Each spring my husband Ben and I look forward to the opening of the seasonal farmers markets around Sonoma County, with Cloverdale being one of our favorite destinations. Whether we travel locally or nationally, we typically pack a cooler and ice packs as we always hope to discover and bring home local culinary treasures.

We headed up to the Cloverdale Tuesday Farmers Market, held in downtown Cloverdale in the empty lot next to Plank. The market is held every Tuesday during this time of year, from 3 to 6 p.m., and includes live music. On our visit we were totally impressed with the variety of produce, meats, fresh-baked breads, vegetables, olive oil, wild mushrooms and more.

The market was bustling with both locals and guests of Cloverdale, all supporting the local economy and farmers’ livelihoods. We ran into four Sonoma ladies who were making a day of it in downtown Cloverdale, shopping, lunching, and enjoying the market.

Ben and I were able to pick up fresh rainbow Swiss chard from Bernier Farm, freshly baked breads from Preston of Dry Creek, wild mushrooms from Duncan’s Mushrooms, along with a dozen delicious eggs, which were the golden ticket of the market that afternoon. Last but for sure not least, we were able to bring home freshly made chorizo and salumi, made by Franco and Dennis Dunn of Franco One World Sausage, which we thoroughly enjoyed that evening. At the end of my column are two of our recipes that we prepared from our epicurean finds at the market.

After walking though the market, we placed our produce and meats in the cooler and then headed over to the Cloverdale Ale Company (formerly Ruth McGowan’s Brewpub). Brewmaster Tim Gallagher has a great mind to create delicious and unique beers, which go well with food. If you have the time to stop in to the brewery, enjoy a flight of their fresh brews. Be sure to inquire if they have any seasonal fresh ales, as that is one of the many benefits of visiting a small brewery—they often brew items that are only served at the brewpub.

Over time, I have enjoyed many of Cloverdale Ale’s beers, including the light and crisp Caroline’s Blonde, which is perfect with a spicy dish. The Ruth’s Citrus Wheat is one my favorites with a fresh chèvre or summer salad, as it has a hint of citrus and coriander; Pine Mountain Pale Ale is a go-to beer, perfect for after work, a dry hoppy pale ale that is a total crowd pleaser. Also be sure to taste the Monster Brown Ale, a full-bodied, big malt-chocolate-tasting ale that is delicious with a round of BBQ.
Do yourself a favor and drive on up Highway 101 and enjoy an afternoon in Cloverdale, supporting your local brewers, farmers and producers. Cloverdale is quickly on its way to becoming a culinary destination!

In addition to the Tuesday Cloverdale Farmers Market, the Cloverdale Certified Farmers’ Market opens June 3 and runs from 5:30 p.m. until dusk. We look forward to visiting the market as it coincides with the Friday Night Live Concert series hosted by the Cloverdale Arts Alliance. Farmers and producers attending the Cloverdale Certified Farmers Market will be announced May 15 on its website.

Duncan’s Wild Mushroom and Dunn’s Chorizo Tacos

Created by Sheana Davis
Yield: 12 tacos
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, cleaned
1 pound Dunn ground chorizo sausage
1/2 white onion, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup Cloverdale Ale
12 corn tortillas, warmed
12 radishes, washed, trimmed and cut into quarters
1/2 pound fresh salad greens
2 tablespoons Sonoma County Moon Dog olive oil

Prepare mushrooms by removing the stems, and slice the caps into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside. Place the chorizo sausage in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper; sauté and continuously stir until golden brown, approximately 12-15 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and ale and sauté until mushrooms are soft, approximately 4-6 minutes.
Serve with fresh warm corn tortillas, spring radishes and fresh salad greens. Drizzle with Moon Dog Olive Oil and enjoy with Cloverdale Ale’s Floyd India Pale Ale.

Bernier’s Swiss Chard and Duncan’s Egg Fritatta Served with Preston Farms Wheat Bread and Six Oaks Farm Salad

Created by Sheana Davis
Yields 12-inch round fritatta

1 cup of 1/2-inch cubes peeled red potato
8 whole Duncan’s eggs or Sonoma County eggs, whisked together in small bowl
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Vella Dry Jack or Parmesan
1 tablespoon Moon Dog olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard, cut into 1/2-inch strips, including stems
1/4 cup Sonoma County white wine
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper or to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the diced potato in a small pan, cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are al dente.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together with the salt and two cheeses.
In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, sauté the onion and cook until translucent, approximately 3 minutes, add in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Sprinkle in the chard and a splash with white wine, cover, and cook until the chard is completely soft. Add more wine if necessary if the skillet is too dry. Stir in the potatoes and black pepper.
Pour the egg mixture over the Swiss chard mixture, cooking until the bottom and sides begin to set, then transfer to the oven and continue cooking until the center is solid, 13-15 minutes.
Remove from oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a glass of Cloverdale Ale, either Ruth’s Citrus Wheat or Caroline’s Blonde.  SD