Ready To Eat: 5 Great Vegetarian Farmers' Market Snacks

Vegetarian

One of the great benefits of spring and summer is all the ready-to-eat produce at the markets. It makes gathering together a vegetarian picnic super easy.

With a loaf of whole-grain bread, a hunk of cheese from a great local dairy farm, and some of these healthy and delicious fruit and vegetables, you can create an entire meal from the market. Pack a reusable shopping bag with a few picnic tools: a reusable water bottle and a dishtowel to lightly wash the produce off; a foldable paring knife to slice cheese and some veggies, and some melamine plastic plates for easy carrying.

Farmer's markets are at their prime right now-spring produce is pouring in, and fresh fruits are never better. When food goes directly from the farm to your shopping bag, no preparation is required. Here are five straight from the market snacks:

1. Cherries: Sweeter than the cherries you find in the supermarket, greenmarket cherries are a fun snack to eat out of hand. Orchard fresh cherries should be firm and fragrant-watch out for pits!

2. Sugar snap peas: A little bitter and a little sweet, sugar snap peas are emblematic of spring. To read more about choosing the best peas, click here.

3. Cherry tomatoes: Since cherry tomatoes are less messy and sweeter than their larger cousins, they make a great greenmarket snack. If you have any left over, try this rosemary polenta with mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, and walnut-rosemary pesto.

4. Apples: Although apples are oftentimes associated with fall, spring ripening apples are now appearing at markets. Snacking on an apple is easy while wandering the stalls, but if you bring some home, make a roasted curried butternut squash and apple soup

5. Bell Pepper: As bell peppers come into season, enjoy them simply sliced. Or if you're in the mood for something a little more complicated, try stuffing them with farro.

Photo: gaelx on flickr