Spring Holiday Guide | CUESA

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April 06, 2017

Spring Holiday Guide

After a long, wet winter, we’re finally starting to see the seasons change at the Ferry Plaza and Jack London Square Farmers Markets. Strawberries, asparagus, and fresh goat cheese have already made appearances, and before long, cherries will be on their way. It’s a rewarding time to be a market regular, because each week brings new surprises!

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

Please note that the Jack London Square Farmers Market will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 16.

Spring Farmers Market Specials

  • Pucker-Up Lemon and Strawberry Fields Cheesecakes from Crumble & Whisk (Saturday)
  • Treats from Batter Bakery: honey vanilla bunnies, lavender sea salt bunnies, Easter shortbread, carrot ginger quickbread, strawberry buttermilk upside down cake, Meyer lemon bars (Saturday)
  • Passover and Easter specials from Cap’n Mike’s Holy Smoke, including Matzo Ball Soup; Borscht, Smoked Black Cod, and Avocado; and Honey Smoked Salmon Sandwich and Spring Pea, Asparagus, and Green Garlic Soup (Saturday)
  • Asparagus tamales with roasted carrots artichoke hearts (gluten-free) from Donna’s Tamales (Tuesday)

  • Hot cross buns from Downtown Bakery and June Taylor Company (Saturday)
  • Spring ravioli from the Pasta Shop: Asparagus & Meyer Lemon in Lemon Parsley Pasta; Basil Pesto & Mozzarella in Egg Pasta; Fava Beans & Asparagus in Eggless Parsley Pasta (vegan); Sweet Pea & Mint in Egg Pasta
  • Lebanese Ka’ik Glazed Sweet Bread for Easter at Reem’s (Saturday)
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, Strawberries and Cream Custard, and Blueberry Lattice from Three Babes Bakeshop (Saturday)
  • Spring sale on award-winning apple and plum wine at Triple J Cellars (Saturday, April 15 and 30)
  • New Pink Lady apple cider from Hidden Star Orchards (Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday)

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 (Saturday)

Charoset (chopped fruits and nuts)
Nuts: Allard Farms (Sunday), Bella Viva Orchards (Saturday), G. L. Alfieri Farms (Saturday), Glashoff Farms (Saturday)

Apples: Hidden Star Orchards (Saturday and Sunday)

Dates: Flying Disc Ranch (Saturday)

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

Karpas (non-bitter herb)
Parsley: County Line Harvest (Saturday), Eatwell Farm (Saturday)

Z’roa (roasted bone)
Lamb shank: Casa Rosa Farms (Sunday), Devil’s Gulch Ranch (Saturday), Stemple Creek Ranch (Saturday)

No-Rise Passover Recipes

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

Spicy Carrots | Sherri Brooks Vinton, author of Put ‘em Up

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.

Pasture-raised eggs are available at:

Ferry Plaza Farmers Markey (Saturdays): Brooks and Daughters (chicken), Eatwell Farm (chicken and goose), Rolling Oaks Ranch (chicken), Washoe Valley Duck Farm (duck)

Jack London Square Farmers Market (Sundays): Casa Rosa Farms (chicken), Great Valley Poultry (chicken), Skyelark Ranch (chicken)

Farmers Market Easter Basket Goodies

Check out these Easter basket treats from the farmers market—just add a basket and a bow!

  • Award-winning Rose Petal and Cocoa Nib Caramels, plus shrubs and vinegars in assorted spring flavors from Little Apple Granola (Saturday)
  • Candied citrus, Nordic syrups, and drink kits for Easter brunch cocktails from June Taylor Company (Saturday)

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

Elegantly Simple Deviled Eggs | Sandra Keros, Healthy Focus

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

Deviled Eggs with Quick-Pickled Asparagus | Jodi Liano, San Francisco Cooking School

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

Delta Asparagus and Frisée Salad | Francis Hogan, Bluestem Brasserie

See our spring seasonality synopsis »


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