What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

July 25, 2012

Free Honey Royal Nectarine or Doughnut Peach Gelato

Click coupon for an easy-print version


July 24, 2012

Free Wild Persimmon Honey

Click coupon for an easy-print version

July 11, 2012

Free Local, Farm Fresh Pastured Eggs from Wattle and Comb in Pescadero, Calif.

Click coupon for an easy-print version

June 12, 2012

Fresh Cherry Cobbler with Pasta Frolla and Mascarpone Ice Cream

Fresh Cherry Cobbler with Mascarpone Ice Cream

Fresh Cherry Cobbler with Mascarpone Ice Cream. Recipe and photo courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos.

A dish perfect to celebrate the local cherry season! Recipe and photo courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos. Luisa says, “I love traditional cherry cobbler but wanted to give it an Italian twist! Here is my version with a Pasta Frolla crust (Italian-style Shortbread), a brandy and cinnamon laced cherry filling and a homemade mascarpone ice cream.”

Mascarpone Ice Cream (makes about 1 quart):

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks (we recommend local Wattle & Comb pastured eggs, sold only at Sigona’s!)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Pasta Frolla:

  • 1 whole egg (we recommend local Wattle & Comb pastured eggs — if using the PeeWee eggs, increase to one more)
  • 1 egg yolk (we recommend local Wattle & Comb pastured eggs)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 TBL (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

Fresh Cherry Filling:

  • 1 lb. fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TBL unsalted butter, melted
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 TBL cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • splash of brandy

For the mascarpone ice cream: In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy and lighter in color. Set aside. Combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan and just bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

While beating the egg yolk mixture, pour in a small spoonful of the hot milk mixture and continue to beat. Repeat process with a larger spoonful, while beating, then repeat. Next, scoop all the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture. Return heat to medium-low. Cook about 8-10 minutes longer, stirring frequently with a spatula to scrape all corners of the bottom of the pot. Do not let boil. The custard should be just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but have no lumps.

Chill the custard 4 hours or overnight. Blend in the mascarpone and vanilla until smooth in texture. Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions to churn into ice cream. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 2 hours to firm up.

For the pasta frolla*: In a food processor or standing mixer, pulse ingredients until a ball forms. In a mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix ingredients until a ball forms. Wrap dough in parchment paper. Flatten and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Open up parchment paper to reveal dough, dust with flour and flip over. Lightly dust top of dough with flour, and roll dough about ¼-inch thick (this might make more than you need for the cobbler so it’s a great time to make cookies with the scraps!)

To complete: Preheat the oven to 350°.

Pour cherry mixture into a 1-quart casserole dish. Top it with pasta frolla dough. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and cherries are bubbly.

Serve with mascarpone ice cream and garnish with powdered sugar, cinnamon, fresh cherry (or lemon twist).

*Pasta frolla by hand: Work all ingredients in a bowl with your hands, smashing butter pieces with the tips of your fingers. When the dough starts coming together, transfer to a work surface, and knead for 30 seconds. Wrap dough in parchment paper. Flatten and refrigerate for 1 hour.

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 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 8, 2012

Mother’s Day Breakfast Treat: Strawberry & Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Strawberry & Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Luisa Ormonde's Strawberry & Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast for Mother's DayRecipe courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering. Luisa says, “I made this for our friends that came over our house for brunch. I thought with Mother’s Day coming up, this would be a great recipe to share…it’s great for treating mom to a breakfast in bed! I make my own brioche (see recipe here: Simple Brioche Loaf) but you could certainly purchase one already made”. Time: 20 mins. Serves 4.

For the filling:

  • 12 (or so) fresh organic strawberries, sliced in half
  • 1 small jar of quality strawberry preserves/jam (Luisa used Sigona’s strawberry preserves)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (very cold), sliced into 12 slices

For the toast:

  • 8 thick slices brioche bread
  • 4 large eggs (Luisa used Wattle & Comb pastured eggs, found only at Sigona’s!)
  • 1/2 cup organic cream
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pinch of pink Himalayan salt

Fresh strawberry coulis:

  • 1 small package organic strawberries
  • fine sugar to tasteLuisa Ormonde's Strawberry & Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast for Mother's Day
  • fresh lemon juice, to taste

What else:

  • unsalted butter, for buttering pan/griddle
  • powdered sugar, for garnish
  • fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

To make strawberry coulis: Blend strawberries, sugar and lemon juice with a hand blender of regular blender Strain into a bowl. Pour into a plastic squeeze bottle (if you got one) and chill until ready to use.

For the French toast: Lay out all 8 slices of bread. On 4 of the slices, place 3 slices of cream cheese slices, some strawberry jam and top with 3 strawberry halves. Top those with the other 4 plain slices of bread (just like you are making a sandwich!).

Luisa Ormonde's Strawberry & Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast for Mother's DayIn a shallow baking dish or pie plate, whisk together the eggs, cream, cinnamon and salt. One at a time, place the “sandwich” in the egg mixture, soaking about 20-30 seconds per side. Remove the bread and allow the excess custard to drip off. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining “sandwiches.”

Add about a 1 tablespoon of butter to the heated skillet/griddle and coat. Add the filled slices of toast to the skillet/griddle in a single layer. Cook until light golden brown and crisp, about 1-2 minutes per side, adding more butter to the skillet/griddle as needed.

To serve: Cut each “sandwich” in half. Squirt/spoon strawberry coulis on serving platter or individual plates. Transfer French toasts to serving platter/plates, dust with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

May 2, 2012

Sigona’s Dried Fruit and Nut Specials: May 2-8, 2012

Sigona’s Dried Fruit and Nut Specials: May 2-8, 2012

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

March 28, 2012

Sigona’s Dried Fruit and Nuts March 28 – April 3,2012

Sigona’s Dried Fruit and Nuts March 28 – April 3,2012

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

March 7, 2012

Nice to Know Ya, Cherimoya

Nice to Know Ya, Cherimoya

What lies beneath the leathery skin is a custard-like fruit that’s fantastic in smoothies, salsas or simply on its own.

By Robbie Sigona

We have the Bay variety of cherimoya in stores now from the Santa Barbara hills.

What is cherimoya? Well, would it help if we called it by its alias, custard apple? We’ve received many calls from customers asking if it’s cherimoya season, and we’re happy to say the sweet, white-fleshed and custard-like fruit from Santa Barbara is in and at its peak.

Is that a Suit of Armor?

What looks to be scaly isn’t so. The cherimoya has a green & brown leathery covering that’s neither smooth nor prickly. The outside is characterized with bumps dimples, giving it an air of something similar to a large pear wearing a suit of armor. Others say it resembles its Amazonian cousins, the soursop or guayabana, which also have a prickly-looking skin.

Once sliced in half, you’ll see that under its suit of armor, the cherimoya has a delicate flesh with a custard-like texture (just watch out for the large black seeds). The fruit is pearly white, soft and silky smooth; not unlike an actual creamy dessert custard. The flavor of cherimoya combines attributes of apple, passion fruit, banana, mango, and pineapple into a unique flavor profile all its own.

Rare Gems

With this tropical flavor comparison, you may be surprised to learn these delicate fruits come to us from the hills of Santa Barbara in Southern California. It’s rare that you’ll see cherimoya in big chain grocery stores as they’re more of a specialty item and are usually a bit on the expensive side.

This is because cherimoya are very delicate and do not have a long shelf life. Also, the process of growing cherimoya is not as easy as growing most other fruits. The blossoms of a cherimoya tree are hand-pollinated by growers because the flowers are often closed to tightly for bees to pollinate.

Sliced Cherimoya available at Sigona's

A word to the wise: watch out for the large black seeds buried within the cherimoya. They’re inedible.

Cherimoya are believed to be native to the South American Andes Mountains near Ecuador where it was originally discovered in the inter-Andean valleys. In the late 19th century it was brought to California where it is now grown in the coastal and foothill regions of the southern part of the state. Sigona’s is currently carrying Bay variety, which is typically light green and heart-shaped, with about a three- to four-inch diameter. We’ll likely carry the fruit through the end of May.

Enjoying Cherimoya

A small cherimoya contains about 231 calories and is high in vitamins C, B6 and minerals, such as potassium and manganese. It’s a great source of dietary fiber. The fruit can be used to make a variety of desserts and drinks, but one of my favorite ways to eat it is on its own after it has been slightly chilled. A word to the wise: watch out for the large black seeds buried within the cherimoya. They’re inedible.

To access the creamy, white flesh, cut the cherimoya in half lengthwise and simply scoop it out with a spoon (as you would an avocado). Once the cherimoya has been halved, we recommend squirting on a bit of lemon or lime juice to keep it from darkening (again, like an avocado). Cherimoya can also be peeled and diced for salsas, salads or seafood dishes, and is also fantastic pureed for mousses, dessert sauces, pie fillings or smoothies.

The cherimoya is particularly tasty when frozen – it becomes a completely natural alternative to ice cream! Check out our cherimoya recipes, including one for a Citrus, Chile Shrimp and Cherimoya Salad.

There is nothing quite like sub-tropical fruit in early spring! Try a cherimoya today and you won’t be disappointed!

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