Category Archives: Fruit

Cute Little Cherry Upside-Down Cakelets

How cute are these cherry upside-down cakelets?
How cute are these cherry upside-down cakelets?

Glossy little cherries have an undeniable appeal at this time of year.

They’re even harder to resist when spotlighted in sweet treats like these “Cherry Upside-Down Cakelets.”

This Food52 recipe is by VVVanessa. When I received my first cherries of the season last week in a bountiful Farm Box, I knew I wanted to do something special with them.

Farm Box is a new start-up by the digital design company, 409 + Co, which was founded by Andreas Winsberg, whose father owns the Bay Area’s Happy Quail Farms, famous for growing the first coveted pimientos de Padron peppers in California.

Cherries from G.L. Alfieri Farms via Farm Box.
Cherries from G.L. Alfieri Farms via Farm Box.

This specialty produce box can be picked up at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza farmers market on Saturdays or the Menlo Park farmers market on Sundays; or delivered to your door on Saturdays for a $20 fee. Learn more about Farm Box in my post earlier this week.

Read more

Good Things Come In — Farm Box

Some of the impeccable produce from small farms in this past Saturday's Farm Box.
Some of the impeccable produce from small farms in this past Saturday’s Farm Box.

Andreas Winsberg is used to growing things. The son of a farmer — David Winsberg of East Palo Alto’s Happy Quail Farms that started the craze for pimientos de Padron in California — he’s been helping his dad plant those prized Spanish peppers and sell them at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmers market since he can remember.

Now, it’s this 25-year-old’s turn to germinate something special of his own.

In late-March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit full bore in the Bay Area and shelter-in-place restrictions took hold, he created Farm Box, a weekly curated farmers market box that customers can get delivered to their door or pick up at the Ferry Plaza farmers market on Saturdays or the Menlo Park farmers market on Sundays.

Farm Box was developed by 409 + Co, a design agency that Andreas founded with fellow 20-something alums of Pennsylvania’s Haverford College, Stephen Davis and Jessie Lamworth.

They didn’t set out to do this. But realizing just how complicated buying groceries and food was about to become for people, they rose to the challenge to build out a new web-delivery business to help small-scale, local farmers, whose goods are so perishable, reach more customers.

Contactless delivery to my porch.
Contactless delivery to my porch.
The reveal of what's inside.
The reveal of what’s inside.

“Seeing what my dad was going through, and fearing that the farmers market might shut down, was the impetus,’’ Andreas says. “We’re not in it to get rich, but to help farmers and others who need the boost now.’’

Read more

Pear-Rosemary Muffin Tin Pies

Two words: butter bomb.
Two words: butter bomb.

These may be little, but they are lethal.

Dare I tell you how much butter there is in these innocent looking “Pear-Rosemary Muffin Tin Pies’?

There are 3 1/4 sticks total.

That’s 26 tablespoons of butter for 10 itty-bitty pies.

(Math majors can be more precise, but that’s a little more than 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter per muffin-tin pie. Although, darn it, when you break it down like that, it doesn’t seem quite so bad. Well, maybe…)

Regardless, I am here to tell you that it is worth the calories and cholesterol to make these beauties.

We are talking some seriously flaky, supremely buttery, and moan-inducing, swoon-worthy crusts. They are filled with tender chunks of pears that take on an unexpected perfume from fresh rosemary. The finishing touch is a brown-butter, brown-sugar, walnut streusel top.

This divine recipe is from “The Perfect Pie: Your Ultimate Guide to Classic and Modern Pies, Tarts, Galettes, and More” by America’s Test Kitchen, of which I received a review copy.

Inside, you will find all manner of pies made with all manner of crusts such as “Classic Pie Dough” (made with butter and shortening), “Vegan Pie Dough” (made with coconut oil), and “Gluten-Free Pie Dough” (made with gluten-free flour blend, sour cream, rice vinegar and a little xanthan gum).

Read more

A Prickly Affair With Persimmons

While this is a faux persimmon, my new-found adoration of Hachiya persimmons is very much real.
While this is a faux persimmon, my new-found adoration of Hachiya persimmons is very much real.

Like so many great love affairs, this one began with trepidation.

After all, an astringent personality is not something one warms to readily. What was required was untold patience for its latent sweetness to reveal itself in time.

Such was my relationship with Hachiya persimmons.

Now, with its cousin, the Fuyu, the attraction was immediate. Cheerfully hued, beguilingly sweet, and ready to eat in a flash while still crisp, the Fuyu is thoroughly captivating in salads or pickled.

But the Hachyia? Well, it was more like that demon lurking in the shadows in a horror movie, biding its time as it transformed ever so slowly but surely into something blobby, oozy, and frightening.

Can you blame me for trying to avoid it for years?

Read more

Lamb and Butternut Squash Ragu with Mint, Orange, and The Greatest Tomatoes From Europe

Whole canned cherry tomatoes in their juices from Europe make this pasta dish even more of a treat.
Whole canned cherry tomatoes in their juices from Europe make this pasta dish even more of a treat.

Ancient landmarks, breathtaking artworks, artisan foodstuffs perfected over generations, and the intricate fashions crafted by Prada, Dior and Givenchy.

Those are some of the things I most love about Europe.

Now, comes the newest addition to my list: canned tomatoes.

Yes, really.

I never thought I’d get that excited over such a basic pantry staple until the Italian Association of Canned Vegetable Industries and European Union founded the marketing program, The Greatest Tomatoes From Europe, to spread the word far and wide about its canned tomatoes. As part of the program, they began sending out free samples to food writers like myself to give them a try.

I received two cans, 400g each, of Davio Gragnano whole, peeled long, oblong and cherry tomatoes, vacuum-sealed with their juices. When you open the cans, what’s most striking is that the plump tomatoes are afloat in a fairly thick puree of a sauce, not the weak, watery liquid usually found inside most supermarket canned tomatoes. I dipped a spoon in to taste a very vivid tomato flavor. While you might strain out and discard the liquid in other cans, it would be a waste to that here because it was actually a bonus — getting tomatoes and sauce in one.

Samples from the Greatest Tomatoes From Europe.
Samples from the Greatest Tomatoes From Europe.

Inside my sample box were also packages of Pastificio G. Di Martino Italian dried pasta. So there was no question that I’d be making a bountiful pasta dish out of it all. Of course, not that I ever need an excuse to make pasta.

Read more
« Older Entries Recent Entries »