My current favorite market in San Diego is the Sunday Hillcrest Farmers Market. Each week it is a new adventure where I explore the bounty of San Diego produce. In addition, there are the many farmers, vendors and market goers who share a similar vision of food, the makings for beautiful friendships.
This day I also spend time with Phil Noble of Sage Mountain Farm and Colin Archipley of Archi’s Acres VSAT program. These friends teach me a lot about the produce as they handle it, use it and eat it every day themselves. This helps to remove degrees of separation between the land and me.
This week, the early summer harvest is in full force. Before the hot, arid and rainless summer reduces quantities, it is a phantasmagoria of greens, reds, oranges, yellows and blues–as in blueberries.
With my bags overflowing, I return home to prepare a lunch with the day’s haul. The meal is simple, just a vegetable plate served with whole grain bread. Overall I spend about 30 minutes preparing.
In a heated skillet, I flash a little extra virgin olive oil with fresh Sage Mountain crooked neck garlic and crushed red pepper. I quickly added red amaranth and Magenta Spreen lamb’s quarters from La Milpa Organica, then cover and simmer until tender. In a smaller covered skillet I slowly cook slivered sweet spring torpedo onions from Sage Mountain with squash blossoms from La Milpa Organica and a small amount of aged balsamic vinegar and Celtic sea salt. Finally, I make a roasted tomato salsa with fresh basil from Archi’s Acres.
It all comes together into a colorful vegetable plate highlighting the regenerative energy of the food in combination with the vibrant natural colors inherent in vegetables straight from the field. A fitting culmination to another rewarding journey to the farmers market.