University Farmers Market Early Fall 2011

If I’m in Seattle (versus Portland) and it’s Saturday morning, I’m at Seattle’s University District Farmers Market, one of the best farmers markets in the country.

We’re on the cusp of fall in the Pacific Northwest–my favorite time of year. Days are shorter, leaves are cluttering the lawn, mornings are crisp. It’s an exciting time for the cook, because local farmers markets and produce stands are overflowing with sweet and hot peppers (some in roasters!), early apples are in (akane, elstar, gala, gravenstien, honeycrisp), and winter squash varieties are beginning to appear (delicata, carnival, butternut, kabocha, acorn, golden nugget, sugar pumpkin).

And yet, summer is putting in an heroic last effort. There are so many varieties of tomatoes available, it’s difficult to choose just one or two. Corn on the cob overflows the farmer’s tables. Fresh herbs, beans, peaches, nectarines, plums, beets, cauliflower, romesco, brussels sprouts are all in abundant supply. And amazingly, there are still raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries to be had.

What’s a cook to do? My tack, for another couple of weeks at least, it to stay focused on summer produce (even though I can’t wait to test several new pumpkin recipes). Because once it’s gone, it’s gone way too long.


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