Market Watch: Flying Saucers Sighted, Plus Kraut Galore


Dahlias were out in full force and in just about every color at Cypress Flower Farm this week. Farmer Randy Dardanelle grows these summer beauties on his 12-acre farm in Moss Beach. This flamboyant flower, a native to Mexico and Central America, is also the official flower of San Francisco. It’s hard not to swoon over these delicate blooms in all their bright hues and intricate forms.

The Thursday Ferry Plaza Farmers market just continues to grow each week with new and delicious offerings. Our newest Thursday vendor Kathryn Lukas of Farmhouse Culture joined us last week with her line of naturally fermented sauerkrauts. Each batch of Kathryn’s krauts is barrel-fermented and made by hand using produce sourced from her neighboring farms in the Santa Cruz area. My personal favorite is the spicy Holy Smokes Kraut. It’s similar to Curtido—a Salvadoran cabbage relish classically served alongside pupusas—with oak-smoked jalapenos, daikon radish, sweet onions, carrots and of course cabbage fermented in pineapple juice and is the perfect topping to a barbequed burger or sandwich.

This weekend, I whipped up a batch of lime-basil pesto to serve with the lemon-ricotta ravioli I scored at The Pasta Shop’s booth. The mild sweet lime flavor of the pesto married beautifully with the more assertive lemon pasta and its creamy ricotta filling. Pasta Shop always has a tantalizing array of seasonal pastas and sauces available alongside standards such as fresh egg fettuccini, penne, and cheese filled tortellinis.

Farmer Brad Payne of Payne Family Farms wasn’t able to join us last year because lousy weather meant a lack of a crop to bring to market. This year however, the weather behaved and Brad is back with a vengeance bringing his sweet organic corn, Armenian cucumbers, peppers and Ambrosia melons each Saturday for the next few months. The Ambrosia melon, an eastern variety with its peachy orange flesh and delicate skin, has an aroma that is heavenly, followed by a sweet luscious flavor.

Summer squash comes in many shapes and sizes but this week our market chef, Sarah Henkin, was wild about the Flying Saucer squash at Lucero Organics. Chef Sarah tells me these palm-sized spheres—a hybrid of the patty pan and zucchini squash—are perfectly creamy inside and make a pretty stunning side dish when stuffed and baked.

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