Fall find…..the Kiwiberry

by alison on October 13, 2013

It’s just like you’d think, a teeny weeny Kiwi

A little known fall fruit, the super food otherwise known as the hardy Kiwi

What are these? I thought, as I pawed through this week’s farm box. I pulled out a basket of unappetizing-looking tiny green fruits wedged between the kale and carrot greens.

I put them aside and eyed them as I’d pass by the kitchen counter throughout the day. They looked like crab apples or unripe bitty pears. Since I had lost the explanation sheet of what was in the box, I really had no idea. They didn’t look good, kind of brown at the edges and wrinkled a bit.

Then I cut one open.

Kiwiberries-4875Inside is the bright jubilant flesh of a kiwi fruit. It tastes just the same too but the skin is thin, fuzz free and totally edible. It’s a baby kiwi. That’s what it is. I was totally and pleasantly surprised. I’d never heard of these, where did they come from? I did some digging.

This little known fall fruit is a cousin of the kiwi but rare and likes the cool climates of the Northwest and East. Kiwiberries are happy growing in Oregon or Pennsylvania but my Kiwiberries happened to come from Watsonville near Santa Cruz. There are only about 200 commercially grown acres of Kiwiberry, so don’t pass these little homely little fruit by.

They are the most nutrient dense of all the major fruits and have more than five times the vitamin C that oranges do. You can slice them up and toss in a salad or eat them whole like grapes. Kiwiberries grow on a fast growing, hardy vine but it takes seven years for the vine to bear fruit.

The growing season is short so look for them now at the market, they’ll be gone by November.




As Spring arrives I start to think about all the amazing veggies that are about to arrive at the Market.  I am hopeful that the beautiful bounty will arrive earlier due to the mild winter we have had.

So in anticipation of Spring, I wanted to make a BIG GREEN dish with ingredients all from the San Rafael Market on Sunday.

I have made this for my  “meat and potatoes friends” and many of them have converted to being kale eaters now that they have tried this easy and delicious dish. I am hoping to convert everyone to love KALE….

One thing that I do strongly suggest is buying it organically grown, not only will it ensure that it contains the highest amount of vitamins and minerals, but the freshness and quality makes it quite clear.  Organic just tastes better.  Also, conventionally grown kale can contain high levels of pesticide residue, which doesn’t sound too tasty to me.

Kale may just be the new beef!

Even my 2 year old enjoys this dish. With the sausage it tastes like pizza.

Kale Mushrooms Sausage

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage (Boccalone) (2-3 sausages)
  • 1 onion, sliced thin (about 1 1/2 cup’s worth of sliced onions)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 pound curly kale (1 large bunch), center thick rib removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ LB  large Shiitake/Oyster mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste


1 Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the bulk sausage;  remove the casings on the links. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the onion slices and turn the heat to high. Cook until the edges of the onions brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

2 Add the kale, sprinkle salt over everything, then add the chicken stock. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes.

3 Heat olive oil in another large sauté pan over medium heat and cook the mushrooms about 4-5 minutes.

4 Uncover, mix everything well (the kale will have cooked down by now) and add the mushrooms and vinager. Cover the pot again and lower the heat to low. Cook another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. Let stand 5 minutes, and then serve.


Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Chili

by Brooke on November 27, 2012

Face to face with leftover Thanksgiving bird in my refrigerator I decided it was time to make something new.  Break away from the obvious turkey sandwich tradition and start a new one.  A chili!  Perfect.

Our local newscasters are predicting days and days of rain.  Time to batten down the hatches and make something hearty and warm.  This chili can be made without the leftover Thanksgiving turkey and can be easily be replicated with ground turkey.

What you’ll need…

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 2 cans of diced organic stewed tomatoes
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 can of organic kidney beans
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I like Organic Better than Bouillon)
  • 3+ cups shredded leftover turkey
  • 2-3 T chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish: sour cream and scallions

What you’ll do…

I love making stews, soups, and chilis in a large Le Creuset dutch oven.  Over medium-high heat season your pot with the olive oil.  Add the onion and green peppers and cook until the onion is almost translucent.  Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and paprika while stirring.  Add the remainder of your ingredients and simmer over low heat.  It’s that easy!!!  Garnish with sour cream and scallions (and a pinch of cheddar cheese if desired).

I love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  ’Tis the season of soups, stews, chilis and cioppinos.  Cheers!


Pumpkin in a Cupcake

by alison on October 11, 2012

I made these pumpkin cupcakes out of a box mix I found at Safeway, and as halloween bright as they may look, they have real pumpkin in them. The recipe called for pumpkin puree – you could grab a can or making your own pumpkin puree is a cinch.

Easy Pumpkin Puree

To make an easy pumpkin puree preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Use a sugar pumpkin or another baker-friendly type and cut the pumpkin in half. Discard the seeds and pulp. Place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Scoop out the flesh and puree in a blender. Use puree in your garish halloween treats!


Pimientos de Padrón

September 19, 2012

One of my favorite things about summer is peppers.  When it comes to pepper plants I am not picky but I do have my favorites.  The pimiento, Spanish for pepper, from Padrón is by far at the top of my list.  Chances are if you have been to Spain you have gobbled up small plates of […]

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Chipotle – A Big Company That Helps Small Farmers

August 23, 2012

As far as big fast-ish food companies go, I am a fan of Chipotle. See my article in the latest issue of Marin Edible and Wine Country on Chipotle’s sustainable meat and dairy practices and how they helped save small dairy rancher Larry Peter in West Marin. There is such a thing as “good” fast […]

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Crazy Kooky Summer Squash

August 12, 2012

At the market this weekend you’ll find some wacky summer squash like these beauties, called “Flying Saucers.” There are loads of other variety of specialty and heirloom squash rolling out of baskets and booths this time of year. Long green summer squash bisected with yellow called Zephyr, wild white small squash with rounded points sticking […]

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Day Trip: Boonville

April 11, 2012

One rainy day last weekend we wound our way out Highway 128 to the little town of Boonville, a great spot for an impromptu day trip. While it’s always fun to wile the day away in the Anderson Valley’s many amazing tasting rooms you might not think to stop in this little former logging town. […]

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It’s as easy as apple pie!

February 6, 2012

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”– Jane Austen Although the holidays have come and gone pies are still good year round. It was my intention to have this post up before Thanksgiving and here we are, already through the first month of 2012. It’s amazing how the holidays consume you. […]

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Resolutions – Going Green Smoothie

January 26, 2012

Maybe it’s about that time when your New Years resolutions are flagging. Or maybe you’re like me and just really…really behind, so February is the start of something healthy. I needed a reboot to my sluggish system. Instead of a painful cleanse or fast, which I dearly wish I had the will power to do, […]

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Last-Minute LocaLIST

December 22, 2011

Procrastination is prevalent.  Not to worry.  Here are some last minute gift suggestions for your locavore on your list. You still have time to make it to the market.  The Marin Farmers Market is on right now until 1pm at the Marin Civic Center.  At the market alone you will find something special and undoubtably local. […]

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Lunch with Albert Straus and the Cowgirls

October 30, 2011

It’s not often that you get to sit down for lunch with the mothers of cheese and one of the world’s most innovative dairymen. I got to do just that on Tuesday – it was a tour and lunch sponsored by Whole Foods and Cowgirl Creamery. The Dairy  We began the day bright and early at […]

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Mexican Cooking Tips Straight from Marinitas

August 25, 2011

Mexican Cooking Tips Straight from Marinitas Marinitas chef Frank Villa gave away some tips of the trade and some of his secrets at a demonstration at Marinitas the other day. Here are his tips for cooking authentic Mexican cuisine and getting the most flavor out of your cooking. PEPPERS 101 Chiles are a staple in […]

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A Midsummer Night’s Feast: Benefitting Marin Organic

June 9, 2011

Edible Marin & Wine Country, 123 Bolinas, and  Marin Organic invite you to: A Midsummer Night’s Feast Saturday, June 25, 2011 6:00 pm Bolinas Park, Fairfax Join us for a festive evening under the stars as Jeremy Goldfarb, Chef of 123 Bolinas prepares a delicious meal featuring organic, locally sourced ingredients while The Butcher’s Guild […]

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Springtime CSA Basket Salad

May 26, 2011

  I call this the ‘Everything but the CSA box itself” salad, also known as ‘The salad from heaven.’ I actually can’t stop thinking about this salad. It all started when I took a good long hike with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. We were dusty and hungry by the end of […]

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SF POPS, a new addition at Marin farmers market

May 18, 2011

Last Thursday I was strolling down the aisles at the Civic Center Farmer’s Market when I happened upon a delightful new vendor, S.F. Pops!  Rebecca Rouas is a Marin County native who on a recent trip to Hawaii was inspired by a fresh and local pineapple-orange-guava pop.  Upon her return she was determined to set […]

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Field Trip: Marrakech and Essaouira, Morocco

May 5, 2011

Spring is a time to renew and refresh. This season I’ve found inspiration in the spice and simplicity of Moroccan cuisine. I just returned from a magical trip to Morocco and am inspired by the spices and flavors of the Maghreb – the North African region that includes Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia but has many […]

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Easy Rainy Day White Bean Soup

March 20, 2011

Rain rain go away… come again some other day. But while you’re here let’s make something warm and delicious. I’m going to make it easy for you… Ingredients, instructions, a couple snaps and voila!  You have a hearty homemade veggie soup. Shopping List: organic green or rainbow chard – LOTS of it (I used two […]

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Spring Baby Food

March 5, 2011

Making homemade baby food with fresh spring market veggies is easy and nutritious. I felt like I had lucked out that my little girl turned six-months-old and started eating solids in the heart of winter. The veggies and fruits that come into season during the darker, cooler days of January and February are just right […]

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Napa Cabbage Salad

February 11, 2011

Napa cabbage is our seasonal vegetable this week. Napa cabbage is delicate like lace compared to it’s heftier cabbage cousins. I love this kind of cabbage because you can eat it raw, it’s light and when finely chopped, almost fluffy. Contrary to what I thought, that napa cabbage came from Napa California  (how silly of […]

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