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Pacific Beach Farmers' Market Blog

Hey'a Paella!

August 22, 2011 - 2:19pm
Britta T


If you haven't the time or the means to travel all the way to Spain this fall to visit one of many Paella festivals, don't despair: visit the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market for the fresh ingredients to make a paella yourself.

Paella can be served year round, for any celebration! This is a mouth watering Spanish dish, traditionally cooked in a large, flat pan with two handles. Paella is usually personalized, so feel free to substitute your favorite ingredients for any that are hard to find. With our long growing season and wonderful farmers' markets in San Diego you shouldn't have a problem finding all the freshest ingredients!

Heat olive oil from Thyme of Essence and braise chopped yellow onions from JR Organics and summer tomatoes from your favorite farmer. Strain out the juices and toss the veggies into your paella pan. In another pot, lightly cook your choice of shrimp (visit Miss Sushi at the market this week for all your seafood needs) mussels and other seafood. We like the finger-food action of playing with the shells, but you can remove tails and shells for more refined dining. Save some of the broth for later. Heat up your paella pan, and when it's good and hot, toss in roughly chopped red and green bell peppers (have you tasted the big ones from Produce Stand??), and your rice. Let this cook down in an appropriate amount of broth/water, keeping sure not to burn the rice. Mash garlic, parsley and a few threads of saffron with a little bit of Salt Farms' sea salt. Wet it with a couple spoonfuls of temperate broth, and spill this mixture into your paella pan. Add all the seafood and vegetables and  cook together gently for about 20 minutes. Garnish your beautiful offering with big clusters of thinly sliced lemons and ribboned bell peppers. Ah, passion in a pan.


Magellan's Melons

August 22, 2011 - 1:36pm
Britta T

Watermelon Gazpacho

JR Organics is impressing us at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market with ripe golden yellow melons and Kawano Farms offers some super sweet baby reds.You can make a watermelon salad, serve it up in standard, succulent slices, or use it as a canteen for your favorite mixed beverage! (Even early world explorers like Magellan used melons this way, come on!)

It's time to try on watermelon gazpacho this week and dazzle your friends at your next dinner gathering. Ready? GO! There are nearly 1,200 varieties of watermelon, so this dish could always have new flavors. Grab one or two sweet watermelons to start. Dice the melon (sans rind) and one medium sized Armenian cucumber from Suzie's Farm. Add freshly chopped red bell peppers, mint, and parsley from your favorite farmers, a dash of aged balsamic vinegar from Gianni's and one minced shallot. Drizzle with olive oil from Bari, and a hint of sea salt from Salt Farm.

PS: Go ahead and make yourself a double batch- seems to run out quickly on these hot days!!


August 18, 2011 - 2:24pm
Britta T


We've heard a lot of buzz lately about green drinks, green energy and green washing. If you're aware of the different ways you can practice a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, we're right there with you and the Pacific BEach Tuesday Farmers' Market is a great place to practice "being green". It's easier than Kermit the Frog thought, and these are just a few of the ways that our vendors and our shoppers support sustainable practices.

1) Offering local, mostly organic products!
Admit it, the food tastes better and you feel good knowing that you're supporting local business owners and farmers. It's great for you and even better for mother nature.

2) Recycle!
Vendors like Happy Pantry offer a $1 discount on jars of pickles if you return the jar every week. Paradise Valley Ranch will refill your empty egg cartons or your plastic sacks for oranges. The guys from Green Fix love if you can reuse your plastic smoothie bottles or glass gallon jugs every week.

Even better than recycling containers, many of our vendors go above and beyond to get the most use out of their crops. Lone Oak Ranch takes all the grapes that they don't sell at the market, dries them and sells the sweet, sun baked raisins. And Suzie's Farm encourages shoppers to bring back their CSA boxes every week to be re-filled with fresh veggies or to compost the greens they don't cook with to feed their chickens!

3) Speaking of "Green Fix"- If you haven't already joined the viral "green smoothie a day keeps the doctor away" movement, check out the award winning documentary, "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead". You'll be aching to stop by the Green Fix booth every week to get your drink on!

4) Reuse Canvas Bags
Instead of using so many plastic products every week (for everything from your hot food items, beverages, and produce bags), we encourage our vendors to use more eco friendly packaging products and our shoppers to come prepared with reusable bags or beverage containers. Remember, if you forget, we've got insulated reusable bags for sale at the Info booth!

5) Choosing Two wheels over Four
Not only is it fun and good exercise to ride your beautiful bike to a farmers' market, but you limit the amount of gas you consume every week and lessen the load of traffic in and around markets. Get a basket and take home your fresh produce while doing something good for the earth!


August 15, 2011 - 2:12pm
Britta T


Summer vegetables are in their peak, and we have to admit we're up to our cheeks in heirloom tomatoes. So let's all take a night off from the fish tacos and craft brews and shop  the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market to revisit the real flavors of mediterranean cuisine. Do as the Romans do this week and set yourself up for a delectable and carbohydrate loaded Italian feast.

We're giving you the freedom to be creative here and let the produce inspire you. Be brave, and be colorful! (We won't blame you if you stop by Enoteca Adriano on Cass Street on the way home, to enjoy a nice class of red wine before cooking up a rich, sensational meal.

Start with "antipasto", or appetizers. Toasted bruschetta always pleases crowds and can be served hot or cold as you linger in good conversations. Pick up a fresh baguette from Bread & Cie, rub the slices with garlic, freshly chopped basil from Maciel & Family, and drizzle with organic olive oil from our new vendor, Bari Olive Oil. Now, move on to the first course, "primo". Nicolau Farms has a superb goat cheese gnocchi that you could serve in small portions, just after you've whet your appetite with the antipasto.

Take home a few pounds of heirloom tomatoes from Kawano Farms or JR Organics to make a homemade, spicy red sauce and create something tantalizing with those voluptuous eggplants from Suzie's Farm, or their emerald skinned zucchini.

There are so many options, you might try braising some grass fed beef or pork from SonRise Ranch and serving that over a steamy, buttery squash ravioli pasta from Lisko Imports to combine the secondo (main dish) and contorno (side dish).

Every meal must end with dolce, or sweets, and a juciy nectarine from Smit Orchards, a handful of almonds from Hopkins AG with a scoop of rich, creamy gelato from Gelato Busstop will end your meal in a sugarplum dream…


August 11, 2011 - 12:08pm
Britta T


Aesop might have been mistaken when he boasted about sour grapes, because we have tasted and we have seen their sweetness at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market. Lone Oak Ranch and Smit Orchards are now offering some of the finest grapes of the first harvest.

If you're bored with plain jane grape salads and cheap grade grape popsicles, try your luck at making this surprisingly delightful concord grape and nectarine butter. It will surely turn any sour faces into smiles! Spread on a whole grain slice from Bread & Cie and enjoy.

Here's how you make it: Put 7-8 ripe nectarines, diced coarsely (no need to remove skins) and 4 cups of concord grapes in a large pan. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until the fruit gets soft. Strain seeds through a food mill (or mash and press through a fine strainers). Return remaining pulp to the pan. Boil gently, stirring constantly until reduced by half. Turn off the heat, add 1/4 cup of raw honey from Mikolich and mix well. Pour fruit butter into sterilized jars, leaving some headspace. Make sure to follow instructions for proper sealing/canning methods.




August 11, 2011 - 11:55am
Britta T


What's that feeling in the air at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market? The Costa Rican phrase meaning "the full life", has made it way to our Tuesday markets. What better way to honor the Latin American way of life through a celebration of colorful food and flavors?

One of the national dishes in Costa Rica is "gallo pinto", (which means spotted rooster, though no rooster finds its way to the plate in this case). To make a simple version, toss together a tantalizing combination of cooked black beans, white rice, fresh chopped cilantro and a special, fermented condiment called "chilero". Make your own In a quart jar: combine a few cups of grated carrots (try the purple ones from Suzie's Farm), one sliced yellow onion, one chopped sweet red pepper, 1-2 chopped jalapenos, some minced garlic, a few tablespoons of sea salt (Salt Farm has a smattering variety) and filtered water. FIll the jar with water, leaving an inch or so for air. Cover the jar tightly and store it at room temperature for a few days to let it ferment.

If you don't have time to make your own chilero, Happy Pantry sells an equally amazing kimchi that would substitute. This zesty blend also pairs wonderfully with fresh ceviche from La Isla Ceviche. Sounds like a full meal! To life!  

Want a reminder of that happy feeling? Stop by our neighbor Pangea Outpost and pick up a colorful Pura Vida bracelet.



August 8, 2011 - 1:38pm
Britta T


Often, this resplendant green is overlooked by far too many shoppers. Frisee is that sometimes wilty looking, brightly colored green with curly locks. Adorable, in the same sense that orphans are adorable. Eager and darling with that well-used look.

Frisee, otherwise known as Endive, is a peppery, nutty green that pairs perfectly with the first harvest of Autumn apples. Smit Orchards has bright, crispy, rouge Galas that only really taste their best during these first few weeks of harvest. Suzie's Farm has been offering delicate heads of frisee, along with an array of other fancy herbs like tarragon, stevia, and chamomile, that make an ideal, tender autumn salad. Mix a few tablespoons of fresh pressed olive oil from Falcone's with some apple cider vinegar and some minced shallot from JR organics. Add a spoonful of Mikolich's raw honey to make a well rounded, sweet vinaigrette. Gently tear the leaves of frisee into bite sized pieces, place 1 or 2 sliced Gala apples and perhaps a handful of dried cherries from Smit, and top it all off with raw, coursley chopped walnuts from Nicolau Farms. 

Enjoy the assertive taste of seasonal greens and the sweet juiciness of summer's last hurrah...



August 8, 2011 - 1:12pm
Britta T


Invite your neighbors over, turn on some music, sit outside and settle down with a bowl of hearty, cold Russian beet soup. On a hot summer day, this soup is energizing and light. The red beets from Suzie's Farm, with their sweet flavor that is close to the earth, from which they emerged, make a dazzling duo with JR organics' cucumbers. In a mixing bowl, combine three cups of buttermilk, a peeled & quartered cucumber, 3-4 cooked beets (sliced, with juice), and two chopped green onions with a bit of white vinegar. Stir in a bit of fresh, chopped dill or mint and a dash of salt to taste. Let soup chill for a couple of hours, or overnight, and serve cold, replacing the traditional sour cream garnish with a dollop of fresh goat cheese from Nicolau Farms. A loaf of fresh rye or pumpernickel bread makes this dish a real Russian experience.



August 4, 2011 - 12:13pm
Britta T


Decadent and evocative, this crimson queen. As the summer sun warms the earth in his elegant embrace, she emerges brazenly, a glistening jewel among other fruits. Her flesh-exceptionally juicy, intensely sweet. Her skin, bold and ostentatious, stealing the hearts of every foraging soul.

Yes, friends, the time has come to surrender to the mighty flavor of the Pluot. Often referred to as "dino eggs", the pluots are an elaborate cross species of Plum and Apricot, their skin variegated with hues of dark red wine, and vibrant amber sunsets. With names like "Dapple Dandy", "Flavorosa", "Emerald Drop", and "Raspberry Jewel", how you can you even resist!?

Here are a few tantalizing ways to play with the queen of summer stone fruits. Lone Oak Ranch and Smit Orchards have a stunning offering of just plucked pluots, which should still be somewhat firm when you select them.

1. Grilled: Half the pluots and brush with a dollop of raw honey (from Mikolich Honey) and Dijon mustard. Grill until browned on both sides. If you're feeling really sexy, pick up a pound of pork or lamb chops from Son Rise Ranch to serve alongside and you'll have an impressive dinner plate.

2. Brûléed: Spread sliced pluots in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Broil until bubbly and browned. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or homemade gelato from Il Gelato di Renato. (don't let it melt before you get home!)

3. In salsa: Use chopped pluots instead of tomatoes in fresh salsa- mix with lime juice from Paradise Valley Ranch, chopped chiles from Suzie's Farm, and onion & cilantro from JR Organics

4. In salad: Adding sliced pluots to your tender greens makes for a dazzling salad. Toss in some crumbled goat feta from Nicolau Farms to a plate of greens from Suzie's, and dress with a soft, sweet balsamic vinegar from Gianni's Fine Foods. 

Seafood Summers

August 4, 2011 - 10:18am
Britta T


Seafood makes the perfect dish for the perfect summer we've having in San Diego, and we have your cool fresh fish right here at the Pacific Beach Tueday Farmers' Market. The warm Santa Ana winds have greeted us, turning our afternoons into balmy, never ending dreams. If you're making your way to the cool blue water in Pacific Beach next Tuesday, stop by the market and pick up a tub of ceviche from one of our newest vendors - La Isle Ceviche. They offer a bright blend of summer's best flavors - onion, salt, and pepper, along with cilantro, fresh fish or shrimp marinated in citrus juices spiced with hot chili peppers and homemade pico de gallo salsa.

This dish is definitely a favorite of local beach-goers, from the shores of Central and South America where this dish originates, to the picture perfect coasts of Southern California. Buy it here, or pick up a fresh piece of yellowtail or halibut from Miss Sushi at the market, a few limes from Paradise Valley Ranch and fresh farm vegetables to make your own. All you need to add is a cold sparkling lemonade from Rose's Italian Soda, a crispy tostada, a few fresh slices of soft avocado from John Gilruth's stand, and maybe a sweet ear of summer corn from Kawano Farms to roast over an open bonfire. Who knew a fish dish could bring so many beautiful things together?