After writing this post, it somehow got deleted. When I frantically tried to re-write it before running out the door this morning, the power went out. Soooooo, I'm sending this out a little late. But there are still 12 hours before the market opens, so all is not lost!
The market will be crazy-good tomorrow, judging from what I've seen and tasted this week. Here are a few goodies I tried at Tuesday's market that you'll want to check out tomorrow. "Front" indicates in front of the Ferry Building; "back" indicates behind.
Hidden Star Orchards (front)
I was dismayed to see the "Last of the season" sign in Hidden Star's cherry bin the other week. But I was thrilled to find out that they were merely making way for the next variety of cherries: Redlac. Tuesday was the first time I'd tasted a Redlac, and I fell for them right away. They're a meaty cherry with a slightly firm texture, and the flavor is punchy with just enough tartness. Cherries won't be around for too many more weeks, so stock up while you can.
County Line Harvest (front)
County Line's Thai basil made my Eggplant and Cabbage Stir-Fry with Lemongrass and Pork over-the-top. I almost missed this small-leafed variety, since it was nestled in a box with three other varieties of basil. Enliven your next stir-fry with a handful of Thai basil tossed in right at the end, after the vegetables/meat are fully cooked.
McGinnis Ranch (front)
A few weeks ago, I raved about their raspberries. Now it's time to hail McGinnis Ranch's blackberries. Eat them out of hand for breakfast or dessert, then kiss the purple juice from your fingertips. Enough said.
Brokaw Nursery (back)
There's something so seductive about a perfectly ripe avocado. Brokaw Nursery understands that when you buy a beautiful avocado, you want to eat it today. Theirs are almost always ready-to-eat, but come to the market on the early side just to be safe. I've been buying Brokaw avocados for a long time, and they're always spectacular. Pair them with tomatoes or nectarines for a simple summer salad.
What's on YOUR shopping list this week? We'd love to know!
About this column:
I am a gluten-free chef who supports local agriculture. I visit the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market faithfully every Tuesday and Thursday, and most Saturdays.
A lot of the fun of shopping at a farmers market is seeing the produce evolve over the weeks and seasons and finding the perfect moment when a fruit or vegetable is at its prime.
In this Friday column, I share my thoughts of which farms' crops are at their very best.