What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

June 13, 2012

Sigona’s Weekly Specials: June 13-19, 2012

Sigona’s Weekly Specials: June 13-19, 2012

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June 4, 2012

Sigona’s Fresh Press Olive Oil of the Month: June 2012

Sigona’s Fresh Press Olive Oil of the Month: June 2012

Since the last time we chatted, the sun has been shining brightly over the Bay Area, our San Francisco Giants have been gaining ground on those pesky Los Angeles Dodgers and the Facebook IPO was about as underwhelming as a stale cracker.

Fledgling stocks aside, June is the ideal time to dust off that BBQ, call up a few friends and enjoy delicious dishes created with Sigona’s fresh produce. That’s why we’ve provided you with a truly astounding pizza pie that will have your friends and family “oohing” and “ahhing” with pleasure. It’s even the perfect dish for dad on Father’s Day.

With that said, here is June’s extra virgin olive oil of the month from Sigona’s Farmers Market that will have your pizza tasting fantastic

Sigona’s June 2012 olive oil of the month

Nocellara From Argentina

This oil:

  • is buttery and light up front while possessing a fruity middle
  • has a slick kick of pepper on the finish
  • contains a polyphenol count of 223

Try this recipe from Veronica Foods

Grilled Thin Crust Pizza With Fresh Fava Bean Pesto & Arugula Salad with Gremolata Vinaigrette

Fresh Fava Bean & Goat Cheese Pesto

  • 3 pounds fresh fava bean pods
  • 2 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Argentina
  • 1/3 cup fresh goat cheese (If you don’t like goat cheese, we have some awesome French Bries on sale this week that would work well)
  • 1/4 cup really good quality Pecorino Romano

Directions: Have a medium bowl of ice water prepared. Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to boil. Shell the fava beans and add to the salted water. Blanch the fava beans for 2 minutes and then add to the bowl of ice water. Allow to cool. Slip the peel off each bean and place in to a food processor with all the other ingredients. Pulse until pureed and creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste and reserve. This pesto sauce can also be used over pasta, on bruschetta, or as a dip for veggies.

Thin Crust Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Argentina Pizza Dough

  •  4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups warm 110 degree spring or filtered water
  • 1/3 cup Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Argentina
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Note: A quickie alternative you’ll find in our stores is Vicolo organic corn meal pizza crust and Lomonica par-baked pizza crust. Both are excellent.

Directions: If using a bread machine follow the instructions for adding ingredients to the machine. If mixing in a mixer or by hand, combine the sugar and water and yeast in a large bowl or mixer bowl. Allow to sit for five minutes. Add the olive oil and salt. Begin mixing in the flour. It will be fairly wet but avoid the temptation to add more flour. Knead for approximately 3 minutes until the dough is relatively smooth and cohesive. Allow to rise for 1 hour covered in a warm place. Divide and shape or roll the dough in to two large thin crust pizzas or three medium thin crust pizzas. Makes enough dough for 2 large or three medium thin crust pizzas

Simple Arugula Salad with Gremolata Vinaigrette

  • 5 cups baby arugula, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup Gremolata Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions: Just before the pizza is ready to be taken off the grill, combine the lemon juice with the sea salt. Whisk in the gremolata olive oil and season with pepper. Adjust seasoning and gently toss the arugula with the vinaigrette.

Grilled Thin Crust Pizza With Fava Bean Pesto & Arugula Salad With Gremolata Vinaigrette

  • Prepared pizza dough above
  • Fava Bean Pesto
  • 1 pound fresh buffalo mozzarella fresca, thinly sliced
  • Simple Arugula Salad with Gremolata Vinaigrette

Directions: Add approximately 1/3 cup of pesto to each medium pizza or 1/2 cup to each large pizza. Add a layer of mozzarella, season with a little sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Grill or bake at a minimum of 500 degrees, preferably on a preheated pizza stone, or on a large, inverted, preheated cast iron skillet. Depending on how hot you can get your oven or grill, the cooking time will be anywhere between 5-10 minutes. You are looking for golden brown crust and bubbling cheese. Remove from the oven and top with the prepared Simple Arugula Salad and serve immediately.

Serves 6-8

May 30, 2012

Sigona’s Weekly Specials: May 30 – June 5, 2012

Sigona’s Weekly Specials: May 30 – June 5, 2012

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May 23, 2012

Sigona’s Weekly Specials: May 23-29, 2012

Sigona’s Weekly Specials: May 23-29, 2012

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May 16, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Artichokes

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Artichokes

If you’re encountering artichokes for the first time, these jumbo gems may seem a bit intimidating, but don’t let the thorns fool you. Artichokes are great and absolutely fun to eat! You can steam them, stuff them and make them into soups.

The Basics

For easy eating, cut off the top of the artichoke leaves to remove the thorns.

Working with Artichokes

  1. Wash under cold water
  2. Remove lower, small and discolored leaves
  3. Remove stems if attached
  4. Cut off the top 1/4 of the artichoke and trim any thorns
  5. Keep the trimmed artichokes in acidulated water (one tablespoon lemon juice per quart of water) until time to cook.
  6. Cook as desired but not in aluminum or cast iron pots.
  7. Eat the tender portion at the bottom of each leaf, the heart, and even the soft interior leaves. The fuzzy interior choke is inedible.

Simple Steamed Artichokes

Place trimmed and prepped artichokes on a rack an inch or two above boiling water seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon each of olive oil, lemon juice and peppercorns. Cover and steam 25-45 minutes, until tender and leaves pull apart easily.

Alternately, place artichokes in microwave safe bowl with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon each of olive oil, lemon juice and peppercorns, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high 6-7 minutes. Let stand covered for 5 minutes more.

Grilled Artichokes

  1. Prep artichokes by removing the smaller or discolored leaves. Remove the stems, cut of 1/4 of the top of the artichoke and, using scissors, trim the thorns from each leaf.

    Artichokes on the grill at Pezzini Farms in Castroville.

  2. Steam or boil artichokes for 15-25 minutes or until tender and leaves pull off easily.
  3. Slice cooked artichokes in half lengthwise and use a spoon or melon baller to remove the fuzzy choke and first few inner layers in the center.
  4. Brush each half with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place artichokes, with cut side down first, on a hot grill for 5-7 minutes. Turn and grill an additional 5-7 minutes more. Look for nice grill marks on both sides.
  6. Serve with lemon wedges and your dip of choice (butter, aioli or marinara)

 

When I dip, you dip, we dip!

Here are a couple artichoke dips we know you’ll love.

Low-Cal Dill Dip

From the California Artichoke Advisory Board

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup reduced calorie mayo
  • 2 TBL green onion, minced
  • 3 TBL capers, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 tsp dried dill

Directions: Stir all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Best Dip: Good Ol’ Butter

Most ‘choke fans love to simply tip a steamed artichoke leaf in butter, and we agree with the California Artichoke Advisory Board on this one…adding a little something to the butter makes it even better!

To your butter, try mixing a little garlic powder, lemon juice, parsley or powdered Ranch dressing mix into melted butter!

Sigona’s Marinara

John Sigona says, “I love dipping artichokes in Sigona’s Old World Marinara – been doing it for years – delicious! Plus, our marinara as a dip with artichokes has less calories than mayo or aioli so it’s a healthier alternative.”

Garlic-Chive Aioli

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 TBL diced fresh chives
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • A pinch of white pepper (or more, to taste)
  • A pinch of cayenne powder (or more, to taste)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions: Mix all the ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Lemon-Thyme Aioli

Courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering.

  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch sugar

Directions: Mix all the ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

 

Pan Fried Baby Artichokes with Mint and Lemon

Recipe and photo courtesy of Turntable Kitchen. Follow the link below for cooking instructions.

  • Pan Fried Baby Artichokes with Mint and Lemon. Recipe and photo courtesy of Turntable Kitchen.

    1 dozen baby artichokes, trimmed and sliced in half, length-wise (see these tips for trimming baby artichokes in Saveur Magazine)

  • zest from 1/2 Meyer lemon
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets
  • salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint, plus more for garnish
  • olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon

Directions: find the directions on the Turntable Kitchen website.

Grandma Pauline’s Traditional Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes

This artichoke recipe evokes vivid memories of my childhood when our extended family would visit my grandmother Pauline, my mom’s mom, and gather around the table set with a huge platter of these stuffed artichokes. Everyone would sit together and reach in to pluck off a leaf – it really brought the family together. Artichokes take a while longer to cook when prepared this way, but each petal bursts with layers of flavor so it’s worth it! Stuffs four large artichokes. – John Sigona, Jr.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large artichokes (slice off the top 1 inch of the entire artichoke, use scissors to cut the tips off of each leaf and then slice off the stem/bottom so it sits up straight)
  • 1-1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup Sigona’s fresh press extra virgin olive oil (we recommend our Spanish Arbequina)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of one onion, diced
  • 1.5 oz. anchovies, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon

Directions:  In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onions and work for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the anchovies and melt into the oil. Cook for about 2 minutes.

Add in the breadcrumbs and reduce heat to low. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to bring the mix together. Turn off the burner and then stir in Parmesan. Set mixture aside.

Fit a large pot with a steamer basket and fill with about an inch of water and the juice of 1 lemon. Cover and bring the water to a low boil so it creates steam.

To stuff the artichokes, start at the crown and peel back a petal to make a little pocket. Fill the pocket with a small spoonful of the breadcrumb mix – remember you have 4 artichokes to stuff so measure spoonfuls accordingly. Move to the next petal; repeat until the entire artichoke is stuffed.

Set stuffed artichokes upright on steamer basket and steam until a leaf pulls out easily. Begin checking at about 35 minutes. When done, place on serving dish alongside an empty bowl to dump used leaves.

Artichoke Frittata

Frittatas are simple dishes that take just minutes to prepare and are great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. They’re different from a quiche in that they do not have a crust. Using egg whites makes for a healthier option, and you can add in as many veggies as you like. For this one, we’re just using artichokes, but if you’re looking to add something, we suggest mushrooms. Serves 4. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 3 large artichokes
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 eggs, such as our pastured eggs from Wattle & Comb (you can do 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites, if desired), lightly beaten with a splash of milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar

Directions: Par (or trim) down the artichokes to the cups – this means peel off all the leaves and cut out the fuzzy choke so all you’re left with is the heart.

Cook the heart of the artichokes in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Then chop into smaller 1-2 inch pieces.

Season and sauté the shallots in olive oil for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and diced artichokes. Stir constantly for several minutes to let all the flavors come together.

Remove from heat and incorporate the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Working quickly, pour egg and artichoke mix into a lightly greased pie or frittata dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake at 325F for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temp.

Grilled Baby Artichokes with Lemon-Thyme Aioli

This recipe, submitted by our friend Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos, is simply mouthwatering. The presentation is pretty snazzy, too! Original post here. Serves 4.

For the artichokes:

  • Grilled Baby Artichokes with Lemon-Thyme Aioli. Recipe and photo courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering.

    1 lemon, halved

  • 12 fresh baby artichokes
  • 1/2 cup (Sigona’s Fresh Press) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed and minced
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the aioli:

  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch sugar

Directions: Mix all the ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Squeeze juice from lemon into bowl of cold water. Cut stem off 1 artichoke, leaving about 1 inch. Snap off bottom 3 rows of leaves. Cut off tip of artichoke. Halve artichoke lengthwise. Scrape out choke. Place in lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Steam the artichokes until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain; pat dry.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Mix oil and garlic in small bowl. Skewer artichokes and brush artichokes with some of garlic oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Grill until tender and charred in spots, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer artichokes to platter.

Serve artichokes warm or at room temperature, offering lemon thyme aioli alongside.

Carmelo’s Creamy Fettuccine with Garlic & Artichokes

This is a recipe I throw together often during artichoke season. The earthy, nutty flavor of the artichokes adds a hearty characteristic to this creamy, lemony comfort dish. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 1 package fresh Saporito Fine Pasta (found at Sigona’s)
  • 2 large artichokes
  • 1/4 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 TBL heavy cream
  • 2 TBL butter
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (from about 1 small lemon)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Par (or trim) down the artichokes to the cups – this means peel off all the leaves and cut out the fuzzy choke so all you’re left with is the heart.

Cook the heart and stems of the artichokes in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Then rough chop into pieces.

In the meantime, boil the pasta according to package directions. Time the pasta so that it’s cooked to al dente and is ready to go from being drained into the artichoke mix (see direction below).

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and chopped garlic cloves over medium heat, stirring as to not burn the garlic. Add the wine and reduce by half.  Add the chopped artichoke hearts and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cream and butter. Cook for 1 minute or until butter is melted.

Stir in cooked and drained pasta and then turn off the heat. Gently mix in lemon zest and the parmigiano reggiano cheese. Serve warm.

Grilled Artichokes, Roasted Striped Beets with Rainbow Radishes

Try any variety of beet with this recipe, the striped Chioggia beet makes for a fancy presentation! Recipe and photo courtesy of food blogger Mary Platis of California Greek Girl. Serves 4.

Grilled Artichokes, Roasted Striped Beets with Rainbow Radishes. Recipe and photo courtesy of food blogger Mary of California Greek Girl.

Ingredients:

  • 4 beets, roasted
  • 4 small artichokes, cooked and cleaned
  • 2-3 radishes, cut in half (look for colorful “Easter Egg” radishes. Regular red radishes work too)
  • 2 TBL (Sigona’s Fresh Press) olive oil
  • 1 tsp (Sigona’s traditional) balsamic
  • 2-3 leaves of  parsley, finely chopped
  • wooden kabob skewers (soak in water for at least 10 minutes before skewering food and placing on bbq)

Directions: Wrap the unpeeled beets in foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until soft. Peel while still warm, and slice into quarters. Set aside.

Place artichokes in a pot of boiling water, and cook for 35-45 minutes until knife can be pierced easily in the stem.

Peel away all the leaves, remove the center, being careful not to break the artichoke. Trim all around any rough outer leaves. Cut in half and set aside.

Wash and cut radishes in half.

Skewer the cooked beets, radish, and cooked artichoke. Lightly oil the BBQ and cook the skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve warm.

 

A Pair for the Palate: Savory Goat Cheese with Fig or Pear

A Pair for the Palate: Savory Goat Cheese with Fig or Pear

Spread a little stuffed goat cheese and top with a slice of fresh fig or pear for an additional pop of flavor.

Figs and goat cheese. Figs stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey, for good measure. How about a pear and goat cheese topped green salad? Goat cheese and any fruit for that matter. Can it get any better?

If you love that savory tang of goat cheese paired with the mellow sweetness of fresh or dried fruit, then you’re in for a treat!

Next week, May 23-29, we’re offering a free 4 oz. package of Coach Farm fresh goat cheese stuffed with either figs or pears with your coupon when you spend $30 or more!

Whether on its own, spread on a baguette or paired up with a glass of red or white wine, Coach Farm creamy, spreadable goat cheese with fig or pear is a simple yet luscious treat that’s even better when it’s free.

Make sure to get your free cheese next week then try these goat cheese recipes:

Strawberry Salad with Walnuts & Coach Farm Goat Cheese with Fig

Recipe adapted from Coach Farm. Serves 4.

Fig Balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Spanish Hojiblanca olive oil
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s fig balsamic
  • 1 tsp finely minced shallot
  • salt to taste

Stuffed goat cheese is delicious when crumbled and sprinkled on a green salad with fresh fruit and nuts.

For salad:

  • 6 cups mesclun or wild arugula (also known as rocket arugula)
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 3 ounces Coach Farm goat cheese with fig, crumbled
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Arrange greens on plates. Top with berries, drizzle with dressing and top with walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. Season with freshly ground pepper.

Coach Farm Goat Cheese Pizza with Pear and Arugula

Recipe adapted from Coach Farm. Serves 2-4.

Ingredients:

  • 1x 12″ Pizza Shell (store bought or make your own)
  • 4 oz. Coach Farm goat cheese with pear, thinly sliced
  • Ripe pears cut in 8 wedges, marinated and grilled
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press Spanish Hojiblanca olive oil
  • 1 cup Baby Arugula
  • 3 TBL Sigona’s traditional balsamic

Directions:

Lay cheese out on a partially baked pizza shell. Top will pear wedges and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in a hot oven until the crust is fully cooked and the cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan or pot, reduce the balsamic over medium-high heat until thicker and syrup-like. Remove from heat, cool at least 5 minutes then toss with the arugula.

Top baked pizza with the arugula and balsamic mixture. Slice and serve.

Sigona’s Weekly Specials: May 16-22, 2012

Sigona’s Weekly Specials: May 16-22, 2012

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May 10, 2012

Sigona’s Fresh Press Olive Oil of the Month: May 2012

Sigona’s Fresh Press Olive Oil of the Month: May 2012

Ah spring! It’s time to welcome back the sun shining on your face, the San Francisco Giants to AT&T Park and flavor-exploding salads to your lunches, dinners and BBQs. You may already be planning a nice home cooked meal for Mother’s Day – and Memorial Day will be here before you know it as well – so this month’s olive oil and recipe couldn’t come at a better time.

Chilean ArbequinaDon’t forget we have some fantastic in-store signage to provide you with all the oleic acid information you need when selecting your favorite fresh pressed olive oils. Have any questions? Just ask one of our experts in the olive oil section the next time you’re in Sigona’s. They’ll make sure you leave the store with the perfect extra virgin olive oil needed to turn any recipe into a home run.

Without further ado, here is our selection for a beautiful cultivar that really tastes fantastic right now.

Sigona’s May 2012 olive oil of the month

Chilean Arbequina

This oil…

  • while typically a mild cultivar, this particular crop produced a robust oil that’s exceptionally bold and flavorful with a polyphenol count of 435.
  • is lush, buttery and possesses a slightly delayed, mild peppery sensation on the back end. You’ll also notice glimpses of dry grass with aromas of ripe olive.
  • is crying out for inclusion in flavor-exploding dishes, including grilled bruschetta and ingredient-laden salads – including the shaved fennel masterpiece below.

Try this recipe from Veronica Foods

Shaved Fennel Salad with Chilean Arbequina

  • 2 trimmed, thinly sliced fennel (sweet anise) bulbs
  • 2 TBL finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 4 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Pressed Chilean Arbequina Olive Oil
  • 2 TBL freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup finely shaved Pecorino Romano
  • 3 cups mixed baby greens and radishes for presentation – optional (wash first)

Directions: Place the shaved fennel in a re-sealable bag or bowl large enough to hold it. Thoroughly whisk together the Chilean Arbequina olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley.

Pour over the fennel and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for two hours.

In a bowl or large platter, arrange a bed of mixed baby greens. Arrange fennel over the greens, pouring any remaining dressing over the fennel and greens. Sprinkle evenly with shaved Pecorino Romano and fresh ground pepper.

Serves 4-6.

May 9, 2012

Sigona’s Grocery Specials: May 9-15, 2012

Sigona’s Grocery Specials: May 9-15, 2012

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May 2, 2012

Sigona’s Weekly Specials: May 2-8, 2012

Sigona’s Weekly Specials: May 2-8, 2012

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