Good Food’s Weekly Farmers’ Market Digest

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Every week Good Food visits the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market and brings the latest news from farmers and chefs.

This week market manager Laura Avery talks with Sara Kramer, chef and co-owner of Madcapra in the Grand Central Market. Sara is shopping for Chinese and Japanese eggplant varieties, which she favors for their sweet taste and minimal bitterness. She seasons and grills them with olive oil and salt for her eggplant and plum salad.

Farmer Scott Peacock of Peacock Family Farms is back at the market with his prized eggplants. This season he planted sixteen varieties including the Chinese and Japanese varieties Sara Kramer uses at Madcapra.

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What You Should Buy This Weekend At the Farmers’ Market:

– Look for eggplant from Her Produce, Fresno Evergreen and Peacock Family Farms. Listen to farmer Scott Peacock talk about his eggplant on this week’s market report.

– The rainbow assortment of Cherry tomatoes from Coastal Farms in Ventura. If you can hold off on eating them on the ride home, try tossing them with olive oil and roasting them in a pan or oven.

– Fresh garbanzo beans and rhubarb from Jimenez Family Farm in Santa Ynez. The fresh garbanzo beans are surprisingly easy to open. The seam splits when you pinch the top and they pop right out of the pod.

– The exquisitely colored Purple Queen beans from McGrath Family Farms and JF Organic Farms. A McGrath farmer told me that they transition into a green color in boiling water. I believed him, but I still looked for some evidence.

– Summer squash from JF Organic Farms and Two Peas in a Pod. An easy way to prepare the awkwardly shaped baby squash is to roast them on a skewer like a kabob.

Santa Rosa plums from Andy’s Orchard in Morgan Hill.

– Look for Flame grapes from Balderama Farm, Murray Family Farms, Scott Farms and Peacock Family Farms.

Recipes for your Market Haul:

Grilled Eggplant with Miso Glaze

Russian Eggplant Caviar

Tom Bergin’s Boxty with Summer Squash, Sweet White Corn Purée & Irish Cheddar

Cherry Tomato Cobbler as Demo’d at The TasteLA

Rhubarb Meringue Pie

Plummy Tea “Sangria”