SF Ferry Building Farmer’s Market 10/5/19

Whew! I was headed to the SF Ferry Building Farmer’s Market from Oakland this morning around 8:45am, when a 3.9 magnitude earthquake hit. I was on BART at that moment, which is one of my worst fears realized. It was fine. The train stopped for 5+ minutes. The conductor informed us that all BART trains were stopped for routine checks post-earthquake. Makes sense. Once we started moving, he informed us that our train was the last train of all to start moving. He could have left that out and no one would have been the wiser, but I giggled in the face of his honesty. And from there, I knew there was nowhere for my day to go but UP. And up it went.

I arrived at the farmer’s market and hit Acme Bread for my beloved pain au chocolat and a random loaf called Sweet Loaf. I figured I would slice it, save some for toast in the freezer, and leave some out on the counter to use for croutons tomorrow.

Then I started out in search of persimmons, lettuce, pomegranates, and any other veggie or fruit that caught my eye. I found a stand with many many many types of lettuce, and I grabbed a head of radicchio, romaine, and one I’d never heard of before — Pomegranate Crunch. It essentially looks and tastes like Red Leaf lettuce, so, it’s basically that. But with a fancy name. I heard the woman working the stand comparing a type of lettuce to Big Little Lies, except something having to do with lettuce. When it was for me to hand her my cash money, I told her I had just finished watching the series. Then we began talking about Liane Moriarty and libraries and books, and the people in line behind me were not pleased. Onward to the next stand!

Once the lettuce was safe, I traveled to a stand with pomegranates and a zillion sorts of tomatoes (like, 10). I purchased a Carolina Gold tomato, because I’m from South Carolina, so duh. Then the man working the stand suggested I also try the Cherokee Purple, so duh. So I headed out with a few tomatoes and a pomegranate. Thanks, everyone.

The next stand was Dirty Girl Produce. One of my favorite vendors, and it did not disappoint. I grabbed some very large parsley and kale, which prompted a conversation with the man working the stand regarding kale and aphids. Because I hate aphids. My kale was free of aphids. Sweet!

I approached the next stand in need of a few more things. I found a lovely head of green cabbage, the biggest shallots I’ve ever seen, and lemon verbena, all of which I was very excited about. From there, I hit the flower stand. I bought a huge bouquet of cosmos (for $7!) and collard greens. I continued my search for a few remaining items: lemons, persimmons, dried fruit, and nuts.

Persimmons were found at one of the last stands I visited, and the man working informed me that his was the only stand with persimmons right now, and earlier I was told persimmons would be at more stands in a couple of weeks. I also found dried cherries, shelled pistachios, and lemons.

And with that, my arms were falling off, so I knew it was time to head back to Oakland. No earthquakes hit while I was on the train, and it would have been amazing just for that, but my canvas bags also smelled of fresh lemon verbena and flowers and everything felt right as I looked out over the container ships and beyond into the bay.

As I write this, I’ve now finished prepping everything, and I’m sipping on some fresh lemon verbena tisane. I will post the recipe in just a bit. Along with more recipes based on what I bought today at the farmer’s market! xoxo -k

Roasted Sourdough with Smoked Salmon and Vegetables

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This isn’t a “recipe” so much as it is a way to combine ingredients on top of bread so that it’s a full-on meal with minimal effort.

I had all of this stuff on hand, some ingredients thanks to meal prep (quick pickled bell peppers), and some ingredients courtesy of my local farmer’s market (smoked salmon goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes, & roasted garlic sourdough bread).

I am not going to write a traditional recipe for most of this, because it doesn’t really need one. I started out by roasting the roasted garlic sourdough bread drizzled with olive oil in the oven on 400 for about 6 minutes. Note: Fresh bread can be sliced and then stored in the freezer. I store each slice in individual plastic bags and date and label them. Then I take them out and pop them in the oven with some olive oil whenever I’m ready to eat them.

Now you have roasted bread (any kind of bread’ll do). Next up, I have spread a harissa, cumin, and and chili goat milk cheese on the bread. Honestly, I almost just stopped here. Good cheese on good bread with good olive is all you really need. Alas, I then added a couple of slices of an heirloom tomato (I saved the rest of the tomato and threw it in a beef bolognese I made later that day). Then I added some greens — I used sweet mixed greens, but you can use anything. I have made this before with romaine and the additional crunch is very nice. Arugula would work great too. Use whatever you have on hand. Then I topped this with smoked salmon. I am lucky to have a wonderful vendor at my farmer’s market, and I definitely splurge on smoked salmon. I would recommend you do the same — sub-par smoked salmon isn’t very tasty and it could ruin your dish! (Okay, so just make sure that you like it first.)

The only part of this recipe that I made prior to assembling were the quick pickled sweet bell peppers. I recommend making this at the beginning of the week, and storing in its brine all week in the refrigerator. I top a lot of food with these guys, they add a nice sweet crunch that many dishes deserve in order to feel complete. I will post the recipe in just a moment.

On top of everything, add chopped dill (parsley or cilantro would be lovely additions as well), and add kosher sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Now you are ready for a delicious lunch, breakfast, dinner, or snack!

Quick Pickled Sweet Bell Peppers

Depending on how many bell peppers you have, you may need to adjust the amount of brine you are making. I typically use two rather large bell peppers, and I make sure that the bell peppers are completely covered by the liquid in the container I store it in.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bell peppers (I like to use two different colors like yellow and red)
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher sea salt

Directions:

  1. Deseed and remove the stems from the peppers.
  2. Slice lengthwise into about 1/4 of an inch.
  3. Add peppers to a glass container with a tight lid.
  4. Add vinegar, sugar, and salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring with a wooden spoon.
  5. Let cool completely.
  6. Add mixture to the glass container once cooled and toss to combine.
  7. Make sure peppers are completely covered and this should store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.