Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Jen at Modern Beet recently wrote about a wintertime tomato sauce. Her post prompted me to think about the meals we have been preparing during these winter months. We have recently given up our garden and are once again living the urban life. The photograph above is of a bowl filled with my last trip to our garden. Although I am feeling a bit melancholy about leaving our garden behind, we really don't have it so bad. First of all, we are in California! Second of all, we live close to the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and we've been taking advantage of Mariquita Farm's fantastic Thursday night mystery boxes. Below you will find a laundry list of ingredients we've been combining to keep us healthy and happy during this winter season.

We tried chickweed & miner's lettuce from Marin Roots Farm for the first time this year and love both - love their greens in general!
Mariquita Farms has supplied us with all sorts of goodies! They have a great photo section on their website where you can look up a photograph and a description for almost any vegetable. Our last mystery box included items such as spigariello (leaf broccoli), smallage (soup celery), green garlic (it's partially green...), swiss chard, escarole, a variety of radicchio (i never really liked radicchio, but after trying Mariquita's, i'm a big fan), savoy cabbage (first time we tasted it - yum!), and dandelion greens.

More from Mariquita: french fingerling potatoes, carrots (a nice variety), gold turnips, parsnips, and parsley root (still need to try and cook these up).

Our meyer lemons, cara cara oranges, blood oranges, and sun dried cherries have been from Hamada Farms. I have also purchased blood oranges in other markets. I'll try them wherever I can find them!

Anchovies have become my secret ingredient. I buy anchovies from Italy that come in a little glass jar. I have no idea what's available locally, but I'm open to suggestions and willing to try a new type of anchovy. I use anchovies in salads, sauteed greens, pasta dishes, etc. Muir Glen makes a great canned fire roasted tomato and I use them on pasta, in chili, in soups, etc. We use Niman Ranch bacon as a condiment, a few crumbles here and a few crumbles there, and yes, it is true, bacon makes everything better!

We use all sorts of greens in simple salads (often adding toasted nuts and fruit). Sauteing greens with olive oil, garlic & s&p and combining them with polenta, pasta, Israeli couscous, or quinoa is a staple in our winter diet. I also saute greens with peanut oil, soy, and a little sesame oil. Breakfast might involve greens with scrambled eggs or the wonderful crustless quiche that Chris makes with goat cheese and vegetables (most recently green garlic and spigariello). Soups! Roasted vegetables are always good. Recently I simmered parsnips and turnips in stock and then prepared them mashed potatoes style - quite good!

When I'm really lazy I make jalepeno refried bean and whole wheat tortilla burritos.

I'm sure there's more, but that's it for now. Time to celebrate a birthday.

Happy Birthday, Chris!