Good Food’s Weekly Farmers’ Market Digest

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Mark Carpenter showing Laura Avery his heirloom tomatoes
Farmer Mark Carpenter showing Laura Avery his Coastal Farms’ cherry tomatoes (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

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 catches up with Brian Dunsmoor , executive chef and co-owner of the newly opened Hatchet Hall  in Culver City. He is shopping for tomatoes for his sliced tomato dish and for corn with which he makes both creamed corn and corn milk.

Plus, farmer Mark Carpenter of Coastal Farms talks about his many varieties of heirloom tomatoes and the challenge of growing thin-skinned varieties.

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

–  Early Girl and Evan’s (named after Evan Kleiman) sauce tomatoes, plus the many varieties of heirloom tomatoes from Coastal Farms. Listen to farmer Mark Carpenter talk about his tomatoes on this week’s market report.

Shishito and Padron peppers from Flora Bella Farms. A bag of Shishitos makes for its own playful game of Russian roulette. One out of ten of the peppers is spicy and there’s no way of knowing which one until you take a bite. Now ask yourself, are you feeling lucky?

– The rendered pure leaf lard from Peads & Barnetts comes from the pig’s visceral fat deposit surrounding the kidneys, which makes it the highest grade lard possible. Pro baking tip: The neutral flavor is great for making pie crusts and biscuits. Also, the flakiness level will be through the roof!

– Bell peppers and eggplant, especially the Rosa Biancas, from Peacock Family Farms. One of the vendors from Peacock told me that she loves to make eggplant roll ups from slices of Rosa Biancas. I thought she was talking about the flat, fruit-flavored dessert that I so often ate as a child, but she was talking about something like this. They’re like delicious-looking eggplant Parmesan enchiladas.

Greengage and Howard’s Wonder plums from Rieger Farms. The Wonder plums have a unique tropical flavor, reminiscent of pineapple.

Adriatic figs and Brown Turkey figs from Polito Family Farms in Valley Center.

Recipes for your Market Haul:

Evan’s Summertime Tomato Sauce

Bell Pepper and Vine-Ripened Tomato Gazpacho with Blackened Salmon

Tomato Confiture

Chanterelle-Stuffed Padron Peppers

Honeyed Fried Chicken with Hot Honey Sauce and Biscuits

Eggplant Caviar Wraps

Caramelized Figs with Goat-Cheese/Mascarpone Crema and Sweet Basil Sauce