Refreshing gazpacho, pizza peppered with crisp basil, and fruit smoothies for dessert — something about summertime brings out the gourmand in us all. From luscious strawberries to ripe tomatoes to the fisherman’s catch of the day, the warm weather inspires light, fresh, and creative dishes. And, of course, it helps that local farms are growing some of the most picture-perfect organic produce. Every Tuesday at noon in front of the Science Center, Harvard’s own farmers’ market hosts dozens of vendor stands filled with all the ingredients for a delicious season.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever had fresh eggs before, but they’re really different. I like to scramble them with vegetables and cheese or make an omelet,” said Susan Viglione, a senior project manager for Harvard Planning and Project Management. Fresh eggs weren’t all Viglione had stuffed in her reusable bag; she also had squash, snap peas, and spinach (“I like to eat it raw or sautéed in a little garlic”).
Anybody for coleslaw? Check out those cabbages …
“I’m planning to freeze these strawberries and keep them for strawberry smoothies,” said shopper Melissa Minaya. “They’re perfect for the middle of the night when I get a craving for something sweet.”
Summer squash and zucchini stand proud at the Farmers’ Market. Packed with vitamin C and potassium, they pair well in a summer stir-fry.
“It’s so hot outside, but I’m going to roast this chicken,” admitted Claire Healey, an Earth and planetary sciences research assistant. “You preheat the oven to 450, salt the chicken inside and out, cover it in herbs — thyme is really good — and put it in the oven for an hour. Don’t touch it. The skin gets really golden and crispy.”
Bulk up a salad with colorful radishes.
Edan Razinovsky was excited to use these cherry and yellow heirloom tomatoes in a salad with olive oil and garlic. “I’m also going to get some zucchini and squash, scoop out the insides, and stuff them with chicken. It’s a Middle Eastern dish. My family is Israeli, my parents have been making this forever.”
Fresh, sweet snap peas. Ready for grabbing!
Many people believe that local honey is good for allergies. But try a teaspoon in warm water and drink it before breakfast. “It improves digestion,” said Sofia Vidolov, whose husband is the beekeeper. “Or you can use honey as a face mask with a little yogurt and strawberries.” The proof is in the pudding: “I’m 50 years old!” boasts Vidolov.
Red onions are full of antioxidants and liven up cold salads, as well as a boring turkey sandwich.
Jed Washburn had big plans for his Farmers’ Market foray: “We’re making Andalusian gazpacho … also, fish en papillote, so I have some leeks for that … Also some ground pork for homemade Asian sausages.” He loves to cook, he confessed, adding, “My fiancée is the head production baker at Flour Bakery.”
When choosing carrots this summer, always look for smooth, firm skin and rich color.
“I buy my regular groceries here,” said Neela Swaminathan. “My baguette, greens, everything I normally get at the grocery store I try to get here. I found some nice tomatoes, cucumber, and lettuce today and tonight I’ll throw together a salad, slice a baguette and rub some tomato on it — that’s my staple.”
Crisp romaine. A salad staple and a cancer fighter!
Graduate School of Design student George Gard picked this carton of strawberries for classic strawberry shortcake. “Sometimes I use Bisquick for the shortcake, but I have been known to make my own. We’ll see how inspired I am.”
Fruit or vegetable? Who cares? Delicious.
“With this basil I’ll make pizza and a caprese salad,” revealed April Mullins, a library assistant at the Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Everyone knows how good basil is on pizza and in paninis, but did you know it’s said to ease cold symptoms, too? Try boiling the leaves and sip it with honey to alleviate a sore throat and cough.
“I bought ingredients for salsa: cilantro, tomatoes, onion … I’m looking for a jalapeño,” said Tanya Beroukhim.