Now that the Napa Farmers Market is in its new location (at the Napa Valley Expo, 601 Silverado Trail, Napa), I can’t help thinking about how time flies.
We began the process of securing another location several months ago and, fast forward, we’re now up and running in our new home. Where did winter go? The sun is hanging a tiny bit higher in the sky again, and the world isn’t completely shrouded in darkness every night when I leave work. Clearly, spring is coming.
The Napa Farmers Market board and staff have been busy the past few months. We have been preoccupied with finding a new location for the market and then executing the move. Fortunately, we have had a lot of support from the community and our vendors, for which we are very grateful. We are so excited by the energy at our new downtown home at the Napa Valley Expo. We are happy to be starting the next chapter for the market and look forward to launching fresh initiatives in 2020 and beyond.
We have also been fortunate to add a couple of new vendors this winter that excite me as a chef. I visited the new Iberico pork producer, Encina Farms, in early January and hang out with the pigs in the mud. It’s exciting to have a local producer of high-quality pork at the market, and although they haven’t been in business long enough to have any cured pork products yet, I have been making some favorite dishes from their fresh cuts. With the chilly weather, I have been a bit obsessed with making pork osso buco. This Italian dish is typically made with veal shanks, but my variation, using Encina Farms pork shanks, still has the signature tender meat and bone marrow.
The market has also welcomed a local producer of micro greens grown in Napa. Napa Valley Microgreens has all the usual (and adorable) suspects including radish, sunflower and pea shoots plus several others. Microgreens are a great way to enjoy fresh spring flavors year round, and you’d be surprised how far a small handful can go.
Over this winter, I have been happily sustained by the beautiful variety and quality of the produce at the market. The brassicas (such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and bok choy) have been especially delicious and plentiful this season and show no sign of slowing down as we head into spring, my favorite time of year.
I love spring. I love the freshness, the new possibilities, my birthday, more sunshine and the fresh-picked fruits and vegetables. The planet is in rebirth mode and we take the hint. It’s time to clean out our closets, organize our kitchen and get ready for the spring harvest. There is no better show of fresh spring produce than at the Napa Farmers Market. Join us on Saturdays at the Napa Valley Expo and taste the change.
Pork Osso Buco Novara Style
6 bone-in pork shanks, sliced crosswise 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour
16 green olives, pitted
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary l
6 fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons capers
1 small clove garlic clove, peeled
1 strip lemon zest
2 cups dry white wine
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
Season the pork with salt and pepper. Lightly flour the pork shanks.
Finely chop the olives, rosemary, sage, capers, garlic and lemon zest. Transfer to a bowl, add wine and stir.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the pork and brown all over. Add the contents of the bowl. Cover and simmer about 50 minutes. Turn the shanks over and add water as necessary to bring the liquid level one-third up the side of the shanks. Cover again and simmer for 25 minutes.
Transfer the pork to a platter. If necessary, simmer the sauce, uncovered, until reduced to a sauce consistency. Spoon the sauce over the pork and serve immediately with rice, polenta or potatoes.
Kids activities at the Napa Farmers Market: Bring your youngsters to the market Education Station on Saturdays for Story Time at 10:30 a.m. There might be coloring, matching games or other fun activities too.
On the KVYN Music Stage: On Saturday, Feb. 15, Oscar Reynolds will be performing.
Harvest of the Month: Through February, enjoy comparative tastings of beets at the market’s Education Station at 11 a.m.
Napa Farmers Market has moved! Find the Napa Farmers Market at Napa Valley Expo, 601 Silverado Trail, in Napa. Use the Silverado Trail entrance and park in front of Zinfandel Hall. Hours remain 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with all the same great vendors and activities.
Beginning Feb. 8, The Napa Farmers Market takes place on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Napa Valley Expo, 606 Silverado Trail, Napa. Use the Silverado Trail RV Park entrance and park in front of Zinfandel Hall. The Tuesday market returns in April. Vendors offer local produce and flowers; fresh seafood and meat; ready-to-eat fare and other hand-crafted wares. Educational kids’ activities, chef demos and nonprofit organization booths add to the enriching, multicultural shopping experience. The market also participates in the Market Match program, doubling the value of CalFresh benefits purchasing power for all eligible food products. For more information or a schedule of upcoming events, visit www.napafarmersmarket.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Sandy Sauter is director of public programs at CIA at Copia, co-owner of Spork Kitchens and a member of the board of directors of the Napa Farmers Market.
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