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North Park Farmers Market

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Just as Cute and Tasty

January 19, 2012 - 6:25am
Robyn G & Catt W


You've got to hand it to the three California Citrus growers that branded their clementines as Cuties and made them a marketing legend and a guilt-free, go back for seconds (or thirds) food for late night sweet tooth cravings. Just as tasty and easy to eat, find Page tangerines, Clementines and Satsuma tangerines at the North Park Farmers' Market this week. You'll be paying just for the fruit, not the brand, so you'll save a little cash while encouraging your kids' love of these naturally sweet and healthy treats. Pick up a dozen from Paradise Valley Ranch, Smit Orchards or R&L Farms.

Eat them as is, for a Vitamin C-packed, super sweet snack, or get creative and try adding a touch of tangerine juice along with the lime in guacamole for a surprising undertone. They're amazing as an addition to many salads: section a tangerine, toss with fresh spinach from Suzie’s Farm and a thinly sliced red onion from JR Organics. Whisk together a little tangerine juice, salt and pepper, California Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar and you’ve got yourself a great start to any dinner. For a main dish, pick up a tri tip from Da Le Ranch and vroccoli from Kawano Farms and try this Tangerine Beef recipe. 

It's cold season, so spike your green tea with the juice of a tangerine, some fresh mint and a squeeze of honey from Meljess Bees for a soothing and healing beverage. Tangerines are usually at the market form November to late April, so enjoy them while you can.


Cauliflower Power!

January 11, 2012 - 4:49pm
Julie SR and Catt W


If you've ever considered cauliflower a boring old standby, a trip to the North Park Farmers' Market this week may change your mind. At Suzie's Farm choose from pale green kaleidoscopic Romanesco or their newest deep pink Graffiti cauliflower. Each has its own distinctive taste, and the colors add a little fun to the plate. (Graffiti actually turns purpley blue when cooked - take that, George Carlin.) Rodney Kawano Farms and Proios Family Fams offer the more typical white heads, but like all vegetables, the taste is more intense when it's fresh from the farm.

No matter what you cauli it, rich in vitamin C and K, cauliflower is 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 are easy ways to cook florets or whole heads.  For an incredibly eye-catching side, steam a Romanesco for around 15 minutes and serve it whole, with the slightest drizzle of Springhill Farm's fresh butter.

Any variety can be added to a simple veggie stir fry with carrots from JR Organics and peppers and squash from Valdividia Farms. Or make a gratin that is as easy and comforting as it is pretty, with a little gooey gruyere from Taste Cheese. You've got the (cauli)power!


Seeding is Believing

November 9, 2011 - 3:00pm
Julie R

Pomegranate season is upon us and that lovely pink-skinned fruit is all over the North Park Farmers’ Market. See them in abundance at John Gilruth’s and R & L Farms’ stands. The trick to eating them is to cut them in half then bang on them until all the seeds come out. There is the more delicate way of digging the seeds out with your fingers but that eliminates all the fun; if you are still a touch daunted, Paradise Valley Ranch has packages of pomegranate seeds ready to go. Take them home to cook with or snack on them as you stroll the market. Once you have the seeds out the possibilities are endless: throw them in yogurt, top your green salad for a sweet/sour crunch, or throw them into pancake batter for a new twist and serve with wildflower honey from Meljess Bees.

Want to incorporate more farmers’ market ingredients? Mix the seeds with chopped cucumbers from Suzie’s Farm, lime juice from R&L, and cilantro and diced chilies from JR Organics for a fresh salsa that is fantastic on fish tacos. Mix fresh citrus with the pomegranate seeds and toss with Grand Marnier or Triple Sec and serve as a sweet salad or over ice cream.  Impress your friends with your ingenuity and creativity at your next pomegranate-themed dinner party; serve them champagne or cava with pomegranate seeds floating in it for a fun and festive fall cocktail. Slice and grill eggplant and top with pomegranate seeds, feta from Nicolau Farms, mint and a glug of Bari Olive oil. Serve as a vegetarian entrée with hummus from Baba Foods and couscous with more seeds tossed in for color. Seeding is believing!


Comfort Food for Comfort Moods

November 7, 2011 - 12:52pm
Britta T

This past weekend was divine- with intermittent rain and blustery, grey days. It was time to hunker down, stay inside, and enjoy warm food and good company. Comfort food has a different tone though, when you live and work at the farmers' market. Comfort food means fresh pasta and braised greens, or upscaled, locavore-friendly grilled cheese sandwiches, or fresh spiced apple butter and biscuits...

Here are a few ideas for you for the next time you get caught in the rain, or the sunshine, and want a healthy(er) twist on cozy good cookin'.

Spaghetti with Braised Kale
Braise either curly or lacinato (Tuscan black kale), with chopped onions from Suzie's Farm and fresh garlic from Valdivia. Add the greens to a bowl of steamy, hot angel hair pasta from Likso Imports and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice with a bit of grated Parmesan Romano cheese from Mary at Taste Cheese.

Escarole and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

You know this. You know how you like it. Be creative with what you can find at the market and make a sandwich that you'll be remembered by. Start with a decent portion of sourdough or your favorite loaf from Belen Bakery. Take home a hefty slab of Spring Hill Goat Cheddar or maybe their dry Pepper Jack cheese, and shred it carefully. Pick out a beautiful specimen of frisee or escarole from Suzie's Farm or JR Organics. Sautee slices of white onion with a bit salt until the onion begins to carmelize. Meanwhile, brush the bread with some olive oil and layer on the onions, escarole, and cheese. Then grill it until its crispy and melty in the pan, add pepper or salt if needed, and serve immediately...

Spiced Apple Butter

Spiced apple butter on warm toast is a treat from heaven. Luckily, Smit Orchards and R& L Farms have you covered for tart Fuji's and sweet Pink Ladies. Or try combining apples and asian pears for more complexity. Cook the apples down with spices like ginger, star anise, cinammon and cardamon. Add lemon and a bit of sugar, mash it all together once its cooked, and you have yourself an excellent addition to any brunch.  


Fondue, On You

October 12, 2011 - 10:12am
Britta T

Rather than dining out and spending an exorbitant amount of money for an exotic and romantic meal, try creating your own autumn atmosphere at home with fresh produce from the North Park Farmers' Market. This week, the stalls will be overflowing with pumpkins and winter squash of all shapes and sizes- perfect for roasting in the oven and pairing with hearty cheeses, breads, apples, and dark leafy greens.

Try something new and go for fondue! Roasted pumpkins or Kabocha squash from JR Organics make perfect bowls, and their earthen flavors create a taste sensation when paired with any soft, creamy cheese like a Gruyere from Taste Cheese. Add a dash of white wine to perfect the fondue. Cut out a lid from the squash, remove the seeds, (save them to bake) and some of the flesh. Rub the inside with olive oil and a few springs of thyme or sage. Bake at 375 degrees for around 30 minutes, with the "lid" of the squash in place. Get really daring with your fondue and enjoy a gooey, warm goat cheese from Nicolau Farms (you can find an excellent fondue recipe here).

Serve individual pumpkin bowls sprinkled with roasted & salted pumpkin seeds and a fluffly loaf of sourdough bread from Belen Bakery, and a side of roasted honeycrisp apples from Smit Orchards, topped with cinnamon and honey.


Don't Lament, Ferment!

October 10, 2011 - 12:19pm
Britta T


What to do with the incredible bounty of rich, delicious fruits and vegetables from the summer and fall? Preserve! Ferment! Savor! Food fermentation has many benefits: Fermented food enriches the diet by developing diverse flavors, aromas, and textures in food substrates. Imagine the flavors of spicy kimchi, soy sauce, sauerkraut, fresh yogurt, peppery dill pickles, and crispy pickled turnips, beets, or cauliflower.

Fermentation and canning preserves substantial amounts of food that might otherwise go to waste. (That means it's ok to buy a lot of food at the market every week- you'll have more to pickle!) Biologically, fermentation enriches food substrates with protein, essential amino acids, and vitamins. Plus, it decreases cooking times and fuel requirements for healthy foods.

Mark and Rebecca Stogsdill, owners of Happy Pantry, have recently changed their whole product line, now offering raw, naturally fermented pickles, kimchis, krauts, and veggies. You can find a smattering of delicious options at their stall every week at our markets.

Visit us this Thursday at the North Park  Farmers' Market to take home the last of summer's delicate fruits and veggies. Chop up those extra carrots and cucumbers from JR Organics, add some salt, seal them in beautiful glass jars, and enjoy those rich flavors all year round! Take home the sweet remains of yellow and white corn from Kawano Farms, gorgeous red and green sweet peppers from Suzie's, and gorgeous okra from the Produce Stand. 


Cheers for Beers

September 21, 2011 - 2:14pm
Britta T


In case you weren't able to book your own tickets to Munich this week to celebrate the all too indulgent Oktoberfest, we've got a few ideas up our sleeves at the North Park Farmer's Market to help you throw your own lively festival. Oktoberfest began as a wedding celebration for Crown Prince Luitpold I and Princess Theressa of Bavaria, and has since transformed into a festival for music, dancing, singing, eating -- and lots and lots of beer drinking. 

Gather your friends and family and enjoy a feast of royal proportions with these rich recipes: Try a vegetarian take on traditional Bierocks and pick up a jar of spicy sauerkraut from Happy Pantry, swing by Taste Cheese for some yummy, savory spreads, and put them together on fresh slices of sourdough bread from Belen Bakery. If you want some meat, take home a pound of savory ground beef from Da Le Ranch to add to the dish. Or create your own German style potato salad using Russet potatoes from Produce Stand, onions and parsley from Suzie's Farm.  Make Jagerschnitzel to meets everyone's needs, using Kawano Farms mushrooms, Bari's garlic olive oil, pork from Da Le Ranch, and Spring Hill Cheese new slightly sweet sour cream. 

Oh and don't forget your authentic, german style beer. Stop by the Linkery or Ritual Tavern on your way home for a pint!


Apples Falling Just in Time

September 19, 2011 - 3:20pm
Britta t

With the upcoming Autumnal Equinox, this Thursday marks the first official day of autumn! We've felt the change in the air and seen a few more winter crops sneak their way into our farmers' booths. But now its officially time to break out the scarves, rain boots, and even more sunscreen (this is San Diego, remember?). But more importantly start creating delicious fall recipes. It's time for apples, persimmons, citrus, and yummy winter squash. Kids are back to school and the fruit is ripe for picking. That means apple pie and persimmon puddings, fresh orange anything and all the pumpkin spice you can handle.

Look out this week for sweet and crispy Fuji apples from Smit Orchards and take a bunch home to turn into chunky cinnamon and nutmeg infused apple butter. Or slip on your baking hat and make a warm, gooey apple pie, or even enjoy them fresh in a September-worthy salad with mixed greens from Suzie's farm, raw almonds from Hopkins AG, and a fresh stalk of celery from JR Organics. Select a finely pressed olive oil from Bari's Olive oil and drizzle generously over a bowl of salad.

Acorn squash and baby butternuts are peeking into the market too, from JR Organics and the Produce Stand so don't feel guilty about jumping early on baking yourself some fresh roasted squash soup topped with fresh herbs and sprouted pumpkin seeds from Suzie's to enjoy as the fog rolls in over the city...


Salad of the Gods

September 19, 2011 - 3:20pm
Britta t


The Gods were onto something when they boasted of delicate olives, fresh salads, and the best of the Mediterranean's harvest. Now's the best time to head to the North Park Farmers Market and stock up on all sorts of fresh ingredients to put together your best Greek family dinner yet.

Greek Saganaki is a savory traditional side dish that brings everyone together before a meal. Try a different twist and pan fry fresh slices of feta cheese from Spring Hill. Arrange on a platter with juicy, sweet slices of Roma tomatoes from Valdivia Farms and lemon wedges from R&L Farms. Or make your own tasty Skordalia dip using one pound of russet potatoes from Produce Stand, a few fresh cloves of garlic, and half a cup of raw almonds from Hopkins AG. Cook the potatoes, roast the almonds and blend together with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper, then enjoy with some fresh pita bread from Baba Foods or try dipping sweet radishes and carrots.

You can't go wrong by making a huge Greek salad to share with friends and neighbors. Stop by JR Organics for a few heads of crunchy romaine lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, cripsy cucumbers, and red onions. Add a few hungarian hot wax peppers from Suzie's Farm to give it a kick. Top it off with some Kalamata olives from Lisko imports and a glass of white wine, or use the traditional 3 coffee beans from Agora Bean & Leaf with glasses of Sambuca ...the Greeks were always known for their decadence, weren't they?


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