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April 2, 2013 - 10:51am
C. Smyczek

How many ways do we love ripe, red strawberries from Suzie’s Farm and Kawano Farms at the San Diego Public Wednesday Farmers’ Market? We like to sip them in a smoothie with fresh squeezed citrus juice from Doucette Farms, or in this fancy fizzy strawberry lemonade.

We’re thrilled to toss them in this salad with Paradise Valley Ranch avocados and Maciel Farm’s kale, and we adore them mixed with fresh chevre from Nicolau Goat Farms and aged balsamic vinegar from Bistro Blends in this strawberry goat cheese bruschetta.

We’re crazy for halibut with strawberry salsa using wild Alaskan filets from the Salmon Slinger and fresh basil from Gilbert Quintos Farm. And we can’t resist asking L’Ardiquel to fill a hot crepe with strawberries for a sweet breakfast.

We’re so berry glad that strawberries are in season!

Basil Dazzle

May 17, 2012 - 6:17am
Chris S


Buy fresh sweet basil from Suzie’s Farm or Valdivia Farm at the North Park Farmers’ Market and lend its lovely aroma to fruit, vegetable, cheese and pasta dishes each Thursday. You’re probably already imagining ripe tomatoes from JR Organics mixed with chopped basil and spread over bruschetta of toasted slices Belen Bakery’s ciabatta rubbed with California Olive new truffle oil. What says summer like simple plates of basil, tomatoes and sinful fresh burrata from Taste Cheese? Try fresh linguine from Lisko Imports topped with homemade basil pesto.

Basil also gets friendly with fresh summer fruits: try a salad of fresh greens from Maciel Farm topped with sliced peaches from Smit Orchards, a little chevre from Nicolau Farms and a healthy handful of freshly chopped basil. Use strawberries from Kawano Farm and Eureka lemons from Paradise Valley Ranch in this strawberry-basil lemonade or add an apple for this summery Sangria. Basil’s in season throughout the summer, so add a little basil-dazzle to dinner tonight!

Post Pumpkin Paloozas

October 31, 2011 - 10:36am
Britta T

Though its still definitely appropriate to don your homes, hearths, and patios with colorful squash and scattered fall decorations, Halloween has come and gone and it might be time to pitch your pumpkins and use up all the guts for some home baked goodies. If you're running behind and still need to pick up an orange beauty, come out to the Mercato next saturday morning and gather your goods from some of our lovely vendors.

Autumn calls us to flavors like allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. You can make some pretty fantastic pumpkin oatmeal cookies using all farmers market ingredients. Use organic, cooked pumpkin from Schaner's Farm or Suzie's Farm, raisins or dried apricots from Smit Orchards, walnuts from Terra Bella Ranch and a bit of sweet granola from Granola Girl to give them some texture. 

Or perhaps you want to go a little more gourmet and serve something savory AND sweet? How about a pumpkin-inspired bruschetta? Trust us, it's worth it. Combine fresh arugula from Sage Mountain Farm and crumbled goat cheese from Nicolau Farms with fresh squeezed lemon juice and a dash of Phil's honey from the folks at Marion's Olive Oil. Toss together with cooked pumpkin pulp, chopped red onions, a bit of your favorite vinaigrette and spread generously over sliced and toasted french bread from Bread & Cie. Top with roasted pumpkin seeds and a hint of curry and cinnamon. 


Cucina Romano

September 7, 2011 - 5:00pm
Britta T and Catt W

Summer vegetables are at their peak, and we have to admit we're up to our cheeks in heirloom tomatoes, garlic and eggplant from the likes of Sage Mountain Farms, Maciel Farms and Schaner Farms. So let's 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 Mona Lisa, Filippis or Buon Apetito Market on the way home, to pick up a nice bottle of red wine before cooking up a rich, sensational meal.)


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…

Urgin for Urchins

July 28, 2011 - 10:12am
Britta T

Some people dread and despise the ornery, spined creature known as the sea urchin. However, it's becoming a normal affair to see people sluggin' down sea urchin shooters at the Little Italy Mercato. Squishy and tongue-like- it makes a great breakfast, lunch, or cure to those ever often Saturday morning headaches. Though you won't have to worry about eating the poking spines of the urchin, the "roe"(actually the gonads!) is the, urhh, mouthwatering delicacy sweeping the nation with growing popularity.

If you're brave enough to try your luck at slurping, Poppa's Fresh Fish offers the freshest catch every week. If you're still a bit hesitant, but interested in the flavor of uni- purchase a good amount of the uni and try putting together this tasty sea urchin bruschetta:

Combine 1/2 cup of minced yellow onions from Schaner farms, a dash of dry sherry, a bit of lemon juice, a handful of chopped cilantro from Vang's, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl. Add the urchins and season with salt and pepper. Let marinate while you grill the bread. Brush the bread slices with the remaining olive oil and grill over medium heat until both sides are lightly colored. Slice the toast into finger like shapes, top with the urchin and serve.

Sweet & Tendril

January 4, 2011 - 11:47am
Catt W

SWEET AND TENDRIL In most areas of the country, sweet pea tendrils don't turn up until the spring, but with San Diego's fantastically long growing season we're already seeing them at our farmers' markets courtesy of Suzies Farm. The tender shoots are wonderful on sandwiches, to add a little crunch to bruschetta or as a bed under sauteed scallops. Cooked them gently in a stir fry, saute with garlic and a little butter to use as a side dish, or whirl into a pretty green coulis to drizzle over your favorite grilled fish from Poppa's.

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