West

West – Herbed Sweet Potatoes

West – Herbed Sweet Potatoes

This recipe for Herbed Sweet Potatoes is loaded with the fresh flavors of shallots, thyme, oregano, sage, bay leaves, and garlic. Grind them up together, add some olive oil, and toss with chunks of sweet potato for an easy, nutritious side dish. Sweet potatoes are a hardy root vegetable and will last for weeks (or longer) in a cool, dry place. Avoid refrigerating them, however, or the centers become rock-hard and no amount of cooking […]

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March 13, 2014 at 9:56 amSeasonal Recipes West

West – Turkey and Pea Shoots with Herbed Cream Cheese

West – Turkey and Pea Shoots with Herbed Cream Cheese

Pea shoots are a delicate vegetable packed with nutrients, flavor, and the promise of spring. They are essentially a pea plant in its young state, so they have the same sweet flavor you expect from fresh peas. They can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, stir-fries, or even on top of crostini. Here I use them to give an unexpected crunch to a sandwich. The cream cheese is also flavorful, seasoned […]

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March 4, 2014 at 9:14 amSeasonal Recipes West

West – Triple Berry Oatmeal

West – Triple Berry Oatmeal

The best berries come from your own garden, but the ones available at your local farmer’s market are probably a close second. Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are available 10 months out of the year in Southern California. The farmers take a break in November and December but start shipping again in January. The peak season is April through June. Berries of all kinds are one of the best fruits to eat. They are comparatively low […]

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February 20, 2014 at 9:16 amSeasonal Recipes West

California Presents: Romanesco Broccoli Pasta Salad

California Presents: Romanesco Broccoli Pasta Salad

Romanesco Broccoli is the most exciting vegetable I’ve seen in a long time.  Lime green with pinnacles of fractal patterns, it looks like green cauliflower gone wild. Although it is called Romanesco Broccoli (or less frequently, Roman Cauliflower), it tastes a lot like regular cauliflower. When I saw it at the farmer’s market over the weekend, I knew I had to have it. I created a simple vinaigrette inspired by Indian flavors with olive oil, lemon juice, […]

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February 6, 2014 at 1:17 pmSeasonal Recipes West

California Presents: Citrus Salad with Strawberries and Pomegranate

California Presents: Citrus Salad with Strawberries and Pomegranate

California is capital when it comes to pomegranate production in the United States, supplying most of the country with this jewel-seeded fruit throughout the holiday season. Citrus, too, is at its peak in the cooler months, and the farmer’s market stands are bursting with oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons, lime, blood oranges, and even kumquats. This Citrus Salad with Strawberries and Pomegranates takes advantage of these complimentary flavors, providing an easy breakfast or side dish. If […]

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January 30, 2014 at 8:00 amSeasonal Recipes West

California Presents: Chipotle-Style Cilantro-Lime Rice

California Presents: Chipotle-Style Cilantro-Lime Rice

I have spent years trying to crack the code for perfect rice. For me, perfect rice is light and fluffy with individually separated grains – just like the rice you get at my favorite burrito spot, Chipotle. Whether you agree or disagree with Chipotle’s sustainable food marketing campaign, you cannot deny their amazing Cilantro-Lime Rice. The flavors are delicious but only half the issue. How do they make rice that is so separated and fluffy? Cilantro-Lime Rice […]

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January 22, 2014 at 11:06 amSeasonal Recipes West

California Presents – Herbed Chicken with Fresh Sage

California Presents – Herbed Chicken with Fresh Sage

The vast majority of herbs are grown and available year-round at most Southern California farmers markets, including one of my favorites, sage. (A notable exception is basil which is grown exclusively in the hotter temperatures of summer and fall.) Fresh sage is delicious when classically paired with chicken or turkey, although it is quite pungent compared to its dried counterpart and must be used judiciously. In this recipe, just two whole sage leaves are layered […]

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January 14, 2014 at 10:55 amSeasonal Recipes West

California Presents: White Bean and Kale Soup

California Presents: White Bean and Kale Soup

Kale is grown and available year-round in California, but the falling temperatures of the winter months present ideal growing conditions.  Kale, along with many other leaf lettuces, grows best in cooler weather. Kale becomes tough and bitter when grown above 75°F, while cold weather yields a sweeter crop. Additionally, fewer pests allow farmers can increase their kale plots without worry. There are many varieties of kale, but I frequently see Curly Kale and Tuscan Kale […]

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December 12, 2013 at 8:00 amSeasonal Recipes West

California Presents: Baby Bok Choy with Sesame Dressing

California Presents: Baby Bok Choy with Sesame Dressing

Bok Choy (also known as Chinese Cabbage) is one of the many vegetables grown, harvested, and available at farmers markets year-round in California. I recently discovered Baby Bok Choy, smaller in size simply because it is younger and harvested earlier than regular Bok Choy. Baby Bok Choy is milder and sweeter in flavor compared to the full-grown version and is excellent served raw. This salad showcases Baby Bok Choy through the addition of a few […]

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December 3, 2013 at 8:00 amSeasonal Recipes West

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

Zucchini, the most popular type of summer squash, is a warm-season vegetable whose final crop is almost sold out at my Southern California farmer’s market. I was surprised it was still available this late in the year.  As it turns out, the cooling temperatures in late fall provide some benefits to summer squash production. Although more plentiful in warmer seasons, the crops are also more susceptible to pests such as aphids and silverleaf whiteflies. When the weather cools, […]

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November 21, 2013 at 7:30 amSeasonal Recipes West