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Pacific Beach Farmers' Market Blog

Friends, Romanescos, Countrymen

January 10, 2012 - 7:59am
Julie S. R.


It has probably caught your eye at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers’ Market, that pale green kaleidoscopic vegetable that looks like a cauliflower gone wild at the Suzie’s Farm stand. It’s called broccoli by some (due to the flavor) and cauliflower by others, and no, it’s not some crazy, hybrid, new millennium veggie, it’s all natural, Baby.

No matter what you cauli it, rich in vitamin C and K, it’s more tender than most cauliflower, making it perfect for crudites dipped in Baba Food’s Baba Ganoush or Majestic Garlic's sprouted hummus. (We love that veg on veg action.) A quick trim and steam or slow roast is all it takes to cook this slightly nutty cauliflower variant. For an incredibly eye-catching side, steam for around 15 minutes and serve it whole, with the slightest drizzle of Springhill Farm's fresh butter.

Not ready to make the leap? Classic recognizable cauliflower is available at the PB Tuesday market as well. Grab some at Kawano Farms or Maciel Family Farms and make a gratin that is as easy and comforting as it is pretty. Add it to a simple veggie stir fry with carrots and sugar snap peas from JR Organics and peppers, onions, and garlic from Poiros Farms. Going back to basics  doesn't need to be too basic.


Blacked Eye Peas in PB

January 3, 2012 - 5:08pm
Catt W


Every culture has traditional foods for inviting luck in the New Year and whichever you choose the Pacific Beach Tueday Farmers' Market offers all the ingredients you need for eating in the New Year right.

In Italy, as in many cultures, pork is usually on the menu since pigs move forward and represent the fat of the land. Conversely, hope you finished that lobster on New Year's Eve. They move backwards and are considered bad luck on New Year's Day. Ditto chickens and turkeys that scratch backwards, but we're thinking rabbit would be auspicious. Along with the pork, Italians eat lentils symbolizing money, like the beans and peas that many cultures consume.

Light the Night for Hannukah

December 19, 2011 - 7:20pm
Julie S.R. and Catt W.


Tomorrow’s Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers’ Market falls on the first night of Hanukkah, so get there before sunset and collect the farm fresh ingredients for your holiday meal.  A lot of people find Hanukkah to be a bit of a mystery; Why is it never the same time each year? Do you really get one present a night? If there are 8 nights of Hannukah why are there 9 candles on the menorah? (answers below)

Invited to a Hannukah celebration? Gift packs from California Olive make a beautiful hostess gift. Latkes, or potato pancakes, are fried in oil to honor the olive oil that burned for 8 nights to light the Temple. Think about replacing the potato with grated zucchini or winter squash from Kawano Farms, Suzie’s Farm or JR Organics, and onion from Maciel Farms. Think about using avocado oil for frying, it will let you get your latkes nice and crispy without smoking up your kitchen. Top with sour cream from Springhill farms and a simple applesauce from Smit Orchards apples. Serve warm whilst spinning dreidels. What’s a dreidel?

Oh yes, we promised you answers.Hanukkah is based on the lunisolar Jewish calendar. Traditionally, a few gifts are given on only one night of Hanukkah, but some families gift children every nigt. The extra candle on a menorah is a shamash, it’s lit first then used to light the rest of the candles. A drediel is a 4-sided top used to play a children's game, winning gold foil-covered chocolate money or gelt. Happy Hannukah!


Truly Seasonal

December 19, 2011 - 12:58pm
Britta T

You'll find bows of holly and tons of sweets to make you jolly at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market, but besides seasonal holiday odds and ends take note that shopping local is truly seasonal. San Diego has unique growing seasons that overlap and bless us with late fall tomatoes and leafy greens year round. But here's the scoop on new crops you might find this week at the market. 

JR Organics has Kolhrabi, a sort of green cabbage-turnipy thing that's delicious raw or cooked. Try shaving it into a salad with ribbons of sweet pink lady apples from Smit Orchards and whisk together a creamy, lemon salad dressing to doll it up. 

Suzie's Farm sells soaked (so living) black eyed peas. You know that when the ball drops on New Year's eve you're gonna want to be eating a warm bowl of spicy beans and collard greens. Add chives, celery, and rice to make it extra wintry. 


Flavor Affinities

December 12, 2011 - 11:05am
Britta T

Who decided that peas and carrots pair so well? What's the secret behind the dazzling duos of coffee and cream or beef and wine? The Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market is the ultimate destination to source and experiment with some of life's greatest flavors. Really, it's quite simple, and you get to play chef. 

Sear bitter radicchio or mustard greens from Suzie's Farm with sweet shell beans and the aged balsamic vinegar from the guys at California Olive Oil. Sauté those big leaves of swiss chard from JR organics with minced garlic, olive oil, and a bit of fresh squeezed lime juice from Paradise Valley Ranch. Make a warm winter soup with ginger, carrots from Maciel Family Farms, celery from JR Organics and a bit of garlic. Mix PB Peanut Butter and Mikolich Honey with hot chili peppers from your favorite farmer and give stir fried vegetables a taste of Thailand. Roast a few pink lady apples from Smit Orchards and highlight them with lavender from Keys Creek Lavender Farm, drizzling them with butter from Spring Hill Cheese.

Can you taste it yet?

Roasting On An Open Fire

December 5, 2011 - 12:14pm
Britta T

Ok, so we don't have anyone selling chestnuts at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market. But we do have farmers with tables and baskets full of dazzling vegetables on display ready to be roasted, steamed, chopped up and made into all sorts of savory and beautiful dishes. Think of it as buying ornaments for your table, only they're edible, sustainable and tasty!

JR Organics sells kolhrabi, radishes in every shade of red, and golden beets. Suzie's Farm now has the glamorous green romanesco cauliflower. Simply chop them all up, drizzle them with a bit of California Olive Oil and roast them in the oven until they get crispy. Add fresh herbs - rosemary, thyme, and parsley are good options - at the end for a bit of fresh flavor. 

Carrots often get overlooked in lieu of more seasonal, strange root vegetables. But don't forget to take advantage of that deep orange or purple color. Maciel & Family have enormous organic carrots and beets. Steam them or boil them until tender, toss them with some garlic quark from Spring Hill Cheese and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar from Bistro Blends for a creamy side dish.


Grape Fun

December 5, 2011 - 11:49am
Britta T

Summer isn't the only time to take advantage of sweet fruits. If you're hankering for the bright burst of sweet grapes, you can still find plenty of gorgeous bunches at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market. And we won't leave your bunches hanging without recipes either. Slice a ciabatta from Belen Bakery for breakfast and top each half with a handful of sliced grapes from Smit Orchards and chopped fennel from Suzie's Farm. Top with crumbled goat feta from Nicolau Farms and bake until the grapes get juicy and reduce in size and the cheese melts and browns a bit.

Adding grapes to your lunch salad makes things sweet and crunchy! Pick up a pomegranate from Lone Oak Ranch and a few navel oranges from Paradise Valley Ranch. Toss together with fresh grapes, a dash of lime, and a few fresh mint leaves from JR Organics. Choose a piece of  local halibut or tuna from Miss Sushi, sear it slightly and serve alongside the salad. 

When you've had your fill of fresh grapes, find your fix by cooking with raisins! Smit Orchards and Lone Oak Ranch both have organic raisin varieties to add to your favorite cookies, salads, or breakfast cereals. Doesn't it all sound grape?


Conscious Gifting

November 28, 2011 - 9:26am
Britta T

Black Friday has come and gone, but the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market happens all year round and supports local artists and farmers.  If you missed the initial holiday madness, you can still find dozens of gifts at the market for everyone on your list.  

Think outside of electronics and flashy dashy gifts from the mall and shop for something more personal- you can find sustainable and hand crafted goods from many of our vendors. Remind the ones you love how sweet they are with miniature honey bears or beeswax candles from Mikolich Honey. Have a wine lover in the family? Give them a colorful, hand crafted bottle stopper or wine cradle from Conte Bella Vino Gifts.

With family in and out of town and all the end of year busyness, there is potential for high stress. So offer yourself and your friends healing lotions and bath salts from Botanicology or soothing massage oils from Keys Creek Lavender Farm.

You can share the gift of locally made, fair trade goods at your next neighborhood holiday party by bringing a gift package of olive oils and aged vinegars from California Olive Oil or perhaps offering your favorite blend of loose leaf teas or coffee from Agora Bean & Leaf.
Enjoy shopping at the market with the lights twinkling down the streets and the spirit of giving before you. 


Cash Crops

November 21, 2011 - 3:09pm
Catt W


Pacific Beach schools, like those all over San Diego (and beyond), are struggling with district budget cuts and even threatened school closures. Parents are rallying to contribute in any way they can, and even community members without school-age children can help.

From now through at least the end of December, 2011, Discover Pacific Beach and San Diego Weekly Markets will rebate 5% of the dollars you spend at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market to the PB school of your choice. Just ask the farmers and vendors for receipt tickets when you shop, then deposit them in your school's bin at the Information Booth. Keep your grocery money in your neighborhood and help local kids. Amazing farm-fresh food is the icing on the take.

Thanksgiving on the Beach

November 21, 2011 - 12:21pm
Britta T and Catt W


Since the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market is "where the citrus meets the surf", what could be more fitting than adding a coastal California twist to your Thanksgiving table? Capitalize on all those savory and sweet fall flavors, but mix it up to keep traditions fresh and exciting.

Stop by Miss Sushi's seafood stand to pick up oysters for your turkey stuffing, and choose a selection of sushi rolls to add to your appetizer lineup. Stuff Morocco Gold Dates with Nicolau Farms fresh goat cheese for another crowd pleaser.

Pumpkins are still plentiful as the market, and they're not just for dessert. Toss cubed pumpkins from Suzie's Farm and apples from Lone Oak Ranch with Bari Olive Oil, add a little zing with crushed chili peppers from JR Organics, saute until brown then simmer in Paradise Valley Ranch's fresh Valencia orange juice until just tender. Garnish with chopped California pecans from Smit Orchards.

Green Bean Casserole gets better when you use fresh Kawano Farms beans and sliced mushrooms, slivered almonds from Hopkins AG and toss with light, healthy garlic quark from Springhill Farms. Use a variety of greens from our farmers, add orange sections and pomegranate seeds from John Gilruth's Rainbow Ranchito, and toss with a spicy peanut dressing using PB Peanut Butter and California Olive Oil's garlic infused vinegar. Pumpkin Bread from Belen Bakery or pie from Sugar and Scribe will round it all out. Hang ten or more people at your Thanksgiving table and enoy.