Article in today's fish wrap (a.k.a. Press Democrat) gave preferences
for vegetables grown by local chefs (Sonoma County, region 9 - 10.)
To see full article go to
Among preferred veggies are:
Jimmy Nardello¹ Pepper: An Italian frying pepper, it was long out of
vogue compared to other varieties. But Mall (chef) said this sweet
pepper is ³amazing² when cooked slowly in extra virgin olive oil with
sea salt and a touch of garlic. ³When we sell our stuff at the farmer¹s
market, it¹s one that other chefs love to buy.² Mall likes to cook it
for use as a condiment, pizza topping or on bruschetta.
Moon Star¹ Watermelon: Many flavorful varieties can also be knock-outs.
This one looks like the night sky. ³It has one big orange spot that is
the moon and a lot of little ones that are stars,² says Mall. ³It¹s
bizarre looking and has a lot of seeds, but people from the south have
told me it¹s the best they¹ve had outside Georgia.²
Fairy Tale¹ Eggplant: These small wonders come in neon shades of purple
and are striking. they retain their color even when cooked.
Paul Robeson¹ Tomato: Like other dark tomatoes, this one has a rich,
sweet, concentrated taste. The Malls entered this one in a tomato
tasting at the Windsor Farmer¹s Market last summer and all the growers
declared it the best.
Zephyr¹ Squash: Long, slender and shaped a bit like a bowling pin, it
has a nice ³firm texture² and sweet taste. Mallgren prefers the texture
to common zucchini. ³It has a nice bite and a nice crunch to it,² he
Isar¹ Gold French Bean: Mallgren says this variety has a clean flavor
and is tender. And while it resembles a green bean, this filet bean is
really a yellow variety.
Tavera¹ Green Bean: Mallgren is partial to these because of their
flavor and texture. They¹re not too tough. And the best part is they¹re
reliable. They come out of the garden consistently good.
Bulls Blood¹ Beets: With deep, metallic purple leaves, this variety is
heat resistant and you can eat the whole thing.
Blacktail Mountain Watermelon: This heirloom variety is super sweet with
a relatively thin pith. The flesh is deep red and the outside almost
Calabrese Pepper: Long, thin and deep red, this Italian chili pepper has
a little heat and great flavor.
Hillbilly¹ Tomato: This large slicing tomato is great for gazpacho. The
result is so creamy it almost ³melts in the mouth² like mozzarella de
bufalo, Gerbi says.
Brandywine¹ Tomato: It may not be rare but it¹s a sure-fire winner,
according to Gerbi, and comes in late in the season. It¹s easy to slice
and has a nice balanced flavor for sweetness and acidity.
Tres Fin Marchiere Frissee Endive: A French endive, it is very thin,
soft and cool. It grows well in Sonoma County all year because it¹s
resistant to frost and insects.
The online resources that were given are familiar to most of us:
Johnny¹s Selected Seeds: Based in Maine, this employee-owned company
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