“Oh! These are so light!” said the TSA agent as she scooted our empty suitcases onto the conveyer belt at the head of the security line.

“They won’t be when we come back!” I said.

When we take quick trips to San Francisco, a farmer’s market is always on our itinerary (specifically, we beeline to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market), but taking home gobs of gorgeous produce is out of the question, unless we want to carry it all day and then haul it back to the airport via BART.

This time, we were flying into SFO instead of Oakland…and we were renting a car. We knew what we had to do:

Desperately seeking produce

A quick web search told me that the College of San Mateo had a good Saturday farmers market, with ample parking and a good proportion of produce vendors (unlike some farmers markets). Those reports did not lie. We came back with:

  • Shelling peas
  • Artichokes
  • New potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Summer squash
  • Beets
  • Dandelion greens
  • Basil
  • Fennel
  • Radishes
  • Avocados
  • Peaches
  • Lemons
  • Juicing oranges (a 10 lb. bag)
  • Assorted other oranges
  • A pint of strawberries (which were eaten before our return)
  • One loaf kalamata olive bread
  • One loaf fig bread
  • Two scones
Oh, bountiful harvest

While the variety of oranges available was much more diverse than what you will ever see in Seattle farmers’ markets (because this is not a citrus-growing state), everything else was simply a jump start on what’s going on locally, since California’s growing season starts earlier and lasts longer. (On our return trip, our bags got flagged by TSA, and the agent who opened our bags to take a peek asked us if we’d robbed an orange tree. We explained our trip, and that lead to a whole conversation about vegetable gardening. Good thing it was a slow evening in security check!)

So I’ve been in veggie heaven for the last few days, arranging our purchases into a week’s worth of meals. On Sunday, the menu was:

  • French green lentils with caramelized fennel and onions, and a sherry vinaigrette
  • Roasted beets, diced and tossed with toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and a walnut oil vinaigrette
  • Dandelion greens tossed with a warm mustardy vinaigrette
  • Kalamata olive bread

On Monday, we had:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Roasted new potatoes
  • Fresh basil pesto
  • Peas
  • Tossed green salad (with lettuce from our garden)
More veggie inspiration

Tonight, it’s leftovers, but tomorrow I’m planning to make:

I haven’t decided what to do with the summer squash or artichokes yet, but, I’ll be looking to my two current favorite cookbooks for inspiration: Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy and Dana Jacobi’s The Superfoods Cookbook (that’s the title of the softcover edition…the hardcover version goes under the title Good for You).

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Carrie Dennett, MPH, RDN, is a Pacific Northwest-based registered dietitian nutritionist, freelance writer, intuitive eating counselor, author, and speaker. Her superpowers include busting nutrition myths and empowering women to feel better in their bodies and make food choices that support pleasure, nutrition and health. This post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute individualized nutrition or medical advice.

Seeking 1-on-1 nutrition counseling? Carrie offers a 6-month Food & Body program (intuitive eating, body image, mindfulness, self-compassion) and a 4-month IBS management program (low-FODMAP diet coaching with an emphasis on increasing food freedom). Visit the links to learn more and book a free intro call to see if the program is a good fit, and if we’re a good fit!

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