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Navigating the Nashville Farmers’ Market

Chef Tony Galzin shares three tips to navigate the Nashville Farmers’ Market this spring.

Written By:  Nashville Lifestyles

Photographers:  Supplied

Photo courtesy of the Nashville Farmers’ Market

At one of Nashville’s favorite Italian-inspired restaurants, Nicky’s Coal Fired, chef Tony Galzin is known for his seasonal preparations of house-made pastas, coal fired pizzas, charcuterie, and antipasto. Board member of both Nashville Grown and Slow Food Middle TN, he visits the Nashville Farmers’ Market regularly, sourcing locally grown produce direct from the source.

But while a farmers’ market can feel like a chef’s playground, it can be overwhelming for first time visitors. Here are chef Galzin’s top three tips for vavigating the Nashville Farmers’ Market:

Know what’s in season.

Sourcing produce at its peak of freshness is all about knowing what’s in season. Galzin suggests checking out the Nashville Farmer’s Market website for Tennessee’s Seasonality Calendar. Fresh vegetables in season this spring include baby greens (mizuna, arugula, lettuces), baby roots (beets, turnips, carrots, radishes), asparagus, and sprouts, like pea shoots.

Shop with recipes in mind.

When visiting the Farmers’ Market, Galzin has already thought up new ways to utilize fresh ingredients that week. Whether it’s using pea shoots to make a bright pesto that goes with spaghetti alla chittarra or baby sorrel mixed into a rich braised rabbit pasta, he blends his recipe ideas with the vegetables he knows will be fresh and available.

Talk to your farmer.

If you’re unsure about planning your visit, Galzin’s tip is to head to the market and interact with your farmers! They will always have good insight about what is coming up in the growing season, and are likely happy to share recipes and tips for preparation at home.

Follow along @nickysnashville and @tgalzin, or make a reservation at nickysnashville.com. For more with the Nashville Farmers’ Market, visit nashvillefarmersmarket.org!

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