Winter at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market- and a Recipe for Braised Leeks
It was a chilly, fog bound morning along the coast. Although we tend to think of summer and fall being the abundant times, there are winter joys at the farmer’s market, too. The stalls display monochromatic tones of green, some tinged with deep red, and winter white, along with the earthy browns and tans of wild mushrooms. The offerings include big showy Savoy cabbages and cauliflowers, as well as baby versions of vegetables-cauliflowers (both white and green) and bok choy.
Preparing winter vegetable dishes may take a little more time and imagination than the quick sauté of summer squash, or tender green beans, or a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil on heirloom tomatoes, but the cooking is often long, slow cooking that can be left on its own, and rewards are just as wonderful.
This versatile recipe for Braised Leeks (braising-there’s that long slow cooking) is from Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table . Ms Goin uses them as a bed for roasting Deviled Chicken Thighs with Dijon Mustard. She adds that they also may be served cold, dressed with a mustard vinaigrette and served with sliced prosciutto and chopped herbs. To add to her suggestions, slice the cooked leeks thinly crosswise and cook them with a bit of cream until the cream reduces, to make a sauce for a meaty white fish. If you have some of that leftover, toss the creamed leeks into mashed potatoes for a real treat.
And btw, check back next week, as we’ll be featuring an interview with Ms. Goin, one of L.A.’s premiere chefs. Recipe follows: