On my weekly visit to the Old L.A. (Highland Park) Farmer’s Market, I get to pick up delicious, fresh produce to satisfy physical needs and visit with friends and neighbors to satisfy social needs, too! I recruit my friend Kim as a shopping buddy and we hit the market, empty canvas bags in hand, ready to be filled. A neighbor from my very own Highland Park street – Al Strange – is manning a community table laden with flyers and announcements for local events and activities. Greetings and chitchat duly exchanged and we are off to procure this week’s goodies.
Kim scores on tree-ripened, fragrant peaches the size of softballs. These would be ideal in a cobbler – the official dessert of summer. Even better, try a peach-strawberry cobbler, such as this recipe from epicurious.com. You can use all fruit from the market (strawberries are still going strong, but who knows for how much longer?):
The bounty of stone fruits is compelling, especially with all the samples available to taste, but this week is all about the avocados for me. I scoop up several medium-sized Haas for $1 each (another vendor has larger ones for $1.50 each) and 3 lbs of vine-ripened, scarlet colored tomatoes that are near bursting with juice. I have plans for both guacamole and a quick, fresh tomato sauce to use these up (with garlic and onion from the market, natch), but I’ll set aside one or two of each for salads with fresh spinach. The finishing touch for the salad is a light vinaigrette made with blood orange scented avocado oil, purchased at –where else? – the farmer’s market. The oil is a splurge at $12 for a bottle, but in addition to its great taste (you can taste before you buy at the market!), it is a mono-unsaturated fat that is good for your heart. Who can put a price on good health?
Need some protein to balance out all the rabbit food? The roasted chickens are back at the market this week. Buy a whole one or two to take home and give your oven a rest during these hot summer evenings.
The market is found every Tuesday from 3- 8 p.m. near the Highland Park Gold Line station at Marmion Way, between Avenues 57 & 58 (one block west of Figueroa). In Seth’s words: “Please stop by the market for fresh, field-ripened, high quality produce from local farmers and spend time with your friends, neighbors and other community members.”
See you there. ML