Farmers Market Grilling Guide | CUESA

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Returns March 17, 2022

July 02, 2021

Farmers Market Grilling Guide

The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is open tomorrow, July 3, for all your peak-season barbecue needs, from organic stone fruit and vegetables to pasture-raised meat and plant-based proteins. Keep your cookouts fresh, simple, and sustainable by supporting local farmers and ranchers. We’ve gathered some shopping tips and recipes to inspire your outdoor summer feasts!

Farmers Market Proteins for the Grill

If you’re grilling meat, whenever possible choose grass-fed, humanely raised, and organic meat from pastured animals, raised without antibiotics or hormones, and by ranchers using regenerative management practices that give back to the land. The money saved by using less meat can help to purchase better quality. See CUESA’s animal welfare guide for labels to look for, as well as the list of local ranchers at our farmers markets below. 

For some grass-fed meat buying and grilling tips, read our interview with rancher Loren Poncia at Stemple Creek RanchFind tips on how to craft burgers made from less and better beef, or no meat at allfrom the Better Burger Challenge.

Devil’s Gulch Ranch has grass-fed lamb, heritage pork, and rabbit raised in Nicasio. Pork offerings include chops, spare ribs, tenderloin, shoulder roasts, and ground. They also have ground lamb for lamb burgers and lamb leg roasts, as well as smoked and fully cooked and uncooked sausages. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Far West Fungi grows certified organic Portobello, King Trumpet, and other gourmet specialty mushrooms to provide savory meat alternatives for skewers and veggie burgers. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Farmer Joy offers pasture-raised duck and chicken eggs, along with ground beef and pork from her family’s sixth-generation farm in West Marin County’s Chileno Valley. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

H & H Fresh Fish Co. and Four Star Seafood provide fresh, locally caught seafood such as California King Salmon, halibut, and seabass, depending on the season. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Hodo has GMO-free organic tofu for skewers and tofu veggie burgers (organic, vegan, gluten-free, and highly grillable). Check out Hodo’s recipe for tofu satayFerry Plaza, Saturday.

Hog Island Oyster Co. farms oysters in Tomales Bay, ready for slurping fresh or throwing on the BBQ. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Massa Organics has sustainably and humanely raised heritage pork from their organic farm, including juicy pork chops and sausages. As alternatives to hot dogs, try their linguica, bratwurst, Polish, or Italian sausages on your grill. And if making hamburgers, farmer Greg Massa recommends using a half-and-half mix of pork and beef. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Root Down Farm’s Dede Boies, a first-generation rancher, offers poultry and pork from from heritage breeds, humanely raised on pasture in Pescadero. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Pile on the Season’s Best Fruit and Veg

While your grill is hot, you’ll want throw on lots of peak-season fruits and vegetables from the farmers market. Here are a few delicious recipes from our local chefs and farms, plus some fresh seasonal salads.

Fruit and Vegetable Grilling Tips | Pam Mazzola, Prospect

Buffalo Corn with Point Reyes Original Blue | Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company

Grilled Little Gem Lettuces with Blue Cheese Dressing and Strawberries | Jennifer Knapp, Jennifer Knapp Catering

Blistered Shishitos with Furikake Ranch and Crispy Quinoa | Sheldon Simeon, Cook Real Hawai’i

Whole Grilled Fava Beans | Louisa Shafia, The New Persian Kitchen

Grilled Peach, Quinoa, and Arugula Salad | Erica Holland-Toll, formerly of Prather Ranch Meat Co.

Grilled Melon Salsa | Alison Mountford, Square Meals

Grilled Corn and Arugula Salad with Smoked Tomato Vinaigrette | Joanne Weir, Copita Tequileria y Comida

Grilled Figs and Radicchio on a Rosemary Skewer with Cherry Tomato Salad | Eric Tucker, Millennium

Roasted Farmers Market Carrots with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce | Bruce Cole, Edible San Francisco

Summer Panzanella | Alison Mountford, Square Meals

Watermelon and Tomato Salad | Chris Cosentino, Cockscomb and Boccalone

Ensaladang Talong (Filipino Eggplant Salad) | Aileen Suzara, Sariwa

Frog Hollow Farm Rainbow Salad | Anna Buss, Frog Hollow Farm

Green Beans and Figs with Hazelnut Dressing | Joyce Goldstein, Inside the California Food Revolution

For more inspiration, see our grilling guide and recipe archive.

Stemple Creek Ranch ribs photo by Karen Pavone @farministasfeast.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »