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Here are recipes inspired by my Feb. 11, 2006 visit to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, Calif.

Victoria Slind-Flor


Knoll Farms, of Brentwood, Calif., recommends this approach for the stalks of the cardoon, a close relative of the artichoke.

Cardooon-Potato Saute

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large clovers garlic slices
1 stalk cardoon, sliced very thinly
2 medium yellow potatoes, grated coarsely

1. Over low heat in covered skillet sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add cardoon; continue to sauté for another 10 minutes. 

2. Add potatoes to skillet, leaving them on top the cardoon and onions, allowing them to steam until tender. 

3. When the onions and garlic begin to carmelize on bottom of pan, ring dinner bell. Serve with rapini or broccoli florets which have been blanched in boiling salted water for five minutes, then drain and garnish with flaxseed oil.


This is how I will prepare the asparagus I bought from Zuckerman’s Farm.

Penne with Fresh Asparagus and Bacon

1 lb. asparagus broken into 1-inch pieces
4 oz. thick-cut bacon very finely sliced
1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 Tablesoon olive oil
4 oz. grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
Fresh ground pepper

1. Heat pasta water to boiling. Use a pan with a strainer insert you can remove. Dump asparagus into boiling water and blanch for about one minute. Lift out strainer with asparagus while leaving water boiling, and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. Set asparagus aside.

2. Heat olive oil in heavy cast-iron skillet. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Set bacon aside to drain. Drain off most of the fat, then add onions and garlic and cool until transparent. Keep on low heat.

3. Pour penne into boiling water and cook according to package directions. When the pasta is in the last two minutes of cooking, return bacon to pan with onions and garlic and add cooked asparagus. Heat through.

4. Drain pasta and place in large heated bowl. Pour asparagus, onion and bacon mixture over and toss well. Then add Romano cheese and toss again. Grate plenty of black pepper over dish and serve immediately. This is excellent with a California Sauvignon Blanc wine. Feel free to adjust the proportions if you like more bacon or a cheesier pasta.


Copyright 2006 Seasonal Chef