I've written before about the vital link The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) plays in Kaiser Permanente's ever-expanding efforts to bring "produce to the people." The people with whom I have worked in my 36 years at Kaiser Permanente are all experts in providing excellent health care in one capacity or another. But, for our health care system to grow our "good food" program, we need the help of the experts who know the land and the farmers, as well as what it takes to provide food in a way that is good for the earth and for the people who eat it, and who treat those who grow it with respect.
On Sunday June 10th, CAFF held the kickoff event for its "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" campaign, at the Jack London Square Farmers' Market in downtown Oakland. This campaign is already in full swing in the Sacramento Valley, the Central Coast, and the San Joaquin Valley. The CAFF Buy Fresh, Buy Local Food Guide lists all the farmers' markets, grocers, restaurants, CSAs, U-Picks, and, yes, hospitals that feature fresh, healthy, local foods. You'll see the listing of approximately 135 farmers' markets in the nine county Bay Area. Our Oakland hospital's market is one of only five markets that sells all organic fruits and vegetables. Go to caff.org to check out its online Buy Local database.
Believe it or not, I had the privilege to fake it as the "celebrity chef" at the market during the event. One of the appetizers we showcased was crostini with fresh peaches and nectarine slices. Remember, bruschetta is hard to pronounce correctly, so simply cut your baguettes thinly and call them crostini.
- 1 baguette, sliced thinly on the diagonal so it holds more fruit
- Olive oil for brushing
- 2-3 peaches or nectarines, sliced thinly in wedges. Ask your farmer which are the sweetest, or better yet, taste-test them.
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Optional blue cheese or goat cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush each of the baguette slices with a little olive oil on one side. Bake in the oven on a baking sheet until the crostini are beginning to brown. Whisk the vinegar and honey together. Toss the stonefruit slices in a bowl with the vinegar and honey. Spread the crostini with cheese if you wish (this is really, really good). Top with the slices of fruit and enjoy.