Market Scene: Summer Bounty in Logan Square Market, Chicago

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I was honestly a tad underwhelmed with the Logan Square Farmers' Market last year. There were too many pre-made food vendors, and not enough whole vegetables for me to buy and take home. I went back this weekend to see if I had caught the market too late in the season last year, or just on an off week. And luckily, I had. The Logan Square market was bursting from its seams with fresh vegetables, mounds of lettuce, and interesting stalls. It was a glorious Sunday.

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My first stop was at Videnovich Farms from Bridgman, Michigan. The nice woman I met there was snacking on her on leaves as we went up, saying, "They are so sweet, I just can't help myself." There were loads of beautiful radishes and even a bowl of garlic scapes.

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I was sold on the broccoli rabe.

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The Lyon's Fruit Farm from South Haven, Michigan, had a huge table lined with strawberries.

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I get really agitated with many of the cheeses that are passed off at farmers' markets. Much of the selection is just bland and uninteresting. But Provence Food and Wine Shop in Logan Square uses the market as a platform to showcase the Upper Midwest's incredible cheeses. I was particularly smitten with the Buttermilk Blue, a raw blue from Wisconsin. This is real cheese.

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Meat from these markets can get expensive quickly, so I tend to gravitate towards neglected cuts that I can still get for a bargain. I picked up some lamb shanks from Mint Creek Farm from Stelle, Illinois, which I'm using in this Moroccan braise recipe I found on Saveur. The farm has a a very interesting About Us page—fascinating, if you are curious about where your meat comes from.

In Season

Lettuce Kale Swiss Chard Scallions Bok Choy Strawberries