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Farmers’ Market Report:

Do you need a break from winter root vegetables? It is hard to believe that it’s winter judging by the weather outside, so bring a little sunshine into your kitchen. Citrus is at it’s peak, but berries are spectacular right now, too. Blueberries are starting to make an appearance at the Santa Monica Farmers Markets; Pudwill Farms has been bringing in delicious blueberries, and they will be popping up more and more at the Markets. Raspberries and strawberries are also still wonderful.

Here is a great recipe courtesy of Amanda Broder of FOOD restaurant that to make the most of citrus and winter berries at the Farmers Market right now. You can find FOOD at 10571 W. Pico Blvd. or call 310-441-7770. You can also find Amanda at the Windrose Farm booth every week at the Wednesday Farmers Market.

Meyer Lemon and Blueberry Bread Pudding

courtesy of Amanda Broder

I like to use crusty, rustic bread for bread pudding–it makes a fluffier finished product with a delicious crunchy crust. The lemon and honey in this recipe go particularly well with the caramely, nutty flavor of whole wheat or multigrain bread.

Fresh blueberries can be subbed in instead of dried, as can raspberries or blackberries or toasted walnuts–whatever appeals and is lovely at the market. Fresh things will not need to be soaked overnight, but if you wanted to make a little sauce with the remaining Meyer lemon juice, you could simmer it with a couple tablespoons of honey or sugar and toss the hot syrup with another cup of berries, mash a few of them lightly, and serve the sauce alongside the pudding.

4 cups milk

1 cup cream

4 large eggs

5 egg yolks

1/4 cup wildflower or buckwheat honey

big pinch of salt

zest and juice of 4 Meyer lemons

seeds of one vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of dried blueberries

4 cups cubed day-old bread (if it feels moist and fresh, give the cubes a quick toast in the oven to dry them out a little. Moist bread equals heavy bread pudding.)

Beat together the eggs, egg yolks, honey, salt, lemon zest and vanilla bean. Beat in the milk and cream. Pour over the bread cubes and let soak overnight. Meanwhile, soak the dried blueberries in Meyer lemon juice overnight as well.

When you’re ready to bake, butter a 9×3″ cake pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix the blueberries into the bread pudding base and pour into the prepared pan. Bake until a bamboo skewer or sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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