Holiday shopping is just around the corner. One of the perks of being a vendor at the market this time of year is that, after I set up and stroll the market to get my produce, I can get some pre-holiday shopping done. We have some of the best specialty-food producers around, and I am going to take full advantage of that by stocking up on gifts before the market ends on Oct. 31.
Atlas Peak Olive Oil and The Smoked Olive have wonderful olive oils, and HDL Farm has balsamic vinegars. These make great gifts for the foodies in your life. Use these on some flavored pasta from Pasta Poetry.
Need something a little sweeter? Meadowmont Farms and Henry’s Bullfrog Bees both have aromatic honey. Meadowmont even sells pollen, which is great for those in your life with allergies.
We’ve got your dessert-loving friends covered, too. Annie the Baker’s cookies are delicious, and she ships all over the country. That’s giving made easy. We also have a new vendor this year who makes brittle. NV Confections’ cashew brittle is fantastic. Wine Country Chocolates brings us locally made chocolate, and who doesn’t love that?
Nature’s Candy Co. has packaged almonds in many different flavors. The company also sells almond butter and almond meal, great gifts for the pastry cooks on your list.
Need something to eat while you are shopping or when you get home?
Alexis Baking Co., Sweetie Pies, Calico Bread
French Corner Café, Juju’s Kitchen, Mi Fiesta Catering, Platanito Pupusas, The Hummus Guy, The Proper Sandwich
Way To Life Foods, Meadowmont Farms
Flourchylde Bakery, Cate & Co.
Napa Valley Tea Co.
Sweets & Confections
Rollz Baking Co., Sweet Somethings, Napa Cookie Co.
Ritual Coffee Roasters
All of the market’s specialty-food vendors produce what they sell, which makes a gift from them extra special. So come on down and get a head start on all of your gift-giving.
This week at the market: On Tuesday, Oct. 6, Amanda will be making “seed bombs” with the kids. Music will be by Don and Liz Glatty. Pumpkins have arrived at the market. Get yours for holiday decorating and baking.
Bruschetta with Sweet Peppers and Ricotta
Sweet peppers will be plentiful at the Farmers Market this week. From “Fresh From the Farmers’ Market” by Janet Fletcher (Chronicle Books).
1 large red bell pepper
1 large golden bell pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices (about 1/2-inch thick and 4 inches long) pain au levain or baguette
1/4 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Roast the peppers over a gas flame or charcoal fire, or under a broiler, until blackened on all sides. When cool enough to handle, peel the peppers, halve them and remove the core, white ribs and seeds. Cut the peppers into strips 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and saute until lightly colored. Add the peppers, season with salt and pepper and saute just until the peppers are coated with garlic and are hot throughout. Let cool in the pan. For best flavor, make the peppers 1 hour ahead so they can absorb the oil and exude their own juices.
Toast the bread on both sides in a broiler, toaster oven, on a stovetop grill or — the best choice — over a charcoal fire. Remove from the heat and drizzle one side of each slice with 1 teaspoon oil. Season the ricotta with salt and pepper, then spread an even layer of cheese on each of the 6 toasts. Stir the basil into the peppers, then divide the peppers and their juices among the toasts.
The Napa Farmers Market takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., May through October, in the Oxbow Public Market south parking lot. The Farmers Market accepts WIC, CalFresh food stamps through EBT (electronic benefits transfer), and the Senior Nutrition Program (available through WIC). CalFresh users can receive double the value of their stamps at the market’s information booth. For information and upcoming events, go to NapaFarmersMarket.org or visit the market on Facebook.