<a href=” alt=”” />Carrots

Thanks to all of you, The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook is well into its third printing and will be available at Los Angeles-area Costco stores at the end of this month. And, The SMFM Cookbook is featured in the current issue of Edible L.A. in a story about a cooking club, the Spoons, founded by Ellen Rose, founder of the much lamented Cook’s Library.

The weather may still be warm (oh, it’s downright hot as I write), but the markets reflect the shift in seasons. Here in SoCal, crisp heirloom apples and early hard squashes stand shoulder to shoulder with a swan song of high desert peaches and late-season tomatoes. The local date harvest has begun: ripe Barhi dates with nearly liquid caramel centers can be found, along with strands of unripe dates that are all golden crunch and astringency. What a gorgeous autumn appetizer they make together, with a bit of arugula, tart apple, a drizzle of walnut oil and a squeeze of lemon.

At my local market, big fat Chardonnay carrots are super sweet. Seasoned with the fresh ginger now in season, they’re delicious in a bright soup perfect for this transitional time. You’ll find the recipe for Carrot Soup with Fresh Ginger at KCRW’s Good Food, along with a video of another recent market inspiration— Tuscan kale with onions and raisins.

Hard to believe, but I’m beginning to look ahead to Thanksgiving. I’ve got a passel of new holiday side dish recipes in the November issue of Bon Appétit. You’ll find new riffs on all the favorite autumn colors and flavors of onions, corn, carrots, Brussels sprouts, squash, snap beans, and Swiss Chard. Enjoy!