We're coming up on the weekend and that's a good time to visit one of the many farmers markets in the bountiful San Joaquin Valley. We're so fortunate to have access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that come directly from the farm. This, after all, is the most productive farmland in the world, and it's in our backyard. Take advantage of it.
One of my favorite farmers markets is the Vineyard at Blackstone and Shaw Avenues in Fresno, which is open on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. But I also like the Friday night farmers market in Old Town Clovis and the downtown Fresno market on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Sometimes I go to a farmers market with a shopping list, but other times I just pick up what looks appealing and interesting. It's also a special treat to learn about produce I'm not familiar with, such as that offered by Southeast Asian farmers who have begun frequenting the farmers markets in the San Joaquin Valley. They are always willing to give suggestions on ways to prepare their unique vegetables.
At farmers markets, you can get anything you want, sort of like going to Alice's Restaurant. But there's also the traditional fare. Last week I picked up some fresh mushrooms and red onions for a special sandwich.
I sliced up the mushrooms and onions and threw them in a pan with a little olive oil and minced garlic. Oh, did this concoction ever smell devine, and I couldn't wait to taste it. I sauteed this all together until the ingredients were soft. I poured in a little red wine, a dash of salt and some freshly cracked pepper, and let it all cook down for about 10 minutes.
I toasted some French bread and melted jack cheese on top, and then piled the sandwich high with the onion-mushroom mix. It was a great vegetarian meal. Simple to prepare and inexpensive. Best of all, it was yummy.