Last week we talked about the overflowing bounty now on display
at our farm and all the farmers markets stands, and indeed this is that time
of summer when we get almost giddy about fresh produce.
You can so easily go to the farmers market (or your backyard farm)
without a specific plan of what you will cook and as you gather what's available,
your meal will start coming together in your mind.
(Check out this video from Zagat shopping a Farmers Market with a chef):
All good tips–that is, if you can make it home
with your treasures before stealing some bites.
Recently at the Tuesday Farmers Market in Sonoma, a customer
was inquiring how to store the raspberries he was buying.
The farmer smiled and said, "Who knows? Most everyone just
eats them before they get home."
We know what he means, as our raspberries from the farm
often don't survive the trip to the restaurant and not because
they are too delicate to travel, just too delicious to resist!
|these managed to make it to the restaurant|
and you can enjoy the Summer Crisp of local berries with lemon verbena ice cream
now on the menu at the girl & the fig
Considering how irresistible all the fresh vegetables are this time of year
and even though we know you are getting creative, we wanted to share
some great tips for freezing produce (yes, you can).
Ok, it's true it may seem like blasphemy to talk about freezing produce
now when everything is so fresh, but it's a good solution to
the "I couldn't stop myself from buying everything in sight" affliction
(or when you can't keep up with what you are growing),
and later in the year, you'll be glad you did.
This step-by-step process from what to select, how to cut, blanch and freeze
|hard to resist buying it all, right?|
On the subject of "vegetable economics," there's also the idea
of using all the parts of the vegetables you have.
San Francisco Chronicle food writer Tara Duggan has a new book,
Miriam Morgan explains it this way: "Head-to-tail cooking, the term
for using every part of the animal, is the mantra of
sustainably conscious chefs these days.
Now, a new book translates that into the vegetable realm...
Celery leaves? They go into slaw. Apple peels and cores?
Make a jelly and flavor bourbon. Too many lemons? Here's how to freeze the zest.
Along with the recipes, the book weighs in on how to
evaluate organic versus conventional produce; store and prepare produce easily;
and add meat, fish and chicken into the picture."
|radish leaf salad with corn, tomatoes & salted cucumbers|
photo by Clay McLachlan for San Francisco Chronicle
Our chefs know all these tricks and continue to be creative
all the time with the bounty we bring them from the farm.
including the current salad of the season: cucumber vinaigrette, summer herbs,
lemon cucumber, snap peas, a recent soup special and this week's Plats du Jour entree.
|tomato cucumber gazpacho at the girl & the fig|
|this week's Plats du Jour features a tomato tart|
And they are always inspired by what is currently growing at the farm.
Now, our popular Panisse Cake, which at other times of the year
is presented with chickpea purée, sautéed garden chard
and marinated sheep's milk feta is now served
as basil panisse cake~ tomato coulis, cherry tomatoes,
marinated feta, mizuna, featuring our current garden stars.
|Our panisse cake this past winter|
|current version of Panisse cake using the farm's|
basil and tomato
What are you growing at your farm or finding at the farmers market
that is inspiring you right now?
And do you have any tips for what you do when you have too much?