It was my turn to host a luncheon for two friends who are far more accomplished cooks than I am. After a brief panic attack, I invited them to join me at the St. Helena Farmers’ Market where we could browse and then head back to my house to prepare lunch based on our purchases. It was such a success that I am already planning a repeat session!
As we unpacked our bags, I poured some wine (always a good start) and put out a plate of Southern Cheese Straws from Napa Belle Bakery. Instant hit. Then I opened the incredible truffle cheese from Monaco Truffle Company, added a few crackers and the amazing Sicilian Pesto from Chef Andrea and we were feeling mighty happy.
My friend purchased some beautiful light yellow mushrooms from Far West Fungi. She couldn’t remember what they were, I thought possibly oyster mushrooms, but I’m sure Barry will know. We intended to sauté the mushrooms, but they were so delicately delicious raw that we decided a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a splash of Meyer lemon juice would be perfect. It was the ideal transition to our main dish.
People are also reading…
Our salad entrée featured smoked salmon from Santa Rosa Seafood on a bed of gorgeous Little Gem red leaf lettuce, thinly sliced cucumber and sprigs of beautiful purple basil from Long Meadow Ranch along with slices of vibrant rainbow carrots from Tu Universo Farms. I finished the plate with a simple dressing of 1 Tablespoon French mustard, the juice of 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper whisked with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Delicious and so easy!
Dessert was a mix of sweet cherries from Gotelli Farms and “Prima Donna” blueberries from Thor Farms. It was a perfect seasonal lunch.
The St. Helena Farmers’ Market will continue to honor our essential pollinators throughout the month of May. Visit our beautifully decorated Market Classroom for some great take-home activities. The City of St. Helena has declared May to be “Monarch and Pollinator Awareness Month.” Please stop by the Western Monarch Society’s booth to get a free milkweed plant so that you can help save these beautiful butterflies from extinction. This month-long celebration will conclude with a special program on Monday, May 31, at the Cameo Cinema at 11 a.m. Enjoy “Flight of the Butterflies,” a magnificent documentary followed by an informative Q&A with the Western Monarch Society.
Join your friends and neighbors every Friday through Oct. 29 from 7:30 until noon in beautiful Crane Park. To keep updated on what’s happening, please check our website, Instagram, Facebook or Nextdoor St. Helena.
Stacey Bressler is a local vintner and member of the St. Helena Farmers’ Market Board of Directors.