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For The Love Of Food

by | Mar 22, 2013
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This will be the last link roundup for a few weeks, since next Friday I’ll be traveling for my wedding (eeek!) and the following week I’ll be on my honeymoon (less scary, but still – eeek!). I’ll cue up some good stuff from the archives while I’m away, and of course share some pics. Wish me luck!

This week from around the internet Rob Rhinehart decides food is overrated, being healthy is easier when you enjoy it, and how your slicing method affects onion pungency.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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Farmers Market Update: Speechless

by | May 1, 2011
Perfect Rainbow Chard

Perfect Rainbow Chard

Everything was so beautiful at the farmers market this weekend, I’m going to let my images speak for themselves.

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Spring Strawberries

Spring Strawberries

Red Radishes

Red Radishes

Pea Tendrils

Pea Tendrils

Lovely Spring Onions

Lovely Spring Onions

Organic Green Garlic

Organic Green Garlic

Heirloom Tomato

Heirloom Tomato

Fresh Sage

Fresh Sage

Lovely Carrots

Lovely Carrots

Baby Fava Beans

Baby Fava Beans

Early Cherries

Early Cherries

Bergamont & Chocolate Mint

Bergamont & Chocolate Mint

Purple Flowers

Purple Flowers

Today’s purchases:

Is your farmers market open yet?

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Farmers Market Update: Spring Treasures

by | Apr 17, 2011
Purple Spring Onions

Purple Spring Onions

I’m not sure I’ve done enough yet this year to illustrate what a truly special season spring can be. In the springtime, everything is new.

Breathtaking Tulips

Breathtaking Tulips

We get the first greens and fresh colors since the final harvest in autumn, but in the spring everything is sweeter and more delicate.

Bloomsdale Spinach

Bloomsdale Spinach

We don’t just have garlic, we have the sweeter and more subtle green garlic. Carrots, while large and husky in the winter are small and tender in the spring. These baby carrots taste nothing like the fake, flavorless “baby carrots” that come in big bags at the supermarket. These carrots are special.

Real Baby Carrots

Real Baby Carrots

Swiss and rainbow chard are better right now then they are at any other time of year. They’re so beautiful it’s hard to not bring extra home to put into a vase.

Rainbow Chard

Rainbow Chard

Artichokes and asparagus are also peaking right now. I was so overwhelmed by the sweet, earthy smell of artichokes when I walked up to the farm stand that I forgot to actually take a photo of the beautiful vegetables (there are plenty from previous weeks if you want a peek).

Though most people don’t think about eggs as a seasonal product, they are. Chickens don’t lay as many eggs when it’s cold. Plus, pastured grass is lush and filled with plump, tasty bugs once spring arrives. We got some pullet eggs this morning from Eatwell Farm. We had asked for the extra-large eggs, but apparently they sold out before the market even opened this morning. They’re that good.

Pasture Raised Eggs

Pasture Raised Eggs

For farmers market noobies, one of the most impressive things you can introduce them to is Meyer lemons. Lemons are sour and their peels are bitter, right? Not Meyers. While they aren’t exactly sweet, their acid is not harsh. And their peels are so thin and tender you can eat them raw. Meyer lemons are divine.

Perfect Meyer Lemons

Perfect Meyer Lemons

But one of the best aspects of spring is the hints of summer that sneak in from week to week. Now we have strawberries, and they’re actually getting good.

Endless Strawberries

Endless Strawberries

We also have some early tomatoes and ripe, creamy avocados, two of my absolute favorite summer ingredients.

Haas Avocados

Haas Avocados

As a last throwback to winter I plan to make a soup with one of these celery roots later this week.

Celery Root

Celery Root

Today’s purchases:

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Farmers Market Update: Halloween

by | Oct 31, 2010
Hanging Pomegranates

Hanging Pomegranates

It’s Halloween weekend, always one of my favorite times to visit the beautiful San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Baby Pumpkins

Baby Pumpkins

Crazy Farmer

Crazy Farmer

I can’t tell you how anxious I was to get to the market this weekend. I’ve been traveling a lot and haven’t been around on a weekend in what feels like forever.

At this point I’ve come to terms with the fact that summer is over and I’m completely ready to embrace autumn. Today I stocked up on some of my favorite autumn veggies like Delicata squash and Brussels sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts Stalk

Brussels Sprouts Stalk

Delicata Squash

Delicata Squash

I was also excited to get my hands on some apples today. The Arkansas black apple I tried may have been the best apple I’ve ever had in my life. It was crisp, slightly sweet and had distinctive notes of cinnamon. Mind blowing. But the star fruits right now are the pomegranates. It’s also a great time for grapes and Fuyu persimmons.

Cut Pomegranate

Cut Pomegranate

This is a particularly interesting time of year for California produce. Some of the unusual items I found today include heirloom tobacco leaves and dried sunflower seeds. The tobacco wasn’t cured, so is not yet smokable.

Dried Sunflower Seeds

Dried Sunflower Seeds

Dried Heirloom Tobacco

Dried Heirloom Tobacco

You can also find an assortment of root vegetables. Carrots and scarlet turnips were particularly beautiful this week. Carrots have been turning up on a lot of menus around the city lately.

Scarlet Turnips

Scarlet Turnips

Carrots

Carrots.

The onions and sunchokes are also remarkable.

Sunchokes

Sunchokes

Spanish Onions

Spanish Onions

But despite the new arrivals, we still have a terrific selection of late summer vegetables like peppers, eggplant and tomatoes.

Assorted Eggplant

Assorted Eggplant

Shishito Peppers

Shishito Peppers

Some final notes: Dates are on their way out (get them while you can) and Meyer lemons are on their way in.

First Meyer Lemons

First Meyer Lemons

Dates

Dates

Today’s purchases:

What did you find at the market this week?

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Farmers Market Update: iPhone 4 FTW!

by | Aug 15, 2010
Summer Squash

Summer Squash

It was a beautiful day today in San Francisco. I’m feeling much better and was super excited to hit up the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and snap some photos.

Apparently though, I’m still not quite in top form. When I tried to take a picture of these beautiful grapes, my camera smugly informed me that it did not contain its memory card. PhotoFAIL. Luckily, I had my trusty iPhone 4.

Lovely Grapes

Lovely Grapes

I was curious how the new iPhone would perform at the farmers market, and today it had it’s chance to prove itself. I still think I prefer my regular Canon SD900, but overall I was pretty impressed with my pocket phone. What do you think?

Not too much has changed at the market from last week. The late summer produce is beautiful, especially the eggplants, peppers, peaches and plums.

French Prunes

French Prunes

Rosa Bianca Eggplants

Rosa Bianca Eggplants

The beets have been marvelous (and impressive!), as are the summer squash.

Magda Cousa Squash

Magda Cousa Squash

Impressive Beetroot

Impressive Beetroot

I’m happy to see green bean season is starting to take off. We are experimenting with pickling some beans this weekend. Recipe on its way.

Pickled Blue Lake Beans

Pickled Blue Lake Beans

Don’t forget the greens and onions either, they are all amazing this time of year.

Spanish Onions

Spanish Onions

Escarole

Escarole

Fresh chamomile was nice to find today as well.

Seedless Grapes

Seedless Grapes

Chamomile

Chamomile

Today’s purchases:

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Farmers Market Update: Ode To Summer

by | Jul 11, 2010
White Nectarines

White Nectarines

Dear Readers,

I know that many of you enjoy the farmers market and visit it regularly, and if this describes you I’m sure you already know what I’m about to write.

For those of you who like the farmers market but find yourself cooking up excuses each week not to go, it is time to talk yourself out of that habit. At least this once. If you’re ever going to make visiting your farmers market a priority, now is the time. This is the season when a taste of a simple plum can change your life (I got mine from Paradez Farms).

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Pluot Slices

Pluot Slices

There are only a few weeks of the year when berries and stone fruits haunt the market simultaneously, when you can get sweet cherries and perfect peaches. Even the tomatoes now would never be mistaken for anything other than a fruit. At this time of year it is possible to win friends with salad (I’ve done it many times already).

Summer Squash

Summer Squash

Green Chard

Green Chard

Today I saw children begging their parents to buy foods that most of us grew up hating (beets!). And I even bought a bag of broccoli simply because it was so cute. That’s right, even vegetables are getting their moment in the sun.

Adorable Broccoli

Adorable Broccoli

Summer Beets

Summer Beets

(the garlic and onions are photogenic??)

Summer Onions

Summer Onions

Purple Garlic

Purple Garlic

An added bonus is the late summer produce is just beginning to arrive as well. Today I bought my first corn, and saw eggplants available at a few different stands.

Bodacious Yellow Corn

Bodacious Yellow Corn

Mission and adriatic figs are also available, and surprisingly sweet for this early in the season. I even spied a few melons hanging out today, though I was too busy cradling peaches and nectarines to get one home safely.

Mission Figs

Mission Figs

First Eggplants

First Eggplants

And for today’s Moment of Zen, I present: kohlrabi.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Enjoy the summer! And if you discover or learn to love anything new this year, please come tell us about it.

xoxox
Darya

Today’s purchases:

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Farmers Market Update: Father’s Day

by | Jun 20, 2010
Assorted Sweet Peppers

Assorted Sweet Peppers

I want to start today by saying there is no one on earth I love more than my dad. Walking around the farmers market this weekend I wished more than anything that he could be with me to see and taste all the amazing produce we have right now here in San Francisco. He’s such a sucker for good food made or grown by people and families who truly care about what they’re doing. I know he’d love it here and I can’t wait until he visits next.

This is a particularly special time of year for fruit lovers. Last week the best cherries were the deep red bing and brooks varieties, but this week the yellow-red rainier cherries finally came into their own, rivaling the sweetness of even the best of the red cherries.

Rainier & Bing Cherries

Rainier & Bing Cherries

White Peaches

White Peaches

We are also in the middle of the fleeting dark berry season. Most of the dark berries are hybrids of blackberries and raspberries. Boysenberries are the most well known hybrid, but today I also found fresh logan and olallie berries. Olallies are my dad’s favorite (I bought 3 boxes in his honor).

Peaches & Nectarines

Peaches & Nectarines

Mature Fava Beans

Mature Fava Beans

But of course, fruit is not all that is special about this time of year. The fava beans are peaking and now’s your chance to get in on this springtime delicacy. I’ll be featuring a spectacular recipe for a Persian fava bean stew next week.

Rainbow Chard

Rainbow Chard

Squash Blossoms

Squash Blossoms

Also in the early summer you can find beautiful squash blossoms. These are a wonderful treat that pair particularly well with eggs or on pizza. They are also delicious stuffed with goat cheese and herbs, and fried in tempura batter. Decadent, but certainly worth it.

Spanish Red Garlic

Spanish Red Garlic

Sweet Red Onions

Sweet Red Onions

Garlic and onions, while generally consistent, are at their best this time of year. It is nearly impossible for Photoshop to do justice to the neon fuchsia color of the sweet red onions in this photo, but in person they seemed to almost glow with radiance in the morning sun.

Lavendar and Sweet Peas

Lavendar and Sweet Peas

Violet Sweet Peppers

Violet Sweet Peppers

Looking ahead, peppers are what I am most excited about in the coming months, but they are already starting to impress me with their smell and color. This is, however, a fantastic time to start buying pimientos de padrón (another of Dad’s favorites), as they will continue to get spicier as the season progresses.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

xoxo

Today’s purchases:

What’s your dad’s favorite fresh produce?

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Farmers Market Update: Perfect Day

by | May 30, 2010
Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

Saturday was a perfect day in San Francisco. It was warm, clear and beautiful. The farmers market was full of cherries, peaches and strawberries, and I tasted the best apricot ever at Frog Hollow Farm.

Basically it was too nice to stay inside writing about it. Photos will have to suffice today.

Bing Cherries

Bing Cherries

Green Garlic

Green Garlic

Loquats

Loquats

Peppers

Peppers

Potatoes

Potatoes

Red Onions

Red Onions

Saturn Peaches

Saturn Peaches

Shallots

Shallots

White Peaches & Apricots

White Peaches & Apricots

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Farmers Market Update: Santa’s Secret

by | Dec 20, 2009
Santa Claus

Santa Claus

Looks like I’m not the only one doing some last minute Christmas shopping this year.

I spied Santa Claus himself having lunch at the farmers market in San Francisco. You can’t really blame him either, because I doubt they are getting much good winter produce at the North Pole. He looks like he may have even lost some weight!

Hopefully he found some of the awesome citrus fruit available this time of year as well as these red Livermore walnuts from Hamada Farms, since they match his outfit.

Livermore Red Walnuts

Livermore Red Walnuts

Clementines

Clementines

And I wonder if Santa is the one responsible for hanging mistletoe all over the city? San Francisco residents BEWARE!

Mistletoe

Mistletoe

As for my own shopping, I actually didn’t buy much since I’m leaving town in a couple of days. I’m loving the Tuscan kale and other thick winter greens right now. And, as always, the Meyer lemons.

Greens & Fennel

Greens & Fennel

Kale, Radishes & Lemons

Kale, Radishes & Lemons

I also grabbed what will likely be my last bag of Padrones until next summer.

Carrots

Carrots

Pimientos de Padron

Pimientos de Padron

Unfortunately I had to skip this challenge guaranteeing the best cabbage ever, because I already had too much food. If it’s still available in two weeks though, I’m totally on it.

Persimmons

Persimmons

Best Cabbage Ever

Best Cabbage Ever

The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market will be closed next week, December 26, so I’ll be taking the day off.

Spanish Onions

Spanish Onions

I hope you all have a delicious holiday!

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