cider), and one part fruit; whisk the sugar and vinegar together until mostly dissolved, then add the fruit and mush/muddle to crush. Let that mixture chill in your refrigerator for a few weeks (ideally), then strain and you’ve got a concentrated syrup to use with bubbly water, cocktails or salad dressings. (Shrubs are a great way to preserve, too, as they last for many months in the refrigerator -- seems we may just need a whole post about shrubs soon, no?)

Of course, don’t feel like you need to limit currants to sweet and syrupy applications: Their tart notes pair beautifully with pork, chicken, and lamb. Toss a handful in a breezy chicken salad. Stir-fry red cabbage with a hefty douse of vinegar and a few handfuls of currants (maybe add a dash of caraway seeds or a few juniper berries, for good measure). Add them to a sweet and savory fruit salsa. Once you start playing around, you’ll get to know these little berries very well.

In the next blog post we’ll tell you all about another member of the Ribes genus: gooseberries!

In the meantime, here’s more of what you can look forward to this weekend:

Fruit:

  • Peaches (white and yellow)

  • Nectarines

  • Plums

  • Cherries (if the conditions cooperate!)

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries (red and black)

  • Currants (red and black)

  • Gooseberries

  • Apples (Lodi and Earligold)

Vegetables:

  • Green beans

  • Yellow beans

  • Zucchini

As always, we’ll have our own applesauce and fruit butters for sale. If you’d like to purchase a larger than usual quantity of anything, please send an email to Kathy -- include your name, phone number and farmers market location -- so that, once your order is confirmed, we can have it priced and ready for you to pick up.

And don’t forget to bring your reusable tote bag and berry toppers (those red hairnets) with you on market days. See you there!