Summer is peak time for produce from Minnesota’s many farmers’ markets. Now is the time to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies for some healthy, seasonal cooking projects. We asked the Minneapolis and Mill City Farmers’ Markets for some recipe ideas using their fresh, locally-sourced produce. For vendor information, check out mplsfarmersmarket.org and millcityfarmersmarket.org.
Summer Vegetable Pasta
From Chef Laura Bonicelli of Bonicelli Fresh Meal Delivery
“A hearty, one-dish meal that features burrata [a kind of fresh mozzarella cheese filled with cream]. Skip the prosciutto for vegetarians—they won’t miss it!”
4 small zucchini
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-in. cubes
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, separated
Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, to taste
1½ pints cherry tomatoes
1½ Tbsp. white or red vinegar
6 oz. fusilli (or another sturdy pasta)
4 small balls of burrata (or fresh mozzarella)
2 ears sweet corn, cooked and cut from the cob, or one c. frozen and thawed
8 oz. prosciutto
½ c. basil pesto
2 Tbsp. minced chives
Grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cut both ends off zucchini. Using vegetable peeler, peel one side lengthwise into long ribbons. Stop when you get to the seeds. Turn zucchini one quarter and peel that side. Turn and peel remaining two sides. Put ribbons in bowl, toss with salt and set aside, reserving cores for another use, such as soup.
Toss cubed butternut squash with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until soft and starting to brown.
Toss cherry tomatoes in small bowl with vinegar and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain.
Fill the bottom of pasta bowl or dish with handful of cooked pasta. Top with ball of shredded burrata. Add 1/4 of the cherry tomatoes. Top with 1/4 of the corn and some zucchini ribbons, shredded prosciutto and roasted squash. Finish with a dollop of pesto and sprinkle with minced chives and asiago. Repeat.
pistou soup, photo courtesy of brenda langton
Pistou Soup and Pesto
From Brenda Langton, founder of the Mill City Farmers’ Market and owner of Spoonriver restaurant.
“This is a very versatile vegetable soup that makes a terrific summer meal topped with a fresh pesto and served with a loaf of your favorite bread.”
1 onion, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 sweet red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini or summer squash, diced
1 c. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 11-oz. can diced tomatoes or 11 oz. fresh tomatoes, diced
1 can cannellini beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Make simple stock with onion, carrot, and celery.
In soup pan, heat olive oil and sauté onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add squash, peppers, green beans and zucchini. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, cannellini beans, and stock.
Bring this to a boil and simmer over low heat only until vegetables are just tender. This should take about another 5 minutes.
Season lightly with salt and pepper, keeping in mind you will top this with pesto.
2 c. basil (feel free to substitute arugula, spinach or parsley)
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. pine nuts (try pistachios, walnuts, almonds or sunflower seeds, too)
½ c. parmesan, grated
2 Tbsp. Pecorino Romano, grated
½ c. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
In blender, purée basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and salt. Stir in hand-grated cheese and serve over vegetable soup.
Minneapolis Farmers’ Market: 312 East Lyndale Ave N, Minneapolis.
Mill City Farmers’ Market: 750 S 2nd St, Minneapolis.