One of the best things about summer has to be the fresh, flavorful produce that seems to be everywhere. I could spend countless hours (and countless dollars, if I had them) perusing the Union Square Green market, on the hunt for juicy berries, sweet peaches and colorful veggies. I try to take advantage of it as much as possible during the weekends I’m in the city, because come winter I will be a sad little hermit in Queens, dreaming of farmer’s markets to pass the time.
And although I rarely go into a farmer’s market day with an exact plan of what I want to make for a dish, I do stick to one tried-and-true rule: keep it simple. Often, the picks are so flavor-packed and fresh that it’s best to treat them very simply to let their flavor shine.Take this peach panzanella salad, for example. Panzanella salads are an Italian-born traditional dish that basically pairs fresh vegetables with chunks of bread. Sounds pretty easy, no? And it is–the only thing you have to worry about “making” for this salad is the chunks of bread, and that’s as easy as cubing up a fresh loaf, tossing with tons of olive oil (truthfully, tons–double what you’d think you’d need) and sea salt and then popping it in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the cubes are browned and crunchy.Instead of sticking to the traditional bread-and-tomato combo for this salad, I decided to mix it up a bit and add in goat cheese, baby kale and tons of fresh peaches. It was a winning flavor combination–the bread added that desired crunch, while the combo of the peaches and goat cheese was out of this world. Finish yours off with a little bit of a balsamic drizzle and call it a meal. You’ve done the farmer’s market proud.