It's finally beginning to feel like spring around here, which is exciting for lots of reasons (allergy season - hooray!). Driving home from work today, I was reminded of one of my favorite things about spring... the farmer's market! I'm really lucky to live in farming country around this time of year because it means that I can get fresh produce weekly. I in the neighborhood of a small farm stand that carries the basics (tomatoes, watermelon, flowers, etc.), but what I'm really looking forward to is the reopening of the two major markets here: the Mississippi Farmer's Market and the Greater Belhaven Market, which reopens next week. Both are awesome: the Mississippi Farmer's Market is the larger of the two and tends to have the bigger variety, while the Belhaven Market also carries crafts and has more of a community feel to it. The boyfriend also lives near to the Agricenter Farmer's Market (catchy name, right?), so I'm sure we'll be hauling our butts out of bed early on Saturdays to get some fresh produce there too (good thing he's a morning person!).
Last weekend, we didn't make it to the farmer's market because both of us had colds, but we did still manage to make this big batch of deliciousness:
You cannot look at that and tell me that it doesn't look delicous. And let me tell you, it was. I've had pasta primavera before, but never this good. We got the recipe from one of my favorite sites, The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I like it for two reasons. 1) She gives step-by-step pictures, so if you're a learning cook like me, you can make sure everything looks the way it should. 2) She lives in BFE like me, so she has to use unfussy ingredients that you can buy at your local Kroger instead of needing to head to the gourmet grocer for some fancy spice you'll never use again. She's revamping her website right now so it's a little confusing, but to get to the recipe, go here and then scroll down to the very last recipe on the page.
Let me give you four suggestions for the recipe that we learned. 1) When she says cook the vegetables al dente (until just warmed but still firm), she means it. The crispness of the veggies really makes the meal that better. 2) She'll try to tell you it's a girly meal. It's not. It's cream sauce for god's sake! If you want to tempt your man even farther, let me make a suggestion for you: pancetta. Get six-ish slices of pancetta, cook them like you would bacon on the stove (we did them before any of the veggies), and throw them in the mix. Then you have cream sauce and pancetta. If your guy says no to that, then he's not worth keeping. 3) If you're headed to the farmer's market and looking at the produce and something strikes your fancy that's not in the ingredients, buy it and throw it in there anyway. This dish is really about using what's fresh and delicious. You can also omit anything that you're not a fan of easily. 4) I'm number's dyslexic, and so I bought one large zucchini and three small squash, and I felt like this was the perfect ratio. I'd recommend doing the same.
If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out for you. Grab a loaf of French bread and a bottle of white wine and it should make a fabulous supper with oodles of leftovers.
P.S. If you're unsure of where your local farmer's market is located, check Google or this list. Happy eating!