OLIVE OIL Both a modestly priced one for cooking and a super-high-quality extra-virgin olive oil (try Mt. Kofinas for a local product) for dressings and finishing.
GOOD SALT & GROUND PEPPER
See “Salt of the Earth” (page 20). Always keep a full grinder of pepper to enhance the flavor of what you bring home.
ANCHOVIES A jar of oil-packed anchovies keeps in the fridge for months. Use it for a classic Caesar to dress those gorgeous romaine lettuces, sure. But the anchovy is the vegetable’s best friend, adding a depth of flavor and umami to a simple sauté or stir fry.
QUICK MARKET DINNER: ADD GREENS
Sauté minced garlic and a couple of smashed anchovies in olive oil; add a generous pile of chopped greens (kale, chard, spinach, or a mix), chopped broccoli, grated zucchini, or sliced asparagus. Cook until tender and toss with hot, cooked pasta and a mountain of grated Parmesan cheese.
LEMONS A squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens any vegetable dish; lemon juice and good olive oil make a simple salad dressing. Grill halved lemons alongside thick slices of market vegetables (sweet potatoes, sweet onions, summer or winter squash, carrots) and squeeze their juice over your platter of grilled veggies.
PASTA Adding freshly cooked pasta to a stash of market vegetables is one of the quickest and most satisfying ways we know of to get dinner on the table.
CANNED BEANS OR CHICKPEAS Good sources of plant-based protein, beans are the base for a pile of grilled or roasted vegetables, either as a main dish or a substantial side. Even better: Cook dried heirloom beans.
WHOLE GRAINS Farro, barley, wheatberries, brown or wild rice—like beans, these are a great foundation for a quick, healthy dinner.
PARMESAN OR PECORINO These salty Italian cheeses have a magical way of enhancing even the simplest platter of grilled zucchini or salad of fall greens.
QUICK MARKET DINNER: ADD TOMATOES
Combine a can of white beans (drained), a pint of cherry tomatoes (halved), a generous glug of good olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, some slivered basil, and a shower of good salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread.
Bryn’s long career in publishing took a left turn sometime around 2010, when she discovered the joy of food writing. Since then, she’s found professional nirvana as the editor of Edible Ohio Valley, author of The Findlay Market Cookbook, and occasional instructor at The Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s. Find her seasonal recipes at writes4food.com.