if you’re one of those people who’s still buying the bulk of your produce at your local grocery store, you are missing out. you need to hit up your local farmer’s market, STAT. remember my yearning for a garden? how jealous i was of that guy’s incredible rooftop planters? well, it should come as no surprise to you that i’m really into the farmer’s market. to me, there’s really no better saturday than one spent perusing the stands of the union square greenmarket, a basket full of fresh fruits and veggies and herbs. preferably, this day also includes some really great homefries (recipe coming up!) and a bloody mary or two, the latter of which contributes to my slight swaying as i walk through the square and stop to smell the flowers. no, i really do that. i’m really bad with the whole drunk shopping thing. note to self: do not drink three bloody marys at brunch and then go to tj maxx “just to look.” you will not just look. you will buy – tons of things you do not need.
shopping at the farmer’s market after brunch, however, is no biggie d. because the worst thing that can happen is that you’ll come home with a big bag of maple sugar candy or some root veggies that you’ve never tried before – and neither of those things are really that terrible. everyone loves maple sugar candy, and root veggies are great – just throw ’em in a pan with some fresh rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper and cook at 425 for a hot second (20 mins).
it’s really quite funny that i’ve come to be so enamored with farmer’s markets, mostly because as a child, i DESPISED gardening. in fact, i despised any and all chores that involved being outdoors and getting dirty. i was the kid who said things like, “can’t you give me an indoor job?!” “I can clean!” “does the dishwasher need emptying?” it’s not even that i’m a priss, really, it’s more that i’m OCD clean and can’t stand getting dirt all over my clothes and body. i hate having grime under my nails, and i’m not that into sweating. but you know what? somehow, moving to new york has made me really appreciate nature. now, it’s not like i want to go all earthy crunchy on you and go hiking and camping and eating trail mix. no thanks, not for me. but i savor the thought of green space, of grass that flattens softly when you step on it, of the smell of freshly dug up dirt, of carrots sprouting their little green heads and of those fresh from the garden snap peas that offer the perfect sweet crunch when you pop one into your mouth. i want a garden, you guys! i want to pluck fresh thyme for my risotto and fresh basil for my pasta dishes. i want to step outside and pop teeny juicy cherry tomatoes into my mouth like candy. and since i can’t do any of those things without a garden, i seek solace in the farmer’s market.
of course, there’s plenty to be said about supporting local farmers and organic produce and all that jazz – but that’s a schpiel you’ve probably heard before. but seriously – get thee to the farmer’s market near you. it’s better for you. it’s better for the world. and it’s nice to support the underdog. justin bieber says so, and he’s god – so you should obey.
anywho, last weekend, i was walking through the farmer’s market that my lovely “suburbia in NYC” apartment complex offers on sunday afternoons, and my friends and i came across a woman who was selling gluten-free rye bread. it looked sort of like a rock – a really, really flat rock – but surprise, when she piled some butter and cheddar and sliced cucumbers on it, it turned into a really delicious rock! okay, so it wasn’t a rock. it was bread. it just looked a little rock-like, what with its flat and brownish gray nature. no offense, gluten-free rye, but i’ll take some yeast any day. while the bread wasn’t anything remarkable, the sandwich acoutrements got me thinking: what a classy lil’ sandwich! wouldn’t this guy be perfect for lunch?
so i went out and i bought some cheddar and some cucumbers (and i usually am not a huge fan of cukes – hate all those seeds!) and paired them with sliced peppercorn turkey breast and some avocado to give the sandwich a bit more heft and protein power. i put mine on whole wheat sourdough, and it was DELISH. and so pretty and fancy pants looking, hence the title. man, open-faced sandwiches make you look like a CLASSY gal.
there’s no real recipe for this baby. just choose your bread, thinly slice some avocado, cheddar and cukes, and assemble. put a layer of avocado on first (you could also mash it up and spread it like buttah if you wanted to), then top with turkey, cheese and finally, cucumbers. now eat, and enjoy your twenty minutes of looking like the coolest, classiest, most creative office lunch-eater around.