What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

July 25, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Melons

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Melons

Summertime is melon time, so grab a sweet-smelling honeydew or cantaloupe from Sigona’s today and get ready for an explosion of sugary flavors!

Sweet Local Orange flesh Honeydew with a Drizzle of Reduced Balsamic

I really like this 2 minute recipe on a hot day. It’s quick, easy and refreshing. I really like to serve the melon chilled.

Ingredients

  • ½ orange flesh honeydew cut into wedges
  • ¼ cup balsamic
  • 3 sprigs of mint

Directions

  • Slice melon wedges and arrange on a plate
  • In a medium size sauce pan, gently reduce balsamic over medium-low heat by half (This takes several minutes or less.)
  • Remove from heat and cool
  • Drizzle over melon
  • With scissors, cut very thin strips of mint over the melons
  • Garnish with remaining mint and serve

Local Melon Red Wine

This little desert reminds me so much of my grandfather. He made his wine with a blend of 90% Lodi old vine zinfandel and 10 % Muscat. There was always fruit after dinner. This is one of the simple ways we enjoyed fresh fruit.

Ingredients

  • Any type of in-season local melon cut into cubes
    • If you want to get fancy, scoop out balls with a melon baller
  • Wine in a glass. We have two wines in particular that go very well and remind me of my grandfather:
    • Regio Zinfandel: A wonderful old-vine Zin from, you guessed it, Lodi. This wine is priced right for everyday drinking and has nice fruity notes with mild tannins.
    • Rare Red: A 4 blend of Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, Cabenet and Petite Verdot. It’s light and fruity but has body.

Directions

  • Pour your desired wine into a glass
  • Add choice of fruit
  • Enjoy!

Prosciutto and Melon Salad with a Drizzle of Balsamic Syrup

Not only will this salad taste amazing, but the reduction of the balsamic will have your house smelling amazing. Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 12 wedges of fresh honeydew melon, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma
  • 4 cups of wild arugula, washed, stemmed and patted dry
  • Drizzle of Sigona’s Chilean Koroneiki extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounce pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced balsamic, recipe follows

Directions

Season the melon with salt and pepper. Wrap two pieces of prosciutto around each wedge of melon. In a mixing bowl, toss the greens with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Mound the greens in the center of four plates. Arrange three prosciutto wrapped melon around each mound of greens. Shave the cheese over the greens. Drizzle each salad with the reduce balsamic.

  • Reduced balsamic
  • 3 cups balsamic vinegar

In a medium-saucepan, over medium heat, add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, for up to 30 minutes or until syrup-like consistency. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Yield: about 1/4 cup

Cantaloupe, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad with Peach Balsamic

This is one of my personal favorite summer salads that I make all the time. It pairs perfectly with the peach balsamic. Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Sigona’s peach balsamic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Sigona’s Arbequina olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, chives and parsley
  • 1 cantaloupe, peeled seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 10 ounces wild arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 1 cup roughly chopped toasted sprouted gourmet almonds (On sale right now at Sigona’s)

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine the peach balsamic, shallot, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. While continuing to whisk the mixture, add Sigona’s Arbequina olive oil in a slow and steady stream.

Combine the Arbequina olive oil in a measuring cup. While continuously whisking the vinegar mixture, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, until completely emulsified. Whisk in the fresh herbs and set aside as you prepare the salad.

In a large bowl, combine the cantaloupe, red onion, prosciutto, wild arugula and sprouted gourmet almonds. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine; all ingredients should be well coated with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

The Joys of Melon Season: Part I

The Joys of Melon Season: Part I

Nutritional Value and How to Select Them

By Robbie Sigona

I honestly love this time of year. The weather is warm and fantastic every day, the San Francisco Giants are battling for first place and the first melons of the season are arriving in our stores.

And let me just say this: they are tasting really, really good right now.

We get our melons from Turlock Fruit Company in, you guessed it, Turlock, CA. Owner and grower Don Smith is a second generation melon aficionado who decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. 94 years after his dad first started the company, the family business is as strong as ever. Heck, there’s even a third generation (Steve) and fourth generation (Alec) Smith continuing the legacy that started back in 1918.

We’re going to dig a little bit deeper in the unique history of Turlock Fruit Company – as well as their rare heirloom melons – in the next installment of our e-newsletter. For now, let’s focus on the deep nutritional value of melons and what to look for when you’re buying them the next time you visit Sigona’s Farmers Market.

Honeydew

Let’s start first with honeydew. Our honeydew that’s tasting magnificent right now is packed full of vitamin C, which of course is great for giving your immune system a turbo boost. This orange-fleshy goodness is a mighty anti-oxidant and provides your body with potassium (essential for proper cell function). You might be surprised to know that folks with high potassium levels typically have blood pressure lower than their peers, hence another reason to go melon crazy this summer.

My person favorite right now is the orange flesh honeydew. While it looks somewhat similar on the outside to typical honeydew, the inside color, taste and smell is actually more reminiscent of cantaloupe. Find one with a cream-colored rind and sugar-packed aromas and you’ll be enjoying yourself in no time.

Cantaloupe

If you’ve been disappointed with cantaloupe up until now you can’t miss with our current crop. This is truly the time of year to go for it.

Cantaloupes are a classic fruit loaded with vitamin A and C. The vitamin A will help you to keep your visor laser-sharp; for women who are pregnant, it will assist with developing and growing the little tike inside of you.

Cantaloupes are also a good source of:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Fiber

Speaking of fiber, did you know that the average American only consumes around 14 grams per day? This falls far short of the recommended daily intake of 20-38 grams. With fiber so essential to digestion (and preventing not-so-fun issues such as constipation, hemorrhoids and inflammation of the digestive tract), why not get your daily dose through delicious and healthy tasting cantaloupes!

What to Look For

Something we see every now and again in the store are folks who aren’t exactly sure which honeydew or cantaloupe to select. They know these fruits and healthy. They know they taste sugary-delicious. But sometimes they all look pretty similar. If you don’t know what to look for, it can be like sticking your hand into a fish bowl, pulling out a random raffle ticket and hoping it’s a winner.

That’s why if you stick to these basic tips the next time you’re in the store, you’ll be going home with a prize every single time:

  • Melons should have just a slight give when you squeeze them. Are they hard as a bowling ball? Move on and look for another.
  • Look for ones that are as blemish-free as possible.
  • A sugary aroma should waft into your nostrils as you smell them.
  • Once home, run the melons over cold water to clean off any dirt.
  • It’s smart to store them in the fridge right away. Cover them in plastic and consume within three days.

With melon season looking so phenomenal right now, we’ll be talking in our next e-news about heirloom varieties you won’t find at just any grocery outlet. You’ll learn how Turlock Fruit Company has kept these amazing fruits popping out of the ground for decades on end and why you need to try them as soon as humanly possible.

In the meantime, don’t forget to try out our recipes for Sweet Local Orange flesh Honeydew with a Drizzle of Reduced Balsamic as well as Local Melon Red Wine. We’ll guarantee you’ll be in melon heaven!

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