We’ve been back in San Jose for a few days now, and we are slowly getting over the jet lag (not easy when there’s a 16 hour time difference between here and Malaysia). It’s been pretty smooth so far, thanks in large part to our good friends who helped to ease us back in. I got a head cold the first day back, and experienced some troubling heart palpitations as well, but they couldn’t stop me from taking us out to our favorite Saturday morning destination: the farmer’s market at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA.
We had been regular visitors to the Saratoga Farmer’s Market for years before we left for Malaysia. It’s a place where you can get to know the growers and interact with them from week to week. It is a place where you can find not just seasonal staples but also unexpected items that aren’t sold in the supermarkets.
The Prevedelli Farms stand sells organically grown apples from their farm in nearby Watsonville. They grow our favorite apple variety, the Mutsu. I wasn’t expecting to see any so late in the season, but they just happened to have some left – the last of the last. We had to get some.
Prevedelli Farms Apple Stand
We really wanted to see our good friend, Pat the fishmonger from Mission Fresh Fish. Over the years, he has supplied our fish for many a dish such as our Cioppino Hot Pot, our Indonesian Spiced Fish, and our Ahi Limu Poke. Unfortunately (for us), Pat’s business has grown so much in our absence that he no longer comes out to the farmer’s market, as he needs to be out fishing to provide stock to his markets. Still, the other sellers remembered us, and supplied us with some fresh caught sardines plus some salmon collars which we intend to broil for a meal later on.
Sardines and Salmon
Another vendor that we were glad to see still at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market is Heirlooom Organics.
Heirloom Organics Stand
Heriloom Organics is one of the original organic farms in California. They offer lots of unique and delicious leafy and root veggies. A couple of interesting and tasty ones we tried were this heirloom variety of broccoli dicicco, and a red mustard leaf.
Broccoli Dicicco and Red Streak Mustard
One of the veggies we brought home with us is kohlrabi. When asked, most of our friends don’t even know what it is. We describe it as kind of like a root vegetable, except that it grows above ground. It tastes like sweet broccoli stem and can be eaten raw or cooked.
Have you eaten kohlrabi before?
Since we’re staying temporarily at a friend’s place, with pantry and fridge nearly bare, we don’t have a lot of seasonings and condiments to cook with. So we prepared this kohlrabi in a very simple manner.
Remove the stems and fibrous skin, then cut the bulb into large sticks. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Toss in a couple of tablespoons of chopped garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the kohlrabi sticks, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir-fry for a 5-8 minutes until softened. Serve hot.
As I said, this preparation is very simple. Other, more involved recipes can be found at Simply Recipes, Viet World Kitchen, Chocolate and Zucchini, Herbivoracious, and Artisan Bread in Five. I encourage you to try out this wonderful vegetable!
Being Back, but Better
We are excited to be back in California, with its wide abundance of fruits and produce. We have decided that we’re going to try to eat more in line with Michael Pollan’s Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual: Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants. It’s a sensible way to eat healthy and hopefully will help us lose some of that weight we put on while living in Malaysia.
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