The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes and Stories from the Market and Farm by Amelia Saltsman came recommended to us by a friend. Amelia, who has been shopping this particular market for over twenty years, has written a season-by-season handbook – alive with real farm market characters and more than 100 recipes. Santa Monica is home to one of the country’s first and foremost farm markets, but the story is also that of an estimated 3,000 farmers’ markets that have sprung up across the country in recent years.
The book is about accessing a bit of the exotic, finding new ingredients, and cooking with seasonal foods. Amelia also offers tips on how to shop, select and store fresh items, useful plant terms, basic kitchen techniques, handy pantry items, and helpful kitchen tools. It is a wonderful book for spring and fall when fresh farmer’s markets are thriving and at their peak.
About the Author: Amelia Saltsman is passionate about farm markets, the treasures found there, and the individual stories each vendor brings to the table. She is a writer, a cooking teacher, and the producer and host of an LA-based television show, Fresh From the Farmers’ Market. The cookbook was published by her own company, Blenheim Press, named for the Blenheim apricots which are grown exclusively in the Santa Clara Valley region. These special fruits, considered a delicacy, are said to be the best-tasting apricots in the world. Try them dried (from Trader Joe’s) or take a trip to southern California to taste them fresh.