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209 farms to your table

By Kristina Hacker

The “farm to table” movement has swept the country over the past several years with more consumers paying attention to where their food is grown and opting for locally-sourced products when available. Here in the 209, farm to table is a way of life. More than half of the country’s vegetables, fruits and nuts are grown in California and the Central Valley is the state’s agricultural hub, producing over 360 products. The 209 Magazine editorial team — along with the help of The Boathouse at River Islands Executive Chef Justin Hacker — put together a dinner menu using locally-produced ingredients. We hope that this menu will inspire your next dinner party or family get together. Bon appetit!


Baked Brie with Pistachios & Pomegranate Seeds

Serving 8-12

1 Central Coast Creamery’s Dream Weaver Goat Milk Brie Wheel, Full Size
2 oz Athena’s Gift Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 oz Fresh Fennel bulb, thin slice
4 oz Seeds from Arya Farms Pomegranate
4 oz Inzana Ranch Pistachios
4 oz E&J VS Brandy
2 oz Golden Comb Honey
12-16 Crostinis Pieces
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Cut brie in half, flat side across the middle. Place brie in parchment on a sheet tray. Bake for 10-12 mins until gooey. While baking sauté in olive oil, fennel, pomegranate seed and pistachios until fennel is translucent. Splash brandy in pan, (caution: will flame up). Once flame is out, pour mix over brie and top with honey. Place all on large serving tray for service.


1 Large Baguette from Crust & Crumb Bakery
3 oz Athena’s Gift Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch Kosher Salt
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Thinly cut on a bias the baguette. Place on a sheet tray, flat. Lightly brush olive oil over top of baguette. Sprinkle kosher salt over baguette. Place in preheated oven for 10 mins. Remove from oven and let set to room temp.


209 Cheese Board

Fiscalini Scamorza Smoked Mozarella
Stuyt Dairy Mild 2-4 Months Gouda Cheese
Nicolau Farms Black Truffle Casiago
Nicolau Farms Goat Feta
Stewart and Jasper Orchards Dried Apricot
Seeds from Arya Farms Pomegranate
Raisins from the Merced Fruit Barn


Corn Chowder

Serving 10-12

1 Large Yellow Onion, diced
1 cup Celery, diced
1 lb Chopped Bacon, raw
6 oz Athena’s Gift Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbs Ground Black Pepper
1 tbs Dried Oregano
1 tbs Dried Thyme
1 tbs Kosher salt
1 tbs Fresh Garlic from Pioneer Farming
2 cups McMannis Family Vineyards Chardonnay
1 cup Flour
½ gallon Vegetable broth
½ gallon Heavy cream
10 Red Potatoes, diced
2 lbs Corn, off the cob
1 splash Worcestershire
1 splash Hot sauce
1 bunch Fresh Parsley
In a large pot, heat the olive oil and render bacon. Add diced onion and celery, until translucent. Add in all spices. Heat for 1 minute, constantly stirring. Add in wine and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, add in flour. Continue stirring until all flour is absorbed. Cook for 4 minutes. Add in vegetable broth, constantly stirring and until soup is thickened. Add in potatoes while stirring. Add heavy cream. Cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender on low to medium heat, stirring every few minutes. Once potatoes are tender, add in corn, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Stir until desired temperature. Serve hot, garnish with parsley.


Blood Orange Salad

Serving 8-10

1 Bag Spring Mix, Organic
8 oz Candied Walnuts
8 oz Nicolau Farms Goat Feta, Crumbled
8 oz Roasted seeds of a Kakai Pumpkin
from RAM Farms
8 oz Blood Orange Vinaigrette
In a large mixing bowl toss spring mix with vinaigrette. Top with remaining ingredients. Serve chilled or immediately.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1½ cups Raw, whole seeds of a Kakai
Pumpkin from RAM Farms
1 tsp Athena’s Gift Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pinch Salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toss seeds in a bowl with the olive oil and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Yields 4 Cups

1 Cup Blood Orange Juice
½ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Ground Black Pepper
¼ Cup Fresh Shallots
1 Clove Garlic from Pioneer Farming
3 Cups Athena’s Gift Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In a blender combine all ingredients except for the olive oil. Once all ingredients are mix while on low slowly pour olive oil in to emulsify. Then once all is mixed turn off the blender and chill overnight for best results.

Candied Walnuts

8 oz Riverdance Farms Walnuts
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Water
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Brown Sugar, for tossing
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
In a sauce pot boil the first brown sugar, water and vanilla together. Toss nuts in boiled mixture. Soak for 5 mins then drain. Immediately after draining toss in remaining brown sugar, making sure the nuts are evenly coated. Place nuts on sheet tray and bake for 10 mins. Once done let cool on sheet tray.
Break off nuts on sheet tray.


Herb Crusted Roast Beef

Serving 6-8

3-4 lbs Orvis Beef Rib Eye Roast
1 tbsp Kosher Salt
1 tbsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1 tbsp Dry Thyme
1 tbsp Dry Oregano
1 tbsp Granulated Onion
3 tbsp Athena’s Gift Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Cloves Fresh Garlic
8 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place roast on a sheet tray, slice five small holes in to of meat. Then shove fresh garlic into each hole. Combine all dry herbs with olive oil mixing well. Then rub meat with mixture. Let meat rest at room temp for one hour. Place in preheated oven for one hour checking temp every 15 mins after until internal temperature comes to 115 degrees. Bring out of oven and let rest before serving. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

*Serve with McMannis Family Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon


Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serving 6-8

5 Large Livingston Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp Kosher Salt
2 tbsp Course Ground Black Pepper
2-4 tbsp Athena’s Gift Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Peel all potatoes making sure to submerge in warm water so they don’t turn brown. Cut into one-inch cubes. Repeat the warm water once cubed. Drain potatoes of water. Place in bowl. Toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place on a sheet tray and bake for 1 hour or until lightly browned in color. Place in serving dish and garnish with Italian parsley. Serve immediately.


Sautéed Green Beans with Almonds and Pomegranates

Serving 6-8

1 splash Athena’s Gift Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 lbs Fresh Green Beans
1 pinch Kosher Salt
1 pinch Course Ground Black Pepper
6 oz Stewart & Jasper Sliced Almonds
6 oz Seeds from Arya Farms Pomegranates
1 splash McMannis Family Vineyards Chardonnay
Start with a pot of boiling water to blanch green beans. Place green beans in boiling water then bring back to a boil. Remove green beans once they come to a boil. Immediately cool with running water and ice. Heat a sauté pan with olive oil. Place green beans in hot pan and sauté. Hit with salt and pepper, heating for about another minute. Splash in white wine (caution: may flame up). Place green beans in serving dish, then top with sliced almonds and pomegranate seeds. Serve Immediately.


Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream

Serving 10-12

1 cup Heavy Cream
3 cups Pumpkin Spice Nutcher Milk
1 cup Sugar
3 tbsp Vanilla Extract
8 Gemperle Farms Egg Yolks
12 - 24 Resendiz Farms’ Famous Pie Squares
4 oz Golden Comb Honey
In a medium size pot mix heavy cream and milk, bring to a slight boil the remove from heat, stirring frequently. While milk mix is heating combine sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Mix eggs and sugar until the mix turns a light yellow. Add in vanilla extract to milk mix. Slowly add warm milk mix to whipped egg mix. Be sure to slowly mix together (temper) so the eggs don’t become scrambled. Cool for 4-6 hours.
In an electric ice cream churner pour mixture into bin. Mix till machine stops and ice cream is done. Remove from bin and place in a container to freeze. Serve with pie squares. Finish with a drizzle of honey.

All of the fresh vegetables used in these recipes came from farmers markets in the 209. Here is a list of farmers markets open through the month of October:Merced Certified Farmers’ Market

16th and Canal streets Merced
8 a.m. to noon Saturdays year-round

Turlock Certified Farmers Market

Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, N. Soderquist (entrance near W. Canal Dr.)
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 13

Modesto Certified Farmers’ Market

16th Street between H and I streets, Modesto
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays through Nov. 17

Sonora Certified Farmers’ Market

Theall and Stewart streets, Sonora
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Saturdays through Oct. 20

San Joaquin Farmers Market - Tracy

10th Street between B St. and Central Ave., Tracy
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 17

San Joaquin Farmers Market - Stockton

4994 Claremont Ave., Stockton
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays year-round

The table setting was created by Lynn Marie Designs. They put together a fall-inspired table setting with warm tones of blue, burnt orange and white. Paired with a farmhouse table and rustic chairs, the setting made for a perfect space to gather around for a farm to table dinner. The mini white pumpkins on each setting was a nod to the autumn season. Lynn Marie Designs specializes in preparing homes for resale, interior design and staging. They are available by appointment at (209) 410-1237.
Special thanks to The Boathouse at River Islands for help creating this farm to table menu and allowing the 209 Magazine crew to photograph the meal on their picturesque patio. The Boathouse at River Islands is located at 980 Lakeside Dr., Lathrop. For more information, call 209-932-9986 or visit