Farmer’s Market Finds: Heirloom Tomatoes and Boysenberries

I skipped the farmers market last week, because I was in LA. If I had more time, I would have made it a point to go to the Main Street Farmers Market in Santa Monica. Not to buy groceries, but just to visit an old favorite from when I lived in LA.  Usually, my time in LA is spent eating with friends at the latest hotspots or at my sister-in-law’s place. This time, we just decided to stroll Abbot Kinney (one of my favorite places) and go with the flow. My friend Katrina suggested we eat at Axe, a restaurant supporting local farmers and sustainability. The food was exactly what the body and soul needed that day. I love eating out at restaurants that inspire me to replicate the meal at home, which is exactly what we did a few days later.

restuarantA soul satisfying brown rice bowl with fresh vegetables, wild Alaskan salmon, and sesame lime dressing. I am going to make this over and over again until I can perfect the taste. I will try it will all sorts of protein sources- tofu, garbanzo beans, chicken, and other types of fish.

veniceAbbot Kinney in Venice, CA.

A few friends, Satish, and I went to Half Moon Bay yesterday, a scenic 45 minute drive from the city. On the way to a brunch, we ended up stopping at a farm stand.

farm stand

We were a little surprised to find fruit like mangos and bananas (not local) at the stand, but they did have plenty of local, non-organic produce too. Most people assume that cute, farm stands off-the-road are all organic, but it’s always a good idea to look for the organic sign or label and ask about the farming practices. This farm stand was situated right next to a farm, but it was unclear if they were related. Half Moon Bay is really beautiful!

farm

Lately, I have been craving green leafy vegetables and blueberries more than usual. I actually managed to get to the farmers market early today and was rewarded with plenty of eggs, asparagus, and squash blossoms. There were even boysenberries, which I don’t normally see at this farmers market. Boysenberries look just like blackberries, but they are larger and more tart. They are also a cross between blackberries, raspberries, and loganberries, thus having a reddish color to them. The tartness makes them less popular and are not commercially available. I think they make great desserts.

berries

As we are edging closer to summer, more and more stone fruits are available and the first of the heirloom tomatoes. I couldn’t resist getting some of the tomatoes, despite knowing that it is a little early for their season. Tomatoes taste like sweet fruit when they are harvested in July-September, when the weather is dry and hot. Nevertheless, I already used up half of them to make a delicious, thick tomato sauce to eat with eggs for Sunday brunch. I call the sauce my Magic sauce, because I can use it a thousand different ways.

tomatoes

tomato sauce

My tomato magic sauce.
plumsPlums are a purple food. I love the darker, juicier versions, where you have to eat them over the kitchen sink.

Green Beans

I am not a fan of green beans. For some reason, I just cannot get the bland taste from the school cafeteria out of my head. Truthfully, the real problem lies in the fact that I don’t know any good recipes for green beans. I love it at restaurants, just not to cook with. At my husbands request, I bought a couple of handfuls of them. I just don’t know what to do with them. Please share any recipes! 

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