Early Saturday morning, people head over to Ocean Drive in Vero Beach, Florida to purchase Farmer’s Market Fresh produce and spend a day at the beach. Directly across the street from Humiston Park and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, the little outdoor ocean side market was recognized by Clean Living Magazine as one of the top 50 true farmer’s markets in the country.
The farmer’s market has a small but good choice of local and seasonal produce, citrus, fresh seafood, grass-fed beef, farm fresh chicken and eggs, landscape plants, orchids and crafts. Vendors also sell baked goods, foods straight off the grill, freshly made guacamole and salsa, and beverages such as smoothies and kombucha. There is even live music by local musicians to enjoy while shopping.
Pleasant beachside shops and restaurants line this section of Ocean Drive so I keep a cooler in the back of my car for any perishable items that I purchase at the farmer’s market. After my shopping is complete, I enjoy having breakfast or lunch while sitting at an outdoor table at one of the nearby restaurants, listening to the crashing waves.
Upon returning home later in the day, the fresh produce that I purchased was inspiration for a simple salad of green beans, tomatoes and gorgonzola cheese sprinkled with a few micro greens for garnish…all farmer’s market fresh.
Green Bean, Tomato And Gorgonzola Salad
Wash and trim off the ends of 1 lb. of very small green beans. Cut into little pieces about 1/2 inch in size. Add to a pot of salted, boiling water and cook until just tender. Transfer the beans with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and water to stop the cooking and keep their bright green color. Drain and dry on paper towels, then place in a salad bowl.
Cut about a dozen grape or cherry tomatoes in half and place in a small bowl, add salt to taste, toss and let sit for about ten minutes to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the salad bowl and retain the accumulated tomato juice in the small bowl. Then add approximately a 1/2 tsp. of Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp. sherry wine vinegar and 2 – 3 Tbsp. olive oil to the small bowl and whisk. Taste and season with pepper and additional salt, if necessary. Pour the vinaigrette over the green beans and tomatoes, toss gently and taste for seasonings. Add about a 1/4 c. of crumbled gorgonzola to the salad and very gently toss and serve. (I topped the individual servings of salad with a small amount of micro greens as a garnish but that is optional). If preparing the salad ahead of time, refrigerate the cooked green beans and tomatoes separately. When ready to serve, prepare the vinaigrette, add the cheese and toss. This way, you will keep the green color of the beans.
Being a local in Vero Beach has its advantages such as weekly shopping for farmer’s market fresh produce needed to prepare your meals. If you happen to be a visitor, you too can enjoy a day of shopping and dining along Ocean Drive. You could start the morning at the market with a freshly baked pastry, buy a pretty seagrass container or wood carving to take back home with you, enjoy sitting under an umbrella on the beach or paddling a kayak in the ocean, then have lunch before you head back to your hotel.
Whether a local or a visitor, try to stop by the farmer’s market located on Ocean Drive in Vero Beach, Florida that’s held every Saturday from 8 A.M. to Noon at Humiston Plaza.