Good Food’s Weekly Farmers’ Market Digest

Every week Good Food visits the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market and brings the latest news from farmers and chefs.

Sal Marino & Mark Carpenter
Sal Marino & Mark Carpenter


Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Manager Laura Avery talks with farmer Mark Carpenter of Coastal Farms about two of his rare Italian heirloom varieties of winter squash: Marina di Chioggia and Tonda Padana. Striking in appearance, both have drier, sweeter flesh that work exceptionally well for cooking and baking.

Laura also speaks with Sal Marino, executive chef-owner of Il Grano. He’s especially delighted by the autumn harvest, and the exciting new varieties of seasonal produce at the market. He incorporates squash into pasta, side dishes and serves it alongside fish and duck on his Fall menu.

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What You Should Buy This Weekend At the Farmers’ Market:

– Fuyu persimmons and white pomegranates from Burkart Farms. A Burkart vendor said she likes these persimmons because they taste like pumpkin pie. I could not quite taste pumpkin pie, but the flavor did make me think of Autumn. Here’s a quick guide to persimmons on the Good Food blog.

– Arctic Snow White nectarines from Tenerelli Farms. The sugar spots have a texture, so the nectarines with a rough skin will taste the sweetest. The bright red and shiny ones will lack flavor.

– The Sonora wheat vegan apple hand pies from Fat Uncle Farms are a nice treat for you early market goers. It’s not over-abundantly sweet, so the flavor and tartness of the apple really shine through.

– Guavas and Silver Meyer lemons from Garcia’s Organic Farms. A squirt of lemon will help bring out the flavor of the hard-skinned guavas. The soft ones can be enjoyed whole for their sweet pear-strawberry-like flavor.

– Marina Di Chiogia squash and Tonda Padana squash from Coastal Farms. Did you know that you can use these squash as a beautiful holiday centerpiece and after the holidays still turn them into a delicious meal? The drier flesh works well for cooking and baking. Listen to farmer Mark Carpenter further discusses his squash on this week’s market report.

Recipes for your Market Haul:

Persimmons Poached in Pomegranate Juice with Toasted Walnuts

Chilled Nectarine-Yogurt Pie

Winter Squash & Apple Soup

Highland Park Lemon Salt