Sourdough and basil. Those are the first things that come to mind at the beginning of farmers market season. The smell of fresh baked sourdough bread and basil. And the Farmers Market at Harvard University kicked off its season on June 11 with plenty of both… and so much more.
Located in Harvard Square, in the Science Center Plaza just outside of Harvard’s main campus, the market embodies the area’s finest including its ubiquitous lobster.
There is also a variety of locally produced merchandise, like jam from Ward's Berry Farm in Sharon. The farmer effortlessly points to which specific jars she helped fill.
But it’s the endless rows of squash and greens, and pints of fresh berries lining the market rows that have us thinking about summertime meals. And with the promise of gorgeous weather around the corner, why not take the thought one step further and consider enjoying them outside? Turns out farmers markets make it pretty easy.
A quick summer salad with berries
Ward's Berry Farm’s strawberries, and fresh spinach from Langwater Farm in North Easton have us craving a summer salad.
And the goat cheese from Ruggles Hill Creamery in Hardwick is too gorgeous to ignore. Co-owner Michael Holland says that Ada’s Honor is one of their most popular products and goes well with everything, including the bright flavors of berries.
Also featured in Keeping It Local: Six Massachusetts Cheesemakers You Need To Know About.
Make a vinaigrette in a jar, toss a few blueberries and pecans into the mix, pack up everything to go, and with these farmers market finds this shapes up to be a wonderful salad you can enjoy outside. We recommend checking out this recipe from Once Upon a Chef.
An easy bruschetta with strawberries and fresh mint
The fabulous smell coming from the When Pigs Fly Bread tent entices us to pick up a loaf,
and some strawberry jam and fresh mint from Ward's Berry Farm to go with it.
Combine the strawberry jam with a local ricotta (we like Mozzarella Housein Peabody), and spread it on top of slices of the bread. Tear up some mint and sprinkle it on top of the ricotta mixture. You could even slice up some strawberries and place them on top. Either way, the flavor profiles are incredible.
We like this recipe from Taste of Home that toasts the bread, adding texture and crunch to the snack.
A tip from the farmers
Farmers at the market recommend taking advantage of what’s about to go out of season, like asparagus and radishes.
Grab some pre-made options
We couldn’t pass up the tamales at Tex Mex Eats. You can also buy them frozen and steam later at home. Owner Amanda Escamilla describes them as “the perfect midnight snack.”
Don't forget a treat
The luscious cinnamon buns from Source Bakery remind us that baked sweets are a great compliment to an outdoor meal. We pick up a couple…
… and a Union Square Donut to share on the ride home.
In the spirit of International Picnic Day on June 18, we encourage you to visit your own local farmers market, pick up some fresh produce, baked goods and more, and take your bounty with you to enjoy outside.
The Farmers Market at Harvard University is open every Tuesday, from noon to 6pm, until November 26.
Harvard Science Center Plaza; Oxford and Kirkland St.; dining.harvard.edu/farmers-market