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Begin with Thanks and Continue with Giving

November 14, 2011 - 10:20am
Britta T

However you and your clan choose to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we at the Little Italy Mercato want to make sure you to have the most fresh, beautiful, and nourishing food available to make your day perfect. Whether you're planning to enjoy a very traditional meal, an eclectic potluck smorgasbord to meet all the needs of your community of friends, or whether you don't have a big meal planned at all but choose to revel in the day off from work and enjoy the outdoors with simple snacks and time for reflection- we've got you covered.

Delicious meals are made from delicious parts- so part one of your dinner could be a variety of chutneys, salads, or stuffings. Try this recipe for a savory apple pumpkin chutney, from San Diego food blogger Caron Golden. She uses pumpkin butter from Jackie's Jams, fresh sage leaves and red onions that you can find at Schaner Farms, and sweet pink lady apples from Smit Orchards or Fujis from Lone Oak Ranch. For a seriously satisfying salad- try using cooked wheat berries from Suzie's Farm and combining them with all sorts of fall veggies to complement your dinner. Roasted butternut squash and toasted red walnuts from Terra Bella Ranch with heaps of braised Swiss chard from Maciel Family Farms come together to create a little zip for a savory salad served warm or chilled. Add fresh grated ginger from Vang Farms for a twist or a handful of crumbled goat cheese from Nicolau Farms to blend it all together. And as you devise, shop, and put together your stunning meals, remember to utter thanks and gratitude for all that you will enjoy, have been given, and have to offer…


Hey'a Paella!

August 29, 2011 - 12:34pm
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 Little Italy Mercato for all your own ingredients.

Paella can be served year round, for any celebration! This mouth watering Spanish dish is traditionally cooked in a large, flat pan and made to serve large portions. With our long growing season and wonderful farmers' markets in San Diego you shouldn't have a problem finding all the freshest ingredients- seafood, meat,  summer vegetables, rice, and citrus!

Heat olive oil from Marion's Olive Oil and braise chopped yellow onions from Sage Mountain Farms with green zebra heirloom from Schaner's Farm. Strain out the juices and toss the veggies into your paella pan. In another pot, lightly cook your choice of shrimp or fish (visit Poppa's Fresh fish for the freshest seafood). 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 Vang Farms??), and two cups of rinsed rice. Let this cook down in an appropriate amount of broth/water, keeping sure not to burn the rice. Mash fresh garlic (from Maciel and Family), parsley and a few threads of saffron from Just Spice with a little bit of Salt Farms' Himalayan 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 from Polito Farms and ribboned bell peppers. Ah, passion in a pan.


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