On the last Wednesday of every month, there is a chef demonstration at the Farmers’ Market called “Buy It Fresh Make It Now.” The purpose of these demonstrations is to provide customers with new recipe ideas that feature solely ingredients you can buy at the Farmers’ Market. It is also an excellent way to learn more about ingredients you may not be familiar with. If you ever have any questions about how to prepare an ingredient be sure to ask the farmer. Farmers always have excellent suggestions about what to do with their produce.
The most recent Chef Demo featured Amelia Saltsman, who is writing the upcoming Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook that will be published this spring. Amelia’s demonstration was a huge success. Her recipes were extremely user-friendly and easy to prepare, even if you never cook.
Here is Amelia’s recipe for Sfranta, a zucchini dish that is very simple to prepare. Using Lebanese zucchini gives the dish a creamier texture and you can find it at Windrose Farms, Trevino Farms, Rutiz Farms, Smith Farms and Jaime Farms. Feel free to substitute regular thyme if you cannot find lemon thyme. Sfranta is a delicious side dish, can be stirred into risotto and pasta or thinned with stock to make a soup. Give this recipe a try even if you think you do not like zucchini; you will be pleasantly surprised!
• 2 pounds zucchini, preferably white or Lebanese, about 6
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cup water
• Leaves from several sprigs fresh lemon thyme
• Kosher or sea salt
• Freshly ground white pepper
Chop zucchini into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a deep pot with garlic, oil, water, thyme and a little salt. Cover pot and cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Remove cover, reduce heat to low, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the vegetables break down, liquid is absorbed and the mixture looks glossy, about 30 minutes. Add salt, pepper or additional olive oil to taste. May be made ahead and refrigerated. Serve warm or at room temperature with bruschette. Makes about 3 cups.
From The Santa Monica Farmers’
Market Cookbook by Amelia Saltsman