Local Bounty: At the Market in September
What to watch for this month
Start off September with Apples
Crisp, juicy granny smiths, early fujis, and galas should be ready to pack in brown bags for school lunches. Since the weather’s still hot, slice them into salads with feta or Roquefort and candied pecans. Bake them into bread, add slices to a grilled cheese sandwich, and, of course, make pie. Look for first of the season apples from Smit Family Orchards at the farmers markets.
Ancient Grains for Modern Meals
Food writer Maria Speck was raised on the whole grains of her Greek mother and German father’s traditions—not because they were healthy but because they tasted so good. In her first book, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals ($29.99; Ten Speed Press), Speck tempts readers with recipes for grains that may be overlooked or underappreciated: millet, rye berries, wheat berries, farro, and quinoa among them. I loved her warm weather Tomato-Infused Bulgur Pilaf with Fresh Basil. I’m intrigued by the Spicy Millet with Yogurt and Fresh Herbs. There are breads, soups/stews, pastas, and desserts that incorporate the freshest, most flavorful ingredients. Yes, they’re healthy, but Speck elevates grains to an indulgence.
Brandt Beef Bacon
Ah, bacon, today’s “it” food. Bacon’s salty, fatty goodness equals pure pork, right? Not necessarily. This year Brandt Beef introduced a beef version that’s leaner than pork, nitrate-free, smoked, and cured. The bacon is made from the plate of the steer, near the skirt and flank, giving it a rich, sweet flavor perfect for pasta carbonara, an egg-and-bacon burrito, cornbread, or flavoring for beans. You can find it at the Brandt Beef stalls at the Hillcrest and Mission Hills farmers markets. brandtbeef.com
New York Fresh Mozzarella
San Diego is rich in so much that’s agricultural—except cheese making. So meet David Racanelli, owner of New York Fresh Mozzarella. The NY native has been living in San Diego for nine years and is a chef at Santee’s Via Moto. But, having grown up around cheese making with family recipes for ricotta and mozzarella, he launched a cheese making business this year. Currently, he’s selling just his mozzarella—rich, tangy, and salty—to the public through Specialty Produce and Lisko Imports at the farmers markets. It’s also at restaurants like Solare, Bistro Pazzo, Rose Wine Pub, and the Mangia Mangia food truck. Soon, he’ll have ricotta and burrata out there, too.
Local Bounty Online
Recipe: Three-Bean Summer Salad
Tongue of fire, coco, and mauve runner shelling beans are mixed with orange, sorrel, and heirloom tomatoes and topped with a savory vinaigrette. This salad makes a hearty appetizer, or dig into it as an entrée.