Farmers Market Update: You Are SO Jealous

by | Mar 28, 2009
Chioggia Radicchio

Chioggia Radicchio

I know, this is kind of mean. Many of you have expressed your frustrations about the shabbiness or nonexistentness of your own local farmers markets. But I can’t help but brag about all the great spring veggie action we have going on here in San Francisco. Try to think of it as inspiration for what you have to look forward to….



What I am most excited about today is that my bounty is markedly different from what I have been buying all winter. And it is all the more wonderful because it is easily 75 degrees and gorgeous today. (Don’t be too jealous of this, because one of the worst things about living in San Francisco is summertime fog–truly sunny days are rare).

At the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market a few different vendors were selling sorrel today, so I bought some from Capay organics. Sorrel is interesting because its flavor puts it somewhere between a vegetable and an herb. When it is older it becomes more acidic and has an almost lemon-like flavor. Younger it is more mild and tastes closer to spinach. I am thinking about tossing mine up with some grilled fennel and lemon scented oil. I had a similar dish (minus the sorrel) recently at Pizzeria Delfina, and it was incredible.

Flowering Arugula

Flowering Arugula

Last weekend on the KCRW podcast, Good Food, there was a wonderful segment about arugula flowers at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, so I had to buy those this week too.

Other 2009 first purchases today were the small Mediterranean style cucumbers and Belgian endive from Madison Growers. (Maybe I will may actually make a salad this weekend?) The kumquats were also finally sweet enough to buy.

Mediterranean Cucumbers

Mediterranean Cucumbers

Last but not least, Zuckerman’s is again offering their famous asparagus ravioli and I bought some. They recommended I prepare it with just olive oil and some grated Parmesan cheese, but I think I have had enough of taking serving suggestions from farmers for a couple weeks. I have a few of my own tricks I am excited to try on this springtime treat (hint: another excuse to use the lemon oil I bought today). I will certainly keep you posted.

Today’s Purchases:

Belgian Endives

Belgian Endives

What are you most jealous of?

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13 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: You Are SO Jealous”

  1. Tiff says:

    What am I most jealous of? How about everything……
    I’ve never tried Sorrel, but it looks good I guess.

  2. Dave says:

    As I prepare to leave a snowstorm in Chicago back to my home in southeast Ohio, I am soooo jealous. Athens (OH) has a nice farmer’s market, but it’s not a great agricultural area and we won’t see too many things for at least another month. It would be wonderful to live close to a bountiful farming area. Sounds like SF has a great one.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Ouch, that’s brutal. Hang in there, winter is almost over. And yes, if you ever come to SF be sure to stop by the Ferry Building on Saturday morning. It is quite an experience!

  3. summertomato fanboy says:

    Love your blog darya, I’ve been following for a while now and I love your new site! And yes, I am SO jealous of your farmers market. Here in Texas things can get pretty barren, although we do have a regular market; its really nothing like all the stuff you have though. Keep up the good work with the great posts and great pictures!

  4. Cheryl says:

    I’m most jealous of the lemon oil and the flowering arugula – so cute!!

  5. Melissa says:

    grilled fennel – yum! i love fennel – grilled, raw, braised, roasted – seriously, i would love to be on an all-fennel diet! i saw baby fennel at the market the other day, which i’ve never tried – have you? how does the taste compare?
    i love the new blog format, btw!

  6. Mike says:

    Great FMUs as always, at least something we can depend on in life!

  7. Dee Wilcox says:

    Curious what you ended up doing with your arugula flowers? I’m growing rustic arugula right now (so easy, so delicious), and some of the plants just started flowering. So is my kale. I would love to know of a recipe I can use them in!

    • Darya Pino says:

      How exciting!! It seemed to me that the flowers were very delicate, so I didn’t want to cook them with anything warm. I instead chose to sprinkle them on salads and other cold dishes. One thing I noticed was that some of the stems were kind of tough and woody, so be sure to pick through them and just get the delicate stuff.

  8. Vee says:

    We used to grow our own sorrel and now we get it from someone else, and I love the herb. Amazing in soups (since we’re russian we’ve been eating sorrel for generations). The unique, somewhat sour taste is refreshing and satisfying. This herb needs to make a comeback in the U.S.

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