Fresh & Easy Farmers’ Market Dinners
Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad
When you have a bounty of basil, try using the leaves as part of the "lettuce" in salads.
30-Minute Farmers' Market Dinners
The beauty of peak season fruits and vegetables is how perfectly they come together for fast, effortless dinners. Grill a protein, whir together a dressing, and toss with greens and fruit for a simple salad. Prefer something more hearty? Opt for a whole-grain burrito bowl, complete with fresh salsa, peppers, black beans, and a handful of lightly-dressed greens. Put your summer market haul to delicious use with these easy dinners ready in 30 minutes or less.
First up, petite sirloin filets are healthfully lean, and they're also surprisingly full-flavored and meltingly tender—making them an ideal choice for this easy steak salad.
In this recipe, traditional Italian pesto takes a detour through the continent of Asia, swapping in peanuts for pine nuts, toasted sesame oil for olive oil, and miso and fish sauce for Parmesan.
Tuna Spring Rolls with Pineapple Dipping Sauce
Look for sustainable yellowfin tuna caught off the U.S. Pacific coast, or sub ½ pound cooked shrimp. Look for rice paper wrappers on the Asian foods aisle of the grocery store; if you can't find them, turn the rolls into lettuce wraps. Use pineapple preserves as a glaze for pork, add to a grilled jam and cheese sandwich, or dollop over coconut ice cream.
Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn
This dish is a fresh, tasty twist on shrimp and grits. The shrimp mixture takes on bold flavors from Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, thyme, and garlic—making for a robust mixture that’s complemented by the sweetness of the creamed corn. Aim for large shrimp here so the dish feels a little more special; we suggest 16/20 count shrimp or 10/15 count if you want them even bigger.
Burger Patty Salad
We love the richness that a little ground lamb offers, but you can use all beef or even ground turkey instead.
Grilled Corn Salsa
Don’t be afraid to get some good char all over the corn; that’s where a lot of the flavor comes from. We like the look of red jalapeños here, but you can also use green jalapeños (which taste the same) if they’re easier to find. Try the citrus-spiked salsa as a dip with tortilla chips or a topper for blackened fish, steak, or chicken; or tuck some into fish or shrimp tacos, combine it with black beans for a quesadilla filling, stuff a hefty spoonful into an omelet or frittata, or toss a generous amount with quinoa for a hearty main-dish salad.
Cold Noodle Salad with Sesame Crab
Minneapolis Chefs Jamie Malone and Erik Anderson lay Asian flavors on this stone-cold stunner. "Varying texture keeps things interesting," Chef Malone says. "Don't overcook your noodles," Chef Anderson says. "You don't want them to be too soft or mushy. You want a pleasant, chewy texture. It's all part of the fun of eating noodles."
Cherry Tomato Confit
Because the oil picks up the flavors of the garlic and thyme, a milder, less expensive oil works best.
BBQ Chicken with Peach and Feta Slaw
This summery crunch-tastic slaw is guaranteed to find its way into your recipe rotation for the rest of the season. Using ripe, juicy peaches, it's the perfect sweet-salty side dish for any number of grilled or smoked proteins.
Tomato Gratin Lasagna
This is a fresh, summery take on lasagna. We call for seeding one-third of the tomatoes to get just the right amount of juciness.
Seared Mahimahi with Tomato-Cucumber Relish
Mahimahi has a sturdy, dense texture that holds up to the marinade (more delicate fish like snapper or tilapia would cure in the the lime juice). If using a lighter fish, skip the marinade and squeeze lime wedge over the fish after cooking instead.
This zucchini pie recipe is a fresh riff on spaghetti pie, where zoodles stand in for spaghetti and sweet grape tomatoes replace pasta sauce. Serve zucchini pie for breakfast, lunch, or dinner—it’s great hot, cold, or at room temperature. For a special brunch treat, top wedges with a sliver of cold-smoked salmon and a dill sprig.
Cheesy Beef Patties with Tomato-Cucumber Salad
This deconstructed take on a cheeseburger puts some of the season's best and most abundant produce in the spotlight with a simple, dilly tomato cucumber salad. Whip it up for an easy weeknight dinner—we cook the patties in a skillet but you could also char them on the grill.
Zucchini's mild flavor concentrates into something much richer when you cook it until most of its liquid evaporates.
Steak and Tomato Panzanella
We use the broiler to keep this vibrant summer salad speedy, but if you already have the grill cranked up, this dish easily transitions to an outdoor entrée.
Peach-Vanilla Slab Pie
The next time you need a dessert for a crowd—backyard barbecue, picnic, block party—think slab pie. You'll need to roll the dough out so that it's very thin; to make this easier, you can roll it out on parchment paper and place the whole thing, including the paper, in the pan.
Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad
If watermelon wedges are a mainstay at your summer cookouts, try dicing for this instant, gorgeous salad. The sweetness of the fruit pairs beautifully with the smoky rotisserie chicken and fresh mint to create a summertime staple that will keep the family asking for seconds.
Honey-Bourbon Peach Preserves
Bourbon imparts oaky richness to honeyed peaches. Don't be tempted to use a higher-proof whiskey; the flavor will be too "hot."
Dilly Salmon Packets with Asparagus
Adding the orange slices to the packets will perfume the fish and make the slices easier to squeeze after grilling. Remove the foil and arrange fillets over asparagus for a lovely presentation. No grill? Bake the packets at 425° for 15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
Spicy Buttermilk Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs
Making your own spice blend is worth it. For starters, salt is the main ingredient in jarred spice blends. Making your own lets you control the sodium and use fresh ingredients. You can make the kebabs and buttermilk mixture a day ahead and refrigerate until you're ready to cook.
Chicken and Arugula Pasta Salad
In this dish, just a bit of a rich and pungent cheese can go quite a long way. Tossing hot pasta with a few ounces of creamy Brie makes for a light, luscious, and flavorful sauce to coat this abundant bowl of chicken, fresh veggies, and whole-grain noodles.
Grilled Salmon With White Bean and Arugula Salad
Ask for salmon fillets from the head end of the fish—the tail end is much thinner.
Sweet Corn Soup with Crab
Succulent crab mirrors fresh corn's sweetness in this summertime soup.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad
The microwave quickly steams the zucchini so that you only need to run the stuffed boats under the broiler for a minute or two at the end.
Grilled Watermelon and Halloumi Salad with Minty Green Beans
If your farmers' market doesn't have slender haricots verts, grab a handful of regular green beans and cook them a couple of minutes longer. Halloumi is a wonderfully salty-nutty cheese that's firm enough to stand up to grilling; if you can't find it, use ricotta salata or queso fresco.
Cavatappi Salad with Tuna and Olives
This big, fresh, juicy dinner-in-a-bowl is our kind of easy summer eating. For intense flavor impact, we look to bold-flavored ingredients like kalamata olives and lemon juice. To get this dinner done in 30 minutes, marinate the tomato mixture while the pasta water comes to a boil; this allows those bold flavors plenty of time to mix and mingle.
Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa
This colorful, flavor-forward dish makes the most of peak-season produce with a sweet and tangy fruit salsa that would be equally delicious served over pork chops or with whole-grain tortilla chips. The heat from the seeded jalapeño is mild, but it can be omitted. To round out your plate, try serving the chicken and salsa over a bed of rice or with a simple side salad.
Summer Veggie Sandwich
Scooping out part of the bread in this simple version of pan bagnat allows for more tasty fillings and acts as a hull to collect flavorful tomato juices. Make breadcrumbs with scooped-out bread.
Fried Egg and Avocado Toasts
Sunny-side-up eggs, fresh sprouts, and salsa amp up avocado toast for a fast, no-fuss meal.
Herbed Shrimp With Tomato-Spinach Salad
Fresh herbs turn a simple Mediterranean salad into a summertime stunner.
Tomato and Corn Bulgur Salad
Fresh corn from the farmers' market stars in this dish, which is sprinkled with crumbled bacon and toasted pine nuts.
Spiced Chicken with Grilled Peach Salsa
Purple scallions have a mild, sweet taste and a beautiful deep color. Substitute green onions if you can't find their purple cousin.
Summer Veggie Pasta
No-cook veggies make this easy dish a weeknight favorite. Peeling zucchini and squash into ribbons makes them fun for kids.
Pan-Seared Lake Trout with Bacon and Cranberry Bean Succotash
Mottled pink cranberry beans lose their vibrant color once cooked, but no matter; their creamy texture and mild taste are the stars of the dish. You can substitute lima beans if you can't find cranberry beans. Just-picked corn is a must: Check for a fresh, moist stem.
Blueberry and Feta Bulgur Salad with Mint Dressing
You can make this fresh, summery picnic dish up to two days ahead. If you'd like a fresh herb garnish, pack the leaves separately, and sprinkle onto the salad shortly before serving.