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Little Italy Mercato Blog

STEW CAN DO IT!

October 18, 2014 - 12:45pm
Author: 
Brijet Myers

The weather is finally cooperating, and we can dust off our favorite stew recipes to warm us up on cool nights using ingredients from the Little Italy Mercato Farmers' Market!

Gather bunches of kale from Kawano Farms, onions from Schaner Farms and pumpkin from Suzie's Farm for this Great Northern Pumpkin Kale Stew- use your favorite sausages from SonRise Ranch or The Meat Men, plus beans from Suncoast Farms.

While you're making pumpkin stews, check out this cool way to cook your jack-o-lantern and end up with a delicious meal. Grab your favorite fall squashes, and bacon from Da-Le Ranch for this scrumptious delight.

Fall into some delicious stews! 

FALLING FOR FALL

October 11, 2014 - 12:41pm
Author: 
Brijet M.

Fall is upon us at the Little Italy Mercato Farmers' Market on Cedar! Pick up seasonal items to decorate your home, like a beautiful wreath from J.R. Organics Farm and yellow and orange sunflowers from Hidalgo Flowers. Find pumpkins and gourds in all shapes and sizes from Maldonado Growers and Maciel Farm.

Get your favorite foods in new fall flavors too; buy Apple and Pumpkin Butters from Jacki's Jam and grab a few bags of Gingerbread or Pumpkin Pie granola from Cinnamon Spoon!

It's a sensational season at the Mercato! 

RUB SHOULDERS WITH FALL

September 20, 2014 - 4:53pm
Author: 
Catt W.

We love shoulder season!

Find heirloom tomatoes at JR Organics and Armenian cucumbers at Sage Mountain Farm rubbing up against squashes galore from Suzie's Farm and Fall's first pumpkins at Maciel Farm. Even babies love pumpkin: check out these tips for making homemade baby food (or pick up farm-fresh baby food the new Mothers' Garden booth today, ready to go!)

For grownups, grab all the ingredients for a perfect Pumpkin Tomato Curry. Come rub shoulders today at the Little Italy Mercato on Cedar Street!

HOLY MOLE!

September 13, 2014 - 4:57pm
Author: 
Catt W.

Pick up all the ingredients to make this delicious Mole sauce at today's Little Italy farmers' market: ripe tomatoes, hot peppers from Pure Food farm, garlic from Schaner Family Farm, almonds from Hopkins AG, raisins from Smit Farms, cinnamon from Coronado Spice and Mexican chocolate from Mole Oaxaca. Or, save yourself the trouble and pick up ready-to-go mole paste from those last two vendors!

Put it in the crockpot with farm fresh chicken from Da Le Ranch and coconut milk from IncrEdible Foods. Holy Mole! That's a dinner your family and friends will rave about!

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DREAM OF AUBERGINE

June 20, 2014 - 11:28am
Author: 
Brijet Myers

Aubergine, or eggplant, is in season at the Little Italy Mercato farmers' market, and it’s one of our favorite summer vegetables!

Select eggplants from Vang's Farm and make a classic eggplant parmigiana with fresh basil and, of course, real Parmigiano-Reggiano from Thyme of Essence Cheese. If you have the patience and the need to impress, Japanese eggplant from Suzie’s Farm and summer squashes from Kawano Farms are perfect for this gorgeous ratatouille recipe; yes it’s the one from that movie!

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GOT A PET PEEVE?

June 6, 2014 - 12:08pm
Author: 
Brijet M.

Somehow word has gotten around that the Little Italy Mercato farmers' market is "pet friendly". It's easy to understand how that's happened- Little Italy is possibly the most dog-centric neighborhood in San Diego, despite the small condos that provide most of our housing. Our market is on a city street, and plenty of our neighbors pass by on their way to the de facto dog park at Washington Elementary School. Vendors offer natural pet food, treats, and pet portraits in Amici Park at the market just east of State Street. And our staff is a dog loving bunch outside the market.

But CalCode, the set of regulations that govern food safety at restaurants, grocery stores and yes, farmers' markets and special events, is not so pet friendly. While not restricting service animals, those regulations require that live animals be kept 20 feet from places where food is prepared or stored for sale to the public. In a crowded market like ours, that's tough to accomplish if you're bringing your dog along to help you shop.

SAVOR A CABBAGE DISH

February 21, 2014 - 12:33pm
Author: 
Brijet M.

Celebrate the cabbage at the Little Italy Mercato farmers' market! This crisp, leafy veggie packs a nutrient punch and tastes great cooked in a variety of ways. 

Pick up nappa cabbage at Vang's Farm and make an Orange Sesame Coleslaw using Polito Family Farms citrus and colorful carrots from Maciel Farm. Add some red chili flakes from Coronado Spice & Tea for a kick! Buy nappa cabbage to make Kimchi, or just pick up a jar of this deliciously sour stuff from Happy Pantry. Try braised cabbage for a great snack or sidedish. 

MEET AND GREET ON DATE STREET

November 8, 2013 - 2:44pm
Author: 
Brijet M.

Since expanding into a sixth block this past summer, the Little Italy Mercato has been able to bring even more locally owned businesses and farmers to Date Street every Saturday!

Gear up for the holidays and grab items from the newest booths on the block; buy Charlie's Butters to use on- as our staff would say- everything! Their Bird Rub butter is ready for the Thanksgiving turkey you can pre-order from Da-Le Ranch and Spur Valley Ranch. Get baguettes from Bread & Cie and check out Brookside Winery's jellies for your hors d'oeuvres plate. Add D&G Produce's Kyoho grapes to your platter for a sure win.

Fill your shopping bag with more new Mercato items like locally made tofu from SD Soy Dairy, bottles of California farm sourced juices made by Little Italy-based OH Juice and a plethora of spices from Coronado Spice Company.

Looking to spruce up your home decor? Hip Chicks has comfy, colorful chairs that will brighten up any room and make great gifts! Come see what's new at the Mercato tomorrow (and every Saturday) from 8am - 2pm!  

WAVE YOUR POM-POM-POMEGRANATES

October 4, 2013 - 12:02pm
Author: 
Brijet M.

It must be Fall, because we have been seeing vibrant red pomegranates at the Little Italy Mercato. Look for them at Heritage Farm, Lone Oak Ranch, Fancy Treats Farm and Tom King in the coming weeks. Often called a ‘superfood’ due to their antioxidant content, pomegranates add a splash of color and a bright, sweet-tart flavor to all sorts of sweet and savory dishes.

Sprinkle the seeds over a cheesecake made with Springhill Cheese Company organic quark, or stir into your Ancient Secrets Greek yogurt in the morning. Cook them together with their juice to make a sauce for roast duck from Da-Le Ranch, or pick up avocados from Paradise Valley Ranch or Gilbert Quintos Farm for pomegranate guacamole.

Fresh pomegranates are in season from now through the end of fall!

THE BEE'S KNEES

September 27, 2013 - 1:27pm
Author: 
Brijet M.

Sweet, sticky, gooey; we love our local honey at the Little Italy Mercato. The bees are a buzzin', busy pollinating plants and taking the sweet nectar of flowers back to the hive to make this all natural treat. It's flora and fauna working in perfect synergy. Get your honey fix at Heritage Family Farms, Papa Jim's Honey and Mikolich Honey.

Buy a wedge of Ewe's Blue from The Cheese Store of SD and drizzle with honey to take your cheese plate to a whole new level. Grab root vegetables like rainbow carrots and beets from Maciel Farm and Sage Mountain Farm and toss with a little Bistro Blends olive oil, balsamic vinegar from Thyme of Essence and a spoonful of honey. Add a dab of Nicolau Farms goat cheese for this recipe. Swirl honey in your Ancient Secrets Greek yogurt, add Safari Crunch or NanDog's Naturals Granola and your favorite seasonal fruit and you have yourself a tasty, healthy breakfast.

There's an old bit of health advice that says a little dose of local honey a day can help fight seasonal allergies, so long as it's raw and unfiltered (raw, unfiltered honey contains small amounts local pollen, the culprit behind hay fever).

From the hard working bees that make it possible, to the phenomenal pairings you can create with foods, we're just crazy about this nature made treat. Buy local honey and support local honey bees! Buzz!