Santa Monica Farmer’s Market


Tiny little heads of cauliflower, no bigger than a dolls-head. These were the most colorful I’d ever seen in magnificent shades of vivid purple and deep orange.


Although America is known as the land of HUGE food, these tiny baby carrots are tender and very sweet. My first week as a cook at Chez Panisse, I spent a few hours peeling a case of them…only to discover later they were going to be blended up and made into soup!


The actresses (and wannabes) trolling around Hollywood aren’t the only things nicely stacked in LA…




These are Improved Meyer lemons. The original Meyer lemons were disease-prone so they were re-hybridized, hence the name Improved Meyer lemon. They’re often mistakenly called a cross between an orange and a Eureka lemon since they’re as sweet, juicy, and aromatic as an orange, but with a lemony tang. But they’re not.


Beautiful winter squash

Stinging Nettles, which have lots of tiny prickers…ne touchez pas!

For more information on the market, visit the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market web site.


Food Markets, USA


  • Ah, the colorful cauliflower season has unfortunately already ended here in NYC, but it’s nice to see them flowering elsewhere.

    I love cauliflower–I prefer them cooked so that they still have that slight “snap” when you bite into them.

  • Ugh, I’m homesick!

  • Handle those stingers with gloves until they are at least blanched. They are fabulous food, as the nettle is one of the most efficient mineral suckers from the soil. We make a mixed greens pasta with them, or a lovely ravioli.
    Nature provides them lavishly here in Italy. To find them just look for plants that are turning yellow from mineral deficiency– below or nearby are nettles.

  • The potato picture looks amazing – I thought they were pebbles first – such a nice colourful batch!

  • Totally beautiful pictures. I lived in LA for a year, right out of college, and Santa Monica was always the place to go — pedestrian streets, bookstores everywhere, and the great farmer’s market. I can bash Los Angeles with the best of them, but then when I think about that area — also Grand Street Market and birria tacos downtown, I remember that there are redeeming qualities of SoCal too. These qualities seem especially alluring from my present perch, hugging a radiator in Boston. Thanks for the great pictures.

  • Oh… I missed you at Sur La Table and the SMFM?!? Ugh!

    I busy getting my root vegetables on at the Hollywood & Vine market, but had I known, I would have traversed to the west side for you (and in LA, that’s a HUGE complement).

    PS- We made your macaroon recipe this weekend, raping the sheets on the counter et all. They were awesome!!!

  • hey, I would like one of everything that comes in a miniature version of itself. I like tiny food. Tiny food is fun!

  • What camera do you use? These photos are so colorful and real that they seem edible to me. I almost took a bite of my screen.

    Thanks for the lovely blog. I “eat” vicariously through you.

  • Hi Lala: I use a Sony Cybershot. Someday I’ll graduate to a big camera, but for now, mine’s discreet and takes nice pictures for it’s size.

  • How cool me too, they fit right in your backpocket!