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Little Italy Mercato Blog

FILL THE GRILL

July 4, 2013 - 2:06pm
Author: 
Christopher S.

Keep the Independence Day celebration going with an all American barbecue from the Little Italy Mercato. Start with grown in the USA veggies like sweet corn from Kawano Farms, summer squash and onion from Sage Mountain Farm, and green beans from Suzie’s Farm. (click links for recipes!)

Carnivores can grab grass fed ground beef for burgers from SonRise Ranch (we top ours with organic cheddar from Spring Hill Cheese), pastured beef tri-tip from Da-Le Ranch, or locally made sausages from the Meat Men. Find free roaming chicken at Descanso Valley Ranch or Spur Valley Ranch, and get great grilling and basting sauce at Bistro Blends or Gourmet Delights.

Make BBQ season great this summer!

HERB'S THE WORD

June 27, 2013 - 11:35pm
Author: 
Christina S.

Spruce up supper with a wide variety of summer herbs from the Little Italy Mercato. Look for parsley, dill, cilantro, basil, rosemary and thyme at Suzie’s Farm, J.R. Organics or Gilbert Quintos Farm; Schaner Farms has bundles of herbs de Provence and Rivera’s Treasure Garden has a huge selection of potted herbs to take home and plant in your window box.

Visit your favorite rancher and make a herb-roasted chicken, pick up baby potatoes from Sage Mountain Farm or Polito Farm’s booth to toss with a handful of fresh chervil or tarragon, or pick up locally caught halibut at Poppa’s Fresh Fish or Salmon Slinger for lemon and herb poached halibut. Go to Maciel Farm or Kawano Farms to make this herb and beet salad and use Springhill Cheese Company butter and fresh chives to make this turnip roots & greens ragout.

Herb is the word!

SQUASH AND GO!

June 21, 2013 - 3:45pm
Author: 
Christina S.

A cornucopia of summer squash will fill your shopping bags to overflowing tomorrow with crookneck, pattypan, eight ball and zucchini from Little Italy Mercato growers including Sage Mountain Farm, J.R. Organics, Maciel Farm and more.

Try big, light green Opo squash from Vang's Farm - find them in their new location between India and Kettner. Visit the French countryside by roasting your favorite squashes with the first heirloom tomatoes and fennel from Suzie’s Farm and Herbs de Provence from Schaner Farm. Pick up sweet corn at Kawano Farms’ stand for this fresh twist on ratatouille.

Use lemons from Polito Farm, estate bottled oil from The California Olive, and fresh herbs from Gilbert Quintos Farm for a marinated summer squash salad - we topped ours with goat’s milk feta cheese from Nicolau Farms. Stock up on squash this Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM!

COOL AS A CUCUMBER

May 31, 2013 - 1:37pm
Author: 
Chris S.

Look for cool, crisp cucumbers including Persian, Japanese, English and assorted pickling varieties from J.R. Organics, Suzie's Farm and Vang’s Farm at the Little Italy Mercato on Saturday. Get your Greek on by tossing sliced cukes with Nicolau Farms’ goat feta, kalamatas from Lisko Imports, onion from Second Chance Farm, and fresh oregano from Rivera’s Treasure Garden.

Try using Japanese cucumbers for this pickled cukes recipe. Buy garlic at Sage Mountain Farm and give these garlic dill refridgerator pickles a try. 

Line up some limes from Gilbert Quintos farm for a refreshing Cucumber Agua Fresca. Add Suzie's Farms' strawberries for a twist. If you prefer your cukes already pickled, Happy Pantry has naturally fermented pickled cucumbers and other local vegetables.

Stay cool as a cucumber at the Little Italy Mercato!

LIKE A ROLLIN' STONE FRUIT

May 24, 2013 - 9:50am
Author: 
C. Smyczek

Roll down Date Street to shop the Little Italy Mercato for white and yellow peaches, nectarines, apricots and more from Smit Orchards, Lone Oak Ranch and Heritage Family Farms.

Slice them into a summer fruit salad with raspberries from Kawano Farms, strawberries from J.R. Organics or blueberries from Pudwill Berry Farms, or try roasted peaches with Nicolau Farms’ goat cheese and Papa Jim's Honey - we topped them with fresh macadamia nuts from Fancy Treat Farms for a tasty crunch.

Visit Keys Creek Lavender Farm to make a refreshing peach lavender soda, or try tossing sliced apricots with fennel from Maciel Farm, baby organic greens from Sage Mountain Farm and a splash of white balsamic vinegar from Gourmet Delights for a super simple yet flavorful salad.

Stock up on stone fruits this Saturday!

WE'RE BAAA-CK IN ACTION

May 3, 2013 - 9:44am
Author: 
Christopher S.

What’s the best way to enjoy artisan cheese from Nicolau Goat Farm at the Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market? Maybe it’s classic chevre layered with beets from Sage Mountain Farms in a beautiful terrine. Could it be the goat feta combined with citrus-y sorrel from J.R. Organics and extra-virgin oil from the California Olive in sorrel pesto?

We love to spread red pepper chevre on country French bread from Bread & Cie and top it with caramelized fennel from Maciel Farm. Slice up aged Stanislaus Supreme and serve on a cheese plate with Fuji apple wedges from Lone Oak Ranch, roasted almonds from Hopkins AG and a drizzle of Heratige Farm honey, or try the Stagionato Misto, a semi-firm cheese of sheep and goat milk, garnished with peach-blackberry preserve from Terra Verde Foods.

Try these variations of Goat Cheese Salads, using Kawano Farms' strawberries and Smit Orchard cherries. You can't go wrong with a Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini; grab whole wheat levain from Belen Bakery and basil from Suzie's Farm.

What’s your goat-to recipe?

ZUCCHINI FOR MANY

April 19, 2013 - 9:45am
Author: 
Chris S.

Look for the first of the summer squashes in the form of tender, young zucchini at the Little Italy Mercato farmers' market this week from J.R. Organics and Vangs Farm. Enjoy them raw in an early summer salad with baby artichokes from Suncoast Farm, Maciel Farm’s fresh peas, spring onion from Tom King Farm and a drizzle of arbequina olive oil from Thyme of Essence.

Get some squash on the grill next to sliced ciabatta from Bread and Cie and sandwich it together with chevre from Nicolau Goat Farm and Basiltops’ Pesto Perfecto for an amazing zucchini panini. Toss it with sweet corn from Kawano Farms’ and a splash of aged balsamic from The California Olive for a roasted corn and zucchini salad.

Grilling zucchini is easy! Check out these great instructions. Make a cold zucchini soup, using Ancient Secrets' yogurt and SpringHill Cheese Co. butter. Whip up this almond butter based hummus and chop zucchini into sticks for dipping and you have yourself a healthy, crunchy snack!

Oh my squash, that’s a tasty vegetable!

PEAS AND THANK YOU

April 5, 2013 - 1:03pm
Author: 
Chris S.

Savor the sweet taste of spring in fresh, green English peas from JR Organics and Maciel Farm at the Little Italy Mercato. Sautee them with a little green garlic from Schaner Farms and southern California olive oil from the Farmer’s Daughter, or blend them into a cool, chilled pea soup with fresh spring herbs like mint, basil, parsley or even cilantro from Rivera’s Treasure Garden.

Mix them into a seafood paella with locally caught fish and shellfish from the Salmon Slinger or Poppa’s Fresh Fish. Look for pea tendrils at Vang’s Farm and stir-fry them with oyster mushrooms from Suzie’s Farm, or pick up sugar snap peas at Second Chance Farms and dunk them in raw, vegan Majestic Garlic spread, cilantro-chili Bitchin’ Sauce, or H&B Guac Shack’s avocado dip.

Peas out!

DON'T PASSOVER THESE DINNERS

March 29, 2013 - 10:43am
Author: 
C. Smyczek

Celebrate Passover with fresh, local food from the Little Italy Mercato. Make pomegranate braised brisket of grass fed beef from Da-Le Ranch and juice from Lone Oak Ranch, or visit Descanso Valley Ranch for a label rouge chicken with 40 cloves of garlic from Sage Mountain Farm.

Try orange glazed salmon with wild Alaskan coho from the Salmon Slinger and don’t forget carrots from Maciel Farm and Mikolich Honey for tzimmes. Check out these fresh Passover dessert recipes that are homemade with local ingredients like lemons from Rancho Mexico Lindo, raspberries from Pudwill Berry Farms and pistachios from Hopkins AG.

Chag Sameach!

TOP O' THE MORN!

March 15, 2013 - 10:40am
Author: 
Chris S.

Stock up for St. Patrick’s Day at the Little Italy Mercato this week; buy a beef brisket at DaLe Ranch and cure your own corned beef, pick up potatoes at Polito Farm’s stand, and grab bright green savoy cabbage from Suzie’s Farm; find more cabbages at Maciel’s Farm and Vang’s Farm.

Pick up kale from Second Chance Farm or J.R. Organics for traditional Irish colcannon and garnish it with green garlic from Sage Mountain Farm or Schaner Farm. Don’t miss Irish soda bread from Belen Bakery, and try the Shamrock Cabbage soup from Fresh Start Foods.
Seafood lovers will want to visit Poppa’s Fresh Fish for an authentic Irish breakfast of a dozen fresh, briny oysters.

Grab a bag of dried fruit and locally grown walnuts and almonds from Terra Bella Ranch, all tied up in green ribbon! The hens at Spur Valley Ranch are getting in the spirit by laying eggs with green shells - pick some up for the cluck ‘o the Irish!