Our friend and farmers market maven (make that manager) Chelsea Whittaker has been providing great tips all season long on what to get at your local Brooklyn farmers markets, and this week she reminds us not to forget the little things: herbs! You can find fantastic herbs at any of the dozen farmers markets in Brooklyn, and while our eyes go gaga over heirlooms and summer squash, Chelsea makes a great point about how fresh herbs can really punch-up your dishes:
“When most people think about shopping at farmer’s markets, they immediately think about all the beautiful fruits and vegetables, bread, meats, and cheeses at the market. However, shoppers should also think about buying herbs at the market. Adding fresh herbs to any dish makes it taste delicious and heightens it from home-cooking to restaurant quality! Market goers can buy herb plants in the market so they can grow them at home, or they can just buy them by the bunch. Sage and thyme are perennial herbs and are hearty enough to withstand New York winters, so they are an excellent choice for food-lovers who want to grow their own herbs at home. If you’d would rather buy a bunch, treat it like a flower bouquet by putting it in water and using it throughout the week.”
That stuff you have on the spice rack? That’s just a dried out version of what you’ll find at the market, and if you want to lock-in some local flavor, leaving the herbs in the sun and dicing up the dried bits can be a fun way to do it. Make sure if you try this technique you use herbs that don’t have a high moisture content – bay, dill, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme work best, while more moisture-dense herbs like basil, chives, and mint are best done in a proper dehydrator (or if you can’t wait, just eat it fresh!)
Hope you’ll all get out to the market on Sunday and get your herb-ing on!