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


Market Report
Santa Monica, Calif.
Wed., Nov. 28, 2001

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

Marketgoer: Mark Thompson, publisher of this Web site


What I Bought:

Fuji Apple, Three varieties of Asian pears

The Fuji apple on the left is about as red as Fujis get in balmy southern California.  Next, from left to right, comes a shinseiki nashi (Japanese "pear-apple"), then a hosui nashi, and finally a yali on the right.  The hosuis, which by at least one account are "perhaps the tastiest Asian pear," sell for 50 cents per pound more than the shinseikis at the Brier Patch market table.  According to my tasting panel (ie myself,. my wife and two daughters), the hosui does have a more complex, fruity flavor than the sugary sweet shinseiki, but they're equally good in their own way.  

Price: fuji apple, shinseiki and yali Asian pears $1.50/lb or $5/5 lb; hosui Asian pears $2/lb.

Baby Tokyo turnips, Chantenay red-core carrots, parsnips

Baby Tokyo turnips (left) are one of my regular market purchases.  I slice them in half, leaving on a couple of inches of the green stems, then saute them face down, on high heat in a cast iron skillet, adding salt, pepper and at the last minute, minced garlic.  After the turnips are browned on the flat side, flip them over for just a couple of minutes more.  They should be cooked but still crisp. The fat carrots are Chantenays. As one seed catalog describes the variety, it is a "versatile, good winter keeper, in the cellar or the ground, that is tasty raw or cooked. Becomes sweeter in storage."  The roots on the right are parsnips.

Price: $1/ bunch for turnips and carrots; $1.50/ bunch for parsnips.


Rappini (broccoli rabe)

This is the first rappini I've seen at the Santa Monica market this fall.  It has become my favorite green thanks to a recipe I picked up from Silvia Thompson's (no relation) cookbook, The Kitchen Garden.  Cut off and discard the bottom inch or so of the stalks and any dying, yellowed leaves, then chop up everything else in half-inch chunks.  Saute in skillet in a table spoon or two of olive oil, throw in some raisins, add chopped garlic, splash on some balsamic vinegar, add toasted walnuts.  It takes 10 minutes total elapsed time. 

Price: $1.50/bunch

Copyright 2001-2002 In Season