Little green mountains have started popping up all over our farmers' market. Unlike some of the market's year-round offerings, snap peas, snow peas, and fava beans are available for a limited time and it's well worth it to indulge in these deliciously sweet legumes while you can.
Hollywood farmers' market shoppers are pretty spoiled – strawberries always seem to be in season, heirloom tomatoes and corn linger through the winter, and one never has to do without avocados. But look carefully, and taste deeply, and it is possible to find real seasons in La-La Land. Some blessings, like fava beans and snap peas, do have a limited run. Other produce that's seemingly available year-round still tastes sweeter or more complex during certain months. Here are some of the market goods enchanting us right now...
Though the skies have been rather cloudy in LA these past couple of days, the scene at the Silver Lake farmers' market was bright and lively. There's still quite a bit of citrus, but between the crates of grapefruits and tangerines, other shapes and colors have emerged: slender green spears of asparagus, bunches upon bunches of yellow-flowered Chinese broccoli, and delicate pea tendrils...
Where do you buy your meat? I think shopping a little more old-school by visiting a neighborhood butcher is such a bigger pleasure (and often a bigger savings) than buying meat from the grocery store.
In New York, I shop at Florence Fine Meat Market, a little storefront in our neighborhood that's been open since 1936. There's classical music on the radio, sawdust on the floor and just about all of the steaks are cut to order from meat pulled from the back. This means you can get the cuts you want (1 inch? 2 inches? You name it) and interact with the butchers themselves. I always get into a conversation about what to do with what cut, or where the meat comes from. And the prices are great.
We hope you'll forgive us for writing about kumquatsagain, but these ones are different! We just can't contain our excitement over finding these two unusual kumquat varieties at the Hollywood farmers' market this weekend. They exemplify one of our favorite things about farmers' market shopping – the unexpected discovery of new colors, textures, forms, and flavors.
I'm in Los Angeles for almost three weeks and kicked it off yesterday with a visit to the venerable Hollywood Farmers' Market.
Amid chilly rain (I came here to get away from the cold) and drama (a cross-dressed man drove a car into the market crowd, luckily there were no major injuries) I walked the four long arms of the market and had my usual "why don't I live here?" moments. Despite my fifth-generation native Southern Californian status, I still romp the market with the curiosity and enthusiasm of a first-time tourist, chatting up the farmers and filling up my basket.
And to think of the state of the markets back in New York...
One of each! It's high citrus season at the Hollywood farmers' market, and this weekend we visited every single grower, breathing in the citrus-infused air and discovering the bounty of standard and heirloom varieties. We found lemons (Eureka, Meyer, Persian), limes (Bearss, Mexican, Persian), oranges (Cara Cara navel, Moro blood, Valencia), tangerines and mandarins (Algerian clementine, Dancy, Fremont, Honey, Page, Satsuma), tangelos, grapefruits (Marsh, Ruby Red), Chandler pomelos, Oroblancos, Nagami kumquats, Buddha's hand citrons, and more. Click through for more pictures and to learn what we plan to do with all of these.
We don't always think of January as a time for brilliantly colored produce, but on a recent trip to the farmers' market, we were dazzled by the array of root vegetables like turnips, beets, and rutabagas. These lovely pink, purple, and orange jewels bring color, flavor, and earthy comfort to our winter table.
Blue potatoes, red carrots, purple cauliflower – the rainbow of offerings at Weiser Family Farms is so vibrant right now that we couldn't limit this week's market report to just one fruit or vegetable. Weiser also has an extra special treat this month that Angelenos should keep an eye out for. And even if you don't shop at the Hollywood Farmers' Market, read on for recipes that cover the spectrum of seasonal produce.
Last week, we wrote about the stunning Romanesco now in season at the Hollywood Farmers' Market. Though eye-catching in a different way, the gnarled and hairy – some might even say ugly – celery root is another fall/winter vegetable that's just as worth bringing home.