Category Archives: farmer’s market

Pesto, heirloom tomato, pepperoni & zucchini pizza

I think I pretty much gave the recipe away in the title of this post. Pretty basic pizza, but don’t let that boring word “basic” fool you. Sometimes the simplest meals are the best. You really can’t go wrong when you choose ingredients at the peak of seasonality, make your dough from scratch… oh and the pepperoni was from an artisan “charcutier” at the San Pedro Square Farmer’s Market in San Jose. I have to say, it was pretty delicious. For more specific “sub-recipes”…the dough recipe can be found here, and my pesto recipe is here. And the rest is pretty independently obvious. Have fun coming up with your own pizza creations!

And since this was such a short post, you get another pizza picture! Enjoy!

Steak & Cocozelle Squash Dinner

Yesterday, for the first time, I tried my hand at canning. Tomato sauce, to be specific. I purchased a large amount of organic heirloom tomatoes from a guy who had somehow decided that he needed to plant 40 tomato plants in his backyard this summer. Tomato overload for him=lucky day for me! He gave me a very good price for a beautiful harvest of tomatoes (more on this in a future post). Suffice to say, I was exhausted last night and definitely not in the mood to cook more. So I had Trevor grill some steaks from Prather Ranch (grass-fed beef purchased from the Campbell Farmer’s Market), and I sliced up & sauteed some Cocozelle Squash, which were purchased, along with the tomatoes, from my newest overzealous gardening friend. The beef was a delicious treat, and exactly what we both needed after a hard morning workout for Trevor and a kitchen “workout” for me. The squash, though, was my favorite. I was unfamiliar with this type of squash and O.M.G. it was so scrumptious! I could eat it everyday. For the rest of my life. I’m not sure Trevor would be quite so enthusiastic about it (he doesn’t usually get as excited about vegetables as I do), but lucky for him they’re surely only ridiculously delicious at the peak of their freshness- in the summertime. This brings me to my locavore thought of the day- If you eat what’s in season, you’ll never get bored with any one fruit or vegetable in particular. You might tire of zucchini at the end of a particularly healthy summer harvest, but after abstaining from it for 8+ long months, you will be more than ready to start zucchini overload all over again. So go enjoy the last few weeks of summer produce! Soon I’ll be writing about winter squash, potatoes, kale, beets, spinach and all my other favorite fall produce.

Alyis N’ Rose Cafe- Bean Pie & Carrot Pie

I discovered bean pie and carrot pie for the first time at the San Pedro Square Farmer’s market. Generally when I shop at the farmer’s market, I like to stick to the basics- veggies, fruits, eggs & sometimes meat. The cookies, bread, homemade tamales can definitely be enticing, but the high price tag usually deters me from making the purchase ($7.00 for a small bag of biscotti?? I can make that at home!). Plus, those items are usually not the healthiest, so I try to avoid them. Enter: free samples. One fine morning I was minding my own business, about to walk home from San Pedro Square, and a nice gentleman offers me a taste of bean pie. Hmm…I think to myself, bean pie eh? Unsure about this combination, but never one to turn down a new and interesting food, I accepted. The bite reminded me of a smoother, slightly more dense version of pumpkin pie. Next I tried the carrot pie, and found that it was even more like pumpkin pie than the bean pie…only slightly more…carroty? All in all, delicious. I decided I would break my “rule” and bring home some pie. And the consensus at home was positive as well. Give this pie a try (hey, that’s a good little jingle, maybe I should go into marketing…).

If you can’t get to the San Pedro Square Farmer’s market on Fridays between 10am and 2pm, you can get this pie at Alyis N’ Rose Cafe in Santa Clara, CA. If you need any more convincing, check out their great reviews on yelp!

Red Cabbage Salad

This is a pretty simple recipe, but I thought I’d share it with you anyway since it’s a classic French salad. I’ve been reading Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee, which has inspired me to write my recipes in a more stream of consciousness manner.

Start with a very fresh head of red cabbage and cut it in half. Then cut one of the halves in half. Keep one quarter of the cabbage out and put the remaining pieces in the fridge. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, slice the cabbage very thinly, and then give the entire pile a few chops so that the cabbage slices are not too long to eat easily.

Next make the vinaigrette in the bottom of a salad bowl. Combine a few small spoonfuls of dijon mustard with a splash of red wine vinegar. I don’t ever measure this so I can’t give you specifics. I like to stick my nose in the bowl and smell to see if there’s a nice mustard-vinegar balance. Add some salt and freshly cracked pepper. Next, slowly drizzle oil into the mustard mixture while beating it with a fork or whisk. I like to use a combination of walnut oil and olive oil. I find that if I use only olive oil, my vinaigrette comes out a bit too fruity. As you whisk in the olive oil, the mixture should emulsify. If you notice that the vinegar and oil are separating, slow down or stop the stream of oil and continue to beat the mixture. Once it begins coming together again, add a little bit more oil (again, I never measure…some people prefer a more vinegary vinaigrette- i.e. me- and some prefer more oily, it’s up to you to decide what you like!).

Coconut Lemongrass Soup with Tofu

I realize that many of my blog posts begin something like: “So I was at the farmer’s market the other day, and found some amazing _____, which inspired me to make ______.” But what’s a girl to do? The farmer’s market is my inspiration, so it’s only fair that my dishes be based on my local finds.

This post is no different. One of my very favorite vendors at the San Pedro Square market on Fridays in downtown San Jose has a variety of Asian vegetables and herbs. I almost always have to pick up some Chinese eggplant, which is a longer, less spongy version of eggplant. I love the eggplant cut into long slices, brushed with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, and grilled. Last Friday though, I went for some stalks of lemongrass. I’d been craving coconut lemongrass soup with Thai flavors, and was determined to make some.

I was going for Thai flavors, similar to Tom Kha Gai. But since I’d never made this before, I did a little research online, and based my recipe off of this site and this one. The soup I came up with is not a traditional Tom Kha Gai, because there are no Kaffir lime leaves, or galangal, but I did get a nice lemongrass coconut flavor, which was exactly what I was looking for. Even with the warm weather we’ve been having, this was a very satisfying meal.

1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Carrots, cut into julienne
2 Anaheim bell peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 lb white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 head broccoli, cleaned and cut into florets
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cans coconut milk
2 Serrano or Thai chili peppers, thinly sliced
2 stalk lemongrass, cut into 2-inch pieces and crushed
6 slices ginger
zest from 2 limes
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 package firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
juice from 2 limes
cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped (for garnish)


  • Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan. Add carrots, and saute for 3 minutes. Turn heat to low, and add garlic. Saute for 1 minute.
  • Pour in broth and coconut milk. Stir in ginger, lemongrass, chili peppers, lime zest, brown sugar, fish sauce and Anaheim bell peppers. Simmer soup for 15 minutes.
  • Add tofu & mushroom slices and lime juice to soup and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • At this point, taste the soup to decide if it has enough heat for you. I used Serrano chilies (would have preferred Thai chilies), and the soup was not spicy enough for my taste. So I added about 1/8-1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper. Make sure to only add a tiny bit at a time, and retaste. You can always add more spice, but you can’t take any away, so be careful!
  • Garnish with cilantro just before serving. Enjoy!

Grilled Lamb Steaks and Bell Peppers

The Campbell farmer’s market has been growing and adding more and more vendors recently. Among them include a guy who sells raw milk (the same brand that you can buy at whole foods, but for cheaper!), a “live chocolate” vendor, and (my personal favorite) a grassfed meat seller! Oh happy day! Now I can buy my grassfed beef and lamb straight from a local ranch without having to deal with ordering in advance and picking up from someone’s house in San Jose. I’ve done this a few times through Paicines Ranch, and they’ve been wonderful. It’s just nice to have an option that requires less planning ahead. From what I understand, the grassfed beef from Prather Ranch (at the Campbell Farmer’s Market) is local, but the lamb comes from a farm in Oregon. We’ve been getting the beef for a few months now, but decided to try the lamb this week. Trevor cooked up the steaks on the grill, along with some Anaheim bell peppers (also from the farmer’s market), and all was delicious. I didn’t get any pictures of the finished product, but here are a few of the ingredients from our simple yet tasty dinner.

Rhubarb-rose compote with strawberries and creme fraiche

This recipe came about on a whim, as most of my recipes do. On my weekly trip to the Campbell Farmer’s Market last Sunday, my eye caught some rhubarb, which I decided would go well with the strawberries that I invariably come home with every week in the summertime. I didn’t want to go with the typical strawberry rhubarb pie- with the hot weather we’ve been having, such a heavy dessert just didn’t sound good. So I decided I’d go with a simple rhubarb compote, and dress it up in “post-production.” The results were fresh and flavorful, with a nice balance of sweet, rich and tart flavors.

3 stalks rhubarb, washed and diced
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp rose syrup
zest from 1 lemon
6 large strawberries (sliced)
3 tbsp creme fraiche


  • Put rhubarb and a splash of water in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add honey, and cook until rhubarb is soft (about 20 minutes).
  • Remove rhubarb from stove and allow to cool completely. This can be done a day ahead, with the rhubarb stored in the refrigerator over night.
  • Mix the rose syrup and lemon zest into the rhubarb compote.
  • Serve the rhubarb in 6 bowls. Top with sliced strawberries, a dollop of creme fraiche and lemon zest.

Now I want to know- What is your favorite thing to do with rhubarb?