What is it about farmer’s markets that just puts on a smile on your face? We’re lucky enough to live in an area teeming with them! And every neighborhood seems to put it it’s own twist on the tried and true farmer’s market formula. Last week we headed to Old Oakland’s farmer’s market in the heart of Downtown Oakland for a change of pace and to get inspired by the gorgeous produce currently in season. There’s something about strolling in the sunshine through aisles of beautiful fruits and veggies that completely takes away the chore (and bore!) of coming up with what to cook for dinner. You actually feel like you’re doing something fun – because you totally are! Trips to market {with a super cute market bag, of course!} are one of our favorite things to do ever. And with our new food contributor, Zoe, by our side, we were all set to dream up a simple and delicious recipe highlighting locally grown food!


Currently, plump tomatoes abound – perfect for Caprese salads or fresh salsa – juicy plums are making their way to the market and look SO Instagram worthy and eggplants, of all varieties including many we didn’t know existed, are just begging to be cooked up into something yummy. Naturally, we couldn’t leave without throwing a little bit of everything in our bag because the truth is, you can never have enough fresh ingredients to cook with. One of the best things about the neighborhood markets is their accessibility. With only $20 bucks on hand, you literally can get a sampling of everything. You can even throw in a bouquet of fresh flowers to boot!


Zoe, our new recipe whisperer, was super inspired by the speckled, funny shaped Chinese eggplants so we picked a handful of them up for dinner. Zoe has a simple, healthy approach to food that we love. She came up with a recipe for those Chinese eggplants that’ll change how you cook them forever! It’s loaded with flavor yet still highlights the main ingredient – those gorgeous purple veggies. Make it as a side for any upcoming meal and enjoy!


Miso-Ginger Caramelized Eggplants

A dozen Chinese eggplants of all sizes
3 Tbsp sesame seeds for topping

For the miso dressing:
2 Tbsp miso paste
2 Tbsp mirin (sake would also work, you just need to add 1 tsp of sugar with it)
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients for the miso dressing together.

Wash, dry and slice the eggplants lengthwise. Score their flesh with a knife and spread the dressing on top with a brush.

Place the eggplants on an ovenproof dish in the oven for about 25min or until golden brown, broil during the last 3min to get them slightly caramelized.

Spread the sesame seeds over the eggplants and serve.


While it seems like we can stumble upon an amazing farmer’s market around nearly every corner in the Bay Area, many many areas of the country are not so fortunate. And it turns out there are areas that go without right in our own backyard. We recently learned through Naked Juice’s Drink Good Do Good program that 58,000 people in SF alone live in what are known as Food Deserts {a city neighborhood without access to fresh produce}. No access to fresh produce means our neighbors aren’t able to lead the healthiest lives they can live. By raising awareness of this lack of access to fresh fruits and veggies, Naked Juice is donating pounds of produce to these underserved communities. Cool, right? They’ve also made it really easy for us all to play a part. Just by posting an Instagram holding a fruit or vegeatable with the #DrinkGoodDoGood, Naked Juice will donate 10 lbs. of produce to Wholesome Wave on your behalf with the goal of donating 500,000 lbs of fresh food. That’s a selfie we can actually endorse.

So this weekend we encourage you to ditch brunch or the dinner out. Instead, go support your local farmer’s market Saturday morning and enjoy the plethora of summer produce before it’s gone. The prices of produce and the quality of the food is just so much better than you often find at the grocery store. Plus, by shopping them, you’re supporting local growers and eating healthier. Double yatzee! We’re excited to launch our new Market to Table recipe series in partnership with Naked Juice. Be sure to check back every week to see what we cook up next! You can also learn more about the Drink Good. Do Good initiative here.

original photography and recipe for apartment 34 by zoe armbruster

This post is in partnership with Naked Juice & the Drink Good Do Good campaign. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep apartment 34’s doors open. 

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