Farmers market dinner for one
I hadn't been to the market in some time, and when I went to the Santa Monica farmers market on Wednesday, I was overwhelmed by the glory of it all -- it's that moment in summer when the stalls are bursting with wonderfulness. Though my family is away on a camping trip, I bought everything in sight -- beautiful, slim baby leeks from McGrath Family Farms, heirloom tomatoes and summer squash from Coastal Organics, banana fingerlings and a pretty little Charentais melon from Weiser, plus lavender, peaches, Santa Rosa plums and more.
I hauled my market sack to the car, wondering what I'd do with it all. I had plans for dinner that night with a friend, at Osteria Mozza, no less. My bounty would have to wait till Thursday.
Last night I came home to an empty apartment and hauled out my booty. I sliced one of those ripe tomatoes onto a plate, scattered Maldon salt over it, ground lots of black pepper and heaped wild arugula from Maggie's Farm on top. Then I shaved some ricotta salata over, added a drizzle of aged balsamic and good, fresh olive oil. Next I sautéed the baby leeks, added sliced zucchini, patty pan and other squashes, some blanched cut-up Romano beans, corn sliced off the cob and a peeled, seeded and diced tomato. It wanted a splash of chicken broth, salt and pepper, a scattering of chopped basil -- and voilà.
This was a good dinner, my farmers market dinner for one. For dessert, I had picked up a Lingot de Quercy goat cheese because I thought I deserved a treat. Mmm. Had I been drinking white instead of red it would have been perfect.
-- Leslie Brenner
Photos by Leslie Brenner