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Market Watch: This Week's Cream Of The Crop

If anyone has the inside scoop when it comes to the Ferry Plaza Farmers market it's Lulu Meyer, associate director of market operations at CUESA. You'll see her at the market, rain or shine. Every week, she'll be giving us her short list for the market—just in time for Saturday shopping. Go to cuesa.org for more information about farmers, what's in season and market goings-on.

I am obsessed with the English shelling peas from Iacopi Farms, especially when they are as fresh and tasty as they are right now. Louis Iacopi and his son Mike grow the peas along with beans, chards and other veggies on their farm in Half Moon Bay, where the cool coastal weather sweetens them up perfectly. There’s nothing better than spring peas and this time of year I add them to everything-- pasta dishes, soups, salads, scrambled eggs – but my favorite way to enjoy them is straight from the pod.

Lucero Organic Farms is back in the market with brimming baskets of their long stemmed seascape strawberries. Farmer Ben Lucero, his wife Karen and his son Curtis grow these beautiful berries on their 25 acre farm in Lodi. The seascapes—a sweeter and lower acid variety-- are at their prime this week and I happily picked up a few baskets to take home. The Lucero’s are known to sell out so make sure to get to the market early to get your hands on a basket of your own.

John Lagier of Lagier Ranches grows almonds, grapes, paw paws and berries on his land in Escalon. Recently John has started making and bottling almond milk to sell at the market. He offers an unsweetened variety of this tasty and heart healthy milk alternative and a sweet version made with organic medjool dates. This morning, I poured the sweet almond milk over granola and Lucero’s seascapes and it added a nutty flavor that was perfect for breakfast.

Shogun Fish Company returns this week and fish vendor Larry Miyamura and his wife Rosalyn will be bringing local black cod (or Sablefish), sand dabs, and sardines—one of my personal favorites—as well as other seafood sourced from a variety of fisheries. Due to the cancellation of the season, Larry won’t have local Chinook salmon this year, but will be offering salmon caught by a small-scale Alaskan fisherman who is dedicated to sustainability. For more information about Shogun and the state of local salmon fishing, be sure to check out the CUESA e-letter this Friday.

As the weather warms up the green garlic from Knoll Farms will be nearing the end of its season. These young shoots will eventually become the garlic bulbs we’re all familiar with, but for a few weeks longer the ones that make it to market can provide a mild, fresh twist in any recipe that calls for garlic. Green garlic is so versatile it gets a lot of use in my kitchen and I’ll be loading up on the fragrant stalks to get my fill before they’re gone.