These early days of September are full of mixed messages at the farmers market. Summer peaches can still be found, but are quickly edged out by the teeming bins of apples. Cherry tomatoes and okra share table space with the first acorn and butternut squash. Rosh Hashanah is quickly approaching (September 16) — the Jewish holiday that is marked by apples dipped in honey to symbolize the wish for a sweet new year — but when the temperatures are still topping 90 it’s hard to even think about baking with apples just yet. And so this apple fennel salad is the perfect cooling dish when summer heat is overstaying its welcome. Serve alongside fish or even hot dogs on the grill. Simplicity is key when coping with the end-of-day exhaustion of freshly back-to-school kids (and their parents).
Recipe: Apple Fennel Salad
Makes 2-4 servings
- 2 Honey crisp apples
- 1 fennel bulb, core removed
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1. Thinly slice the apples and fennel, cutting down to bite-sized 1/2-inch pieces if serving little ones. Place in salad bowl.
2. Whisk together salt, honey, apple cider vinegar and olive oil.
3. Drizzle dressing over apple and fennel and gently toss. Garnish with a little of the leafy fennel fronds, if desired.
These particular apples were purchased at the FRESHFARM Ballston market, held Thursdays from 3 to 7pm just across from the Ballston Metro station. (Wondering why the honey crisps are more green than red this year? Blame the heat, says Mrs. Wheelbarrow in the NY Times Diner’s Journal.) We stopped by to sample the new goats-milk cheeses from Peachy Family Dairy in Pennsylvania (the foodie tot was smitten with their Lady’s Gouda Blessings, an almost candy-like treat), picked up some skirt steak from Gunpowder Bison, and sampled the new Savvy Popsicles). Local favorite Westmoreland Berry Farm is there, and Shells Yes!, a Maryland “true blue” certified crab company who makes a fresh and tasty crab and corn hummus. (And crab cakes, of course.)
What’s your favorite food at the market in September?