Spring veggies with a carrot top pistou at Somerset

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Somerset, a new restaurant in Santa Barbara across from the Public Library on Anapamu Street, is hard to spot at first. It looks like one of those hip, trendy Los Angeles eateries that doesn’t bother to put a sign out front.

That makes sense, since head chef Lauren Herman was the chef de cuisine at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s A.O.C. and Lucques in L.A. before moving up for this gig.

Market host Katie Hershfelt met up with Herman to find out what she’s cooking this season.

Lauren Herman picks up Purslane and Red Mustard Frills at the Earthtrine Farms stand. She uses them to brighten up salads. (Kathryn Barnes/KCRW) (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Right now, she’s whipping up a spring vegetable medley of fava beans, english peas, asparagus and pea tendrils. She finishes them off with a carrot-top pistou and a dollop of crème fraîche.

“You just have to wash the carrot tops really well, otherwise you’ll be chewing on a little bit of dirt,” she added.

Chef Lauren Herman’s Pistou

  • 4 cups cleaned carrot tops
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mint
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, medium size
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place herbs and garlic in a blender or Cuisinart. Drizzle oil in slowly. Add a touch more if needed, and season to taste.

You can always add a couple anchovy and or capers for a little extra flavor.

Add to meats like lamb, or atop spring veggies.

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