July 24, 2013
One of the best things about being back in LA? The farmer’s markets.
Sure, there are a ton of open air markets in Paris, but a large chunk of the produce vendors get their fruits and vegetables from Rungis, a huge warehouse wholesale food market in the suburbs. This beautiful bundle of rainbow chard, on the other hand, was purchased at the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market, from a kindly gentleman from Jimenez Family Farm, who informed me that no pesticides were used in growing it — “We use bugs to kill bugs.”
I used the leaves in a sausage and sweet potato soup, and was left with the vibrant rainbow stalks. So I pickled them. Waste not, want not, right?
Added benefit: after a few days, the brine leeches a bit of the color out of the stalks, making the prettiest picklebacks ever.
October 1, 2012
I know we’ve talked about the process for balsamic reduction before, but I thought it was worth its own post. Now that I’ve had a big bottle of it at home for a while, I find myself reaching for it nearly every day — to drizzle on fruit, rub on roasts, or glaze vegetables.
The fact is, you aren’t going to use your best balsamic for everything. The really good balsamic vinegars have that spoon-coating thickness and deep richness from years of aging and slow evaporation in successively smaller barrels, and come with a price tag that matches the love and care put into each tiny bottle. It’s absolutely worth having a bottle of the good stuff around for special occasions, but it’s nice to have a thickened everyday balsamic for, well, everyday uses.