Making the Most of Late Summer's Bounty
Labor Day weekend is upon us, school has already started, and the days are getting noticeably shorter. But, the weather is still warm and summer produce is at its peak. How do you squeeze every golden drop out of summertime before the seasons turn?
We are putting pumpkin spice on hold for a few weeks and focusing our attention on the produce aisle and all on that is gloriously fresh and in season.
We have put together a list of favorite products that enhance the flavors of seasonal fruits and vegetables and will help you enjoy the final days of summer.
Keep it light and simple.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy the bounty of end-of-summer vegetables is as simple as a really delicious olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to make the flavors pop. We are loving
Jackrabbit Extra Virgin California Olive Oil Relaxed Blend from the Capay Valley. It produces notes of fresh butter, green almond, and a subtle floral aroma. And if you are reaching for a balsamic, go for the gold.
Leonardi 1871 Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is a traditional condiment that is brown and velvety with a versatile yet magical balance of sweet and sour.
If you have never tasted
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, we recommend you try this lovely finishing salt. The flavor of everything it touches come to life—it really makes a difference.
Tossing a salad? We recommend dressing it with
's Bacon Ranch Dressing
. Its creamy and full flavor is accented with bits of real bacon, celery, carrot and parsley. With a classic buttermilk tang, it has an ever so slight hint of cayenne.
And, we like to keep a bottle of
's Classic Italian Dressing
as both a marinade for the grill and a dipping sauce. It has just the right blend of herbs and spices.
Adding dairy to fresh produce balances the flavors.
makes a mean Caprice Salad. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, with a rich, delicate and soft texture.
Of course, a touch of dairy with dessert is sublime. It can be as simple as a squirt of
Sweetened Whipped Topping
on some berries or a dollop of
Bellwether Farms Créme Fraîche French Cultured Cream
on your peaches. Or, you can mix up a batch of
European Gourmet Bakery Organics Vanilla Pudding
to coat the inside of a French fruit tart.
Fresh Ricotta Cheese
is creamy white in appearance, and slightly sweet in taste. Ricotta can be beaten smooth with a little sugar and a hint of lemon and served with fresh, seasonal fruit for an elegant and yummy dessert.
Or, just reach into our freezer case for some delicious gelato on a stick. Made from locally-sourced ingredients,
is crafted in small batches in the traditional Italian manner, then frozen into a bar form that’s easy to take with you. It's a Berkeley based company with deep roots in the East Bay food scene.
We carry their Pistachio, Alba Farms Strawberry Banana Sorbetto, Guittard Dark Chocolate Sorbet, Philz Coffee, Blood Orange Sorbetto, Tcho Chocolate, Lindcove Ranch Tangelo Sorbetto, and Recchiuti Burnt Caramel in the store.
A Staff Favorite
We are happy to now be carrying Green Girl Bakeshop's amazing plant-based gelato sandwich cookies. And, we recommend you give them a try. (Hint: they're not just for vegans and folks with food allergies.) You can say goodbye to those gluten and dairy-free desserts with gritty textures and chalky tastes. These are true gourmet!
Green Girl makes delicious, herb-powered gelato desserts. Their cookie and gelato sandwiches are made with creamy coconut milk and antioxidant-rich superfoods that support your wellness, vitality, and dessert cravings. It's hard to believe they are organic, dairy-free, paleo-friendly, and gluten-free, Each gelato sandwich cookies is made with simple ingredients. This means no unnatural stabilizers and nothing artificial. Plus they are Bay-Area local!
We are currently carrying their Reishi Chocolate with Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cardamom with Dark Chocolate Cookies, and Golden Turmeric with Ginger Cookies. Try one of each!
Here's to some great tasting, organic, healthy desserts that people with (and without) food allergies can enjoy!
Labor Day Holiday Hours
Piedmont Grocery will close for Labor Day on Monday, September 2nd, to honor our employees. And also so that they can spend the day with families and friends.
Please make certain to complete your purchases by Sunday evening, so you can enjoy the holiday, too.
We will resume our regular hours on Tuesday morning at 9 AM. Have a great long weekend!
A Cookbook Recommendation
by Joshua McFadden
Winner, James Beard Award for Best Book in Vegetable-Focused Cooking
Named a Best Cookbook of the Year by the
Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Bon Appétit, Food Network Magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, USA Today, Seattle Times, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Library Journal, Eater, and more.
Joshua McFadden, chef and owner of renowned trattoria Ava Gene’s in Portland, Oregon, is a vegetable whisperer. After years racking up culinary cred at New York City restaurants like Lupa, Momofuku, and Blue Hill, he managed the trailblazing Four Season Farm in coastal Maine, where he developed an appreciation for every part of the plant and learned to coax the best from vegetables at each stage of their lives.
In Six Seasons, his first book, McFadden channels both farmer and chef, highlighting the evolving attributes of vegetables throughout their growing seasons—an arc from spring to early summer to midsummer to the bursting harvest of late summer, then ebbing into autumn and, finally, the earthy, mellow sweetness of winter. Each chapter begins with recipes featuring raw vegetables at the start of their season. As weeks progress, McFadden turns up the heat—grilling and steaming, then moving on to sautés, pan roasts, braises, and stews. His ingenuity is on display in 225 revelatory recipes that celebrate flavor at its peak.
Never before have I seen so many fascinating, delicious, easy recipes in one book. . . . [Six Seasons is] about as close to a perfect cookbook as I have seen . . . a book beginner and seasoned cooks alike will reach for repeatedly.
From our blog, The Kitchen Table
Pasta for dinner is a lifesaver. It IS quite frankly the easiest thing you can make besides a phone call to your favorite takeout place. Here’s the thing with pasta, on a hot night it can feel kind of heavy if you go the traditional red sauce and meatball route.
Summer pasta definitely needs to be light pasta either with a little pesto or some grated lemon zest with olive oil and parmesan—and don’t forget the tomatoes! All of these can be go-to options for a quick bite at the end of the day. But, sometimes you just want to do something different for a change of pace.
This recipe for Summer Salmon Pasta is my current obsession. It’s light but hearty enough for those nights you need just a little bit more.
From our blog, The Cocktail Post
A deliciously fizzy combination of green tea and sparkling wine makes up this simple-to-prepare summer punch with depth of flavor. The floral and fruity notes of the wine help highlight the earthiness of the green tea. And the dryness is balanced by the sweetness of the honey.
This recipe is perfect for siping with company on the porch or serving with brunch.
News & Events
The 154th consecutive Scottish Highland Gathering and Games takes place at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton on Labor Day Weekend.
Celebrate Scottish culture, cuisine, competition, and entertainment at its very best, right here in the East Bay.
And, of course the main event at the games is the Heavy Athletics, featuring such sports as Throwing the Caber (basically a tree trunk), Putting the Stone (similar to the Olympic Shot Put, except with a stone weighing over 17 pounds!), The Weight for Distance (metal weights thrown one-handed), The Weight for Height (throwing a weight over a tall bar like a pole vault), and the Scottish Hammer (yep, throwing a giant hammer). You can read full
descriptions on this page
The 154th Scottish Highland Gathering and Games features five entertainment stages and some great musicians and bands as well
as Highland Dancing, Piping & Drumming, Sheep Dog Trials, Birds of Prey Exhibition, Vendors, and Whisky Tasting.
A Staff Favorite
Raw chocolate delights!
Delicious chocolate made with real, organic ingredients that will leave you feeling great long after eating them.
Imagine biting into a chewy, sweet and delicious lucuma & maca nougat. Then into a layer of whipped cashew butter caramel with crunchy, salty almonds. All of it drenched in delicious, 81% dark chocolate.
That's what it is like to eat a Berkeley Bar from Coracao Chocolates. This is some of the best chocolate you will ever eat, silky, perfectly sweetened, and blended into a beautiful, simple combination.
These Berkeley Bars are a labor of love. Inspired by a childhood favorite, Snickers® candy bars, Berkeley Bars are a sophisticated reinvention of a classic combination of flavors. They are made locally in small batches and all the ingredients are sustainably sourced.
Berkeley Bars are nutty and full of love...just like Berkeley.
A Staff Favorite
Fresh heirloom apples straight from the orchards craft a cider tribute to the Gowan family’s first apple harvest in 1876. This classic French-inspired cider captures the ripe apple aromatics of harvest time along with a rich earthiness, florals, honey, and stone fruit.
Over a dozen special kinds of apples were selected for this proprietary cuvée. Each variety contributes to complexity, flavor, tannin, and acid—making for exceptionally-balanced layers of flavor and a classic cider.
This select blend of fresh heirloom apples is tree-ripened in heritage orchards creating a classic traditional cider. Refreshing and crisp with luscious layers of ripe apple, notes of caramel, stone fruit, and rose.
Medium-dry. Lightly sparkling, this cider is smooth, crisp and refreshing with a medium finish.
Pairs well with Cheeses, savory meals, pasta, spicy dishes, and chocolate.
From our blog, The Kitchen Table
This is the time of year when tomatoes are at their best. And, if you are growing your own, chances are you have more than you can handle. For me, that was always the best part of gardening. There is nothing better than a homegrown tomato. Giving a portion of your bumper crop to someone who understands and appreciates that a homegrown tomato is worth its weight in gold is just as satisfying as eating one. In fact, I tended to over-plant just so I could give some away. Mainly to my mother who lived for a summer tomato sandwich.
Time constraints and squirrel invaders have prevented me from planting a tomato garden in recent years. So, I have become hopefully dependent upon the generosity of my tomato-growing friends and I am beyond grateful when they share.
Summer tomatoes make the best meals because they don’t require you to do anything with them. They are basically the perfect snack. The flavors are so good that to hide them under or in a heavy sauce or as an ingredient in a complex recipe is in my mind criminal. If you ask my husband, the best way to eat a summer tomato is to slice it up, sprinkle it with a bit of sea salt and eat it with a fork. That was how my grandmother liked to eat hers, too. But, she would also serve them sliced alongside some avocado wedges and sprinkled with a little bit of Italian dressing (and the occasional dollop of mayo). I think that is one of my favorite “salads” that I serve with grilled steaks. Having a variety of heirloom tomatoes sliced on a platter can be a very pretty yet simple side dish addition to any meal.
I think if I had to pick my favorite way to eat peak of season tomatoes, though, it would be sliced and set atop some creamy fresh burrata cheese that has been spread on a slice toasted baguette. Heaven! (Add a little prosciutto and you have the perfect picnic!) Which is probably why this Tomato Chile Melon Salad recipe appeals to me so much. It’s basically an appetizer platter in a bowl.
News & Events
Fine arts under the redwoods.
The Kings Mountain Art Fair is an annual event held every Labor Day weekend since 1963. A magical transformation occurs in the redwood forest just 30 miles south of San Francisco. Artist booths pop up around the Kings Mountain Fire Station and local beer and wine begin to flow.
The forest becomes an outdoor gallery displaying some of the finest handmade arts and crafts on the West Coast. All art is original and made by the artists who personally exhibit at the show.
Known for its stunning location among the redwoods and for its unique and varied artists the Kings Mountain Art Fair features 135+ juried artists in a redwood forest with an old fashioned children’s craft and game area.
Families will find lots of old-fashioned, fun activities, including face painting, and various crafts and games in Kiddie Hollow
News & Events
See what's cooking!
Each weekend during the summer months we are hosting an outdoor Barbecue. Come on down to the store and try one of our grilled sandwiches, tri-tip, or a half chicken.
Our menu includes Marinated & Grilled Try-Tip Sandwich, Italian Sausage Sandwich, 1/2 BBQ Chicken, 1/2 Slab Baby Back Ribs, and Grilled Salmon Fillet.
Saturdays and Sundays
From 11 AM to 6 PM
Adjacent the Piedmont Grocery parking lotf
From our recipe blog, The Kitchen Table
Labor Day weekend is almost here…which is awesome because,
Hey!, a three day weekend!
Tradition suggests that I am supposed to be thinking about barbecue but truth be told, I’m kind of sick of grilling. With as hot as it has been lately, I haven’t even looked twice at my oven. Everything we’ve eaten in the past two weeks has been hot off the outdoor grill. Needless to say, I am finding it hard to get too excited about a barbecue for Labor Day.
That being said, I
be going to a barbecue on Sunday. The good news is the decision to figure out what to throw on the grill rests entirely on my sister’s shoulders. I have a feeling that I will be in charge of bringing something sweet to the party. And, for some reason lately, I have had brownies on the brain.
I can’t tell you how long it has been since I have made a batch of brownies. I
brownies and because of that love I just can’t have them lying around. I will simply end up eating them. Hence, I have not made them in over a year. As a general rule, I am a brownie purist but I am not above swirling in a little peanut butter before they go in the oven or even mixing some espresso into the batter. There are never any nuts in my brownies. Not because I don’t like nuts—but I just don’t want anything to interfere with my chocolate intake. And, no nuts means there is more room for chocolate in each bite.
Brownies, or chocolate anything really, are a great way to end a barbecue because chocolate just goes well with grilled meats. Even better, you can serve them with the ice cream of your choice on the top for a sundae. Or, take it a step further and use the brownies as the base for an ice cream cake!
Vendor of the Month
Gourmet quality olive oil at supermarket prices.
We are all about Stutz Olive Oil. It's a perennial staff favorite. This local company is just up the road in Piedmont, and produces three varieties of extra virgin olive oil. Californian has a more peppery flavor and the Mediterranean tastes more buttery. Plus, now we are carrying their organic variety.
This golden-green and flavorful oil is the embodiment of California’s Mediterranean climate and cultural legacy. It is a harmonious blend of the first cold pressing of olive varieties which were brought to California from Spain and Italy. This versatile oil is sweet, fragrant, refreshingly fruity, and perfect for everyday use.
This blend is selected for its gourmet quality at a low price. It is composed of oils that may come from Spain, Turkey or Tunisia.
This 100% NOP Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is clean, fresh, vibrant and buttery- everything an oil should be.
My kitchen is always stocked with a bottle of Stutz extra-virgin olive oil. Made in Northern California near where I live, it’s flavorful and fruity.
Stutz also produces a lovely balsamic vinegar from Modena, in Central Italy.
Seven Days a Week
9 AM to 8 PM
9 AM to 7 PM
4038 Piedmont Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611
Visit our recipe blog to learn what Amy, our VP and resident foodie, is cooking up in her home kitchen.