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This bread. It’s the reason I never miss Atwater Village Farmers’ Market on Sundays. To me, it’s the main draw. And that’s saying a lot because that little market, though compact, is full of all the stuff I love to eat—top notch fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, fruit pies, artisanal cheeses, and this bread from Mission Viejo’s Old Village Bakery.
There must be fifty Kalamata olives in every loaf. The outer texture is golden and crusty, the inside soft and chewy. It’s a fantastic (extravagantly fanciful; marvelous) addition/focal point to a Sunday morning breakfast:
Though not exactly necessary, adding a thick schmear of unsalted butter or some goat cheese from Soledad Farm’s (also available at the market) is pure bliss. But whether you doctor it up or not, this bread is ideal for sopping up yolky eggs. I imagine it would also be pretty spectacular as part of a chicken salad sandwich or dipped into some soup.
If I could ever make it past breakfast before tearing into it, I’d find out.
UPDATE: BOMB! Salads is now BOMB! Foods, but you can still find them in the Silver Lake Farmers’ Market.
When Rowan Moore Gerety wrote me, he had two questions: a.) had I tried Tacos La Fonda in Glassel Park and b.) did I know about his salad stall at the Silver Lake Farmers’ Market. The answer to both questions was no, but I was easily lured by his description of BOMB! Salads—fresh salads made to order with produce purchased on the spot.
Sign me up.
Every Saturday until 2pm, Gerety and his business partner, Jesse, (who’s taking over while Gerety is away on assignment in Mozambique) whip up salads, soups and mashed potatoes from scratch. The menu and ingredients change depending on what’s in available at the market. On my visit, I tried two salads: one with chopped broccoli, julienned apples and cilantro (pictured above) and another with curly kale, gold beet, dandelion and cucumbers. Both were really delicious with a light dressing of sunflower with lemon and yellow mustard on the kale and green pea and peppercorn on the broccoli salad. The crunch factor of both salads (super fresh!) was a plus, and the plate-sized portions were a fair deal for $6.
Ha’s Apple Farm is a mainstay at California’s farmers’ markets. Their well-loved Fuji apples, grown in the Tehachapi Mountains, are crisp and sweet, but it’s their jams, fruit butters and dried fruits that have made a loyal fan out of me.
Their latest product, Walnut and Fruit Brittle, has me totally obsessed. Made with peaches, apples, and pears, the walnut-encrusted glob of fruity splendor is one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. The fruit part has a sticky, chewy, fruit roll up texture, and the mass of walnuts is affixed with a coat in fruit-derived syrupy sweetness. Such a treat when I need that 3 o’clock sugar fix.
The best part is that there’s no added sugar, so if you can manage to eat just a bit, it’s a relatively healthy snack. Good luck with that.
I know for sure that the Ha’s sell at Alhambra Farmers’ Market on Sundays and others throughout the week. You can also order Ha’s products on their website–unfortunately, they’re not offering their fruit brittle online yet, but I bet if you wrote them, they’d send you some.
I recently enjoyed a delicious dinner with friends at Cube on La Brea. If you’ve never been, I really recommend it, especially if you’re a cheese lover–they feature 85 different varieties from all over the world. It’s where I first fell in love with aged gouda, so I’m forever grateful.
Cube’s always-seasonal menu is filled with plenty cheese-centric dishes, including the Heirloom Tomato and Fresh Peach Salad, which was such a standout of the wine and small plates feast we had, that I had to recreate it at home.
This is a very simple salad–peaches, heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar–but the flavors are out of hand. The salad at Cube includes buffalo mozzarella, but we went full-force with burrata, which is more decadent. When the cream spills out, it mixes so nicely with the oil and vinegar. Make sure you have some bread on hand to sop it up!
Find your local Farmer’s Market at the Los Angeles Times.
Photos taken at Alhambra Farmer’s Market, which happens every Sunday. There’s a incredible selection of produce at this relatively small market with a large variety of Asian vegetables. Lots of good food booths, too. It’s one of the most overlooked markets in town.
The soup is from Fressco.
Cakes are by Old Time Baking Co.
Don’t miss out on these beautiful cherries. They’re already pretty sweet. We got ours at that Alhambra Farmer’s Market. You can get your very own at your favorite market.
Buying your produce locally is one of the best things that you can do for the environment and your local farmer. And who wants fruit that’s been sitting on a truck for who knows how long? Or–even worse–ripened with gas? Not me!
Check out a local Certified Farmer’s Market near you this week–check out a list of them here.
Peaches are starting to look good, too…
Well, I for one won’t stand for it because I know the truth about these salty little guys. Please allow me to convert you.
It never even crossed my mind to eat an anchovy until I went to Rome, where a traditional pie includes tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, oregano, and oil. Since I wholeheartedly subscribe to the “When in Rome” philosophy, it didn’t take long for me to try this combo and fall in love.
Once I got home, I started insisting on anchovies every time I went out for pizza—they do it really well at Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock and, of course, at Pizzeria Mozza. Soon, my anchovy fever became so intense that I began to wonder what they could do for our weekly homemade pizza. The answer: a lot!
Here are the goods on my “Don’t-Hold-the-Anchovies Pizza”: