Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This could be you

You know you've done this yourself a couple times. You know, gone to the farmer's market, seen all the amazing stuffs and bought everything in sight. Today, I went to the Heart of the City Farmer's Market and loaded up.

This market gets poo-pooed a lot because it isn't as fancy-schmancy as the Ferry Plaza one or because not everyone there is organic (gasp!), but it's still great. Lots of Asian farmers selling all different kinds of eggplant, bitter melon, okra and an unbelievable variety of unusual greens like sweet potato leaf, water spinach and what looked to me like cucumber leaves. Where else can you get local, ORGANIC ginger??? Or fresh young jicama with the beans still attached (as opposed to the enormous, more mature jicama usually spied at Asian and Latino markets)? OK, OK, so those two particular examples are from farms growing around Fresno, which is almost 200 mi from San Francisco. But that's still a lot closer than China or Hawaii, which is where most of the ginger you see around here is from.
Plus, De'Santis Bella Frutta sells here. I'll have to muster up the courage to talk more with them, but they're Italian and grow all kinds of very unusual and unusually delicious fruits - sweet lemons, kaffir limes, buddha's hand citron, moscato grapes and AMAZING figs. You'll also find the best tomato deals around at this market. I don't usually like to tout how cheap food is (give the farmers a break! they work really hard!), but there's an unbelievable profusion of heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes to be had at this market. I got 2 pounds of mixed sungold cherry tomatoes for $3.00 from a Chinese vendor towards the edge of the market and $2.00/lb dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes. Can't beat that.

Here's today's haul: eggplants, peppers, the aforementioned moscato grapes, romanesco cauliflower, english peas, armenian cukes, romano beans, fava beans and glorious, glorious tomatoes.

OK, so it doesn't take a goddamn genius to come up with a salad (tomatoes, cukes and blanched romano beans). But it was good anyway.

Romesco cauliflower stew with cherry tomatoes, fava beans and chicken over brown rice!
There was quite a bit left over, but this dish worked nicely over pasta two days later. I separated out the chicken and shredded it, took the vegetables and all the liquid and pureed it with a bit of sour cream and asiago cheese. Voila! A totally different dish.

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