Mindy Pfeiffer, one of the co-chairs of the Slow Food LA’s Farm Committee, coordinated and attended the tour of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market with Evan Kleiman on Sunday, August 28. She chronicles the day below [click on the photos for larger images]:
We started out the morning by meeting at the southern end of the Hollywood Market, at Sunset and Ivar. Evan and her niece, Mor, met us at 8:30am, and we began our magical market tour. Our mission was to gather the ingredients that would be used to prepare a lunch afterwards at Angeli Caffe. We stopped to meet Pompea Smith, Market Manager, and after a brief introduction headed up Ivar.
One of our first stops was at Coastal Farms for some incredible heirloom tomatoes, in particular, an Italian variety, the seeds of which were brought back by Evan, and which today would be used in a sauce. Then onward for mizuna, frisee, arugula, and avocados.
Stopping at Flora Bella, Evan had us sample purslane, a green that has a sour taste much like clover, and is used in Mexican cooking. From there we proceeded to David West, Mushroom Man, who on this day had huckleberries which Evan decided to incorporate into our meal.
Onward to McGrath Farms where we bought a huge squash that was destined for great glory. There were also Dixie Peas, a type of pea that resembled a cranberry bean. Continuing on, there were fresh figs, beautiful little Asian eggplants, long, skinny, sweet green peppers, cucumbers, red onions, and then it was time to head to Angeli, which was good timing because it was starting to warm up!
We reconvened at Angeli, donned aprons, and with Evan directing, pitched in to help prepare a most mouth wateringly fabulous feast. I won’t go into all the details, but here is the menu:
++ Gazpacho garnished with Croutons and Avocado
++ Gnochetti di Ricotta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce
++ Salad of Greens with Almonds, Ricotta Salata and Anchovy-Mustard Vinaigrette
++ Zucchini Flowers
++ Sauteed Peppers with Garlic
++ Sauteed Squash with Red Wine Vinegar, Mint, and Garlic Sauce
++ Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes with Salt
++ Baked Figs with Vanilla Ice Cream and Huckleberry Compote
++ White Wine and Sparkling Water
Sitting and sharing the meal family style we were truly in Slow Food Mode. We had an opportunity to talk and enjoy our delicious food, and to ask Evan, her fellow chef, Kathy, and Mor questions about all sorts of food-related topics. At the end, as we were ready to roll ourselves back to our cars, we were each presented with a little package of gnochetti and stuffed eggplant, to be enjoyed at a future moment when we would once again have room in our stomachs to eat!