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Market Watch: 4505 Does Burgers, Berry Bash and Red Hot Garlic

The Thursday market was yesterday, from 10 am to 2 pm. Click here to see what new lunch options there were, such as Namu's BBQ Belly Sandwich, chorizo-potato tacos and Ambrosia-melon agua fresca from Tacolicious, and 100% grass fed Magruder Ranch Cheeseburger on a sesame bun from 4505 Meats. Don't miss out next week!

This Saturday, CUESA will host our annual Berry Bash to celebrate the peak of summer berry production. In the Dacor teaching kitchen, Chef Michael Weller of the California Culinary Academy will demonstrating berry-centric recipes offering samples to enjoy and recipes to take home. In the back plaza, you can stop by the berry tasting booth to learn facts about the health benefits of berries, pick up recipe ideas and, of course, to taste and explore the many varieties you can find at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

June Taylor was inspired by berries this month herself and is now making three new wonderful products—all featuring the tayberry, a delightful cross between the raspberry and the blackberry. June’s Tayberry conserve, Tayberry syrup and Tayberries in Kirsch capture the essence of this tart summer treat. The conserve would make a fantastic toast topper, the tayberry syrup would be excellent in a Kir Royale, and the tayberries in Kirsch are a decadent way to take vanilla ice cream from boring to beautiful. June also frequently offers hands-on conserve making classes at The Still Room in Berkeley so stop by her booth on Saturdays to see what she ahs coming up.

I spotted fresh garbanzo beans at the Catalan Farm booth this past week and was intrigued to experiment with this edible legume. Also known as chickpeas, garbanzos are typically found dried or canned, but in their raw green state they appear in small pods and have a flavor that is clean and grassy, similar to fresh peas or young favas. While they can be roasted, sautéed or even used to make a raw hummus, I think blanched fresh garbanzos with a dash of chili powder from Tierra Vegetables and a squeeze of lime are the perfect easy party snack.

Thomas Family Farms of Corralitos has just joined our market with cut flowers, plums, peaches, new potatoes, summer squash and garlic. Farmer Josh Thomas and his wife Kari took over the family farm when Josh’s father Jerry retired in 2004. They grow an impressive variety of crops on their 11 acre organic farm in Santa Cruz County including an unusual hard necked variety known as Korean Red Hot garlic that is very spicy when raw but mellows and turns sweetens when roasted. The Thomas duo will be bringing the fruits of their labor each week to our new Thursday market.

When summer heats up at Short Night Farm, the okra is ready for market. Brothers Jeff and Pat McAravy grow three varieties—Annie Oakley, Cajun Delight and purple okra—on their farm in Dunnigan, CA. Okra, a gumbo staple, is also wonderful pickled and has a flavor that works well when stewed with other summer favorites like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.