Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

DETOX: Day 12--Farmer's Market Meals

If you're in the middle of a crazy diet and you've reached a series of days where you are eating all vegetables, all the time, a good way to cheer yourself up is to go to the Farmer's Market, where everywhere you look, there are things you can eat! And there are very few things you can't eat to tempt you. Only your favorite bread man--and you have to kind of turn your head away and walk by real fast so he doesn't see you and feel sad and wonder why you suddenly didn't stop by for your package of ciabatta rolls.

Of course, this was the post-Thanksgiving farmer's market, which is a sad affair. There were fewer stalls and the ones that were there had only slim pickings. Can you believe I found only one meager bunch of carrots in the whole market? There weren't many greens to choose from either. Which meant I had to go the farmer's market and then come back home and go to the real market. But at least favorite-Asian-fruit&veg-man came through with several necessary items, so it wasn't a wasted trip.

With my farmer's market finds, and my regular market picks rounding out the selection, I was able to put together a lunchtime salad and dinnertime soup that fit my dietary requirements.

For lunch, I had a butter lettuce salad inspired by Suzanne Tracht. I'm not sure if it's merely coincidence, or if there is a deeper meaning behind the fact that all of my chef girlfriends are named Suzanne. All I know is that Ms. Tracht runs a close second behind Ms. Goin for my affections, since Jar has provided me with many happy nights of hanging out at the bar drinking delicious cocktails and eating homemade potato chips and whatever appetizers were on special that night. I hope to go back there just as soon as I finish this pesky diet. In the meantime I will eat the salad. There's not much to it but lettuce and radishes, but the lemony-garlicky-herb-filled dressing made a huge difference. I saved the leftover dressing for future salads because it was a keeper.

For dinner, it was a soup night. I decided to make this carrot soup from Gourmet's Thanksgiving issue. I'd just been to Indian food the night before and was still fondly reminiscing, so the curry powder caught my eye. This soup was really something special. I am wary of carrot soups because after umpteen times of trying to get down carrot-ginger soups, I have conceded that ... it's not my favorite combo. I haven't been sure about carrot soups since, but this one is warm and the spices and the nuts add a richness that is addictive. Plus the nuts give a little crunch that is really welcome when you're moving into an all-liquid diet phase. But if you aren't a nut-lover (you know what I mean!) then you could easily eat this without the nuts and it would be fine.

Gah. Only nine more days and then ... watch out, carbs. Here I come.


I was sixteen when I last ventured into Farmer's Market... The only food I remember there was fried tacos and cotton candy. I purchased cotton candy and the Thomas Wolfe book 'Look Homeward, Angel'.... A book I did not understand nor appreciate until I re-read it in 1981 on a long boring weekend.

The cotton candy? What's not to like about fluffy spun sugar?

said by Anonymous at 4:07 PM Delete

Yeah, it's a little different now ... but I think that Patsy D'Amore's was there back then, was it not? At least, that's what all the pictures of Frank Sinatra eating the pizza lead me to believe.

But those lovelies up there came from the real farmer's market. The one with farmers. Because I do not go near the Grove around holiday time. Way too traumatic.

said by KT at 4:13 PM Delete

I had carrot ginger soup today for lunch, from Gelson's. Or, for you, Suzanne Gelson.

said by Vaguely Urban at 4:57 PM Delete

Hee! :)

Nothing like a supermarket lunch. Although I will admit the Gelson's near my work has the most fabulous eating area in the general vicinity. With a fireplace! If I stop there in the morning when it's cold, I always want to stay.

said by KT at 5:03 PM Delete

loving it. thanks for the bright post. i love your talk of chef girlfriends. lol.

said by chicopants at 12:09 AM Delete

You're gonna like, turn into a carb the day you break this aren't you? After you devour an entire bakery and the baker I mean...

said by Garrett at 3:32 PM Delete

You do not even know! I have lists of all of the bread and cheese combinations I want to eat.

Do you know how hard it is to eat only vegetables when Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton have just opened a pizzeria right down the street from you? Gah!

said by KT at 3:35 PM Delete

You can do it, KT! Keep the faith!

- Chubbypanda

said by Chubbypanda at 12:10 AM Delete

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