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Laura Avery speaks with Amelia Saltsman at the Santa Monica Farmers Wednesday Market and they chat about fresh figs appearing on the market tables. Figs are easy to prepare. Amelia suggests cutting them in half and putting them cut-side down in a hot, buttered skillet. Don't move them and they've form a delicious, sugary crust.  Try them with ice cream or mascarpone cheese.

Amelia presents this recipe so that we can enjoy other late summer flavors too.

Corn, Summer Squash, and Tomato Stew

This fresh, light end-of-summer vegetable stew is based on an old California recipe from the 19th century.

4 ears corn
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
11/2 pounds summer squash, such as Moroccan or marrow, cut into 1-inch dice
1 large clove garlic minced
1 pound red tomatoes, such as Celebrity or Early Girl, chopped
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Use a sharp knife to shave the corn kernels from the cobs. In a wide pot over medium heat, sauté the onion with a little salt until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in squash, garlic, and a little salt and cook covered until zucchini is partly tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in corn and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook covered over medium-low heat until corn is tender and tomatoes have broken down, about 15 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.

© 2006, Amelia Saltsman.