Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ode to: Farmers market squash blossom quesadillas

One of my (our) absolute favorite things in San Francisco was going to the Alemany farmers market on sunday mornings (the largest in the city, a five minute walk from our old apartment). A street food neophyte, I'd fallen into a long and expensive rut of eating fancy crepes from these two French guys (it would be funny if I could say French creeps so they would be French creep crepes, but they were nice guys)... until one day their tent was missing, and I was forced to look further afield.

Enter El Huarache Loco and life-changing, home-made tortillas -- literally pressed to order -- and the achingly short squash blossom season (or maybe they were just always sold out). They had really fantastic, even less frequently available, mushroom quesadillas too.

And here we are three (or wow, more like four) years later. The Hillcrest farmers market in San Diego was kind of disappointing at first, but in the last year or so -- I don't know if it's changed dramatically or if I just have a better idea what to look for -- but it has turned into/out to be a remarkably good place to buy food. I particularly love Be Wise ranch, Eben-Haezer eggs, Sage Mountain Farm, Suzie's, Archi's Acres but they're almost all great, lots of cool organic farms represented. Also Spenser Little has a booth there

So last weekend we picked up this small bunch of blossoms, to use with some fresh nopales tortillas (that Kristen had earlier in the week asked me to "hook [her] up with"), avocado (from archi's), salsa, and goat feta (sounds weird but it's not that different from cotija). The squash blossoms were kind of an adventure, apparently this is normal but I realized they were completely covered with ants when we got home... suffice it to say this meal involved significantly more death than they usually do at our house. But oh the result was delicious... if you haven't had them, squash blossoms are pretty much exactly what they sound like, flowers that taste like squash. They quickly cooked down into almost nothingness but the flavor stood up quite well.

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