Shopping the Farmers Market: Why Blog

After years of frequenting the farmers markets in NYC, but only buying a few supplemental ingredients here or there, I decided to be experimental and work dishes around what is in season or looks particularly mouthwatering at the market that day. Green seems to be the buzz word these days from NYC to the White House, and the eat local movement is in full swing. My attempt here is to buy as many ingredients as possible from a the farmers market, and then occasionally supplement with locally produced ingredients from chain markets around the city. Most of the recipes I post (except for the baking recipes) are either things I created myself, or variations on recipes I've found elsewhere. I hope that you take the recipes and shopping tips here and they inspire you to do your own local cooking.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Peach and Honey Crostini

I've been working all week on a BBQ show for the Food Network, so today I wanted to shy away from heavy proteins. I thought I'd branch out and try a new farmers market in Manhattan. There are only three on Thursday in the borough, and two are south of Chambers street, so I thought I'd head to the one in Battery Park. Tucked away in a cul de sac right off of the Hudson river, the Battery Park farmers market is small, but quaint. It only had three small vegetable vendors, a cheese vendor, a bread vendor, and a flower shop, but I loved the fact that there was a table solely devoted to lavender.

I know I talked about how I liked edible flowers in a post a couple of weeks ago, but I wasn't about to try to integrate dried lavender into my dish today, so instead, I purchased a jar of lavender honey. As the summer winds down, I thought that I would take advantage of all the great peaches while I could. There were both white and yellow as well as donut peaches and apricots, but I decided to with the yellow for $2.50/lb. At this point, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, so I also purchased a cato randsom blue cheese from the cheese vendor, hoping something would come to me.

All of a sudden I saw some crusty bread in the corner and decided to grill the peaches, and make a sweet and savory crostini.

Today I purchased:

At the Farmers Market
2 yellow peaches
1 jar of lavender honey
french bread
Blue cheese

At a Specialty Market

Ingredients I had at Home
Basil (from last farmers market)
Coarse sea salt
Olive Oil
Aged balsamic vinegar

Recipe: Grilled Peach Crostini with Lavender Honey and Sea Salt


1 peach, cut in quarters and de-pitted
2 strips of prosciutto
8 slices of crusty french bread
Lavender honey
3-4 basil leaves
Crumbled blue cheese
Olive Oil
Coarse sea salt to taste
Balsamic vinegar

You can make this recipe on the grill outside, but I don't have any outside space, so I made it on my grill pan. First, slice the french bread into 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces. Brush with olive oil. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Then slice into quarters. Grease the grill or grill pan with olive oil and heat to medium-high. Once the pan is hot, grill the bread for a couple of minutes on each side until grill marks appear, and they are toasted, but not burnt. Drizzle the honey over the cut part of the peaches, and place the peaches on the grill cut side down. Grill for about two minutes, and then flip. Grill for another two minutes, then remove peaches and put on a plate.

Now it's just as easy as assembling the crostini. I cut each peach quarter into two or three pieces, depending on the size of the peach. Place two pieces of the peach on the grilled french bread. Drizzle a little bit of honey on top of the peach. Take the sea salt and sprinkle a little over the peaches as well. I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted to do to finish the crostini, so I decided to finish them in two different ways.

Way 1: Prosciutto and basil
I took a basil leaf and tore it into small pieces. You could also cut it chiffonade style like I did with the pasta post earlier in the week. Next I took a strip of the prosciutto, tore a couple little pieces off, and put that on top as well. I finished with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

Way 2: Blue Cheese
I cut off a chunk of the blue cheese and crumbled it into little pieces. Then I took 3 or 4 pieces and placed them on top of the peaches. I finished this one as well with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

I personally preferred the Prosciutto and basil crostini. The saltiness was perfect with the sweetness of the peach, but didn't overpower the delicate flavor of the fruit. Grilled fruit is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. Depending on what you pair it with, the fruit can easily be used in a savory main course, or as part of a dessert. Next time, try serving the grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream, fresh raspberry sauce and a little mint. I think that's what I'll do with my leftovers.


  1. These look amazing!! The blue cheese crostini sounds like an interesting combo. What kind of blue cheese did you use?

  2. I used a blue from the farmers market, a cato randsom blue. Not too strong, but with a nice punch.

  3. Yum!! I so want to try making these. I'm gonna have to go to the Park Slope Farmer's Market tomorrow morning.