Leeks and Carrots at a Farmers Market
Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

Blog | August 6, 2018

It’s National Farmers Market Week: Shake the Hand that Feeds You!

by Matt Glidden

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! National Farmers Market Week runs from August 5 – 11 and we’re celebrating by sharing a beautiful infographic created by our partners at the Farmers Market Coalition. In addition, we’re sharing some of Farm Aid staff members’ favorite farmers market recipes to inspire you in the kitchen this summer.

The infographic concept of “Put Your Money Where Your Farmer Is” focuses on the financial significance farmers markets can have on farmers, especially those new and beginning. It also paints the larger picture: farmers markets present a rare win-win-win scenario; for farmers, consumers, and communities alike. Click below to view the full-size infographic in a new window:

Farmers Market Recipes: Farm Aid Staff Picks

You can certainly make the recipes below any time of year, but right now, with farmers markets at their peak across most of the country, is the perfect time. Highlight the distinctive flavors of ingredients at their best!

Grilled Corn Salad
Herbed Smashed Cucumbers
Tomato, Zucchini and Avocado Salad
Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil

Grilled Corn Salad

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

Jennifer transforms just a few ingredients into the perfect summer side dish. She says, “If you have a big crowd, make this recipe as-is. If you’re serving a smaller crowd, halve the recipe. It does keep well for a couple days in the refrigerator though, if you want leftovers.”


  • 12 ears of corn, husked
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, large leaves torn
  • ⅓ cup (or more) fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper


  1. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Rub corn with 1 tablespoon oil. Grill, turning frequently, until corn is charred and heated through, 10-12 minutes. Remove from grill; when cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs and transfer to a large bowl.
    Advance preparation: Corn can be grilled 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
  2. Place onion in a strainer and rinse with cold water to mellow its flavor. Drain well. Mix onion, remaining 5 tablespoons oil, tomatoes, basil, 1/3 cup lime juice, and thyme into corn. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired.
    Advance preparation: Salad can be assembled 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Herbed Smashed Cucumbers

(Adapted from The Kitchn)

Cucumbers in colander

Photo by LoriQoPB via CC BY-SA 2.0

Steve says, “Fresh cukes and onions from the garden or local farm are a must, and we just peel and slice or cube the cukes rather than smashing them. We also replace the parsley with fresh mint or cilantro which really complements and brightens the flavors.”

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish


  • ¼ cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds cucumbers (about 4 medium)
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion (about 1 small)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh dill fronds
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Flaky salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, and oil together in a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Peel the cucumbers and cut them in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into 1-inch segments. Spread the pieces out on a cutting board, flat-side down, and use a heavy pot or skillet to smash the cucumber pieces and lightly crush them.
  3. Transfer the smashed cucumbers to the bowl with the yogurt. Add the red onion, dill, and parsley, along with a generous pinch of flaky sea salt and a few big grinds of pepper. Toss gently to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but the dressing will become a bit more watery.

Tomato, Zucchini and Avocado Salad

(Adapted from The New York Times)

Sophie’s recipe is a shape-shifter. “Serve it over lettuce and you’ve got a salad, put it in a bowl next to chips and you’ve got salsa, or over rice and it becomes a light entrée.”

Time: About 25 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced very thinly or diced finely
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, seeded if desired and finely chopped
  • ¼ to ½ cup chopped cilantro, to taste
  • 1 Haas avocado, ripe but not too soft, cut into tiny dice
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Boston lettuce, romaine lettuce leaves, or rice for serving


  1. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt, and drain in a colander for 15 minutes. Rinse if the zucchini tastes very salty, and drain on paper towels.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, chiles and cilantro in an attractive bowl. Combine the zucchini, avocado and lemon or lime juice and olive oil in another bowl. Taste and add salt if desired.
  3. Add zucchini and avocado to the tomatoes, and toss together gently. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Serve on lettuce leaves as a salad, or serve over rice.

Advance preparation: You can assemble this several hours ahead. It will even keep for a day in the refrigerator, but it will become watery. This isn’t a bad thing if you are serving it over rice, with the juices poured over.

Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil

(Adapted from The New York Times)

Matt says, “The idea of combining starchy, sweet corn with pasta never crossed my mind until I saw this recipe. Now I’m hooked!”

Time: About 30 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings


  • 12 ounces dry orecchiette, farfalle, or other small pasta shape
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 8), trimmed and thinly sliced (keep the whites and greens separate)
  • 2 large ears corn, shucked and kernels removed (2 cups kernels)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
  • ⅓ cup torn basil or mint, more for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice, as needed
  • 2-3 slices bacon (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until 1 minute shy of al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat; add scallion whites and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add ¼ cup water and all but ¼ cup corn; simmer until corn is heated through and almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, transfer to a blender, and purée mixture until smooth, adding a little extra water if needed to get a thick but pourable texture.
  3. Choose one:
    a) Vegetarian option: Heat the same skillet over high heat. Add butter and let melt. Add reserved ¼ cup corn and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. (It’s OK if the butter browns; that deepens the flavor.) Add the corn purée and cook for 30 seconds to heat and combine the flavors.
    b) Bacon option: Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Cut 2-3 slices of bacon into ¼-inch strips and crisp up in the pan, about 3 minutes, before removing to a paper towel-lined plate. Turn heat to high, leaving bacon grease in the pan. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter , add the corn purée and cook for 30 seconds to heat and combine the flavors.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add pasta and half the reserved pasta cooking water, tossing to coat. Cook for 1 minute, then add a little more of the pasta cooking water if the mixture seems too thick. Stir in ¼ cup of the scallion greens, the Parmesan, the herbs, the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to taste. Transfer to warm pasta bowls and garnish with more scallions, herbs, bacon pieces (if using), a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper.

Farmers Market Facts to Share

Show your farmers market love by sharing these bite-sized facts by the Farmers Market Coalition. Click on them to view and save the full-size graphics:

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