Food – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Sat, 21 Sep 2019 02:39:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 Farmers Market Week highlights Savory Melon Salad https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/22/farmers-market-week-highlights-savory-melon-salad/ Mon, 22 Jul 2019 20:06:09 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12669 BY DEBRA J. MORRIS We’re celebrating farmers’ markets this month ! The mission of the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) is to empower California farmers to be enormously successful, and with our network of local farmers’ markets we can accomplish this with the help of the local community, the farmers themselves, and you, our …

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BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

We’re celebrating farmers’ markets this month ! The mission of the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) is to empower California farmers to be enormously successful, and with our network of local farmers’ markets we can accomplish this with the help of the local community, the farmers themselves, and you, our farmers’ market customers and patrons. Farmers’ Market Week (August 4-10) is the perfect time to remember why we do what we do and we’re stretching it out for a whole month !

Your Martinez Farmers’ Market is a certified market. A certified farmers’ market assures consumers that their market purchase is brought to the farmers’ market from the farmers who grew, nurtured, and harvested the crops. Certification means the farms have been inspected and certified and regulated by the State of California. Knowing where your food comes from and knowing it is locally-grown is an important factor when consumers make their purchases. Also important is the fact that you can actually speak to the farmers who grew the fruits and vegetables, or baked the bread, or gathered the honey.

This month your favorite farmers will have abundant summer produce. Melons are here to enjoy. You’d be hard pressed to find many of the offered varieties elsewhere. Find Crenshaw, orange honeydew, baby yellow watermelon, Charlene, Santa Claus, and other sweet and juicy varieties.

Grapes will be arriving this month. Check out the green Thompson seedless, your old lunchbox favorite. Or try some delicious red and black varieties like Red Flame, Autumn Royal, Concord, Crimson seedless, Fantasy black, or Red Globes scheduled to arrive.

There is a bounty of stone fruit, big bell and hot peppers, leafy greens, fresh sweet corn, and an abundance of tasty vegetables of all kinds. You won’t find better anywhere!

We appreciate your support of farmers’ markets and will continue to bring you outlets for local fresh produce, grown by the farmers who bring them to the market. Thank you!

Savory Melon Salad

1 cup watermelon cubes, cubes or balls

1 cup cantaloupe, cubes or balls

1 cup cucumber, sliced

1/4 cup black olives, pitted, sliced

6 ounces feta, crumbled

1 shallot, thinly sliced, macerated in vinegar with a pinch of salt

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to taste

Combine watermelon and cantaloupe cubes, olives, sliced cucumber, the crumbled feta and the macerated shallots in a large bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper; mix gently with your hands. Recipe: Cookin’ the Market, PCFMA

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Martinez Farmers Market has you covered for great tomatoes https://martineztribune.com/2019/06/21/martinez-farmers-market-has-you-covered-for-great-tomatoes/ Fri, 21 Jun 2019 16:06:33 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12203 BY DEBRA J. MORRIS Tomatoes are the poster child of vegetables for locally-grown and seasonal eating. Finding tomatoes that taste like tomatoes are one of the biggest draws to local farmers’ markets in the summer. They are also one of the home gardener’s most common vegetables to plant. Who doesn’t love a good tomato?   …

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BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

Tomatoes are the poster child of vegetables for locally-grown and seasonal eating. Finding tomatoes that taste like tomatoes are one of the biggest draws to local farmers’ markets in the summer. They are also one of the home gardener’s most common vegetables to plant. Who doesn’t love a good tomato?

 

 

Different varieties have different flavor and texture strengths. Soft and juicy heirloom varieties may be best for simply slicing and serving with a sprinkle of salt; drier hybrid Romas or Early Girls are the better choices for making sauces. Delightful little cherry or pear tomatoes are perfect for salads. Check with your grower at the farmers’ market for help in selecting tomatoes that are best for what you’re using them for.

Your Martinez Farmers Market has you covered when talking tomatoes. Check out J&M Farms out of Gilroy for heirloom and cherry varieties. Stop in at ALD & Y Farm for organic tomatillos, Romas (great for sauces!), and cherry tomatoes. VV Farms out of Santa Cruz also has heirloom and big juicy beefsteak tomatoes. And don’t forget Halog Farms out of Merced for Romano, yellow cherries, Shady Ladys, and other varieties of tomatoes.

Jacob’s Farm offers German Stripe, Cherokee Purple, Yellow Brandywine, and other tomatoes to fill your bag. Dwelley Farms from Oakley has a wide array of cherry tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes, salad tomatoes, and more. Try their Shady Lady tomato.

As always, you’ll find the best at your local farmers’ market where the growers bring fresh picked tomatoes straight to you in varieties you won’t find anywhere else! Enjoy summer tomatoes in all their flavorful glory!

TIP: Never store tomatoes in the refrigerator! Temperatures under 50°F lead to mushy inedible tomatoes. Refrigeration also dulls the delicious ripe flavors of a good tomato.

Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa

2 medium tomatoes (colorful heirlooms make a nice color statement!)

1 jalapeño pepper, trimmed, seeded, finely diced

1 red or yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 green onion, sliced, both white and green parts

1 tablespoon lime juice

½ teaspoon chili or chipotle powder, more or less to taste.

Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together and serve with tortilla chips. Makes a great topping for bruschetta or burgers. Recipe: Cookin’ the Market, PCFMA.

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Summer Fruits & Veggies for Grilling at Martinez Farmers Market https://martineztribune.com/2019/05/23/summer-fruits-veggies-for-grilling-at-martinez-farmers-market/ Thu, 23 May 2019 17:30:48 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=11780 BY DEBRA J. MORRIS Ah, the wonderful smell of freshly-mowed grass, the sound of children running through the sprinklers, the garden awash in color with summer flowers, and the mouth-watering smell of food grilling on the barbecue. Yes, summer is here with warm evenings spent outside, and friends coming over for good conversation and an …

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BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

Ah, the wonderful smell of freshly-mowed grass, the sound of children running through the sprinklers, the garden awash in color with summer flowers, and the mouth-watering smell of food grilling on the barbecue. Yes, summer is here with warm evenings spent outside, and friends coming over for good conversation and an evening meal on the patio. Let’s get grillin’!

Here’s to the all-American summer pastime—grilling and barbecuing. The weather is perfect for fresh summer fruits and vegetables like yellow and green summer squash, bell peppers, and juicy peaches and nectarines to be added to your grilled recipes.

Toss some sliced zucchini and thick slabs of eggplant on the grill; or drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and grill; or cut in chunks and slide onto a skewer for veggie kabobs. Marinated or not, the natural flavors of the produce are enhanced by grilling—peaches and nectarines become sweeter, zucchini and tomatoes become more savory.

You don’t need much seasoning, either. Salt and pepper and a little olive oil are great for vegetables, or a bit of brown sugar for fruit—or grill with no seasoning at all. The natural flavors of locally-grown fruits and vegetables will shine through !

Stop by the Martinez Farmers’ Market and visit our new vendors like Ken’s Top Notch from Reedley with wonderful stone fruit like peaches and nectarines. Check out Gusman Farm as well with lovely peppers and other fruits and vegetables.

J&J Ramos Farms and Resendiz Farms, both from Hughson, for sweet apricots, peaches and nectarines. Pick up zucchini, yellow squash, onions, and potatoes at J&M Farms from Gilroy. Get your grass-fed beef from Alhambra Valley Beef, who raise their cattle here in Martinez. You can’t find better products than at your local farmers’ market. They have varieties of produce you won’t find at the grocery store – and you’re assured they grow what they sell.

Quick Grilled Veggie Packets
1 large onion, cut in chunks
1 cup bell peppers, cut in chunks
1 Russet potato, cut in chunks, skin left on
1 yellow squash, sliced (or zucchini)

Place all sliced vegetables in a bowl, toss with olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper. Place in the center of a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold foil around the vegetables to form a sealed packet, either by twisting to make a “topknot” or folding around it. Place on the grill over indirect heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Recipe: Debra Morris, PCFMA

Here’s to good summer eatin’ fresh from your Martinez Farmers’ Market. Remember to buy fresh and buy local!

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Bushels of Blueberries at Farmers Market from Smit Farms https://martineztribune.com/2019/04/22/bushels-of-blueberries-at-farmers-market-from-smit-farms/ Mon, 22 Apr 2019 18:43:21 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=11269 BY DEBRA J. MORRIS Blueberries are one of the delights of early summer. Their beautiful blue color means they’re ripe and ready to eat. The shrubs are harvested by hand five or six times throughout the season at the firm, ripe stage because blueberries do not ripen once picked. The berries we enjoy today have …

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BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

Blueberries are one of the delights of early summer. Their beautiful blue color means they’re ripe and ready to eat. The shrubs are harvested by hand five or six times throughout the season at the firm, ripe stage because blueberries do not ripen once picked.

The berries we enjoy today have ancestors in the wild blueberries enjoyed by Native Americans and early settlers, later domesticated and improved, becoming the large sweet berries we enjoy today.

These plump blue gems are well worth the wait. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. The flavor is sweet and delicious.

When selecting blueberries, look for those that are firm, dry, plump, and smooth-skinned, with a silvery surface bloom, no leaves or mold. Berries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black (except for the lighter blue Duke variety). Refrigerate them as soon as possible, unwashed. They will last for three to four days.

You’ll find blueberries from Smit Farms out of Linden. Their blueberries are the best, just-picked straight from the farm ! They offer varieties such as O’Neil, and sweet early-season variety; the Duke, a lighter blue and abundant variety; and Jewel, a high-yield, slightly tangy blueberry. So, from May to almost July, you’ll find delicious blueberries at the market, in varieties that can’t be found at your supermarket. They’re freshly picked by hand and brought to you each week.

Grab a big bag and make some blueberry muffins, blueberry cobbler, or a few jars of this delicious blueberry jam !


Blueberry Lime Coriander Jam

6 cups blueberries, crushed

4-1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons vodka

3 limes, using zest and juice

2-1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, freshly ground

1 package low sugar pectin

Mix pectin with 1/4 cup sugar; set aside. Put blueberries in a large pot; add juice, zest, vodka and coriander.

Add pectin/sugar mixture and lemon juice. Bring to a full boil. Add remaining sugar and return to a full boil. Boil 1 minute.

Skim foam from the surface of the jam. Add jam to hot sterile jars. Fill sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Add canning lids and rings; process (boil) for 10 minutes in water bath. Carefully remove from water and place on a heat-resistant surface. Let cool. You can tell jars are sealed when you hear a pop of suction from the lids. Store in a cool dry cupboard until ready to use, then refrigerate for up to two weeks.

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Sweeten Your Day with Pure Local Honey at the Farmers Market https://martineztribune.com/2019/03/27/sweeten-your-day-with-pure-local-honey-at-the-farmers-market/ Wed, 27 Mar 2019 18:30:06 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=10965 BY DEBRA J. MORRIS Spring is humming with the sound of bees buzzing around the hills of Martinez and Concord. MarElla Honey Bees out of Concord bring the best pure local honey to your farmers’ market in a variety of flavors that you won’t be able to resist. We don’t think much about bees, except …

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BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

Spring is humming with the sound of bees buzzing around the hills of Martinez and Concord. MarElla Honey Bees out of Concord bring the best pure local honey to your farmers’ market in a variety of flavors that you won’t be able to resist.

We don’t think much about bees, except when we get bothered by them buzzing around us, but bees are a very important link between fresh fruits and you. They provide the pollination for orchard trees and some vegetables which results in fertilization so fruit can develop. You wouldn’t have a handful of almonds or a bowl of sweet cherries without them.

But how do these miracle insects make honey and where did it come from ?

Honey starts as flower nectar collected by thousands of bees. This nectar is taken back to the hive where it is passed to other bees. This liquid nectar is broken down into simple sugars as it is regurgitated by the bees several times and finally place in the honeycomb. Then many bees set to work fanning the honeycomb with their wings to speed up the process of evaporation to make the thick liquid honey we put in our tea. The honeycomb itself is made as bees consume the nectar/honey. As they digest it, the honey is converted into wax through a series of glands on the bee’s abdomen.

Honey’s color and flavor varies based on the nectar collected by the bees. For example, honey made from orange blossom nectar might be light in color, whereas honey from avocado or wildflowers might have a dark amber color. You can be assured that beekeepers at your farmers’ market bring you only pure local honey with no added ingredients.

Stop by your Martinez Farmers’ Market this week and pick up some delicious pure honey from MarElla Honey Bees, along with everything you need for a bountiful spring !

Browned Buttered Almonds

1 16 oz. bag of raw almonds, blanched*

4 tbsp. of pastured butter

Quality local honey to taste (we used around 4 tbsp.)

Kosher salt to taste

Optional; garnished with lavender flower 

Place four tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan until it melts and started to bubble. Place the blanched almonds and cook until the butter and the almonds slightly browned. Add honey and salt to taste. Remove the almonds from the pan and allow the almonds to cool. Serve inside a bowl and garnish with lavender flowers.

*Blanching almonds: place the almonds in a bowl. Then pour boiling water into the bowl to barely cover the almonds. Let the almonds sit for 1 minute and no longer. Make sure not to let the almonds sit in hot water too long or else they’ll lose their crispness.

Drain the water from the bowl and rinse the almonds under cold water; drain again. Pat the almonds dry with a soft cloth or paper towel. To slip the skins off the almonds, take one nut at a time and pinch one end allowing the skin to loosen. The nut will basically pop out of its skin. Recipe: Cooking the Market, PCFMA. Visit pcfma.org/eat/recipes for more great recipes.

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Freshway Fish seafood co. available at local farmers market https://martineztribune.com/2019/02/21/freshway-fish-seafood-co-available-at-local-farmers-market/ Thu, 21 Feb 2019 21:52:59 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=10664 BY DEBRA J. MORRIS The farmers’ market offers more than just fruits and vegetables, baked good and hot foods. There are also grass-fed beef and seafood purveyors that you should try. Freshway Fish is a family-owned and operated seafood company, established in 2012. They started off selling at local farmers’ markets and the company took …

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BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

The farmers’ market offers more than just fruits and vegetables, baked good and hot foods. There are also grass-fed beef and seafood purveyors that you should try.

Freshway Fish is a family-owned and operated seafood company, established in 2012. They started off selling at local farmers’ markets and the company took off from there. They now sell at over 50 farmers markets throughout Northern California and Nevada. In addition, they offer a special order service if you don’t see what you want at the market.

Their seafood products include fresh fish fillets, smoked fish, and other seafood commodities. They smoke their own fish and prepare all ready-to-eat products from their own recipes. You won’t be disappointed with their quality and service at the market. In fact, many customers come back each week to stock up on their fish. A customer favorite is the smoked salmon.

Why purchase seafood at the farmers’ market, rather than the grocery store? At the farmers’ market you know what you’re getting! The USDA finds that 37% of the seafood found at supermarkets is mislabeled and is not what you were promised! Seafood purveyors at farmers’ markets must be inspected and licensed to sell so you can be assured you’re buying what you were promised.

Fish is the number one source for omega-3 fatty acids which are excellent for heart health. Fatty fish (like salmon, trout, sardines, tuna and mackerel) are higher in fat-based nutrients. They also contain high concentrations of vitamin D, a nutrient most of us are deficient in.

Pick up some of Freshway Seafood’s fish and enjoy the health benefits and the fresh flavors!

Tilapia Baked in Sea Salt

1 whole tilapia, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 pounds
1 sliced lemon or a mix of lemon and other citrus fruits
5 sprigs of parsley
2 pounds sea salt
1 egg white

Preheat your oven to 450°F. Rinse out the fish cavity and face, and blot dry on paper towels.  Mix the sea salt and egg white so that the salt is the consistency of wet sand. Sparingly stuff the cavity with parsley and citrus slices. Overstuffed fish will result in significantly longer cooking time. 

Spread 1/3 of the salt mixture on the bottom of the baking sheet. Place the stuffed fish on top and spoon the salt mixture over the fish, patting and shaping the salt as you go, until the entire fish is ensconced. 

Bake for 20 minutes, and rest outside of the oven for 10 minutes. Crack open the crust with a heavy knife, pounding with the side as to not damage the fish. Remove and discard crust. Slice the skin along the top fin, and gently peel away the skin. Filet the fish, garnish with lemon slices and finish with olive oil and salt.  Recipe: Cookin’ the Market, PCFMA.

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Roam Artisan Burgers debuts at City Center in San Ramon https://martineztribune.com/2019/02/12/roam-artisan-burgers-debuts-at-city-center-in-san-ramon/ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 06:17:31 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=10645 One of the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier sustainable burger destinations, Roam Artisan Burgers, just opened its sixth location at City Center Bishop Ranch in the Tri-Valley region serving the greater East Bay cities of San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, and Dublin / Pleasanton.  Roam, a fine-casual dining destination, is the latest premium brand to open at the new $300 million retail …

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One of the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier sustainable burger destinations, Roam Artisan Burgers, just opened its sixth location at City Center Bishop Ranch in the Tri-Valley region serving the greater East Bay cities of San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, and Dublin / Pleasanton. 

Roam, a fine-casual dining destination, is the latest premium brand to open at the new $300 million retail center designed by world-renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, whose work is also prominently featured at  the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. With its rapid expansion throughout San Francisco, Uptown Oakland, Lafayette, San Mateo, and San Ramon, Roam instills its “pasture to plate” methodology providing Bay Area communities with both delicious and healthy options readily available at their fingertips.

A globally-inspired approach applied to the quintessentially American burger culture has set Roam Artisan Burgers apart. Roam is on a trailblazing path, sourcing excellent quality ingredients from top local purveyors and applying eco-conscious business practices throughout its restaurants. Roam serves as a vehicle for meaningful change for owners Josh Spiegelman and Lynn Gorfinkle, a pair of savvy entrepreneurs determined to have a positive impact on the Earth.

Both outdoor enthusiasts, Spiegelman and Gorfinkle advocate for the highest environmental standards to serve as the pillars of Roam. Their 100% grass-fed beef and nutrient-rich proteins (beef, bison, turkey, elk, lamb) are procured from ranchers and farmers dedicated to traditional methods of agriculture, exclusively serving proteins humanely raised on open pastures.

“Roam’s mission is to enhance people’s lives through better eating by serving delicious food that is made with nutrient-rich, high-quality ingredients,” said Spiegelman. Gorfinkle added “We’re thrilled to support and promote local farmers, ranchers and artisans that positively contribute to the health of the planet.” 

Established in 2010, Roam has flipped the burger business on its head with an innovative sustainability-focused model where more than 80% of its materials are compostable. Their state-of-the-art recycling and composting programs divert waste from landfills with food scraps and packaging composted and converted into fertilizer, which is used to grow more food. Roam’s expeller pressed high-oleic sunflower oil used for cooking fries helps fuel San Francisco’s hybrid Muni buses. 

Roam’s menu, approachable for diners of any type (carnivores, omnivores, vegan, gluten-free), features a selection of patties and craveable burger styles from which to choose. Popular styles include the Tejano (Pepper Jack, Jalapeño Relish, Avocado, Tomato, White Corn Strips, Herb Ranch), Sunny Side (Organic Free-Range Egg, Fontina, Caramelized Onions, Greens, Tomato, Chili Sauce), and French and Fries (Truffle Parmesan Fries, Gruyère, Avocado, Caramelized Onions, Watercress, Piquant Sauce, Whole Grain Mustard).

In addition to the pasture-raised meat options listed above, guests can also opt for Roam’s critically acclaimed house-made Veggie Burger, which is organic, gluten free and vegan. Roam’s artisan burger buns are custom made by Pacific Coast Baking Company.

Salads and Seasonal Veggies at Roam are made with the freshest California produce. Fries choices are second to none with Russet Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, and the Zucchini Onion Haystack. Enjoy all three in the form of “The Fry-Fecta,” and top with a custom seasoning (Seasonal: Tandoori with Yogurt Mint Dipping Sauce; Chipotle Maple; Truffle Parmesan made with real Parmigiano-Reggiano and Black Truffle Salt). 

Sodas are crafted in-house with fruit that is harvested at its peak of ripeness and are lightly sweetened with low-glycemic agave nectar (unique soda flavors include Prickly Pear, Caramelized Pineapple, Meyer Lemon, and more). Shakes are made with organic dairy from pasture-raised cows at Straus Family Creamery. Fan favorites include the Salted Caramel shake topped with a brûléed marshmallow. Kombucha is locally produced, raw, organic and served on tap. Menu items contain no corn syrup, no hormones, no antibiotics and no added trans-fats. All locations have energy-efficient appliances, power-conscious LED lighting, and are constructed using reclaimed wood.

A perfect choice for families, date nights, work lunches/dinners, and/or an outing for a casual meal, Roam Artisan Burgers are inclusive restaurants where all are welcome. Intentionally located in neighborhoods with a variety of fitness studios (yoga, gyms, Pilates) and great accessibility to outdoor activities (hiking, biking, surfing), Roam is also a great post-workout gathering spot. All six locations provide a warm environment with open seating, outdoor patio dining and a communal table, as well as a bar serving exceptional local craft beers and wine-on-tap.

Coinciding with the opening at City Center Bishop Ranch, Roam also will feature two new menu items, a Lamb Burger and a Blood Orange Seasonal White Wine Spritz.

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It’s easy to Love Fresh Baked Goods from the Farmers Market https://martineztribune.com/2019/01/22/its-easy-to-love-fresh-baked-goods-from-the-farmers-market/ Wed, 23 Jan 2019 06:22:22 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=10365 BY DEBRA J. MORRIS We love biting into a just-baked slice of artisan sourdough or munching a soft, buttery croissant, or treating ourselves to a sweet flaky pastry from the bakeries that participate at the Martinez Farmers’ Market. They offer everything from dinner rolls and breadsticks to cookies, pastries, and loaf breads, all in a …

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BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

We love biting into a just-baked slice of artisan sourdough or munching a soft, buttery croissant, or treating ourselves to a sweet flaky pastry from the bakeries that participate at the Martinez Farmers’ Market. They offer everything from dinner rolls and breadsticks to cookies, pastries, and loaf breads, all in a variety of artisan flavors and textures.

Bread, considered the “staff of life” and one of the oldest prepared foods, has provided sustenance for mankind from the dawn of time. Rye, corn, wheat, millet, and rice have all been used to make bread. A simple mixture of grain or cereal flours and water with a leavening agent (yeast) can create the simplest and most delicious concoctions. Add a bit of this and a bit of that (nuts, cheese, olives, honey, herbs) and you have over-the-top goodness.

A large variety of bread can be found these days, depending on the inventiveness of the baker and the history behind its shape and taste. Historically, flatbreads, pita, and naan came from India and the Middle East, focaccia and baguettes from Europe and Italy. Loaf breads, challah, breadsticks, and an array of buns and rolls came to our shores from a variety of other countries in every conceivable flavor and texture imaginable.

Farmers’ markets are the perfect place to get a taste of all the wonderful baked goods that can be found in your neighborhood. Try a simple breadstick or a loaf of crusty sourdough and you’re hooked on what these bakers create from simple, local ingredients.

Feel Good Bakery out of Alameda has a scrumptious array of baked goods, fresh from the oven. They bake up some truly delicious rustic artisan breads, fanciful pastries and cookies, buttery croissants and scones, crunchy bread sticks, and an array of decadent cookies. Everything is made daily from scratch from the best locally-sourced ingredients, and then brought at peak freshness to the farmers’ market.

Sweet Mac’s Cakes from right here in Martinez offers some amazing sweet treats. They bake daily an array of decadent cupcakes in a selection of flavors, cookies of every kind, and cake pops to delight the kid in you. You can even special order a cake for a special occasion.

Stop by this Sunday and pick up some of the area’s best artisan breads and handmade treats. You can’t find fresher than at your local farmers’ market.

We’re expressing our love for farmers’ markets this month! Share what YOU LOVE about your farmers’ market on Facebook and Instagram while we share what we love:  Our local farmers, the amazing produce our farmers provide, and the local community that supports the farmers’ market. Bring on the love for your market this month !

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Tangerines and Mandarins at the Martinez Farmers Market https://martineztribune.com/2018/12/21/tangerines-and-mandarins-at-the-martinez-farmers-market/ Fri, 21 Dec 2018 23:21:51 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=10142 BY DEBRA J. MORRIS At first glance, it is hard to tell the differences between tangerine and mandarin. Not only do they look alike, their taste is also similar and both grow on trees that also look similar. They both are part of the orange family; however, tangerines are a specific type of mandarin as …

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BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

At first glance, it is hard to tell the differences between tangerine and mandarin. Not only do they look alike, their taste is also similar and both grow on trees that also look similar. They both are part of the orange family; however, tangerines are a specific type of mandarin as a tangerine actually is a subgroup of the mandarin, with many hybrids like Satsumas and Clementines. Just remember that a tangerine is a type of mandarin.

A tangerine is darker, reddish-orange rind, and has a thick skin with bumps. The name tangerine comes from the port of Tangiers in Morocco.

The mandarin has thinner skin that is smooth. It has a lighter skin color and slightly sweeter taste. Mandarins are easier to peel because its skin is harder but easier to peel off. The name mandarin is said to come from the robes worn by the Chinese.

You can use both interchangeably in salads, desserts and main dishes, marinades and salad dressings. The peel can be used fresh or dried as a spice or zest for baking and drinks, and eaten coated in chocolate.

Look for tangerines and mandarins that hare heavy for their size, slightly soft to the touch, and without blemishes or mold. Avoid those with wrinkled skin. You’ll find only the freshest, just picked fruit at J&J Ramos Farms from Hughson at the Martinez Farmers’ Market. They offer both Murcott and Satusuma varieties of tangerines, both with sweet mild flavor and perfect to incorporate into your next recipe.

  • Enjoy in a fresh citrus, onion, and avocado salad.
  • Squeeze into your favorite marinade or salad dressing.
  • Stir fry with shrimp or chicken (add at the end)
  • Make an Asian chicken salad with lettuce, almonds, red onion, tangerines, and an Asian sesame dressing. Top with crispy noodles.
  • Squeeze for a refreshing juice, instead of orange juice.

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Pomegranates in season, just in time for the holidays https://martineztribune.com/2018/11/25/pomegranates-in-season-just-in-time-for-the-holidays/ Sun, 25 Nov 2018 18:01:07 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=9988 BY DEBRA J. MORRIS This is pomegranate season, just in time for the holidays. What could be prettier than a sparkling pomegranate cider or a fresh salad with pomegranate seeds? These beauties can even be used for decorating because they last quite a while when not opened. Pomegranates have a leathery exterior that’s a textured …

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BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

This is pomegranate season, just in time for the holidays. What could be prettier than a sparkling pomegranate cider or a fresh salad with pomegranate seeds? These beauties can even be used for decorating because they last quite a while when not opened.

Pomegranates have a leathery exterior that’s a textured reddish pink, but inside you’ll find bright red shiny pearls of juice that are so perfect for winter. Their tart but sweet juice is as amazing as its bright red color. In Northern California you can find pomegranates at your farmers’ market through February.

The pomegranate is a true super fruit that is definitely worth the trouble of cracking open and eating seed by seed. Pomegranates contain vast amounts of cancer-fighting antioxidants and other nutritious compounds. You can find whole pomegranates as well as pomegranate juice at our markets from September to February !

Visit J&J Ramos Farms of Hughson, Halog Farms out of Merced, or Nojaba Farms from Gustine for some great tasting, fresh pomegranates.

This succulent fruit was brought to California by Spanish missionaries centuries ago and are now widely cultivated throughout the state. The largest concentration of pomegranate farming takes place in the San Joaquin Valley.

Juice can be purchased at the markets or you can take the whole fruit home to juice yourself. The seeds – or juice sacs – are edible and delicious when eaten right from the pomegranate. If you are looking for the juiciest fruit, select heavy fruits with a deep red skin. Here are some ideas for their use:

1. Toss a handful of pomegranate seeds on a salad of avocado, greens, and cooked shrimp, with a mild vinaigrette.

2. Add seeds as a topping to your sherbet or sorbet for texture and simply flavored dessert.

3. Mix seeds with plain yogurt and granola for a healthy morning breakfast or snack.

4. Toast a baguette slice, top with plain cream cheese or goat cheese and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

5. Make juice! Crack open the pomegranate and remove seeds. Place seeds in a heavy plastic freezer bag and seal. Take a rolling pin and gently roll over seeds, releasing the juice. Strain and chill. Use within a few days.

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