Chefs Max Nelson and Eric Anderson at Central 9th Market prepare ingredients for the salad.

Central 9th Market: A Stone Fruit Salad for the End of Summer

Food: Interviews & Features

Max Nelson chops brussel sprouts, peaches and beets for Central 9th Market's Stone Fruit Salad. Photo: Em Behringer
Nelson feels strongly that the best produce is available in the summer, which inspired his Stone Fruit Salad recipe. Photo: Em Behringer

There’s something to be said for small shops in small neighborhoods where the staff knows your name—and your love of their Sloppy Joes. Central 9th Market is a passionate, up-and-coming community of people who love food. Reminiscent of a New York City bodega, this convenience store is affectionately referred to as “the most problematic corner store in Utah” by staff.

Opening their doors near the tail end of 2020, Central 9th Market is a combination of handmade food, local produce offerings and imported delights. They prioritize high-quality ingredients and freshness. “We legitimately care about our community, “ says Owner Noah Kuhns. “The wood we use in our oven is from the trees that grew the apples on the shelf. You don’t get that kind of connection anywhere else,” he says. They offer a large selection of fresh produce and sundries available daily in combination with their menu that’s both comfortable and creative. “At first we would hit farmers markets, as we built relationships,” says Chef Max Nelson. “It’s just better local.” Nelson entered the culinary industry over 15 years ago when he realized that he could get paid to eat and you can make anything yourself. “I wanted to try everything and eat a bunch of shit, so I made my own recipes,” he says. 

“It’s just better local.”

Nelson feels strongly that the best produce is available in the summer, which inspired his Stone Fruit Salad recipe. “Things taste best right now,” he says. “Let the vegetables shine.” The ingredients were chopped in advance and waited on the prep table for him to work his magic. The day before, he buried the beets in hot ashes for two hours then peeled and pickled them overnight. This created a deeply tender and full-flavored beet that left me craving more. After a quick pan sear, he combined the roughly chopped brussels sprouts with the cold beets, nectarines, cucumbers and breakfast radishes. “It’s only good with a fuck-ton of basil,” says Nelson, as he added sliced basil to the mix. After a generous splash of Chili Champagne Vinaigrette, he seasoned the salad with coarse Maldon salt. He advised that the dish should rest for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to fully bloom, but that it should be consumed within 2–3 days for best texture and quality. The result tasted like the end of summer—a little heat from the dressing, rich earthy flavor from the root vegetables and a crisp sweetness from the nectarines.

“I wanted to try everything and eat a bunch of shit, so I made my own recipes.”

Central 9th Market has grown a reputation for well-made food. Lines wrap the building on Mondays for their Classic Smash Burger starting at 6 p.m. and on Fridays for their Fish Fry starting at 8 p.m. Follow them on Instagram @central9thmarket to stay up to date on Nelson’s latest creations and other Central 9th Market events.

Stone Fruit Salad RecipeThe finished Stone Fruit Salad.

  • 3 ripe nectarines
  • 1 large handful of cherries
  • 2 medium beets
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 bunch of breakfast radishes
  • 12 brussel sprouts
  • 4 oz fresh basil
  • 4 oz champagne vinegar
  • 4 oz chili oil

Roast the beets until tender. When cool, peel and cut them into six equal chunks and give them a quick pickle. Pit your nectarines and cut them into eight equal chunks. Cut the radishes in half. Chop your cucumber into random-ass-shaped chunks all close to the same size. Cut the brussel sprouts in half (I don’t take the core out, it’s a waste of time) and sear them cut-side down in a smokin’ hot pan. Roll the basil up like a blunt and coarsely chiffonade it. Put everything into a big bowl and give it a good mix until it’s all incorporated. Throw in the cherries, too. Top with vinegar and chili oil, then mix it up again until all of the ingredients are covered. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve it up by itself or as a side dish to whatever you’re grilling, and enjoy!
–Chef Max Nelson

Read more about local markets:
Food Review: Caputo’s Market and Deli
Around the World in 7 Grocery Trips