WARM WEATHER and longer days are arriving as spring seems to have made a comeback. Despite the unpredictable weather, there is beautiful produce arriving at the farmer's markets and Tuesdays on the square in Sonoma, is just the place to sample fresh spring vegetables, although you might have to fight the crowds to get to them.
The energy is high with shoppers, picnic tables are full and children run through the park, catching up with parents, glass of wine in hand, to ask for a corn dog or pizza. The lines to the food vendors are long while old and young, celebrate the return of Spring. I was one of them as I could hardly contain my own excitement upon seeing old friends and new and favorite produce vendors with their latest spring crop, or new breads, and my favorite Prima Vera Chicken Tacos.
Some food vendors had lines ten deep with hungry and eager market shoppers. We met people visiting from Atlanta and Brooklyn who didn't know that this was the first night back for the market and probably thought this occured every day here in Sonoma. We talked music and wine tasting, New York neighborhoods, and Atlanta suburbs. We ran into new friends that we had just met at the Citte Slow dinner a couple months ago and old friends of family. It was a nice time and I was glad to be part of it. I find the town of Sonoma to be just the place to feel a sense of community that we all crave. I look forward to every Tuesday night even more with the market back for the season and the warm nights approaching.
Enjoy these vegetables right now from the market; fava beans, snap peas, fresh carrots, fresh greens, fresh green garlic, strawberries and much more. Spring is here at last!
Photos of Runuculas from Oak Hill Farm, and a new vendor Mike the Bejkr with delicious farro spezzato bread, and of course, PrimaVera with its delicious fresh Mexican food.
Chicken Tostada ($5) from PrimaVera and Chicken Tamale ($7) with Black Beans
*For recipes that are fresh from the farmer's market with minimal effort but loaded with flavor, try Janet Fletcher's cookbook...it is one of my favorites. I love her pizetta recipe which is from my sister Susan's now defunct restaurant Ristorante Ecco. Make a spring vegetable pizza with it!
Fresh from the Farmers' Market (Reissue): Year-Round Recipes for the Pick of the Crop