Catching Up at Saratoga Farmer’s Market

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.


Unexpected Find

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

Prevedelli Farms apple stand at Saratoga Farmer's Market

Fishy Friends

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

Mission Fresh Fish sardines and salmon at Saratoga Farmer's Market

Still There

Another vendor that we were glad to see still at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market is Heirlooom Organics.

Heirloom Organics Stand

Heirloom Organics stand at Saratoga Farmer's Market

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

Broccoli Dicicco and Red Streak Mustard from Heirloom Organics stand at Saratoga Farmer's Market5

Cole-what?

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.

Sauteed Kohlrabi

Sauteed kohlrabi

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 RecipesViet 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.

Aloha, Nate

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I am entering this post in the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup, hosted this week by Elena from Zibaldone Culinario and organized by Haalo from Cook Almost Anything.

13 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Patt says:

    I am so envious of the seafood you can get. Be ready soon because salmon season is going to be amazing this year.

    • Nate says:

      You don’t get all the variety like you do in Kuching, but wild-caught King salmon is definitely one of the perks about living here :-)

  2. Terri says:

    You did the right thing moving back to the US! Best wishes!

    • Nate says:

      Terri,

      Thanks! I wish we could have gotten out to KK one more time to meet up with you, though. Hopefully our paths will cross again!

  3. Rosemary Chin says:

    Dear Annie & Nate,
    Glad to hear you arrived safely in the US. So envious of your farmers’s market.
    I like your plan
    “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. ”
    Yes, we eat a tad too much here in the East. Too much temptation with the easy access to hawker fare or to ‘ ta pow’ as well.
    I have to check out Mike Pollan’s Food Rules : An Eaters Manual. I do yearn for the wonderful fruits ( berries ) and veg in the US.
    All the best to you both & family. Enjoy California again.

    Cheers,
    Rosemary Chin

  4. elena says:

    Hi, the round up is on line…. thanks for your participation!!!

  5. Welcome back! I bet it is a little disorienting at first. But no doubt, it will feel like you never left soon enough.

  6. Welcome back! To think, the farmers market will have even more stuff in the next few weeks! I’m always a bit sad going in the winter months because there are fewer vendors, so really looking forward to the spring and summer crops! Still, not sure if I would have tried kohlrabi. I’ve seen it at restaurants and at the markets, but not sure if I would enjoy it. Good for you for being so adventurous!

  7. Nancy says:

    Welcome back!

  8. Hello Nate and Annie!

    I hope you remember me! It’s Alaiyo of Pescetarian Journal. I hope you’re adjusting well to your move back to the states. It’s good to see that your blog is going strong and still has great information and wonderful-looking recipes.

    Alaiyo

    • Nate says:

      Hi A,

      thanks for the comment! We’re just getting back on our feet again after many months, so we’re not quite back to full strength yet. We need to get writing and posting again more frequently.

  9. suituapui says:

    I love the farmer’s markets abroad… So interesting and so clean and great to browse around in the nice, cool weather looking at all the things we can’t find here and sampling some as well…

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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