Friday, September 14, 2012

Spotlight on Pluots

The weather in San Francisco has been getting me down this past month, but I'm so pleased and excited to be getting some sun! Our undernourished plants are starting to put out new leaves, there's fresh pavement and bike lanes all over the city, and pluots, the perfect bike-sized snack, are at the market!

Pluots, you say? Not plumcots, not apriums, but pluots, a plum crossed with an apricot, and then crossed again as a second generation. Pluots are brightly colored, crunchy and sweet. 

While there are many varieties, I can never remember if my favorite is the flavor delight, flavor fall, flavor finale, flavor grenade, flavor heart, flavor jewel, flavor king, flavor prince, flavor penguin (!), flavor queen, flavor rich, flavor royal, or flavor supreme. So I usually just get one of each!

You can find many of these varieties of pluots from Twin Girls Farm or K & J Orchards, at the Ferry Building Tuesday and Saturday, and at the Mission Mercado Thursday, or from Kashiwase Farms at Ft. Mason or Inner Sunset Sundays, 4th and Market Tuesdays, and the Upper Haight Wednesdays.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Spotlight on Collard Greens

This week we picked up some fresh young collard greens from Serendipity 
Farms at the Castro Farmers Market (Weds, 4-8pm). Serendipity, located 
near the coast in Carmel Valley, has a reputation for bringing the sweetest 
greens to market. The collards are no exception, with a sugary stem and a 
good strong bite to the leaves. 

Collards are at the top of the charts for nutrient density (using the ANDI system), 
which measures the nutrients delivered per calorie. They are a sturdy and versatile 
green, good in combination with grains, beans, meats, and even fruits. 

For the sweet tooth:

1 onion, sliced into thin rings
1 bunch collard greens, washed and cut
1 apple, thinly sliced
1-2 cups cooked pinto beans
2 T raisins
2 T olive oil

In a hot skillet, add olive oil and onions. Cook on medium heat until caramelized, 
about 10 minutes.
Add apple slices until lightly browned.
Add collard greens, stirring quickly so the leaves are coated with oil. Add more 
oil if necessary. Salt while cooking.
Add pinto beans, until they are heated through.
Stir in raisins, if desired, and serve.

For a savory dish:

1 bunch collard greens
1-2 T olive oil
1/2 - 1 t gluten-free tamari or balsamic vinegar
3-4 strips bacon, if desired

For a simpler savory dish, saute collards in olive oil with some tamari or vinegar. 
Cook on high until leaves turn bright green but are still crunchy. Serve with crisp 
bacon if desired. Brown rice is a perfect accompaniment.

You can find collard greens from the following farms:

Serendipity Farms - Castro, Ft. Mason, Sunset, Divisadero, Temescal
Tomatero Farms - Upper Haight, Mission Community Market
Blue House Farm - Upper Haight, Mission Community Market
Fifth Crow Farm - Sunset, Castro

Monday, September 3, 2012

Spotlight on Figs

Hello hello!

It's great to be back home in chilly, crisp San Francisco. The past week has 
been a great adventure, involving trains, bikes, highways, strip malls, family, 
and dolphins. Here's a little taste:

This week, we'll be making an old favorite, fig rosemary bread. The bread uses 
house-dried mission figs from Arata Farms, and fresh organic rosemary from 
Serendipity Farms. Order yours here today! (Photo by Vanessa Christie)

Figs, as it turns out, are a "false fruit," a sort of inside-out edible flower with 
seeds in the interior. As you may imagine, the pollination of an inside-out flower 
can be difficult. There are a few varieties of fig that do not require pollination to 
grow, and those are what you'll be seeing in the markets (black mission, turkey, 

I use figs as an appetizer or refreshing snack:

1. Serve sliced in half with a soft but tart cheese (try the sheep feta from 
Swallow Valley Farm, available at the Upper Haight, Sunset, and 
Divisadero Markets). 
2. Drizzle with some local honey (CityBees at the Castro and Sunset Markets).


1. Cut in half, drizzle with honey and fresh thyme leaves (Happy Boy Farms, 
Castro, Noe Valley, Ft. Mason, Mission Community Market, or North Berkeley 
2. Bake at 350 until warm and soft, about 15 minutes.

Pick up a basket of figs today! You can find figs from Arata Farms at the Castro 
Market, Wednesdays from 4-8. Many vendors have figs for sale at the Saturday 
Ferry Plaza Market, and Capay Valley Farms has a gorgeous crop of candystripe 
fig (green striped exterior with a watermelon pink interior) at the Sunset Market.