Between my vacation and a work trip to Southern California, my time in the Bay Area lately has been sporadic. The first thing I try and do when I return home to San Francisco is to visit a farmers' market. Farmers' markets ground me. Seeing the fruits and vegetables that are in season reminds where I am in the year, how much time has passed, and how the farmers are doing. The main thing that I took away from this week's trip to the Sunday San Rafael Farmers' Market is that SPRING IS COMING.
Though our produce is still heavily into kale, butternut squash, and root vegetables, the turning of the season has begun. Look hard and you will see tiny little green onions and green garlic. Green garlic looks a little like green onion with a small garlic nub at the end that gradually gets larger and harder as the season goes on. I use green garlic for everything that you'd use garlic for, but you'll learn your own favorite ways to try out this subtle, delicious vegetable.
Asparagus has started to make an appearance, foreshadowing our wonderful asparagus months of March and April. This week, I only saw asparagus at the Zuckerman's Farm booth, but it will soon be available through other vendors as well. Get your risotto recipes ready! If you look hard, you will also start to see glimpses of strawberries at different markets throughout the area.
The young greens throughout the market at the moment are stunning. Just perusing the market on Sunday, I noticed nettles, spring mix, baby chard, baby arugula, rapini and other greens. As we move further along in the year, these greens will be in even more abundance.