Saturday Morning Market
Downtown St. Petersburg
Al Lang Stadium/Progress Energy Park
1st Street & 1st Avenue South
Every Saturday, October - May
I went to one of my favorite spots at the Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Petersburg last Saturday. I missed them the first week, but was very happy to see the return of the Worden Farm booth on my return trip. They only have organic offerings and all the choices are fresh, green and unlike some of the choices at the surrounding grocery stores --- local. The upscale restaurants I've visited throughout the country lately seem to be putting an emphasis on local farms and organic choices. Until recently it was a challenge to buy quality organic vegetables and fruits in St. Petersburg. At Worden's, I picked up a huge bag of basil, some kale and a bucket of zucchini. It seemed like everyone in this part of the market had an armload of fresh picked basil. Its fragrance was intoxicating, but a family of three has a hard time consuming this much of the delicious herb. So I made plans to have people over and set about figuring out what to cook. I visited the Worden Farm website and found a great recipe for pesto. Yes, some people think that pesto has a checkered past, based mainly on its meteoric rise and fall in popularity in the nineties. I remember a particularly cheeky friend announcing after a few glasses of wine, "pine nuts are very underrated," (circa 1996.) We all laughed at the ridiculousness of it, but we were caught up in the fervor of the era too. The simplicity of the recipe, mainly basil, garlic, pine nuts, cheese and olive oil and a quick whirl in the food processor makes pesto an easy meal. Add a little fettuccine, simple salad, some bread and "voila," you have something to impress your friends. Everyone loved the pesto and for me, it brought back a great decade to my mind, one that saw the debut of the Food Network, a Pottery Barn catalog in every mailbox, and a full set of Calphalon listed on every bridal registry.