Market Scene: Spring Greens in San Francisco
One of the joys of spring in San Francisco is the many types of greens that are available. In addition to regular greens like spinach, arugula, and romaine, the farmers' market is a terrific place to find greens that are not quite so common.
As much as I love spring peas, I am horribly selective about them. I taste pea after pea and then eventually settle on a few pounds per season that I deem sweet enough without the telltale starch that proves it was not picked that morning.
Luckily, pea greens are available from several local farmers, and they satisfy that sweet pea flavor in the form of a green that can be eaten raw or sautéed. My dinner tonight will be consisting of roasted chicken with a side of pea greens sautéed with green garlic, peanut oil and soy sauce.
Another green that is becoming more common in our market is fava greens, which can be treated much in the same way. Walking through the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this weekend, I also spied beet greens and even radish greens, which make a delicious spicy pesto.
Now is a great time to be cooking spring risottos improvised with ingredients that you find at the market. A great risotto can be food of the gods—I use Marcella Hazan's instructions for risotto, and my spring risotto usually contains peas, mushrooms and other spring market finds. You can garnish with pea greens or serve on top of fava greens.
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About the author: Jennifer Maiser writes about locally and sustainably grown food. She is the founder and editor of the Eat Local Challenge website, is a founder of the Locavores and writes at Life Begins at 30, her personal weblog.