10 Unique Farmer’s Market Foods

Here are 10 unique foods I found at the Wednesday and Saturday Santa Monica’s Farmer’s Market and the Sunday Brentwood Farmer’s Market:

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Cat Grass, Obviously. For your Cat, not your Wheatgrass Juicer

Dried Whole Persimmons.  These taste like a chewy ginormous date except a little fruitier.

Dried Whole Persimmons

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Cactus Chips, these are thick and sturdy

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Cactus Tortillas

Mandarquats -- you can eat the peel

Mandarquats — you can eat the peel

Amazing Salts:  Scorpion Pepper (hottest pepper on earth).  I ate one grain and whoa!

Amazing Salts: Scorpion Pepper (hottest pepper on earth). I ate one grain and whoa!

More Salts:  Black Lava; Aussie Flake; Fleur de Sel

More Salts: Black Lava; Aussie Flake; Fleur de Sel

Beef Tallow Face Cream!

Beef Tallow Face Cream!

Apple Wood for smoking bacon and for your bbq

Apple Wood for smoking bacon and for your bbq

Yellow Pea Shoots

Yellow Pea Shoots

Black Radish

Black Radish

Very Rare:  Black Khaisab Dates

Very Rare: Black Khaisab Dates

What are some unique foods you’ve seen recently at your Farmer’s Market?

Need an easy resource for locating your nearest Farmer’s Market?  Check out the Foodlander App and also my recent post on their blog!

Sweet Avocado

In college I had a good tennis team friend, Harriet, who used to eat mashed up avocado with banana, sugar and milk.  She was half Filipino and grew up in Kuwait.  She did not know the savory application of the Avocado, only the sweet.  I had never known any sweet recipes for Avocado, only savory.  But I tasted her bowl one day after a long hot tennis and track session, and boy was it good!

The Avocado fruit is commonly used in Asia to make sweet shakes or “smoothies.”  In Indonesia, it is called “Jus Alkapat” and involves avocado, condensed milk, ice cubes and . . . . . chocolate syrup or . . . coffee!!!!!; in the Phillipenes the drink is made with avocado, ice, milk and sugar; the Vietnamese version, Sinh to Bo (Butter Fruit Shake), is made with avocado, milk, sugar, ice and condensed sweetened milk; in Brazil I actually had such a shake made with avocado, milk, sugar and ice.

Since I am still on soft and liquid foods due to my recent tooth extraction, I am on the search for different ways to be in post-operative compliance.  I got tired of ice cream and yogurt after a few days.  Well, not really.  But I needed more variety.  And as you all know, one of the wonderful features of the internet is that it has a vast sub-universe of food information and recipes.  I first made a standard Vietnamese version, and I could not believe how incredibly delicious it was.  Wow. But I thought it wouldn’t lack anything if I didn’t add all of the sugar, so I opted for a sweet tomato and date relish.

Here is my own version of a sweet avocado drink:

Ingredients:

1 large ripe avocado

Ripe Avocado

Ripe Avocado

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (if you don’t do dairy, simply use coconut milk or coconut cream thinned out with a bit of water)

1 cup ice

1 date, chopped

2 cherry tomatoes, quartered

Quartered Sun Golds & Medjool Date

Quartered Sun Golds & Medjool Date

A handful of nasturtiums or other edible flowers

1/4 tsp grey salt

Instructions:

Place the avocado, milk, salt and ice in a blender and blend for 30 seconds on medium speed.  Pour into a glass and top with date and tomato.  Rim glass with flowers.  Drink up!

Ready to Drink

Ready to Drink

In a Mason Jar, Ready to Go to Work

In a Mason Jar, Ready to Go to Work

 

 

 

Tahini Date Caramel

Bananas with Broiled Tahini-Date Caramel on Butter Toasted Oats with Coconut Cream

Bananas with Broiled Tahini-Date Caramel on Butter Toasted Oats with Coconut Cream

I have an acquaintance from college who ended up, after college, moving into a house about 100 yards from the house I grew up in.  She moved into the notorious “banana tree house” that all of us neighbors secretly wanted to tear down because of the wildly overgrown banana forest in the front yard.  Anarchistic and unkempt looking, it didn’t jive with the otherwise clean cut Santa Monica gardens on the block.  20 years later, and a spectacular house remodel later, the lot now contains a massive craftsman, multi-leved house . . . . and an only slightly neatened banana thicket.
I’ve been curious as to whether the tree produces any edible fruit (didn’t look like it), and last week as I was biking to work I saw her in the front yard and she gave me a banana. A very green and closed up banana.  I put it in a brown paper bag inside a dark cupboard and hoped for the best.  A week later, still barely peel-able.  Then I got an idea.  In Thai cuisine you often see on menus “green” papaya and mango salads that utilize very underripe fruit.  So I surgically removed the banana fruit from it’s peel and decided I’d broil it with some caramel sauce on top.  I got the caramel sauce idea from one of my favorite all-time cooking sites Use Real Butter.  Jen lives and cooks full throttle and I love her style.  Plus she’s a bonkers awesome photographer.  Go check her out.  Anyhow, she made Tahini Date Caramels with Sea Salt that I believe was adapted if not wholly taken from the Kitchn.  The recipe appealed to me because of the absence of sugar, even though we all know dates are relatively high in natural sugars.  Still, if you’re gonna have sugar, have it with some good vitamins and antioxidants and straight from the earth, rather than processed!
So, for this Fiesta Friday I bring you a nice shallow bowl of butter toasted oats in coconut cream, with broiled tahini-date caramel banana lattice.  I stuck an egg in the middle just for fun.  And some sprouted toasted raw buckwheaties.  It. Is. Delicious.
Here’s the Recipe:
I recipe Tahini Date Caramel   . . . . thinned out with 1/4 cup coconut cream and 1/4 cup water
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Creamy Tahini
Dates
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Medjools
Coconut Cream
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Coconut Cream
The Caramel
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Sauce (Ain’t much leftover!)
Next, cook up some oatmeal by taking 1 cup of steel cut oats and toasting them in melted butter for about a minute or two.  Then proceed to cook oatmeal as normal; 1 parts oatmeal to 2-3 parts water depending upon your type of oats/directions.
Spread out oats in a bowl and create a pocket in the middle into which you crack 1 egg.
Slice 1 banana lengthwise into 4 pieces and place in lattice design across oats and egg.
Brush 2-4 Tbsp sauce over banana slices.
Pour in a little almond milk or milk if you like, or cream, and broil for 5 minutes or until sauce starts to brown, but before it burns of course.
Serve up!
Finished Dish with Buckwheaties
Finished Dish with Buckwheaties