· By Taylor Cothern
Market Fresh Recipe
Natalie Misner - July 17, 2022
Market Fresh Recipe
One of my favorite things about summer is all the fresh food! Whether you grow the food yourself, find it at your local farmers market, or have some extras given to you from a friend, there are fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere in the summertime!
Eating fresh is a very seasonal thing. The availability of each fruit or vegetable has a relatively narrow window of time in which you can really enjoy that item. Now, of course you can go to the grocery store and find most fruits and veg any time of year. BUT…it’s not necessarily fresh and it’s probably not local. Which is OK…we certainly benefit from worldwide trade of foods but my thinking is, why not enjoy what’s freshest when it’s most available?
One of the best ways to do that is to connect with the growers at your local farmer’s market. You’ll find them there on a regular basis, they’ll know pretty much everything you could want to know about the produce you’re choosing, and they’re going to be so excited to have your support!
Eating fresh also takes an open mind and some flexibility in your recipe execution. It’s really like a mini adventure each time you go to the market! It can be lots of fun walking the market, looking for the ingredients you need and making mental substitutions when you don’t find quite what you were looking for! And trust me, the more you take this approach, the easier it gets! Let the adventure begin!
This recipe has been a summer staple in my family ever since my mom made it for my college graduation party. Now it’s something I make and take to gatherings…as long as my mom isn’t making it too!
SUMMER VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD :
8 oz noodles, cooked (bow tie, fusilli, and penne are all good)
1 cucumber, diced
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bell pepper, diced (green, yellow, red, orange..you pick!)
1 small onion, diced (I like red onion but any type will work)
⅓ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard (I bet you could use dijon or spicy brown mustard here too. Measure to taste)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried parsley flakes (you could use fresh here too! Just triple the amount. Fresh herbs have milder flavors than dried herbs)
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Prepare vegetables and pasta. Combine all ingredients. Serve immediately or let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
You guys! This is your pasta salad! Make it your own and use what you can get!
Did the person in front of you get the last cucumber at the farmer’s market? It’s cool! Go for the zucchini or summer squash instead! Small ones are great to use raw in salads! Do peppers give you the burps? No worries! Swap it out for some broccoli or cauliflower! Throw in some shelled peas, because why not?!! Maybe you found some basil or rosemary…give that a try! Add whatever herbs you like! Chives would be amazing in this and add a pretty sprinkle of green too! You can even experiment with the vinegars you use! White wine vinegar or red wine vinegar would be great substitutes!
I hope you have fun finding the ingredients for this recipe and making it for your next gathering with friends or family! It’s always been a hit when I bring it!
Natalie Misner is a wife, stay at home mom, substitute teacher and the baker behind the bird of Little Bird Baked Goods. Find her booth at the Assumption Farmers Market and other local pop-ups!
Follow Natalie on Instagram @little_bird_baked_goods