Bakesale Betty’s Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Bakesale Betty’s Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

After much pleading and whining on my part, our beloved Bakesale Betty gave me her recipe for Roasted Vegetable Lasagna. This is the dish she prepared at the Farm to Table event on March 27, 2011. I have been inundated with requests for this so here it is.
Sadly, she will not be rejoining the farmers’ market, with two bakeries and 2.5 kids (yes, she is with child) she can’t come to markets anymore.
Without further ado……..

Bakesale Betty’s Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

12 oz. assorted mushrooms (portobello, shiitake, cremini)
1 bunch swiss chard
8 oz broccoli
1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
1 leek (white part), trimmed and washed
6 cloves garlic, peeled
few sprigs fresh thyme
few sprigs fresh sage
2 bay leaves
2 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 qt milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
8 oz grated Parmesan
8 oz grated mozzarella
8 oz fresh or dried lasagna noodles
Olive oil

Roasting the vegetables:

Wash the mushrooms and pat dry. Peel the portabellos and remove the stalks from all the mushrooms. Place in a baking dish and sprinkle generously with olive oil, salt, pepper fresh thyme, sage and bay leaf. Roast in a pre heated 350 degree oven until tender. Set aside to cool.
Wash and trim the Swiss chard, removing the stalk. Toss in olive oil and salt and place on a cookie sheet. Roast pre heated 350 degree oven for 15 mins until tender.
Wash and trim ends off the broccoli. Toss in olive oil and salt and roast 20 mins until tender.
Chop cooled roasted vegetables to bite size pieces. Set aside.
Cut the leeks and onions into a medium dice. Slice 3 cloves garlic thinly. Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the leeks , onions and a teaspoon of salt and cook over medium heat until soft, about 10 mins. Add the sliced garlic and cook another minute. Set aside.

Making the Tomato Sauce:

In a medium sauce pan gently heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and cook without color for 1 minute, stirring.. Add tomatoes, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Bring to the boil and lower to a simmer. Stir occasionally and continue to cook sauce until tomatoes break up and sauce thickens, approximately 30-40 mins. Finish with basil and adjust seasoning. Set aside to cool.

Making the Béchamel Sauce:

Heat the milk, set aside.
In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until combined. Cook a few minutes without coloring. Add milk, 1 cup at a time. Whisking well between each addition. Add a bay leaf. Allow to come up to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, whisking well to prevent sticking. Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook lasagna noodles according to instructions on the package. Set aside.

To assemble lasagna:

In a medium baking dish ladle tomato sauce to cover the bottom in a thin layer. Add lasagna noodles on top to cover the base. Sprinkle all the chopped, roasted vegetables and sautéed vegetables to make the next layer. Sprinkle 2/3rds of the shredded mozzarella on top of the vegetables. Cover with more lasagna noodles. Ladle tomato sauce on top as the next layer. Cover with more lasagna noodles. Spread the Béchamel on top of the noodles and cover with more noodles. Finish with tomato sauce and remaining mozzarella.
Bake in a pre heated 350 deg ovens, covered in foil, for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake a further 10 minutes until golden on top. Remove from oven and allow to rest 20 minutes before cutting.
Can be baked a day in advance. The flavors develop and it becomes more delicious the next day!

Listening to: Savoy Brown – Needle and Spoon

Listening to: Savoy Brown – She’s Got a Ring in His Nose and a Ring on Her Hand

Listening to: Fleetwood Mac – Oh Well

Spring Has Sprung, Finally

It has taken awhile but spring has finally arrived. Asparagus is in full swing, cherries and apricots are just around the corner. Then we dive into the season head  first and mouths open. With the copious rains this year, the stone fruits should be exquisite, Juicy, sweet and sumptuous.

Barring any further big storms this season we should see most crops on time or early and have a normal run, this according to the farmers I’ve talked to recently. They also mentioned you can never predict what Mother Nature has up her sleeve, just when the trees go into bloom, Blam, a hail storm. So if you’re a stone fruit fan like me, keep your fingers’ crossed.

REVIEWS of the Toyota Farm to Table Tour are still coming in and by all accounts it was a huge success. The levels of shoppers caught everyone off guard and I was expecting a big turn-out. The chefs were fantastic to work with and they loved every minute of the event. The few that I had time to talk to said the shoppers were fantastic and enthusiastic along with being very knowledgeable about their food. A few shoppers asked if we could do this weekly………dear lord, no. Although I would do it again in a second but an event of that size takes a lot of people and time to put together. Once a year would be fine with this market manager. We are still putting together all the pictures and videos, you can click here to see the first video. There are some pictures up on our Facebook page, click here. If you have some pictures, send them to me and I’ll post them on Facebook and give you credit, I don’t think it counts as being a “published photographer” but you can tell people anything you want………..

Listening to: The Tremeloes – Silence Is Golden

Listening to: The Yardbirds – Heart Full of Soul

Listening to: Cream – White Room

Listening to: Ronny & The Daytonas – G.T.O.

Farm to Table Pairings

Where & When? The Walnut Creek Certified Farmers Market, Sunday March 27, 2011 9am-1pm

Rain Or Shine

Kevin Weinberg Walnut Creek Yacht Club Rio de Parras Organics; Cecchini & Cecchini
Alison Barakat-Camp Bakesale Betty Il Pastaio Fresh Pasta
Ibarra-Cruz Farms
McKeown Farms
G. Ratto Farms
Bariani Olive Oil
Francesco Torre and Pat English Haute Stuff Barbagelata Farms
Daniel Clayton Nibblers Eatery & Wine Bar McKeown Farms; Rio de Parras Organics; Mee Vang Farm
Stewart Beatty Postino Restaurant Ortiz Farms
Sam Castro Sasa Hamada Farms; Cecchini & Cecchini
John Marquez Artisan Bistro Ortiz Farms
Valentino Luchin Ottavio-Osteria Cabrillo Farms
Bahman Tehrani Lettuce J&M Ibarra Farms, Barbagelata Farms

Farm to Table Tour Update!


Rain Or Shine 9 am – 1 pm

The Chefs have been chosen and it’s a real diverse line up.

Make Plans to see your new favorite chefs in action!

As always, line up is subject to change without notice


TENT 1: Locust & Giammona

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m

Bahman Tehrani, Lettuce

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Francesco Torre and Pat English, Haute Stuff

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Stewart Beatty, Postino

TENT 2: Locust & Cole

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

John Marquez, Artisan Bistro

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Sam Castro, Sasa

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Kevin Weinberg, Walnut Creek Yacht Club

TENT 3: Lacassie & Locust

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Alison Barakat-Camp, Bakesale Betty

10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Daniel Clayton, Nibblers Eatery & Wine Bar

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Valentino Luchin, Ottavio-Osteria

Farm To Table

They can say far more eloquently than I can…. Here is the official press release.  Do me a favor?  Pass this around to everyone you know!

Third Annual Toyota Farm to Table Tour Visits Walnut Creek Farmers Market on Sunday, March 27

Seattle – March 8, 2011
– The Toyota Farm to Table Tour announced today that the Walnut Creek Farmers Market was chosen to be a part of the 2011 national tour that celebrates local cuisine across the country. The Tour will visit Walnut Creek Farmers Market on Sunday, March 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Now in its third year, the Toyota Farm to Table tour brings together notable local chefs and farmers to showcase the connection between farmers, chefs, farmers’ markets and the communities they serve. Throughout the event, celebrated local chefs will prepare thousands of complimentary bite-sized tastings that highlight fresh, local ingredients while providing guests a great opportunity to learn more about the market, the specialty farmers, the chefs, and ways to eat and shop locally.  In addition, market visitors will also have the opportunity to experience Toyota’s newest hybrid vehicles.

“Access to fresh, organic produce is very important to our community,” said Keith Farley, Market Manager at the Walnut Creek Farmers Market. “When Toyota contacted us about this event it seemed perfect. It fits right in with our mission of providing our community access to the freshest food and produce available.”

Some of San Francisco Bay Area’s top chefs participating in this year’s event at Walnut Creek Farmers Market include:

·         Kevin Weinberg - Walnut Creek Yacht Club

·         Alison Barakat-Camp - Bakesale Betty

·         Pat EnglishHaute Stuff

·         Daniel ClaytonNibblers Eatery and Wine Bar

·         Stewart Beatty Postino Restaurant

“I started my business 8 years ago selling baked goods at the farmers’ market,” said Alison Barakat-Camp, better known as Bakesale Betty. “Getting to know the farmers and families that produce the wonderful bounty that is available at our markets was an inspiration that helped shaped my business.”

A complete list of participating chefs will be released closer to the event date at

First look at the newest addition to the Prius family – The Prius v

The Farm to Table Tour will also give market visitors a fresh look at Toyota’s extensive line of fuel-efficient, hybrid vehicles, including the newest addition to the Prius family —the Prius v— which will go on sale later this year. Attendees looking for a vehicle that complements their lifestyle will be able to preview the all-new Prius v as well as test drive the 2011 Prius, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid, which are currently on sale at dealerships.  Those who take part in a test drive will take home a signature John Boos cutting board as a memento of the experience.

“For the third year in a row, the Toyota Farm to Table Tour is helping us connect with local communities while drawing attention to the importance of farmers’ markets and eating locally,” said Keith Dahl, Toyota National Manager of Engagement Marketing. “This tour lets us celebrate our customer’s passion for environmental stewardship and showcase our fuel-efficient, hybrid vehicles. Whether it’s young families looking to increase cargo space, or city drivers interested in the latest plug-in technology, there is a Prius for everyone and the Farm to Table Tour is giving farmers’ market shoppers the first chance to see our newest technology in action.”

In addition to the free tastings and test drives, visitors who participate in the day’s activities will also have the opportunity to select complimentary potted culinary herbs from the Toyota Mobile Garden.  A specialist will be on hand to individually pot the plants and answer general questions about gardening.  All herb plants are sourced from local vendors at the market.

In support of all of the benefits that farmers’ markets offer their communities, the Toyota Farm to Table Tour will also make a financial donation to the each participating market.  In addition, throughout the tour, eco-friendly materials will be used and carbon credits through TerraPass will be purchased to offset the impact of the tour’s carbon footprint.

To learn more about the Tour, visit

About the Walnut Creek Farmers Market

The Walnut Creek Farmers Market is part of Contra Costa Certified Farmers’ Markets which include three farmers markets through Contra Costa County. CCCFM works to support the development of local sustainable farming by cultivating vibrant farmer’s markets that serve as community gathering places celebrating local farmers, food producers and artisans. Visitors can purchase organic, fresh food while enjoying the sounds of a local community choir or musician. As a 501(c)4 not for profit organization the Walnut Creek Farmers Market and other CCCFM markets strive to improve access to quality food and enhance and promote the quality of a green lifestyle and healthy food choices.

For more information about the Walnut Creek Farmers Market and CCCFM visit

Now playing:

Johnny Cash – I Walk The Line

American – Horse With No Name

Pink Martini – Let’s Never Stop Falling In Love

Four Tops – Standing In the Shadows of Love

Aretha Franklin – Think

The Ventures – Pipeline

Big Things Coming!

I know it’s’ been awhile since we last visited, and after reviewing the BLOG I see the FORD debacle was our last event. I won’t go into all the reasons that didn’t work, lets’ just say you and I did our parts and we collected a couple of tons of food for local food pantries and shelters. Good on ya! Enough about that. Here comes a different event.

The Walnut Creek Farmers’ Market has been selected to host the 2011 Toyota Farms to Table tour. At every level, this is a different type of event. This event is an extension of our mission in the community, bringing good healthy food, grown locally & sustainably by small family farmers to your table. Local Chefs from area restaurants will be on hand manning 3 separate demonstration tents spread throughout the market preparing seasonal dishes with ingredients from our farmers and vendors. The roster of chefs is currently a secret and even I don’t know who they are yet. A formal announcement will be made through the media soon, so watch for that. I am excited about this……I know, but Keith you’re an excitable kind of guy. Well, yes, I am rather enthusiastic sometimes but this is different, Toyota’s main focus in this event is highlighting what we preach everyday……Eat Fresh Buy Local and learn to eat seasonally. They are going to great lengths to de-emphasize the car part of this event. Yes, you will be able to test drive a Prius if you like, but there will be NO sales people present and the test drive area will be off site. (Currently planned for Lacassie Ave.) There will be goodies for those of you who participate in the fun and have your Passports stamped at the chefs demo stations.

On another note, this is not a knee jerk reaction by Toyota with regards to the recall issues; this event is 3 years old and by all accounts a huge success across the country. So all my favorite cynics can relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the food.


Beloved farmers markets across the country

Farmers and artisans

World-class chefs

Toyota Prius

what -Toyota created the Toyota Farm to Table Tour to highlight farmers markets and the benefits they offer their communities, and to celebrate the food produced by each market’s farmers and vendors.

Each event will partner 9-12 renowned chefs from the host city with an equal number of farmers and artisans from the participating market.

At three to four 10’x10′ booths set up around the market, chefs will prepare special tastings utilizing their partner farmer’s fresh products. Chefs will share the food samples with the crowd.

Visitors to the market will receive a passport to track every tasting they sample.

Visitors will then redeem their passports at the Toyota Main Tent (20′ x 40′) in order to receive a complimentary potted culinary herb as a thank you for participating.

At the event, visitors will also have the opportunity to test drive a Prius. The test drive area will be set-up adjacent to the market, and not directly onsite. Visitors that participate will receive a complimentary Boos Block cutting board.


The Toyota Farm to Table Tour will take place on March 27, 2011, 9 am- 1 pm.


At the Sunday Walnut Creek Farmers Market on N. Locust
Now playing: Tim Hardin – Don’t Make Promises

Now playing: Fiona Apple – Criminal

Now playing: Johnnie Allan & The Krazy Kats – Promised Land

A Farmers’ Market and a Movie

I hope everyone is planning to attend the Ford F-150 Food Revolution this Sunday at the market. A simple premise, do your shopping, buy a little extra, bring it up to the F-150 pickup truck parked at the end of the market and drop it in the back. The Ford team will do the rest and take it to the Food Bank. You go home with all the goodness you get at the market and the wonderful feeling that you did something good for someone who needs it. I really want this to surpass all expectations and certainly out do the other farmers’ markets that have done this event before us. The WC market is the largest and finest in the East bay, lets’ prove that we are the most generous! Read the details here Ford F-150 Food Revolution Oh and by the by, I will have the non-perishable food barrel at the market table every Sunday starting this week. The holidays are coming and the food banks ALWAYS have a shortage of canned goods and staples such as rice and dried beans and the like.

The Lafayette farmers market is going to shut down the end of this month, Sept. 30 is the last market day.  Make sure to get out and visit so you can support your local farmer and produce. The Orinda market runs until Thanksgiving.  The Martinez market will not be open on the 26 th due to a special event in downtown Martinez.

We said adios to our dear friend, Ulisses last night with a fun and LOUD dinner. As you may know Ulisses has been with the market organization since he was 14 and now we bid him fair winds and following seas as he departs for UC Santa Cruz and serious studies. (Yeah, right) He’ll do well where ever he goes and we (I) were lucky to have him. Good Luck Ulisses, the Odyssey begins. (Sorry had to throw that one in)

Now the movie part.  If you know me, you know I love movies especially the 40’s and 50’s.  I am not sure how this one slipped by me but recently I watched the 1946 British movie “A Matter Of Life and Death” on TCM, released in the U.S. as “Stairway to Heaven”.  A very young David Niven, Kim Hunter and  Richard Attenborough in what must have been one of his first credited film parts.  I am not going to ruin it with a plot description or a review, trust me when I say this movie was ahead of its’ time and its’ message still rings true.  It is available on Netflix.  A truly memorable film.  See it and let me know what you thought.


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