During the summer in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, there are several options for good produce. The top two options are the Chestnut Hill Farmers’ Market and the Chestnut Hill Growers’ Market. The farmers’ market is open year-round and I do enjoy stopping there on occasion for fresh meats, fish and similar wares. I enjoy the prepared food from several merchants, in particular the Mexican food stand.
Relatively newer to Chestnut Hill is the Growers’ Market, which brings relatively local farmers into the city to sell their products. It is a small market, but what they may lack in quantity, they definitely make up for in quality. By shopping here, you are getting good, local produce and the quality of the meats are far superior as most of the animals are grass-fed and produce healthier products. You can read more facts about grass-fed meat products at Eat Wild.
So yesterday was the opening day for the Chestnut Hill Growers’ Market and I made a quick stop to see what was new.
At the first stand they had vegetable plants available for folks that may want to grow their own tomatoes or other vegetables. Being an apartment dweller, I can’t take advantage of those, but I did pick up a pretty thyme plant that I can put on my kitchen counter to catch some rays.
Another stop I made was to the Breakaway Farms, offering grass fed meat products. I picked up a package of their pork bacon. Higher priced than your grocery store fare, yes, but the quality is phenomenal and well worth it. It had a nice amount of fat and a good, meaty texture.
I used some bacon in my linguine yesterday, but I used several slices this morning to go along with my scrambled eggs. The breakfast was fabulous, as after frying my bacon, I used the rendered fat to cook my scrambled eggs, making for a wonderfully delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs that was full of flavor.
At another one of the produce stands, I picked up green garlic, which is basically immature garlic and have a more mild flavor than full grown garlic. They look like scallions, but obviously have a different flavor.
There is also a goat milk and cheese stand that sells unique products. I tried samples and intend to purchase next time. One of my favorite stands in this market is the guy that sells the most beautiful tomatoes you’ll ever see.
My first visit to the Growers Market was finished and I intended to make my favorite summer salad tonight as a work lunch for the week.
This evening I went to put together my very Italian seeming summer tomato salad. First it was the tomatoes.
I chopped, chopped, chopped. These tomatoes are so super sweet and are perfect just on their own in a salad such as this. I mixed the chopped green garlic into the tomatoes, along with some fresh basil that I picked up in Reading Terminal Friday. I tossed in a bunch of olive oil, of course and these days I always chop in some anchovies.
Finally, I put in some chopped chunks of mozzarella cheese. I went with a regular grocery store brand this time. Occasionally I go with fresh mozzarella.
And not until I serve it do I toss in chunks of Italian bread. I intended to go to a good bakery today, but didn’t get a chance and just went with Italian bread from Acme.
To finish it all up, I toss all my ingredients with a tiny sprinkle of kosher salt and put in the fridge to let the tomatoes and mozzarella absorb all that flavor overnight.
So if you are nearby, the Chestnut Hill Growers’ Market is certainly worth a stop. Even if you aren’t, it’s worth a visit. While you’re here for that, check out Penzey’s or other good places in the Chestnut Hill area.