Recipes, Main Dishes

A Farmer's Market Snack Dinner for a Casual & Relaxing Meal

A few years ago, I remember my sister casually mentioning, “Every time it’s grocery shopping day, I buy rolls and rotisserie chicken, and we just make easy little sandwiches, because it makes for an easy dinner on what is usually a busy night.” 

Thinking back to it now, this sounds like an oddly simple idea. But it struck me as brilliant. It was like I needed permission to turn dinner into a simple affair. I’d spent so many years growing up in the 80’s with a mom who cooked casseroles from scratch, every meal was meat and potatoes; it took some rethinking to allow myself to let dinner be more casual and less cooking.

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It didn’t take long to find my own spin in the idea. Shopping days were always so exciting - new food in the house! Fresh fruits! So many wonderful things to eat, I didn’t want to wait. So I started Smorgasbord shopping days. Where we’d lay out a few of the things we wanted most, and invite the family to an array of nibbles. The meal took less than 10 minutes to prep, and we rarely required dishes. Just a big cutting board in the center of the table, filled with lots of favorite things to taste and try.

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In the summer, this idea becomes what we call “Farmer’s Market Snack Dinner.” After a morning at the market, we’ll come home with bushels of in-season produce, just picked from local farms. Jams and jellies bottled in local kitchens. Breads and meats and other wonderful eats made here in our beautiful city. And there are just too many exciting things to wait for. 

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So out comes the cutting board, and atop it we pile fruits and veggies, olives and crackers and spiced nuts. Slices of fresh nectarines, figs, radish, carrots, heirloom tomatoes - literally whatever we picked up during our trip to the Farmer’s Market is sliced and served party style. It’s a splendidly simple meal. And if you love summer produce as much as we do, it’s an ideal way to enjoy the just-picked findings at the peak of freshness. 

A few ideas to make a perfect Farmer’s Market Snack Dinner of your own:

SERVE IN STYLE

For simple serving (and even easier cleanup), start with an oversized wooden board, add visual variety by placing a slightly smaller wooden board atop and serve with beautiful silver cheese forks and knives, ideal for slicing and plating up your snack dinner.

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MIX & MINGLE

Though veggies are often for dinner and fruits for dessert, on a Farmer’s Market Snack Tray, anything goes. From peaches to radish, hearty beets to tender peas, if you can enjoy it raw, slice it up and serve it on your platter. Mixing sweet fruits and savory veggies works beautifully, and actually adds nicely rounded out flavors to your platter.

ADD SOME EXTRAS

Pick up a pint of hummus, or grab a pack of prosciutto and salami. Add wedges of cheese, raw or candied nuts, crackers and bread. By rounding out your offerings with a satiating protein and a few tasty carbs, your snack plate will feel (and fill) more like a real dinner.

SLICE IT RIGHT

Snack dinner should be like fondue dinner: you can eat it with a fork. Peel and slice all fruits and veggies into bite-sized pieces or easy-to-eat slices. This apple slicer makes prep a breeze. With right sized bites, guests will be able to enjoy themselves, no knives needed, no awkward plate-balancing required.

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KEEP COLOR IN MIND

To create a truly beautiful platter, arrange fruits and veggies in small colorful clusters around the plate. Cluster red, orange and yellow fruits and veggies in the upper right and lower left of your tray. Then fill in the other two portions of your platter with greens blues, purples. For added color, bay leaves or other fresh herbs, and edible flavors make a beautiful complement.

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​Creating a Farmer’s Market Snack Dinner this week? We’d love to see it! Tag us on Instagram at @theinspiredhome_com.

Farmer’s Market Snack Dinner

theinspiredhome.com
SERVINGS

6

PREP TIME

10 minutes

ACTIVE TIME

10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2-6 cups fresh fruits or vegetables, peeled & sliced or diced

1 cup hummus (optional)

6-12 oz prosciutto, salami, chorizo, or other deli meats

2-4 small wedges soft or semi-soft cheeses

1 box crackers or 1 loaf sliced toasted baguette

½ -1 cup mixed olives

½ cup candied, spiced or raw nuts

DIRECTIONS

Arrange all ingredients on a cutting board. Serve with cheese knives. Enjoy!

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