This is the Monthly E-Newsletter of Contra Costa Certified Farmers' Markets for Friday, September 5, 2008
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The Lettuce Leaf

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From Chef Lesley Stiles:

Free Form Tart
Take a sheet of puff pastry and roll out a little bit. Place on a baking sheet. Slice up about 4 cups of fruit and place in the middle of the puff dough. Roll up sides around fruit leaving a bit of a hole in the center. Brush all with egg wash and sprinkle with rough sugar. Chill in reefer for about 20 minutes. Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes until the dough is nice and brown and the fruit is bubbling up around the hole.

Faro w/ Sauteed Fresh Corn, Tomatoes and Herbs

Faro or Spelt as it is also known is the whole grain of the wheat berry. When cooked until soft it makes a great foil for salads or sides not to mention an awesomely nutritious vegetarian main dish.

2 cups cooked faro
1 cup fresh corn cut off the cob
2 rough chop heirloom tomatoes
1/2 bunch basil, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon oil
1 lemon, juice and zest
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in sautee pan and add the onions. Sautee until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the corn, tomatoes and herbs. Toss in lemon zest and sautee for 3 more minutes. Add the faro and heat through about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and remove to serving bowl. Add the lemon oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

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Massa Organic Rice
in Walnut Creek

Patrick's Famous Pies in Pleasant Hill & Walnut Creek

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In this Issue:
Next issue of The Lettuce Leaf Newsletter will be on October 3.

Saturdays 9am-1pm
Orinda Way in Orinda Village in front of Rite Aid and the Community Park.
For more info

Pleasant Hill:
Saturdays 10am-2pm
Pleasant Hill City Hall.
For more info

Sundays 10am-2pm
Main Street Plaza Downtown.
For more info

Walnut Creek:
Sundays 8am-1pm
North Locust St. between Giammona Dr. and Lacassie Ave.

From Keith Farley, Manager:
With only a few precious days of "official summer" left and Labor Day is upon us, we at the farmers' markets are looking forward to Fall, and the bountiful harvest that this season always brings. Don't think for minute that the hot days and cool nights are over though we still have some of the hottest days ahead of us (having said that, it'll probably snow tomorrow) and that means the best of both worlds. A blend of summer fruits and fall veggies are coming, a truly wonderful time of the year. Canning and freezing are now an imperative if you want to make summer last all year so git to it! The seasonal markets in Orinda, Pleasant Hill and Martinez are still going strong and have the best of the best to offer. Walnut Creek has become a faster paced market however; the seasonal ones offer a more laid-back experience. So go and try them and round out your shopping at Walnut Creek.

Gas prices are creeping down, well by a few pennies. What I think this means is that as we cut our gas consumption demand decreased and it forced the oil companies and oil producers to back off. I want to encourage all of you to continue this trend. I am practicing what I preach, I parked my SUV and am now riding an Italian scooter, (pause for laughter) for my round town errands and I have cut my gas bill by $375 last month. I now use 6.0 gallons of gas a month. Yes, it is still using gas but look at the reduction in the carbon footprint this will cause if more and more start parking the SUV and start scooting or cycling. To encourage this, I am offering free parking at all our farmers' markets. Too generous, I know.

See you at the markets!

For more info.

Market hotline 925 431-8361.
FROM OUR MARKETS by Chef Lesley Stiles

Shadows alter as light falls differently, sliding into Fall in the Bay Area. Peak season relaxes into lusciously local pears, stone fruits and heirloom tomatoes beginning my favorite crossover season for fruits and veggies at all of our farmers' markets. Grapes, red or green, seeded or seedless are starting to blanket tables and peppers have reached perfect ripe owning fully developed flavor and heat. Winter squashes are peeking out behind cooler weather greens next to smooth or speckled summer squashes making the kaleidoscope of culinary treasures waiting to be prepared mind boggling and extremely exciting.

As mercury drops in the morning and evening, fleeting ideas begin to form suggesting perhaps polenta with sauteed peppers, corn and onions adding just a touch of grated aged Gouda for a velvet finish at dinner after that great Caprese you had for lunch.

School lunches beg for sweet strawberries, apples and cool, crisp, juicy grapes quenching midday heat and revving up the energy to finish that algebra. Sandwiches must be graced with fat tomatoes, crispy lettuce and sweet onions. Going green in the lunch box is easy with all the reusable container choices we have making salads for your eaters easy to keep fresh adding dressing when ready to eat. Leftover grilled meats, sauteed green beans, grated cheese and lettuce make a rib sticking nutritious meal on the playground or in the cafeteria. Brunch can get a nice reception with bars made out of all this surplus fruit keeping sugar down while sacrificing no flavor at all.

Free form tarts and fruit crisps are also a healthy and delicious way to get that fruit in too. This is jam and can season as well and even if you have never tried before, gather your courage, go online or grab a book and check out the amazing ways you can preserve some of this summer love in your own pantry proclaiming yourself a specter at the feast on a future short, cold day prolonging the final act of this amazing summer bounty.

We are very lucky to have Slow Food Nation week in the Bay Area. Take a gander at the Victory garden in S F Civic Center and know that a whole lot of people are all on the same page trying to fix food systems in the world making fresh, wholesome food available to everyone, regardless of income or geographic locale. I am fortunate to be a part of Slow Food Congress and Slow Food in Schools this week and will report more next issue!

This is the best time of year to hike in our beloved hills and parks. Move it and lose it!

Lesley Stiles can be reached at
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