With Thanksgiving only a week away, there’s no time like the present to start planning a menu based on what’s available at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Supporting local farmers and artisan food producers by serving the fruits of their labor (literally!) is one of the best ways you can embrace the spirit of the holiday and offer thanks.
This week at the market the owners of Contigo, one of my favorite restaurants in the city, were shopping at the market with their daughter Tilden in tow. Brett Emerson, his wife, Elan, and young Tilden can be found at the market every week searching for ingredients for their Catalonian-inspired menu. This week their list included radicchio, persimmons, apples, potatoes and Warren pears from Frog Hollow Farms.
Market Watch: Black Apples, Feiojas, Buddha's Hand Citron and Other Oddities Come to the Ferry Plaza This Fall
It’s hard to pick a favorite fruit or vegetable at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, particularly at this time of year. The weather is rapidly changing and the transition towards winter has already begun. This week many of my favorites are back and available—though some only for a limited time. Here are the top five not to miss this week:
Despite the lingering presence of pluots, musk melons and berries, summer is gone and the autumn season is well upon us at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Early fall favorites like Frog Hollow’s Warren pears, fresh dates from Flying Disc and raw olives from Bariani and Knoll Farms have been here for
a few weeks already but the production of other seasonal staples like pomegranates, sunchokes, persimmons and winter squash is just starting to ramp up.
Starting next Tuesday, October 11th, lunch options at the Tuesday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market will be increasing with the addition of Wise Sons Jewish Deli. Owners Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman, along with partner Joe Wolf, will be serving up pastrami sandwiches on house made rye with sides like fingerling potato salad and coleslaw, all featuring seasonal ingredients. Lox sandwiches, on Beauty’s Montreal-style bagels, will be topped with pickled and fresh market veggies.
Chef Joshua Clever was in the CUESA kitchen this week to show us a simple bread salad recipe featuring ingredients that embody the market in early fall. Joshua had stopped by to join us at Tuesday’s Food Wise Booth-- one of two free cooking programs offered at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market each week.
This past Saturday at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market the tomato deals were ripe for the pickin’. With the official change this week from summer to fall it may only be a matter of weeks before tomatoes wind down completely. Farmer Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce tells me he is hoping to have his famous Early Girls well into November and Bill Crepps of Everything Under the Sun says he plans to harvest another crop of San Marzanos in the next few weeks, but both also cautioned that with the wacky weather this year, and predictions for a cooler fall, you just never know.
The shelves of my kitchen pantry are stacked high with the cookbook collection I began amassing over 12 years ago. Many of these books are dog eared, stained and regularly consulted. Others, though rarely used or thumbed through, have earned their home because of the sentimental value they have for my husband and I. Some of my favorite books in this collection are written by folks I see regularly at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, like Chad Robertson (Tartine Bread), Heidi Swanson (Super Natural
Cooking) and Joyce Goldstein (The Mediterranean Cookbook).
Chef Bruce Hill is a busy man. Despite juggling four restaurants he has agreed to once again act as Event Chair for CUESA’s 9th annual Sunday Supper. He’ll be in good company on October 2nd alongside heavy hitters like Melissa Perello of Frances, Ravi Kapur of Prospect and Michael Tusk of Quince as he generously gives his time and effort to help support CUESA, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and our educational programs. Bruce’s Larkspur based restaurant Picco, will also be represented at the dinner with a course of mesquite grilled calamari, herbed shelling beans and a roasted pepper relish prepared by Picco’s Chef de Cuisine Jared Rodgers.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure to shop the market with one of my culinary heroes, Joyce Goldstein. In her long and impressive career, Joyce has written over twenty five cook books, helmed the kitchens at Chez Panisse Café and Square One, been awarded numerous times by the James Beard Foundation and is a founding member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. She also counts chefs like Staffan Terje of Perbacco and Mourad Lahlou of Aziza, with whom she has a standing weekly lunch date, as personal friends.