This is the Monthly E-Newsletter of Contra Costa Certified Farmers' Markets for Friday, August 1, 2008
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The Lettuce Leaf

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From Chef Lesley Stiles:

Peach Salsa

2 peaches, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped fine
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 lemon or lime, skin grated off and juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all together in a bowl and serve over fish, chicken or with chips.
Makes 2 cups.

Balsamic Drizzle

3 cups balsamic vinegar
3 cups red wine
2 sliced shallots
1 branch rosemary
1/2 cup honey

Pour wine and balsamic vinegar into a non reactive saucepan. Add the shallot and rosemary. Bring to a boil , lower heat to a simmer and reduce to about 2 cups. This will be thick and bubbly. Add honey and simmer for 3 minutes.

Use for a dressing on salad with olive oil or as a sauce to grilled chicken, roasted duck or vegetables.
Makes 2 cups.

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More recipes

In this Issue:
Next issue of The Lettuce Leaf Newsletter will be on September 5.

Saturdays 9am-1pm
Orinda Way in Orinda Village in front of Rite Aid and the Community Park.
Music 8/2: Paulette Rene
Music 8/9: Acoustic S & M
Music 8/16: Bryan Harrison
Music 8/23: Lacy Baker
Music 8/30: The Wolking Boys
For more info

Pleasant Hill:
Saturdays 10am-2pm
Pleasant Hill City Hall.
Music 8/2: Flutopia
Music 8/9: Susan Holland
Music 8/16: Liedstrand Family Band
Music 8/23: Paulette Rene
Music 8/30: Acoustic S & M
For more info

Sundays 10am-2pm
Main Street Plaza Downtown.
Music 8/3: Dave Land
Music 8/10: Flutopia
Music 8/17: The Wolking Boys
Music 8/24: Eddie Williams
Music 8/31: Season of Us
For more info

Walnut Creek:
Sundays 8am-1pm
North Locust St. between Giammona Dr. and Lacassie Ave.
Music 8/3
: Lacy Baker
Music 8/10: Bryan Harrison Band
Music 8/17: Fred McCarty
Music 8/24: Growiser
Music 8/31: Second Calling
Manager: Keith Farley.

From Keith Farley, Manager:
The markets are full to the brim and I hope you are frequenting your local farmers' market wherever that may be. Orinda and Pleasant Hill on Saturdays are having a great season and Martinez and Walnut Creek on Sundays are exploding with fresh, almost too sweet fruits. Don't get left out of the goodness of the summer.

foodEating Fresh and Local has become a way of life for some of us and is just a buzz word to others. If you are one of the others, consider this, supermarket produce is old. It is at least one week old unless it came to us via a local farm. A truck burning diesel fuel traveled many miles, sometimes thousands, to bring it to you and for all that trouble it tastes like, well you know... and it has had a negative impact on our environment, not very green. In our global village we live in it is hard, sometimes impossible to source all of our goods locally but we can source our foods reasonably close in California. There are few foods that cannot be grown here and if you look for and eat what is in season you will help the State's economy and our planet. Perhaps that is a tree hugging point of view and that's ok in my book - we (all of us) have spent too much time being spoiled by our own riches so we have forgotten our main mission: To be good stewards of this planet for those who come after us. Don't let the next generation say "they did more harm than good."

If you don't shop at our farmers' market then shop at one of the many in the area. It's one step in the global right direction.

For more info.

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

cornDeep into summer season at the farmers' markets and the produce is peaking along with the possibilities of preparations for some exquisite dishes. Sweet corn is perfect steamed on the cob but try grilling corn out of the husk, lubed up a drop, to a nice little char. Cut the corn off the cob and toss kernels with some cooked quinoa, chopped basil, diced cukes and tomatoes adding a drop of lemon oil and rice vinegar. Stone fruits are busting out with natural sugars and tropical flavors. Try replacing peaches for mango in that favorite salsa for chips or grilled fish. Make free form tarts using a sheet of puff pastry mounded in the center with fresh fruit of any kind. Roll the pastry up around the edges of the fruit leaving it open in the center. Brush the dough with water and sprinkle with some coarse, organic sugar and bake at 400° for about 20 minutes until nice and brown. Heirlooms are turning up on tables everywhere joining early tomatoes. They take longer to mature and the crops are a bit lighter than the hybrids and that along with the seed saving process involved in growing heirlooms make them special and worth the fuss. Slice up with fresh mozzarella creating the ages old Caprese that unbelievably can be found year round on menus but now is the only time that this salad is awesome. Sprinkle the tomatoes and cheese with sliced basil, lemon oil, balsamic drizzle and cracked sea salt.

Pesto is screaming to be prepared in copious amounts and rubbed, I mean eaten on anything that your mind will allow combining it with. Use parsley and lots of lemon along with your basil to keep it a shattering shade of green and try local fresh crop walnuts or almonds instead of overpriced imported pine nuts that unless you have a source with integrity are usually rancid anyway.

Keep your summer produce local and fresh and you will escape gouging prices, bizarre dung related diseases and bland tasting sludgy fruits and veggies.

Get out there!

Lesley Stiles can be reached at
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