Mercado Kitchen: Valentina's Veggie Medley

We often think that the Winter months bring us a lack of variety in the kitchen. How do we make our meals fun and interesting and into something delectable we want to eat? The answer is simple. Vegetables. California's bounty Read more

Mercado Kitchen: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies by Anna of Three Babes Bakeshop   For the pumpkin puree: 1 small sugar pumpkin, or other culinary pumpkin from Blue House Farm Heat the oven to 350ºF. Remove the stem from the pumpkin, cut in half, and scrape out Read more

Wild for Mushrooms!

  It's hard to believe it's already September and Fall is upon us! While we may notice season changes a little less here in temperate San Francisco, the agricultural world lives by the seasons and there's no denying that we Read more

Mercado Kitchen: Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omelette)

After last week's gazpacho recipe, I thought I'd share another one of my favorite dishes I came across when I lived in Barcelona. Tortilla de patatas is a staple in Spanish households and perhaps one of the best-known Spanish dishes. Locals Read more

Mercado Kitchen: Bruschetta

Posted on by Gyongyi Gozon in Blog, Blue House Farm, Marla Bakery, Mercado Kitchen, Moua's Farm, Recipes, Tomatero Farm | Leave a comment

I am admittedly a tomato fanatic and I can honestly say that there are very few things that I look forward to more about summer than ripe tomatoes. Every week I fill my basket with at least a couple pounds of beautifully colored, sweet, juicy tomatoes. But even so, they only last a few days in my household. I just can’t help myself.

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Today I’m going to share my go-to bruschetta recipe which is one of my favorite tomato recipes. If you have seen the movie Julie & Julia, you might remember that one of the many mouthwatering cooking scenes involves Julie preparing this dish – which is what gave me the inspiration to make it the first time.

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The more colorful tomatoes you use the better. I also like to add some cherry tomatoes in order to have a variety of textures.

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While you could just stick the bread slices in the toaster, toasting them on butter puts this dish over the top.
DSC04949This is a very quick and easy recipe and I hope you’ll give it a try!

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This recipe was adapted from The Pioneer Woman‘s website:

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 5 heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 16 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette/ciabatta
  • 3-4 tablespoons Butter

Preparation

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir, lightly frying for about a minute, removing before the garlic gets too brown. Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Toss to combine, taste and adjust basil and salt to your liking.

Cut the baguette into diagonal slices to allow for the most surface area possible. Melt the butter in a large skillet with 2 teaspoons of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Grill the bread on both sides, making sure they’re nice and buttery. Cook till golden brown on both sides.

To serve, give the tomato mixture a final stir and spoon generously over the slices of bread. While this dish works wonderfully as an appetizer, I often make it the main course of my meal. Happy cooking!

Mercado Kitchen: Mexican Style Grilled Corn

Posted on by Gyongyi Gozon in Blog, Great Valley Poultry, Happy Boy Farms, Mercado Kitchen, Recipes | Leave a comment

With this heatwave going through the city, we wanted to share the recipe of one of our summer favorites: elote asado or Mexican style grilled corn.

You could use store bought mayonnaise for this recipe, but I find that the homemade version tastes better and is really quick to make. However, when using raw eggs, it’s important to buy high quality eggs that you trust have been handled well. You can get organic, pasture raised eggs from Great Valley Poultry at Mission Community Market every Thursday.

Similarly, you can use store bought chili powder to complete this dish, but upon running out said condiment one day, I realized that I can just use a homemade barbecue spice blend I had prepared for another recipe, and it turned out amazing. Of course, I’ll be sharing the ingredients below to that as well. Take advantage of fresh corn from Happy Boy Farms before the season is over!

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Yields 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 3 limes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (see recipe below)
  • 8 oz cotija, pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • Chili blend to taste (see recipe below)

Mayonnaise

  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon mustard (dijon or yellow mustard both work well)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)

You can use your food processor or your kitchen mixer (or even your bare hands if you want to break a sweat). Add egg, mustard, lemon juice, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Now the trick is to add the oil in tiny amounts – a few drops at a time, until you can see the mayo starting to thicken. This usually starts once I slowly added about a ¼ cup of the oil. After that, you can add the oil to the mixture a bit faster, maintaining a very thin stream as you pour it in. Taste it and adjust salt and lemon if needed. I usually add a bit of sugar to it, but it’s completely optional.

You can store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Chili blend (recipe adopted from The Chubby Vegetarian’s Signature Memphis Dry Rub)

  • 2 parts chipotle chili powder
  • 2 parts sweet paprika
  • 2 parts smoked paprika
  • 2 parts granulated garlic
  • 2 parts kosher salt
  • 2 parts cracked black pepper
  • 2 parts cumin
  • 2 parts dried thyme
  • 2 parts dried oregano
  • 1 part ground ginger

Mix all ingredients until they are equally distributed and store in a spice jar.

Corn

Clean corn and place into a large pot with enough water to cover. Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 10 minutes. When done cooking, stick them in the oven (in lieu of a grill) and broil them for about 5 minutes, turning them every now and again to develop an even brown color.

Now it’s finally time to assemble your dish!

  1. Rub each corn with half of a lime.
  2. Spread as much mayo on them as your heart desires.
  3. Cover with cheese.
  4. Sprinkle with chili blend to taste.

Enjoy!

Mercado Kitchen: Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

Posted on by Gyongyi Gozon in Blog, Blue House Farm, Happy Boy Farms, Mercado Kitchen, Moua's Farm, Recipes, Shoup Farms, Tomatero Farm | Leave a comment

This super easy and quick recipe can be summed up in one word: summer. As you have probably already guessed from the title, the main cast in this colorful salad are tomatoes, corn, and avocado.

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Tomatoes are at their peak season which means each bite is packed with a wonderfully delicious harmony of flavors from sweet to tangy. You could use frozen corn in this recipe, but why not take advantage of the fresh corn available at markets right now. Plus, they are quicker to prepare than you’d think (see below). Then there’s the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth avocado which adds an extra layer of deliciousness to this crowd pleasing dish. And finally, it’s all tossed in a lime and cilantro dressing for a bright and summer infused dish. Need I say more?

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You can pick up all the main ingredients from some of your favorite vendors at Mission Mercado and you likely already have the rest in your kitchen.

It’s a fail-proof recipe that’s a perfect addition to a picnic in the park, a potluck with friends or a quick weeknight dinner. Pair it with a fresh baguette or some grilled chicken and you got yourself a delicious and healthy treat.

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Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of fresh corn (or 2 cups frozen corn)
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Clean corn and place into a pot with enough water to cover. Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 10 minutes. When done cooking, I also like to stick them in the oven and broil them for about 5 minutes, turning them every now and again to develop an even toasted color. Once they’re cooled, cut the kernels off the cob.
  2. Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion in a large bowl. Mix together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Gently toss to mix and, if you can wait, chill for an hour to let the flavors blend.
  3. Enjoy all the compliments!

 

More Than a Vendor

Posted on by EmilyN in Vendor of the Week | Leave a comment

Sure, we know who has our favorite pluots or who bakes a mean vegan brownie, but every vendor has their own story. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine these people outside of the market setting, but many of our vendors have a lot going on outside of their market personas. Can you guess which vendor is a belly dancer or who works at an investment firm? The farmers market thing just seems so natural, but there are multiple layers to these proverbial onions!

Keep reading every week to catch a “vendor highlight” and learn about the magic that goes into those beans.

This week, we will highlight a dancer. She is also known as Maria Young, the vendor at the Crystal Eyes stand. Besides selling her beautiful gems and jewels, she is actively involved in the West African Dance scene. If you have never heard the West African rhythm, it is heavy in percussion and is based on the traditions found in West African regions from the coast to the highlands. Seeing a performance, or being a part of one, is a “therapeutic experience”. Maria’s favorite part is the drums and “getting lost in the beat.” She used to teach and lead classes in Northern California, but took a hiatus these last few years for other passions (like her gems and specialty stones).

However, she is getting back in the swing of things and would like to begin dancing more. Maria stated, “I’m older and cannot move like I used to, but man, it just feels good.” While we wish her luck in finding the best West African Dance crew, you can still expect to see Maria and Crystal Eyes every week at MCM. All of the items that lay upon her beautifully-decorated table are naturally-found materials. She mainly sells crystals, jewelry, incense, sage, and palo santo at the market each Thursday from 4-8pm.

Stop by this week and strike up a conversation with this San Francisco native and talented West African Dancer!

How You Like Dem Apples?

Posted on by Kailey Ulland in Blog | Leave a comment

pink-pearl1Perhaps one of the best things about this Summer-Fall hybrid season is apples! As many MCM shoppers know, everything you thought you knew about apples before is probably not even half the story.

With over 30 years of experience, Dave Hale and the whole Hale Apple Farm crew can find the fruit to mach your taste buds. Whether you are looking for something tart and crisp to bite or something soft to bake, they will have it. At the farm, you can expect to see cameos, red delicious, rome beauties, fujis, and more! However, the apple business has not stayed as sweet as the delicious fruit over the years. Dave-Pink-Pearl-2Back in Sonoma County, where Hale Apple Farm makes the magic happen, apple orchards have been moved aside for more profitable grapes. Even counting a two-buck-chuck, wine is just more profitable than apple juice. That, and because most people separate their favorite apples by flavor rather than orchard, branding is also more profitable in the wine industry, than for apples. There was an applesauce boom during WWII, but since then the price of an apple has fallen and changed the game for farmers. Sonoma went from 17,000 acres of apple orchards in 1947 to just over 2,000 today. For Hale Apple Farm, this means that they have had to down scale a number of times and now only sell directly at farmers markets like ours and to other trusted organizations. For the rest of us, this means that many grocery stores only carry a small selection of possible apple varieties. These apples usually come from orchards that have sold out to food corporations. Large scale production may make economic sense, but the flavor and variety of the apple can be sacrificed.

420ca346-d1f8-49ea-8c8e-33e7c59a4330Lucky for us, but this is not the route that Dave at Hale Apple Farms took. Up in Sonoma County, he still has his orchard with rows and rows of delicious apples ready to be sold at markets. Granted, the life of an apple farmer is not all cinnamon sticks and cider. In order to keep selling his fruit, Dave spends many long days driving to different markets, packing and repacking, driving and selling, to make it all work. “Like anything else, if you love it, it does not really matter what you have to do”. And thanks to that attitude, you can see Dave smiling and selling his sweet surprises Thursday to MCM. So if you stop by their stand and ask Dave, “how you like them apples?”, expect a passionate response.