It’s farmers market season in Tampa Bay! We take what we can get here in Florida, where fall mostly means highs of 85 degrees (ugh) and slightly less humidity. But it also brings the outdoor markets, where you can discover some produce gems if you're looking in the right places.
I stopped by St. Petersburg’s Saturday Morning Market recently and came across the Little Pond Farm tent, selling produce from the farm in Bushnell, Fla.
They mostly had greens - spinach, arugula, thick collard-looking stalks. But tucked throughout the damp bags of lettuce were other treasures. For one, patty pan squash, a squat, fat version of the vegetable that comes across as a big sturdier and less watery than their longer counterparts. Plus they are just flat-out adorable.
Next up: a couple knobs of light pink baby ginger (do I only buy foods that are cute?, I began to wonder), a bit less pungent than the full-grown stuff but still delightfully gingery. And near the register, I found pea shoots, delicate little tendrils that come from the pea plant and offer just a hint of that flavor.
At home, I figured these would all do well in a stir fry of some sort. I chopped up the ginger with some garlic, a quick way to boost flavor in just about any dish. And I decided to load the thing with lots of veggies — you can use really whatever you have on hand — and Asian flavors.
The dish would be good with some soy-glazed chicken on top, but it’s not really necessary. I plopped a last-minute garnish of pickled red onions on top, which I tend to have on hand in my fridge and you should too because honestly they are perfect and vinegary on anything.
Ginger Vegetable Stir Fry
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced squash, any kind
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup chopped broccoli
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil, or 2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 cup cooked brown rice, or other grain like farro or quinoa
Handful of fresh pea shoots
Pickled red onion, for garnish
Add ginger, garlic and olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 4 minutes, until very fragrant.
Add squash, and stir, cooking for about 1 minute. Add carrots and broccoli and stir again. Add soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil or tahini, and peanut butter, and stir well to coat the vegetables. Cook for about 8 minutes to let the flavors combine and the vegetables soften.
Stir in cooked brown rice, then turn the heat off. Divide mixture among serving bowls, then top with pea shoots and pickled red onion.
Serves 2 to 4, depending how hungry you are.