Visiting the Farmers Market

September is my favorite month in which to visit the Farmers Market in Minnesota. Harvest is rolling in and the selection of fresh veggies is wide and varied.

Saturday at the Mankato Farmer’s Market (located next to the Best Buy off Adams Street in Mankato) we found eggplant, yellow summer squash, zucchini, green and yellow beans, kohlrabi, tomatoes, beets, sweet corn, onions, shallots, potatoes in four colors, some late rhubarb, and a ton of fresh greens.

We also found, since we were later than normal, that our favorite bakery booth was down to one table. We snapped up the last two cinnamon rolls and one loaf of rustic Roma bread.

I like to garden, but I don’t have much space, so stopping by the Farmer’s Market is the next best thing. Lunch on Farmer’s Market day always depends on what’s available, and when tomatoes are in season, we often go straight for a classic BLT on the bakery stand’s fresh Ciabatta bread.

But sometimes, we get a little crazier. One of my favorite things to do is make a fresh vegetable “sauce” for angel hair pasta for lunch. My favorite combination of veggies for this is in season right now in Minnesota, and here’s the recipe:

Market Pasta (serves 4)

8 oz Angel hair pasta, cooked and drained. (Reserve one cup of cooking liquid).

1 Japanese eggplant, sliced on the diagonal

1 yellow summer squash, sliced on the diagonal

1 small zucchini, sliced on the diagonal

1 small shallot

1 T each fresh chopped basil and oregano

Olive oil for the pan

Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste

This is basically an Italian stir-fry. In a large skillet, sauté the vegetables in olive oil until fork tender. Season with salt, pepper and stir in the herbs. Let the herbs wilt a bit, then add the cooked and drained pasta. Fold together; add Parmesan to taste and enough cooking liquid to keep it together. Serve hot, with more Parmesan at the table.

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