Farmer’s Market shopping tips PLUS a Balsamic Summer Salad Recipe!

Trace Barnett, AKA The Bitter Socialite, gives us some farmer's market shopping tips PLUS he shows us a super simple, super tasty Balsamic Summer Salad recipe!

Farmer’s Market Shopping Tips

Gardendale Farmer's Market

One of the best Farmer’s Market shopping tips is when you first arrive at the market make sure you make a lap and take stock of every booth. That way you can keep track of what each farmer has, who has the best items and which places you’re planning to buy from. The worst thing you can do is walk in and start buying produce from the first stand you come to! When you’re browsing make sure to check for the freshest in-season produce that’s available. Take notice of the color of the produce, feel it to make sure it’s firm (but don’t squeeze it so hard that you bruise it!), and smell it, if it smells fresh and smells like the earth you know it’s good. Another helpful way to pick out the best produce is to talk to the farmer that grew it! Often times the people selling the produce are an often overlooked source of info on the vegetables and fruits that they themselves have grown!

Another benefit of shopping at a farmer’s market is buying fresh herbs. You can usually buy the herbs whole for roughly the same price as you’d buy them already cut. The best part of buying a whole plant is that after you’ve used the herb in whatever dish you’re cooking you can plant it in your garden and have an ongoing supply of fresh herbs! One of the best things about herbs is that they truly compliment the sweet and savory flavors of dishes so feel free to interchange them and see the differences they impart on your next meal!

Balsamic Summer Salad Recipe

Balsamic Summer Salad recipe

This is a simple, easy recipe for a fresh tasting Balsamic Summer Salad that would be perfect for your next get-together! They key to this salad is using the full rich flavor of farm fresh tomatoes and peaches.


  • 1 fresh tomato
  • 1 fresh peach
  • chopped chives
  • balsamic vinaigrette – which you can buy or if you’d like to make your own you’ll need the following: 3 tblsp. balsamic vinegar, 1tblsp. Dijon Mustard, 1 garlic clove, minced, 1/2 cup olive oil, salt, and freshly ground pepper. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • Slice tomato horizontally into large circular slices. Layer slices slightly overlapping them on bottom layer of whatever dish you’ll be serving the salad on.
  • Slice peach in half and remove the pit. Place the peach cut side down and make lengthwise cuts until you have several slices. Layer the peach slices across the top of the bed of tomatoes.
  • Gather chives together aligning them with one another and chop the chives into thin pieces. Sprinkle chopped chives on top of tomatoes and peaches.
  • Pour balsamic vinaigrette over the top and serve! If you’d like to prep the salad to be served later, complete every step except adding the balsamic vinaigrette. Refrigerate the salad until you’re ready to serve and add the balsamic vinaigrette right before people dig in!

To check out more of Trace’s work check out The Bitter Socialite!

You might also like:

The Importance of Farm-to-Market with Durbin Farms Market

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