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Saturday at the Market


When you're shopping at a busy market, you may not want to pepper farmers with too many questions while they're helping other customers. But that's where our market event comes in. Our small group gets good access to the St. Paul Farmers' Market vendors without feeling like we are impeding sales.

Earlier this summer, home and garden expert Larry Pfarr led the first tour, and will once again this Saturday. Several market vendors explained their businesses—from keeping bees and tending plants, to raising chickens and more. They also shared a few tips about produce seasonality (for ex.: strawberries and asparagus are harvested during the  summer, squash and melons are grown in the fall). And of course, no farmers' market tour would be complete without a few local samples, like tastes of bee pollen, Eichten's cheese, and Snappy Dog Salsa.

After the tour and some personal shopping time to pick up seasonal goodies (like just-picked Minnesota rhubarb to make Larry's fruit-infused vodka recipe everyone received!), the group headed to a trolley which took us back to the St. Paul Grill for a special three-course lunch of seasonal dishes paired with wine.

The first course included a Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand paired with a chilled avocado and cucumber gazpacho. After a warm summer morning at the market, the chilled soup was perfect. The second course included seared duck breast over seasonal vegetable sauté with toasted almonds and cherry demi-glace paired with a glass of Irony Merlot. The duck was tender and the sautéed vegetables added a freshness without taking away from the dish. Dessert was a seasonal sorbet trio, which would make any ice cream/sorbet lover happy. Another dessert option, the strawberry shortcake, included fresh seasonal juicy strawberries piled sky high with a light whipped cream layered between moist angel food cake. Both desserts were paired with a glass of Terra d’Oro Muscato.

We hope you'll join us this Saturday, August 11 for an equally amazing meal (wine pairings are optional) and market tour. It's a wonderful day of learning, shopping, wining, and dining.

Saturday's menu:

Starter Course

Chiles, Coconut, Tomato, Cilantro, Crostini
Or     Heirloom Tomato Salad
Pickled Onion, Fresh Herbs, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Aged Balsamic, Flatbread

Served with Wither Hill Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Main Course

Wild Salmon
Garden Vegetable Risotto Stuffed Pepper with Smoked Tomato Sauce
Or     Chicken Confit
Roasted Root Vegetables, Apple-Kohlrabi Slaw, Herb Chicken Jus

Served with Left Coast Pinot Noir, Oregon


Sweet Corn Flan
Peach Sorbet, Grilled Peaches, Honey
Served with Terra d’ Oro Moscato, California

The event starts at 10 a.m. and tickets can be purchased online.

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

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