When I first moved to San Francisco I was enamored with the Saturday farmer’s market at the Ferry Building. It was probably one of my most favorite places to visit – stand after stand of fresh produce, home-made cheese, freshly caught fish, just butchered meat. I swore that I would spend every Saturday shopping at the market and cooking a truly farm to table meal. But alas I soon discovered the rest of the city (and outside the city) and my Saturday trips to the farmer’s market became a small treat to myself when I wasn’t so busy exploring everywhere else.
When I got sick several months ago my exploring and running around came to a screeching halt. There would be no more trail runs for me, no more bike rides to Marin, and no more strolls up and down the monstrous hill to Union street for a little shopping. All of it was a lot to take in but what killed me the most was my inability to simply live my life the way I wanted to. The worst for me, was waking up on a fog-free, sunny Saturday morning and knowing that there was no run in my future. On one of those particularly low Saturday mornings I drove myself down to the Ferry Building farmer’s market and strolled around. There wasn’t a lot of produce but I did grab myself a Blue Bottle coffee and a delicious pastry and it was perfect.
So last Saturday when I awoke to a bluebird sky I knew exactly where I wanted to head, except last Saturday I was also determined to get a little run in as well. Run I did – from Chrissy Field beach to the Golden Gate Bridge (who turned 75 last weekend quite elegantly with a ridic firework display) and back. That was a big win! The reward . . . the hubby took me to the farmer’s market and we shopped for a delicious home-cooked farm to table meal.
It is amazing what a different a month makes. Those barren stands were now overflowing with squash, lettuce, peas, apricots, cherries, and some super early peaches. I was in heaven. We picked up some Flap Steak from the 4505 butcher and settled on steak and salad for dinner with a cheese plate app. Yum! It was truly the perfect Saturday. Thanks hubby for one amazing day!
Wine pairing: We opened up a delish 2006 MacRostie Merlot that we got on the cheap from my favorite friends at D&M Liquors. They literally will taste every bottle of wine they choose to carry in the store and have crates of wines under $15 in the front with great tasting notes making shopping so easy! I know Sideways gave Merlot a bad rap but honestly the wine, when made correctly, is truly delicious. It has darker fruit than a pinot but not has heavy as a cab without a ton of tannins. Simply put it is a great sipping / food-pairing wine. (a little secret because Merlot’s are so out favor you get a great value on most brands)
“Grilled” Flap Steak with Roasted Squash, Walnut, and Manchego Cheese Salad
(an original recipe)
1.5lb Flap Steak (this is more than enough for 2 dinners and a few steak sandwich leftovers)
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 head of Butter lettuce
2 small summer squash (we used a paddy pan and a small zucchini)
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
Season the steak with salt and pepper. Be careful with the salt if you are not using low sodium soy sauce. Place the steak in a shallow dish and marinate it for about an hour with the 1/2 cup of soy sauce and 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the summer squash and toss with mushrooms and olive oil (probably a 1/2 tbsp) – just enough to coat. Place on a roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until they start to lightly brown. Place the chopped walnuts on a roasting pan and toast for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high to high heat. Use 1/4 to 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil in the pan to coat. When the pan is hot and the oil is almost smoking place the steak in the skillet. If you have a steak as big and thick as ours and you want a rare steak, you probably want to cook it for 5 minutes a side (10 minutes total on the stove) and then place in the oven to finish it off for about 7 to 10 minutes. Adjust this time depending on thickness or desired doneness.
While steak is resting, assemble the salad. Layout the leaves of the butter lettuce (cut into smaller pieces if you have a large head of lettuce). Place the roasted squash, mushrooms, and walnuts on top. Using a vegetable peeler, top the salad with shaved pieces of Manchego cheese. Dress with your favorite salad dressing – we used olive oil, lemon, and gray salt.
When the steak has rested for 5 to 10 minutes slice and serve.