Monday, February 8, 2010

Lazy Farmers' Market Saturdays

There's something about sleeping in on a Saturday and riding your bike down to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. The world feel as if it's a happier, more wholesome place where everyone smiles and waves at each other.

For this reason and the fact that farmers' market produce is just plain better, we've made a point of going at least once a month (if not every weekend). This past trip, we made some good buys and cooked up this fantastic lunch that we figured we'd share here.

First up, Bleu has an obsession with roasting heirloom carrots. These are nothing like your ordinary mini, precut orange carrots. These are dense and flavorful and come in purple and white and golden orange. The baby heirloom carrots (about 1-2 inches in length) are the best -- and show up usually around late Spring. We like to toss about a pound of carrots with some good olive oil, a hefty amount of kosher salt (Maldon is a favorite), some pepper, and about 2 tablespoons of cumin. Roast the carrot mix at 475 degrees for about 45 minutes, but check on them after 30 minutes to make sure they're not overcooking.

We also picked up a vibrant bundle of some long asparagus. We steamed the asparagus so that it glowed green, seasoned it with some salt and pepper, topped it with a spoonful of pesto, and shaved fresh Parmesan on top. Then - the ultimate part - we placed two freshly poached eggs on top.

Not gonna lie, we love poached eggs. You know how some people put ketchup on everything? Well, Bleu could put poached eggs on anything. So it is very convenient that Bourbon has become quite the master at poaching eggs. Here's some tips for perfecting the poach: In a saucepan, add about 2-3 cups of water and 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar and bring to a heavy simmer, then turn the heat down to medium low. (Warning: Do not skimp on the vinegar; it helps the eggs form together into the nice, round poaching shape and won't let them stick to the bottom too much). Crack your eggs into a ramekin (or use a coffee mug, like us, if you don't own ramekins) before pouring into the water. You'll want to crack and pour each egg individually. Once the eggs start to rise up from the bottom of the pan (about 2-3 minutes), use a spoon to lightly gather the out edges of the egg whites and fold over the yoke. When the eggs are done (about 4 minutes total), use a slotted spoon to gently pull them out of the water. Pat dry with a paper towel (no water is key), then serve!

Santa Monica Farmer's Market
Arizona Ave, from 2nd to 4th.
Saturdays, 8:30 am - 1:00 pm

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