Farmers Market Update: Boot Camp

by | Jul 10, 2011
Green Zebra Tomatos

Green Zebra Tomatos

This weekend marked the first ever Summer Tomato Farmers Market Boot Camp! A small group of people met up with me at the farmers market for a tour and lessons on how to tackle shopping when overwhelmed with awesomeness.

First Farmers Market Boot Camp

First Farmers Market Boot Camp

I had such a good time with the class that I scheduled another one in two weeks, and I expect to be doing more throughout the summer. If you’re in San Francisco for one of them I’d love to meet you.

Dirty Girl Strawberries

Dirty Girl Strawberries

We went a little nuts today, I’ll admit. I got so excited explaining to the group how good everything is I bought way more stuff than I normally do. I don’t regret a bit of it, and I’ll certainly eat well this week, but if you compare today’s shopping list (below) with previous weeks you’ll see what I mean. It was amazing.

Tokyo Turnips

Tokyo Turnips

SF has officially migrated to summer. The stone fruits (those with pits like cherries, plums, peaches, etc.) are out of control delicious right now. At the sampling dishes we all had the same experience: 1) Gently choose fruit piece with tongs, 2) place fruit in mouth, 3) moment of silence, 4) “Oh my god. I have to buy those.” Today it was the yummy rosa pluots that had us all hypnotized.

Yummy Rosa Pluots

Yummy Rosa Pluots

Fruit is always spectacular, but for my day-to-day cooking I’m most excited about all the fresh greens, vegetables and herbs.

Lemon Cucumbers

Lemon Cucumbers

I’ve been making the best salads with radishes, turnips, carrots, cucumbers and other bits of deliciousness.

Summer Tomatoes

Summer Tomatoes

Today I even got some green zebra heirloom tomatoes (top) to add to the salad mix.

Salad Fixins

Salad Fixins

The shear volume of herbs is also incredible. Today we found not one, not two, but four different varietals of basil. There was sweet Italian basil, Thai basil, purple basil and lemon basil. Who knew?

Lemon Basil

Lemon Basil

I also found chervil at the market today, an herb I’ve read about but never tried (pics weren’t that great). Any serving suggests are welcome.

Purple Basil

Purple Basil

Other summer vegetables are also starting to appear. For the past few weeks I haven’t been able to get enough summer squash. The yellow and green zephyr squash I’ve been getting are so good when cooked with eggs I sometimes mistake it for cheese. I know it sounds weird, but it’s something about the chewy texture and earthy, salty, sweet texture that puts the zucchini I grew up eating to shame. These days you might be lucky enough to find squash with their blossoms still attached.

Zucchini Flowers

Zucchini Flowers

I was excited to see yellow wax and green beans this week, they always look so inviting it’s almost impossible to resist digging your hand into the basket and grabbing some to take home.

Yellow and Green Beans

Yellow and Green Beans

Oh yeah, and I discovered a variety of kale today I’d never heard of before. Anyone familiar with spigariello kale? I didn’t have room for it in my bag this week, but I’ll probably pick some up next time I see it.

Spigariello Kale

Spigariello Kale

Every week I see more varieties of peppers, which makes me ecstatic. Peppers might be my favorite summer treat. These padrons are a little ripe for my taste (they’re best when dark green), but they sure look pretty.

Padrons

Padrons

I also saw corn for the first time this week, and I went ahead and grabbed an ear, just in case. I’m thinking I’m going to throw it in a stir fry with peppers, beans, squash, cilantro and tomatoes. Yum.

First White Corn

First White Corn

I saw okra too, but I did manage to restrain myself from this one. Next week.

Okra

Okra

Did I mention that the flowers are beautiful too? I love this time of year.

Sunflower

Sunflower

Today’s purchases (~$55):

What did you find at the market this week?

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8 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: Boot Camp”

  1. trudy says:

    Love looking at the site and reading about SF market. But……I’m amazed at the pictures, not just of food. The visitors are wearing long sleeves and jackets. Here it was 105 at noon and 100 at 7 pm. Oh for some cool air and some rain. Gardens and animals are really suffering, not to mention the people without ac.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Haha, it’s a little known secret that SF is freezing in the summer. It was a chilly morning, but cleared up later. It’s raining right now.

      But… last weekend was 90 degrees and awesome. It’s like a holiday when that happens here (and this time it coincided with a real holiday as luck would have it) and I didn’t even put up my post last week because I couldn’t bare to stay inside and work on it!

  2. Looks and sounds amazing. You’ll have to do one here in Tokyo!

  3. Tandy says:

    I am so glad I found you blog, even if I just have to stare at the awesome produce! You are so lucky to have that on your doorstep. There are 64 types of basil – isn’t that amazing. I grow 4 of them, and not one of them is lemon basil so I will add that to my list. I do a weekly herb post when I have time – chervil due in a few weeks, but I am sure you cannot wait that long so I look forward to seeing what you do with it 🙂

  4. Susan says:

    I bought some spigariello this past weekend at a farmers market in Chicago and it was really good. You should definitely try some!

  5. k says:

    CHERVIL:

    You know that goats cheese you like – chop some chervil up and mix in.
    And then sttuff the zucchini flowers with it
    Asparagus, lemon juice and chervil. (Or green beans if no asparagus)
    radish and pear and chervil and pea salad.

    Chervil has a very mild anise taste, so can be used in place of fennel or dill, but it is a very very mild flavour, so you can also use it in dishes that require parsley – it gives a very delicate flavour, and is used a lot in french cooking, especially in fines herbs or bouuquett garni.
    Enjoy, looks delicious!

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