Moving is a pain. I should know, I've done it some 26 times. Between clawing your way from beneath a tower of Pisa constructed out of different-sized boxes at your old home, eating fast but cheap food because you can't find your silverware and stubbing your toes on the rubble of boxes at your new place while wandering around aimlessly in the night looking for a light switch that isn't there, you can get a bit surly.
When my fiancée and I decamped our beloved Fairfax apartment for the West Side a couple of weeks ago, I lamented being eight miles and a 25-minute drive farther from the Hollywood Farmers' Market—the site of my Sunday ritual of sniffing and prodding the week's fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, there are some upsides to moving, and discovering new restaurants and farmers' markets is top of the list.
The West Side of Los Angeles has a slew of farmers' markets, the most famous of which is the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers' Market, where you can spot as many area chefs as heirloom tomato varieties. But there are a number of smaller markets that dot the rest of this side of the city throughout the week.
The two-block long Mar Vista Farmers' Market, located on Grand View at Venice Boulevard (map), is open on Sundays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Unlike the Hollywood Farmers' Market, which can be quite sceney, this little market has a warm, neighborhood feel, a wide variety of produce vendors and delicious prepared foods from Culver City's Café Laurent and fresh breads from Les Délices Du Four. And it was packed with gorgeous summer produce, peaches, plums and pluots galore. There were delicate-skinned red zebra and jubilee tomatoes from Yang's, crisp, lemon cucumbers and a rainbow of bell peppers at J.R. Organics from Escondido and ears upon ears of sweet corn for your barbecue, puddings, and salads.
But the most exciting discoveries today were Pinkeye Purple Hull shelling beans, similar to black-eyed peas, which are delicious cooked with pancetta and sage and served warm or tossed with arugula and tomatoes for a fresh salad.
Another summer surprise were amaranth greens. These mild and earthy greens are also sometimes referred to as Chinese spinach and are fantastic sautéed with sesame oil, garlic and soy.
Corn Tomatoes Peppers Amaranth Greens Pinkeye Purple Hull Peas Pluots Peaches Nectarines Eggplant
Grapes Okra Persimmons Chiles
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