Spring Holiday Farmers Market Guide

March 25, 2021

Spring is officially here, and the seasons are changing at CUESA’s farmers markets. Strawberries, asparagus, and green garlic have already made appearances at the farm stands, and before long, sugar snap peas will be on their way. It’s a rewarding time to be a market regular, because each week brings new delights and surprises!

From ready-to-enjoy spring farmers market specials to holiday recipes for Passover and Easter, we’ve put together some shopping tips and menu ideas to inspire your spring celebrations.

Spring Specials at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Pasture-raised chicken, goose, or duck eggs from Eatwell FarmFarmer Joy, Rolling Oaks Ranch

Honey vanilla bunnies, lavender sea salt bunnies, Easter shortbread, carrot cake, carrot ginger quickbread, strawberry buttermilk upside down cake, Meyer lemon bars, mandarin cheesecake bars, honey coconut macaroons, and asparagus leek quiche from Batter Bakery

Hand-painted dark chocolate bunnies (Silk 78%) at Bisou Chocolate

Spring brunch offerings from Cap’n Mike’s Holy Smoke, including smoked black cod (sablefish), cold-smoked sturgeon, honey or Alder smoked salmon, San Francisco style lox, lox sandwich kits, plus farmers-market-fresh spring salads and soups to go

Pucker-Up Lemon Cheesecake (pictured above) and Strawberry Fields Cheesecake from Crumble & Whisk

Berry cheesecake pie from Delightful Foods

Hot cross buns and vanilla bean with strawberry hibiscus buttercream French macaron from Marla Bakery 

Spring ravioli and pasta from the Pasta Shop: Asparagus & Meyer Lemon in Lemon Parsley Pasta; Basil Pesto & Mozzarella in Egg Pasta; Tender Greens with Spring Herbs in Egg Pasta; Sweet Pea & Mint in Egg Pasta; and Spring Herb & Lemon Fresh Pasta.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie and Blackberry Lattice Pie from Three Babes Bakeshop

Spring brunch fixings including bagels and schmears in new flavors, plus to-go bagel sandwiches like the Veggie Deluxe and the Lumberjack from Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

Asparagus from Zuckerman’s Farm
Spring bouquets (tulips, ranunuli, and more) from from Cypress Flower FarmMcGinnis Ranch, and Four Sisters Farm

Tips for a Sustainable Passover

Also known as Chag Ha-Aviv (“holiday of spring”), Passover is a time to acknowledge and celebrate the new season. There are many ways to make your Seder plates more sustainable, such as using fresh, local farmers market ingredients for karpas, maror, and charoset. Check out Hazon’s Healthy, Sustainable Passover Resources.

Seder Plate Shopping List

Get all your seder plate ingredients at the farmers market:

Maror (bitter herb)
Horseradish: Knoll Farms 

Charoset (chopped fruits and nuts)
Nuts: G. L. Alfieri Farms, Glashoff FarmsMassa OrganicsOld Dog Ranch, Winters Fruit Tree

Apples: Rainbow Orchards

Dates: Flying Disc Ranch

Beitzah (hard-boiled egg)
Eggs: see full list

Karpas (non-bitter herb)
Parsley: Eatwell Farm

No-Rise Passover Recipes

Carrot Tzimmes | Evan Bloom, Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

Charoset | Evan Bloom, Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

Turkish Lamb with Green Garlic (Kodrero con Ajo Fresco) | Joyce Goldstein, Sephardic Flavors

Grilled Leg of Goat with Charoset Stuffing and Fava Bean, Parsley, Arugula, and Frisée Salad with “Four Glasses of Wine” Vinaigrette | Scott Youkilis, Maverick Restaurant

Snap Pea Soup with Mint and Lemon | Kimberley Hasselbrink, The Year in Food

Braised Green Cabbage | Molly Stevens, cookbook author

Warm Strawberry Salad | Daniel Clayton and Trace Leighton, Origen

Pasture-Raised Eggs and Natural Egg Dyes

Chickens start laying more eggs in the spring, and indeed, the egg serves as the perfect symbol for the season, representing rebirth and renewal. Beautiful au naturel or dyed, these eggs come in a variety of colors, from creamy white to latte brown to Araucana

The perfect hard-boiled egg: Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 12 minutes. Run the eggs under cold tap water or place in an ice water bath until cooled to room temperature.

Natural egg dyes: Did you know you can use farmers market produce like cabbage, beets, and onion skins to create a rainbow of chemical-free egg dyes? Check out our Guide to Natural Egg Dyes, which includes a useful color guide.

Easter Brunch Recipes

Celebrate the flavors of spring with these seasonally inspired offerings from the CUESA recipe archive.

Brunch Basics

Basic Frittata | Amie Bailey, Williams-Sonoma

Asparagus, Leek, and Goat Cheese Strata | Adam Timney, Starbelly

French Toast with Lemon-Ricotta Filling and Fresh Citrus Compote | Thy Tran, Executive Chef, CUESA

Pea Shoot Salad with Fava Beans | Kimberley Hasselbrink, The Year in Food

Strawberry Shortcake with Goat Cheese Cream and Balsamic Reduction | Susanne Stampke, Pastry Chef, The Plant Café Organic

Citrus-Strawberry Muffins | Jen Musty, Batter Bakery

Cocktail: Elementary, My Dear Watsonville | Greg Lindgren, Rye

Spring Greens

Radish, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Salad | Louisa Shafia, The New Persian Kitchen

Spinach Salad a la Grecque | Joyce Goldstein, cookbook author

Chickpea and Dandelion Zuppa | Christophe Hille, formerly of A16

Tender Spring Green Salad with Almonds, Radishes, Chèvre, and Kumquat | Leif Hedendal, local chef

Kumquat and Basil Salad with Shiro Miso Dressing | Pooja Mottl, Pooja’s Way

See our spring seasonality synopsis »

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