VB Organics' “strawberry fields forever” in Watsonville, California, are currently mired in mud. However, Vanessa Bogenholm assures me that her berries will be here in time to help celebrate our market’s third birthday on May 12.
The persistent spring rains have made it very difficult for those intimately connected with California's agricultural community. For most of us, there are several degrees of separation between us and the farmers who grow our food. It rains a lot here, but food from distant places still shows up in the grocery stores. Shopping at farmers' markets closes that gap because you would miss the farmers who were unable to harvest their crops.
Readers provided excellent feedback about recently published recipes. Try roasting the asparagus you use in the asparagus leek soup at 450 degrees for 10 minutes after tossing with a little olive oil. It brings a whole new dimension to the flavors. Add more herbs to taste as you simmer the cioppino. Feel free to experiment with the amount of any ingredient I use in the published recipes.
By popular demand — well, at least 5 people wrote me — this week’s recipe features blue cheese turkey burgers. I use half-ground turkey breast, which is a little leaner than ground dark meat. If you can find it, I suggest Point Reyes blue cheese. Their cows live in a beautiful place. The saltiness of the cheese allows you to add just pepper for seasoning. Pick up scallions and lettuces from your local farmers' market and enjoy these burgers the first time you fire up the grill this spring. These are really good.