Scenes from Saturday’s market

Fresh, spring garlic is milder than cloves . (Kinda the way green onions are milder than onion bulbs). Great in salads, on top of tiny potatoes, or in stir fried.passion fruit is ripe & sweet when wrinkly. Otherwise it’s astringent & bitter. It’s the juice that gas the amazing flavor.First sign of summer is fresh…

Almost instant crustless sandwiches

Wanna easy tip for fussy kids? Instead of nasty Crustables, make your own crustless sandwiches with a peanut butter jar top. Jif’s is the perfect size. Almost instant crustless sandwiches. 1. Make a sandwich. 2. Place Jif jar top centered in the sandwich like a cookie cutter. 3. Press down and act as though screwing…

Avocados are back!

Remember last year when avocado prices spiked? Restaurants no longer would list an actual dollar amount for the green fruit, instead using the “market price” designation used for especially pricey items. It appears the distribution issues in Mexico, which let to a shutdown of its massive avocado industry, have been resolved. The loss of Mexico’s…

Quiche by any other name

Those of us of a certain age (aka older than dirt) remember the Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” fad of the early 80s. Author Bruce Feinstein humorously examined societal norms of masculinity. (Yes, kids. The topic has come up before.) Of course, missing the unintended irony, many men wouldn’t– and still won’t–eat the yummy eggy,…

Sunchokes

Sunchokes are my latest farmers market revelation. A root vegetable that tastes like a cross between a potato and an artichoke, they are easy to prepare and yummy. They just need to be washed & scrubbed. Then cut into relatively similar-sized pieces. Dry them before using. Roasted Sunchokes with aioli 1 pound fresh sunchokes 2-3…

Cabbage rolls

Rob works for a local caterer, Dearmore’s BBQ (which makes the best Santa Maria style tri tip around). The chef responsible for the grilled meat is Miguel. Trained on the job and with a self-taught proficiency with flavor, Miguel is always experimenting with good basic food. Because he’s in the food business, he has all…

Ready, set Thanksgiving

A sure sign of the season is the emergence of the kaleidoscope of cauliflower that emerges. It tastes like regular cauliflower , but it’s so much fun. Some roasted cauliflower tossed with butter and toasted breadcrumbs makes a lovely Thanksgiving side dish.   Its also the beginning of citrus season. There are some early tangerines…

Roasted fall meal

For as long as I can remember I’ve been making a roast pork fall meal. It’s always the same. The most inexpensive cut of pork I can find, apples, squash and potatoes. The flavors mingle together with rosemary and thyme, which figure heavily in the seasonings, along with cinnamon to taste like a cool fall…

Harvest feasting

Eggplant Parmesan has always been a solitary pleasure for me. My family claims to hate it, although more than once I’ve served it to my daughters who were shocked to find out what they were eating. Then they denied that they liked it. Sigh. So it goes with families. More for me. And this is…

Salmon soliloquy

A family friend–Titus Bonney–has been posting his adventures on a fishing trawler that went from Ventura to Alaska. When he posted pictures of the salmon they were catching I mentioned that I’d like some. Turns out Titus was heading our way & he offered me a filet that he’d drop off at my nephew’s. (I…

Massive monster melon

I spotted this 96-pound monster at The Underwood Family Farm booth. I made this big guy stand next to it for scale, but it wasn’t successful. The guy was really big and his hands were enormous. The melon cost 49 cents a pound and I kept trying to get people to buy it. Can you…

On a roll

A few weekends back I was rummaging through a book bin at the SPARC Second Chance store when a cookbook (of course) caught my eye. Best 25 cents I’ve ever spent. Titled “Lost Recipes” and put out in 2007, this effort by the Americas Test Kitchen is fun to peruse. One recipe caught my eye….