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