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.

Free Honey Royal Nectarine or Doughnut Peach Gelato

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July 24, 2012

Free Wild Persimmon Honey

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Sprouted Gourmet Almonds on Sale at Sigona’s

John Sigona’s Pick of the Week

Sprouted Gourmet Almonds: A Live and Very Healthy Food

On special right now through August 7th

Six months ago I introduced sprouted raw gourmet almonds, a hard-to-find raw food item with many health benefits. I’m re-introducing this wonderful item at a very special price.

California Raw Sprouted Gourmet Almonds: 5 oz. container for only $2.99 (regular $4.99)

A live, healthy and unique product from Central California, our sprouted gourmet almonds are absolutely incredible and hard to find anywhere but at Sigona’s Farmers Market.

I’m pleased as punch to offer them to you because they are truly so good for you. You’ll find them in our dried fruits and nuts section in 5oz. containers.

Believe it or not, these are actually healthier, better tasting and easier to chew and digest than our regular raw almonds. The sprouted unique formula is the key for this special almond, which originated from the farming family who grows these almonds, in Central California.

This healthy, original live sprouted food has exceptional nutritional value locked inside each kernel because sprouting enlivens the enzymes that are dormant within. Contact with water “awakens” the nut so sprouted almonds contain concentrated vital energy and nutrition. Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors present in the nut, allowing quicker and more complete digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

**Nutritional information:

  • Sprouted almonds contain resveratrol—an anti-aging factor—1.4 mg per 24 nuts—that’s the equivalent of 3 glasses of red wine
  • Sprouted almonds contain beta sitosterol, campesterol and stanols—cholesterol-lowering factors
  • Sprouted almonds contain stigma sterol—anti-muscle stiffness factor

Compared to “regular” raw almonds, sprouted are superior.

John outside with produce

John Sigona is the dried fruit & nut buyer for Sigona’s Farmers Markets in Palo Alto and Redwood City, Calif.

Per 10 oz. serving**

  • Calories from fat———-Raw…113———–Sprouted….99————(-13%)
  • Total fat——————–Raw…12.8 g——–Sprouted…11.25 g—–(-12%)
  • Saturated fat—————Raw…0. 88g——-Sprouted….0.74 g——(-16%)
  • Riboflavin B2————–Raw…31g————Sprouted…0.35 g——(+ 13%)
  • Niacin B3——————-Raw….0.95%——–Sprouted…0.99g——-(+ 4%)
  • Soluble Fiber—————Raw…..7.4%———-Sprouted…10.3%——(+39%)
  • Campesterol—————-Raw….1.2 mg———Sprouted…1.4 mg—-(+17%)
  • Beta Sitosterol————-Raw…..28.6 mg——-Sprouted…36.0 mg—(+26%)
  • Stanols———————-Raw…..9.5 mg———Sprouted…10.5 mg—(+11%)
  • Stigmasterol—————-Raw…..1.3 mg———Sprouted…1.7 mg—–(+31%)

Our sprouted live raw almonds are delicious to eat out of hand or in fruit and vegetable salads. They’re also great in granola and trail mixes.

**All nutritional information gathered directly from the source

July 11, 2012

Best Dried Apricots in the World on Sale at Sigona’s

John Sigona’s Pick of the Week

Locally Grown Dried Apricots

On special right now through July 24th:

6.5 oz. Large Size Blenheim Apricots: $2.99 (Reg. $3.99)
10 oz. Large Size Blenheim Apricots: $4.99 (Reg. $5.99)
19 oz. Large Size Blenheim Apricots: $7.99 (Reg. $9.79)
Bulk Extra Large Size Blenheim Apricots: $9.99 lb. (Reg. $13.99 lb.)

These are the very best dried apricots in the entire world!

No kidding!

We really do have the very best locally grown dried apricots you’ll find anywhere. They’re fantastic because they are:

  • An heirloom Blenheim variety
    • The Blenheim heirlooms have the best flavor of any other variety: a perfect sweet/tart balance featuring smooth, delicate excellence.
    • Blenheims are grown specifically for drying
  • From the local Santa Clara and San Benito Counties
    • Ideal weather—warm late spring/summer days, cool evenings
    • Cool days and evenings in the off season—good for hibernating
    • Soil is excellent for nourishment and healthiest growth possible
    • These two counties are unsurpassed for ideal conditions for growing Blenheim apricots. They’re better than anywhere else in our state, country or in the world!
John outside with produce

John Sigona is the dried fruit & nut buyer for Sigona’s Farmers Markets in Palo Alto and Redwood City, Calif.

Besides the great taste, just 2 oz. of our Blenheim dried apricots provide nutritional and health benefits; a few examples based on a 2,000 per day calorie intake includes:

  • 58% Vitamin A
  • 20% Iron
  • 16% Fiber
  • 4% Iron
  • 4% Calcium
  • Help with constipation
  • Help ease digestion

Our Blenheim apricots are a tasty treat eaten out of hand, but they can be used in cooking in many interesting ways. (Check out our recipes for additional tasty ideas.)

  • With wild rice and chicken
  • In an elegant sweet potato dish
  • In couscous (with chopped onions and spices)
  • In a Chinese salad
  • Chicken or turkey salad
  • Apricot pie or tart
  • And much more!

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Local Stone Fruit

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Stone Fruit

One of life’s great pleasures is biting into a ripe, fresh and sweet piece of stone fruit. Whether it’s a peach, plum, apricot, nectarine or additional hybrid, local stone fruits are wonderful whether eaten out of hand or in a crisp salad.

Out of Hand

OK, so maybe this isn’t exactly a recipe, but we bet you can’t resist the temptation of holding a delicious piece of stone fruit in your hand without chomping down into it to enjoy those sweet, succulent flavors. Nothing beats eating fresh stone fruit right out of hand.

Ingredients

  • Sigona’s stone fruits from Sweet Home Farms
    • Peaches
    • Nectarines
    • Plums
    • Apricots

Directions

  • Select your stone fruit of choice
  • Raise to mouth
  • Bite into the best-tasting fruit in the entire Bay Area
  • Enjoy!

Honey Vanilla Fromage Blanc

I love this quick and simple recipe, especially on warm summer days. The raspberry topping is the perfect complement to Sweet Home Farms’ delectable stone fruits. Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces fromage blanc
  • 2 TBL heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Honey Hole Wild Apricot or Blackberry Honey
  • 4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • Vanilla seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

Assemble Using:

  • Sigona’s fresh stone fruits, including Diamond Ray nectarines, Ice Princess and Snow Princess peaches and Santa Rosa plums
  • Berries such as raspberries and strawberries
  • Citrus fruit such as oranges, cut in segments
  • Raspberry Sauce

Directions:

  • Stir the fromage blanc, cream, honey, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and vanilla seeds together in a medium bowl.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • To assemble, spoon the fromage blanc mixture into shallow bowls. Place the fruit artfully on top and drizzle the dessert with raspberry sauce.
  • Serve with extra raspberry sauce on the side.

Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 basket of raspberries rinsed
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 2 tsp. Honey Hole Wild Apricot Honey

Raspberry Sauce Directions:

  • Place the ingredients for the raspberry sauce in a blender
  • Blend until smooth use as a topping

Carmelo’s Simple Stone Fruit Salad

Simple, delicious and incredibly good for you. No wonder this basic stone fruit salad has become one of my most favorite dishes!

Ingredients:

  • One of the following stone fruits:
    • Diamond Ray nectarines
    • Ice Princess peaches
    • Snow Princess peaches
    • Santa Rosa Plums
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • A sprinkling of raspberries

Directions:

  • Slice the stone fruit and mix with all ingredients except raspberries
  • Plate and top with raspberries

Peach, Plum or Apricot Raw Stone Fruit Cobbler

Nothing beats a refreshing and sweet cobbler, especially when stone fruits are perfectly in season as they are right now. This healthy treat is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.  Recipe courtesy of About.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds (5-6 cups) of Sweet Home Ranch’s peaches, plums, nectarines or apricots pitted and cut into 1” chunks
  • 2 TBL of Honey Hole Wild Honey
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • ½ cup pecan pieces
  • 5 large medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon powder
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg or mace
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  • Gently toss the fruit with the agave and vanilla extract. Divide the fruit amongst 4 dessert glasses and set aside.
  • Place the remaining ingredients (coconut, walnuts, pecans, dates, almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt) in a food processor and pulse the mixture until it is coarsely ground but still has texture.
  • Divide the mixture between the 4 berry dishes, scattering evenly over the top to form a thick crust.
  • The crisp can be served immediately or chilled.
  • Serves 4

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Stone Fruit

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Stone Fruit

  • Stone fruit should have a slight give if you want to eat them right away.
  • Store them in the fridge if it’s breaking or ripe and they should last four or five days. If it’s firm then leave them on the counter for a day or two until ripe and ready to eat.
  • For Diamond Ray yellow nectarines, there are a lot of “sugar dots” as Paul Buxman likes to calls them. They have a bit of a crude look but are fantastic. The more of these sugar dots the better.
  • You want to pick a nectarine (or a peach for that matter) with a nice yellow background. I always like to turn my fruit over and look at the stem end to get a true indication of the color. It’s not the red blush color that you are looking for.
  • And of course, you’ll want your stone fruit free of bruises.

Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

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

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July 3, 2012

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

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

July means sunny skies, celebrating our independence on the 4th and summer barbeques with friends and family. And what barbeque would be complete without a piece of mouth-watering, extra-virgin-olive-oil drizzled bread adorning your plate?

That’s why we’re excited to let you know that our fresh pressed extra virgin olive oils from the southern hemisphere have just arrived in the store. The first oil we’re going to feature is Empeltre from Chile. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to drink a salad, taste a sample the next time you’re in the store – just be careful of that peppery goodness on the back end.

Sigona’s July 2012 Olive Oil of the Month

Empeltre (from Chile)

This oil:

  • Is like eating a salad
  • Boast notes of celery, fresh lettuce and additional vegetables
  • Delivers a jolt of throat-closing pepper on the back end
  • Packs a robust polyphenol count of 398

Try this recipe from Veronica Foods

Super Robust Olio Nuovo Empeltre EVOO Focaccia with Rosemary & Caramelized Shallots

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
  • 2 cups lukewarm water; filtered if possible
  • 1 cup cooled, unseasoned, mashed russet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup + 1/3 cup + more for drizzling of Sigona’s fresh pressed Empeltre EVOO
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 medium shallots thinly sliced
  • 1 package active dried yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves rough chopped
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions:

If making the dough in your bread machine, follow its instructions for the order of adding ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast. Allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of olive oil, mashed potatoes and sea salt. Mix to combine.

breadWith the mixer running on the lowest speed, begin to add the flour, cup by cup, until the dough has come together and becomes elastic and just slightly tacky. Reserve any leftover flour for rolling the dough out.

Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for one hour.

On a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment, gently push the dough to the edges, using fingertips to stretch it and make dimpled indentations. Cover and allow the dough to rise for another hour in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Distribute the thinly slices shallots and rosemary evenly over the focaccia. Drizzle with the remaining 1/3 cup of Sigona’s fresh pressed Empeltre EVOO. Add a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper and sea salt.

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes until golden brown. While still hot out of the oven, drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil to taste. Serve warm and enjoy.

Click here for more great recipes!

June 27, 2012

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Corn

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Corn

  • Getting corn from local farmers is great because it’s fresh. The sugars in corn start to convert to starch as soon as it’s picked, so corn is sweeter and more tender the fresher it is.
  • Produce pros recommend leaving husks on the ears until you’re ready to cook, but we do offer the convenience of husking at our stores.
  • Choose corn with husks that are tightly wrapped, grass green and slightly damp. The corn silk showing at the top can be dry but not rotting. The ends should appear fresh-cut.
  • Keep corn in the fridge until you use it.
  • Although it will hold up in the fridge for 5-6 days, it’s always best to eat corn as soon as possible after purchase.
  • Corn is best from May through September.
  • White corn is typically sweeter than yellow corn.

Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

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