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Market Watch: The Bitter, The Sweet and the Tart

From the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market to you: Lulu Meyer tells us what's in season, what to shop for and what to cook up.

After a little time off around the holidays to celebrate and share a few wonderful, albeit incredibly rich, meals with friends and family, I am excited to be back at the market surrounded by fresh produce. In fact, I’ve made a pact with myself to eat a little healthier this year. At the market this week I’ll be stocking up on my mid-winter favorites, including:

Winter chicories like radicchio, pan de zucchero and castelfranco from County Line Harvest, which are mild this time of year but have just enough bitter to hold up in this hearty winter salad.                                              

Root vegetables of all types, especially carrots, turnips and rutabagas from Tierra Vegetables and Eatwell Farms. Cold weather encourages the starches in these vegetables to convert to sugars, making them even sweeter and tastier than they are at other times of year.                                                                                             

Meyer lemons and blood oranges from Hamada Farms and Oro Blanco grapefruit from Tory Farms—all at their peak and having an amazing season so far.

Rapini from Dirty Girl Farms, which I love sautéed and sprinkled with dried pepper flakes from Allstar Organics.

• Pomegranate juice from Twin Girl Farms, perfectly sweet and tart. It’s just right for a morning antioxidant boost.

• While some market products—like dates, potatoes, fresh cheeses and pastured eggs—are winding down for now, this week we’ll see the return of the first tulips of the year at McGinnis Ranch and Thomas Family Farms. With other bulb flowers returning to market in the next few weeks and Will Brokaw’s avocados only a month away it would seem that spring might not be far behind.