It was a beautiful day in LA today. The streets were packed with runners, people walking their dogs and cars sped past with families eager to make the most of the warm weather. After weeks of unseasonably cold Los Angeles weather, things are starting to heat up again.
At the Hollywood Farmer’s Market this morning everyone had a smile on his or her face. The pedestrian streets were packed with happy families and hand-holding couples in short skirts and tee shirts–their bare limbs basking in the glory of our newly returned sunshine. With the cold snap a week behind us, the farmer’s fare looked lush and plentiful. Satsuma oranges and golden yellow Meyer Lemons glowed in the sunlight. Tomatoes were plump and avocados were soft to the touch. Carrots of all shapes and sizes–tiny sweet ones, large rabbit teasers–attracted hundreds of eager eyes to their bright colors.
I quickly emptied my pockets of singles and twenty-dollar bills with all that I loaded into my Mexican lobster market bag. I bought firm little Persian cucumbers, fresh mint, a heavy bunch of red and white Swiss Chard, a fat handful of green and purple scallions, sun kissed Meyer lemons, Japanese oranges, hand picked spinach, ripe avocados and a batard of freshly made bread from the Bread Man.
Back home, after showing my husband my market finds, we got inspired to make sandwiches. After frying up some fresh chicken breast and spicy chicken sausages from Trader Joes we had the freshest lunch in town.
Sunday Market Chicken Sandwich
Fresh French Bread–warmed in the oven
Sautéed chicken breast
Juice of half a lemon
Fresh market spinach
Whole grain mustard
Malden sea salt
Mild flavored cheese
Warm the bread in the oven at 250 while you sauté the chicken in a little olive oil. Squeeze half a lemon and a pinch of salt to season the chicken. When the bread is warm inside and has a bit of crunch cut into it halfway to create a pocket for the food to go into. Spoon May onto the bread, whole grain mustard then add spinach and cheese. Add chicken and drizzle with a little olive oil and salt. Put in oven for 3-5 minutes to warm up the cheese.
Persian Cucumber Salad
5 little cucumbers
A healthy drizzle of olive oil (your best stuff) to dress
A good-sized bunch of mint (finely chopped)
2 scallions (finely chopped)
Salt and Pepper
A splash of red wine vinegar
Peel the cucumbers and slice ¼ inch thick. Add finely chopped scallions. Drizzle the whole thing generously with olive oil—enough to coat everything and to make a nice dressing. Add a splash of vinegar (about 2 tablespoons) and season with salt and pepper to create a balance of acidity with the oil and salt. Put in freezer to make cold. Serve within minutes.