Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Strawberries at Little Italy's Mercato

One of the great things about living in San Diego's beautiful climate is that strawberry season starts at the end of January. How awesome is that? As Gourmet Fusion is a vendor at the local farmers' markets on Saturdays and Sundays, this means we have first pick of the freshest, tastiest food San Diego County has to offer.

At the Little Italy Mercato on Date Street, Kawano Farms of Oceanside is selling these juicy, field-fresh strawberries every Saturday morning. They are great to use in smoothies, desserts or just to snack on, and as well as their amazing taste, strawberries are full of goodness too, falling into the category of foods known as "super foods".

If you are looking for a yummy snack on super bowl Sunday, why not try this favorite that we published in our blog some time ago, but that proved to be so popular it is worth mentioning again.

This recipe is from "The Deen Brothers Cookbook", who if you didn't know, are Jamie and Bobby Deen, the sons of the Food Network's Paula Deen.

This simple, yet wonderful , makes use of the abundant at the farmers market (or supermarket) right now.

They make an elegant looking dessert as part of a buffet, or can be served at a fancy brunch or as part of a tray.

  • 32 whole large strawberries, hulled
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
1. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each strawberry so the berries stand upright. Place berries, cut sides down, on a serving platter. Carefully, cut the berries into 4 wedges, cutting almost to, but not through, the bottoms. Fan the wedges just slightly, taking care not to break them. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until combined but still stiff. Using a teaspoon or pastry bag with decorative tip, fill the strawberries with the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of the stuffed strawberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Little Italy Mercato takes place every Saturday between 9 am and 1:30 pm on Date Street, San Diego, between India and Union Street.

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