The 2022 Farmers Market Challenge

The 2022 Farmers Market Challenge

Come summer and fall, sauntering into a farmers market feels like walking through a rainbow, finding a heap of gold (a.k.a. corn), and taking a tote-full of treasures home. Whatever catches your eye, be it a plump tomato or itty-bitty eggplant, consider this your field guide: seven new recipes, plus lots of tips and tricks. Let us know what you make on Instagram (tag your meals with #FMC2022). Bonus points if your produce isn’t picture-perfect—according to a recent national survey, over a third of farmers market vendors sold imperfect ingredients that otherwise would’ve gone to waste. And if cake doesn’t care that plums are bruised, then neither do we.

Tell us—what’s in your bag?


Stop storing your eggplant in the fridge. For the fullest flavor, opt for a shady spot with plenty of air circulation, like a counter or open shelf.

Caramelized Tofu With Soy-Braised Eggplant

Crispy, bronzed squares of tofu and soft, silky eggplant are a match meant to be. A spoonful of sugar in the sauce cancels out any potential bitterness from the eggplant.

10 Types of Eggplant to Know and Adore

Raise your hand if you’re overwhelmed by all the types of eggplant, from globe to graffiti. We’ve gathered our favorites—with everything you need to know about each.


A tomato a day keeps the doctor away. Or at least this is what we’re telling ourselves until the autumn equinox.

A Cool Way to Peel Tomatoes

For the silkiest soup or sauce, peeling tomatoes is annoying but worth it. Blanching and shocking is traditional, but freezing and thawing (!) works just as well.

Shrimp and Tomato Toasts

Tomato toast, but make it extra—way extra—with garlicky aioli, juicy shrimp, and smoky, Spanish-inspired flavors. Knife and fork not optional.


Seek out smaller zucchini, which are less watery (and, in turn, more flavorful) than larger ones. The skin should be taut, not wrinkled or puckered.

Crispy Coconutty Zucchini Fritters

We thought “crispy zucchini fritter” was an oxymoron. But salting the zucchini slices before mixing them into the batter keeps this delicious (and gluten-free) snack truly crispy.


Highly snackable—and objectively adorable—shishito peppers are only a couple inches long, cooking up in mere minutes.

Why Are Only Some Shishitos Spicy?

You know the drill—one shishito is mild, the next one makes you break into a sweat. But why? We have answers.

Saucy Soy-Butter Beef and Peppers

Shishitos’ vegetal freshness is the ideal foil to velvety, buttery beef in this faster-than-fast stir-fry. The peppers just need a quick sear to become crisp-tender.


Alas, there’s no way to work with cherries and not splatter whatever you’re wearing with fuschia juice. The solution: a sturdy apron and/or reliable stain remover.

Pork Tenderloin With Agrodolce Cherries

Cherries are just as happy in a savory dish as they are in a dessert. Cook them down into a sweet-meets-sour sauce to drizzle over pork for a fuss-free, one-pan meal.


Did you know blackberries aren’t actually berries? Like raspberries, they’re aggregate fruits: born from multiple ovaries from the same flower.


With glossy skin, plums range from purple to yellow to green. Don’t be deterred by any cloudy splotches: Known as “bloom,” this is a sign of freshness.

Plum and Lime Upside-Down Cake

Made with just sugar, lime juice, and salt, a tangy caramel amplifies all the sweet-tart notes in the plums that adorn this gooey upside-down cake.

What’s the Best Vanilla Ice Cream?

You know what’s great with that jammy plum cake? Vanilla ice cream. Which is why we tried nine types to find out which one is best.

Lead Editors: Christina Chaey, Emma Laperruque

Contributing Editors: Rachel Gurjar, Zaynab Issa, Antara Sinha, Shilpa Uskokovic, Kendra Vaculin

Creative Director: Arsh Raziuddin

Visuals: Graylen Gatewood, Jose Ginarte, Isa Zapata

Contributors: Alex Beggs, Rebecca Firkser, Ali Francis, Sarah Jampel, Kate Kassin, Mehreen Karim, Asha Loupy

Production Editor: Nico Avalle

Social: Esra Erol, Olivia Quintana, Urmila Ramakrishnan

Research Director: Ryan Harrington

Copy: Brian Carroll, Greg Robertson

Special Thanks: Sonia Chopra, Serena Dai, Sasha Levine

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