Finding and using 
locally produced food
Visit our Bookstore

Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator

more kitchen wares

Vintage California Cuisine: 300 Recipes from the First Cookbooks Published in the Golden State


Market Report
Santa Monica, Calif.
Date: Feb. 23, 2002

The Market:
Santa Monica Farmers Market
Santa Monica, Calif.
Arizona & 3rd Street

Market Notes:  It's been very dry this year to date, and hot in the last week or so.  I usually wait another month or so before becoming a heavy consumer of strawberries. Given the weather, I decide to accelerate my usual berry buying schedule. But, according to the calendar, it's still winter, so I also gravitate to the greens.

Market-Goer: Mark Thompson, publisher of this Web site


What I Bought:

Broccoli spigarello, rappini, Chinese broccoli, yu choy (from left to right)

These four look-alikes are all brassicas, but they'rel quite different.  I found the Broccoli spigarello on the Coleman Farm table, which always has an assortment of peculiar greens.  The sign on the table suggested plucking off most of the leaves, parboiling, then sauteing in olive oil and serving over pasta.  I quickly saute the yu choy, which is the tenderest of these four brassicas, in minced ginger and toss in oyster sauce and a bit of chicken broth (following a simple recipe from one of my Chinese cookbooks, Beyond Bok Choy, which calls this green brassica rapa or "oil seed rape.").  I use the Chinese broccoli for Chinese stir fry.  The rappini is my favorite of this group of greens.  I chop it up, saute in olive oil, toss in raisins, pine nuts, chopped garlic, and just before it's finished (in about 10 minutes), I squirt a couple of tablespoons worth of balsamic vinegar into the mixture.  Even my rather finicky teenaged daughters love rappini cooked in this fashion.

Price: $1/bunch for all four types.

Chinese broccoli 


Broccoli spigarello

yu choy


Berries usually aren't at their best this time of year.  It needs to get a bit hotter before they get tasty enough for me to become a big buyer.  (May is the best month for California strawberries, in my opinion.)  But it's been very hot lately, so I make a big buy today.  These are #2 quality berries, because they are oddly shaped (see below).  So they are very cheap.  Today, #1 quality berries are going for about $7.50 for a three-pack (this half flat is a six-pack), which is to say more than twice the price of these.  Since I don't want to spend top dollar for berries this early in the season, I buy these seconds, and they're not bad at all, for strawberries in February. 

Price: $6/half a flat (above) of #2 quality

Hass Avocadoes

 These guacamole-ready soft avocadoes were a bargain, so I loaded up.

Price: $1 for 5

Copyright 2001-2002 In Season