The California weather phenomenon, El Ninõ has brought a unusual amount of rain to Southern California this winter. After a 10 year drought, the reservoirs have been refilled and this Spring, the flowers and trees are spectacular. The flowers are larger, more abundant, and more brilliant in their hue, the produce is incredible.
This Wednesday past, at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market the bounty from all this rain was evident. As I walked through the market the variety of produce was overwhelming. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed some small scallions with intense purple heads and long white beards. Prominently displayed chanterelle mushrooms were huge, thick and dense. The stems were over 1.5 inches in diameter with heads the size of saucers. Their coloring of creamy, buttery, yellow with a tinge of ochre around the frilly edges was inviting. The vendor said this was the best crop he had seen in years.
Last night I cleaned and sliced the scallions and mushrooms. I sautéed them together in a splash of Spanish extra virgin olive oil in a very hot pan. A bit of sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and what a treat.
Keep your eyes open and look out for seasonal produce in your area from local growers. Be creative and enjoy.