What's fresh at the market

Location

Alhambra Farmers Market

60 S Monterey St
Alhambra , CA 91801 United States

The Alhambra Source believes that the Sunday morning farmer's market just south of Main Street and east of Garfield Ave is among the best in Los Angeles, and perhaps even the country. Today we start a new series where market aficionado Kevin Chan explores what's fresh — and what you can do with all that produce. If you've got questions, let us know! info@alhambrasource.org. And if you've got farmer's market tips, even better!

Holy garbanzo beans!

Photos by Kevin Chan

Is it wrong to get excited about produce? I'd like to believe not. Garbanzo beans are widely available in dry or canned in their familiar beige form, but fresh and green in their pods is quite the treat. They lose the green hue once they fully mature (three to four months from seed), so expect the availability to dwindle once we fully transition into autumn. These are available from Gonzaga Farm, the stand closest to the dining benches. You can prepare them like edamame by steaming or microwaving them until tender, then toss well with lime and salt. They can also be eaten raw in a salad, dry roasted like peanuts or peeled and deep fried with a bit of crushed rosemary and salt.

This little pigweed went to market…

Photos by Kevin Chan

Purslane (aka Verdolaga, "Pigweed") is an often overlooked green that is one of the most nutritious vegetables around. If that interests you, you should get it now because it season runs from late spring to fall. With a flavor that is a bit peppery like arugula but with a sour aftertaste, purslane has some of the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants of any vegetable. It can be served raw in salads and salsas, added to stews or soups, or fried up with onions and eggs. (When cooked its flavor is much closer to spinach.) If you want to keep the taste after the season is over it freezes well.

As the season begins to cool down and fall settles in, we can look forward to some great hearty produce like yams and hard-skinned squash. Fire up the oven and break out the rolling pins as apples and pears become more abundant. Have any good recipes for winter fruits and vegetables? Send them our way at info@alhambrasource.org

3 thoughts on “What's fresh at the market”

  1. I love purslane. My mom had it growing in our backyard growing up and she called it ‘liao shu er’ which means ‘mouse ears’ because the little leaves resemble them. She would blanch them in hot water and toss them with a crushed garlic clove, soy sauce and sesame oil. Since living in Little Armenia in LA, I’ve learned from the local fruit/veg seller that they enjoy it raw with ripe tomatoes, lemon, salt and olive oil. Also delicious!

  2. I’ve never seen fresh garbanzos! This column is a great addition to an awesome website, Viva Alhambra Source!

  3. Nice dude! Congrats. Looking forward to more of this column.

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