A Beautiful Day at the Market!I knew it was going to be a scorcher on Saturday at the Bryn Mawr Farmers’ Market, reaching 92 degrees! Thank goodness for the occasional breeze through our tents. I can tell you, it did not diminish foot traffic at the market; it was hectic, but who could blame them? We are in the height of produce season. All fruits and vegetables are at their optimum, full of flavor and juicy.

As I strolled through the market, looking for the best produce to incorporate into my demonstrations, I came across a new and unfamiliar ingredient at Herbal Springs Farmstead. (447 Brossman Rd., Ephrata, PA, 717-733-3438) Bright colored Swiss chard, the stems were beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and pink, so fresh and tender you could eat it raw. It was suggested I add it to salads.

My next stop was at Livengood’s Family Farm (1648 Morningside Dr., Lancaster, PA, 717-327-6817); Farmer Earl is a kind and generous person. When I arrived at the market, Earl already had assembled his second tent, which meant I did not have to assemble mine…thanks Earl! He had juicy tomatoes, beautiful soft and crispy lettuces like Red Leaf and Romaine and red/white/blue fingerling potatoes. It was a great touch for the holiday week.

I found a new vendor at the market, J & J Home Gourmet; they are purveyors of maple syrup and pure vanilla extract, made with Madagascar vanilla beans. I introduced myself and received a sample of pure vanilla extract. Meanwhile, I kept thinking, vanilla vinaigrette. I must have been thinking out loud because a member of the Taste 4 Travel community answered, “How about peaches, blueberries or apricots?” That was exactly what I was thinking! She giggled and said, “Turn around.” I hadn’t gotten as far as the next tent where there was a large sign, Frecon Farms (501 S. Reading Ave., Boyertown, PA, www.freconfarms.com) – peaches everywhere, beautiful, ripe and fragrant.

With only a few stalls left I stopped at Shellbark Hollow Farm (www.shellbarkhollow.com), the lovely ladies thought their aged Crottin de Chevre cheese would be best to pair with a salad.

I returned to my table as fast as I could. I was inspired. I began by cleaning my produce three times and preparing the remaining ingredients for my demonstration. I decided to make a Red Leaf and Bibb lettuce salad with diced peaches, Swiss chard, crumbled aged goat cheese, and vanilla champagne vinaigrette; light and refreshing. As an alternative, at home, grill ripe peaches to add some smokiness and a deeper layer of flavor. Click here for recipe.

I also prepared tomato bruschetta with the addition of baby onions from Two Gander Farm (92 Covered Bridge Rd., Oley, PA, 610-812-2582) and lemon marinated Crimini mushrooms from Davidson Exotic Mushrooms, Kennett Square, PA; which was well received.

Your employees work hard. Reward them with an unforgettable day of culinary fun at the Philadelphia Italian Market. Happy employees are more productive! Contact Chef Jacquie today and schedule your group’s outing 610-506-6120.