Last week the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market hosted a panel discussion at the Main Library featuring pastry chefs Sherry Yard of Spago and Zoe Nathan of Rustic Canyon, farmer Randy Pudwill, and moderated by chef Evan Kleiman of Angeli Café who hosts Good Food on KCRW. The panel spoke about their passion for pastry and how their recipes and desserts begin with the fruit they find at the Farmers’ Market. Thanks to Pudwill Farms (you can find them at all four of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets) we have fresh berries available year round. Pudwill grow spectacular berries, including raspberries, golden raspberries, and blackberries, and they are all at their peak right now. All this talk of fruit and dessert inspired me to buy more fruit than I know what to do with, so I have been thinking up easy desserts (as well as non-dessert dishes) to showcase all of this fresh summer fruit.
Peaches are in abundance at the Farmers’ Market right now. Peaches are excellent on the grill and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and served over fresh cream or ice cream. Or, cut a peach in half, remove the pit, fill the center of the peach with greek yogurt (or cream.) drizzle with honey, and top with fresh berries. (Freestone peaches are much easier to cut in half than non freestone varieties. Ask your farmer if their peaches are freestone). Yogurt parfaits are easy, healthy and make a great breakfast or dessert. Put some yogurt in a cup or bowl, add some granola, and top with fresh berries of your choice. Melon salads are also easy and refreshing. Cube watermelon and add fresh mint and/or basil and squeeze in some lemon juice to taste. Add some heirloom tomatoes and fresh ricotta cheese for a nice side dish or light meal. For another tasty salad, mix peaches with arugula or other fresh greens, add some nuts, and top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. For a special treat, peel and slice ripe peaches or nectarines and put them in a champagne glass and pour prosecco over them. Sip the prosecco, eat the fruit, and enjoy!
Many of these ideas are very kid friendly, so have your kids help out in the kitchen. If your kids enjoy cooking or eating, make sure to check the local Santa Monica Libraries for upcoming Farmers’ Market No Cook Cooking Class for kids.