Results tagged “Heather Parlato”

Seasonal Eats: Summertime Cucumber Refreshers

As the weather warms up, it's a good time to build your arsenal of refreshing summer snacks. This is a place where cucumbers shine front and center due to their high water content and mild flavor.

Seasonal Eats: 5 Ways to Make the Most of Fresh Porcini

Many planted crops are coming into season as we head into summer, but one wild item that coincides with June is the porcini mushroom, also known as Boletes or ceps. Though they are not commonly found in climates south of Santa Barbara, our fearless mushroom hunting suppliers will gladly drive them down to market.

Seasonal Eats: 5 Ways to Use Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena's flavor is also rounded out by the lack of acidity that comes with lemons, and a distinctly herbal green flavor that comes from the leaves, similar to lemon basil. Here are 5 ways to use it!

Seasonal Eats: The Pungent Flavor of Epazote

Epazote is a particularly pungent herb, having an aroma of gasoline or turpentine with slight citrus notes, and the same sensation in the mouth as some of the other volatile oil-containing herbs like mint, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil.

Seasonal Eats: The Lemony Leaf Called Sorrel

Something you might find at your Farmer's Market herb seller's tables this spring is sorrel, a perennial pot herb sharing the texture of spinach, the size of young chard, and having a tart, sour lemon flavor.

Seasonal Eats: 5 Recipes for Rutabagas

Rutabagas are actually related to turnips, originally created by crossing turnips with cabbages. As a hearty root vegetable, rutabagas are often used alongside potatoes, turnips and other roasting vegetables. They have a sweetness similar to sweet potatoes, and are a nice treat to slice up and eat raw, with a flavor close to raw sweet potato.

Seasonal Eats: 5 Preps for Purple Sprouting Broccoli

One young vegetable you won't see at the supermarkets is purple sprouting broccoli, a variety of broccoli with purple florets and many thin stems, as opposed to the tree-like shape of Italica broccoli. They are delicate and do well with a light steam or sauté, sometimes with the florets blooming into flowers.

Seasonal Eats: Make the Most of Pea Shoots this Spring!

This week we'll take a look at pea shoots, which are the soft, young stems and leaves of pea vines and plants. They're entirely edible with a nice toothy crunch, tasting lightly of peas. If you don't have room for the full vine, pea shoots make great container plants you can graze for salad instead.

Seasonal Eats: 6 Ways to Enjoy Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a cool weather cultivar of cabbage, though shaped quite differently: a thick, main stalk covered with helical patterns of buds that resemble tiny cabbage heads. They grow in cooler climates, which make them ideal for the winter season in Southern California.

Seasonal Eats: Tame The Wild Stinging Nettles

You won't find them commercially, but stinging nettles are starting to appear in farmer's markets and can be foraged locally in early Southern California springtime. They earned their name for tiny, hollow stinging hairs on their leaves and stems, which inject a mix of histamine and chemicals that produces a stinging sensation when you brush them against their tips.

Seasonal Eats: 5 Ways to Enjoy Lambs Quarters

Lambs quarters (sometimes seen as one word, lambsquarters) is a wild edible leafy green that usually appears in farmers' markets in early spring, but with the exceptionally temperate winter we've had in Southern California, many spring greens are arriving early.

Seasonal Eats: Time for Spinach!

Spinach isn't necessarily a winter green, but in temperate winter areas like southern California, we get to enjoy it now. The spinach above is an heirloom variety that is quite toothy and probably best steamed or sautéed, but we also have sellers at the Hollywood Farmer's Market who specialize in young leafy varieties that are great for salads.

Seasonal Eats: Butternut, the King of Winter Squash

Butternut squash are right in the middle of their Southern California season, which starts at the end of September and runs until the beginning of March. As one of the more popular winter squash, butternut has a sweet and nutty taste similar to pumpkin, with deep orange fleshy pulp.

Seasonal Eats: Precious Pomegranates

Pomegranate is a fruit rich in history, having ancient origins in modern day Iran and the Caucasus. It is cultivated all over north Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Asia. In many cultures, the juice of the individual arils is separated from the seeds and processed into grenadine and pomegranate molasses as intense flavoring agents.

Seasonal Eats: Marvelous Meyer Lemons

For the first time in awhile, I've seen Meyer lemons back at the farmer's market. Meyer lemons are native to China and thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin or orange. Brought back from a trip to China by Frank Meyer about 100 years ago, they grow well in warm climates in orchards or garden pots as ornamental trees with a winter seasonality in the California climate.

Seasonal Eats: Get Pumped About Pumpkins!

With Halloween, we usher in a huge annual harvest of pumpkins that grace holiday tables winter-long. Though they are often carved into jack-o-lanterns, historically believed to ward off demons at Halloween, many varieties are thicker, juicier and more flavorful than typical Halloween pumpkins and make delicious, hearty meals.

Seasonal Eats: Say "Yum!" to Yams

Root vegetables are a fall favorite, and yams are no exception. Let's get one thing straight though, we often refer to sweet potatoes as yams, but true yams are a different family than sweet potatoes, and are most often confused here in the States (I found almost as many articles talking about this difference as I found recipes). While many of the recipes in this article will call for sweet potatoes, try them out with true yams and see what you think!

Seasonal Eats: A is for Apple!

Fall is in full swing, and so is apple season! Here in Southern California, we're lucky enough to have apple orchards in some of the higher elevation mountains surrounding the city, one of which is Oak Glen, above Yucaipa. During apple season, the orchards are open 7 days a week, though self-picking is only available on the weekends and tapers down as the season wanes.

Seasonal Eats: Feijoas are Falling from the Trees!

Today, they grow in many temperate areas of the United States as both a shrub or a tree. In a climate such as we have here in Los Angeles, feijoas are often grown as backyard fruit, similar to loquats, and anyone who has lived with this fragrant tree has grown to love them. When I saw these for sale at the Hollywood Farmer's Market, I excitedly bought a bag to enjoy this week.

Seasonal Eats: Get Out Into Nature and Pick Some Raspberries!

Despite the seasonal changes, the warmth of southern California means we still have some summer fruits around, one of which are raspberries! Get them fresh at the farmer's markets around town, or choose a pick-your-own farm to visit and pick yourself a flat of fresh fruit!

Seasonal Eats: Capture the Spice of Summer with Jalapeños!

Late summer is a great time for capsicum peppers of all types, from mild bell peppers to hot chili peppers like jalapeños and habañeros. Since peppers are such a large family with so many different uses, today we'll look at hot peppers and how you can use them seasonally, and put them up for use year-round.

Seasonal Eats: Purslane the Super Food!

After recently reading about all the superhero qualities of purslane, I knew I'd want to profile it and encourage everyone to eat this succulent annual that comes around every summer. Purslane is a leafy vegetable mostly sold in farmer's markets, though it is often considered a weed when found in gardens, due to its hardy qualities—but it's a beneficial weed, since it helps out neighboring plants. It's a great food to forage, since it's easily identifiable and rather prolific in the southern california landscape.

Seasonal Eats: She's a Peach

Another stone fruit for the height of summer, this week we're looking at peaches. Originating in China and migrating to Persia along the Silk Road, peaches were referenced in ancient Chinese writings as early as 1100 BC and were said to be a favored fruit of kings and emperors.

Seasonal Eats: Crunch Into Sweet Corn!

The other day, while shopping at the Farmers' Market, I saw a sweet corn vendor chopping up ears of raw corn into sample-sized bites and encouraging passers to taste them. I hadn't actually tried raw corn, so I took one and was pleasantly surprised to find it's tender, delicious and refreshing right off the table. I'll admit, I haven't eaten much corn in my life, mostly due to thinking it required a lot of cooking. A recent radio show (probably "Good Food" but I didn't catch which one) featured a story on corn, and the suggestion that the best way to have it was just heated through on the grill, with your favorite seasoning. And now that I tasted it raw, I knew it was true.

A Park a Day: The Los Angeles River Greenway, Elysian Valley

July is National Parks & Recreation Month, and all month long LAist will be featuring a hand-selected park a day to showcase just a few of the wonderful recreation spaces--big or small--in the Los Angeles area.

Seasonal Eats: Melon-tastic!

With summer in full swing, it's time to get yourself some ripe, juicy sun-sweetened melons while they're ripe and delicious. Muskmelons are part of the larger family of gourds and squash, including popular varieties such as cantaloupe and honeydew. Muskmelons are said to have origins in Iran and Armenia, with some varieties evolving in India, Africa and Afghanistan.

Seasonal Eats: Summer Plums!

One of the marks of summer are stone fruits coming into season. They're all over the markets lately, so let's start with deep red, delicious plums. They can be tart or sweet, and range in color from deep red to light yellow-green. Evidence of fruit pits found in Armenian archaeological sites suggest they originated there, but they're used the world over in condiments, candies and liqueurs in addition to a fresh fruit.

A Park a Day: Elysian Park

July is National Parks & Recreation Month, and all month long LAist will be featuring a hand-selected park a day to showcase just a few of the wonderful recreation spaces--big or small--in the Los Angeles area.

A Park a Day: Eaton Sunnyslope and Gwinn Parks, Pasadena

July is National Parks & Recreation Month, and all month long LAist will be featuring a hand-selected park a day to showcase just a few of the wonderful recreation spaces--big or small--in the Los Angeles area.

A Park a Day: Echo Park Lake

July is National Parks & Recreation Month, and all month long LAist will be featuring a hand-selected park a day to showcase just a few of the wonderful recreation spaces--big or small--in the Los Angeles area.

Seasonal Eats: Raw Or Roasted—We Love Radishes!

Radishes have been around all spring, but they're still abundant in the farmer's market, ready to enjoy! Yet another edible root vegetable from the Brassica family (kale, cabbage, chard. etc.), radishes are a popular garden choice because they grow relatively quickly in both spring and fall seasons. The raw flesh has a robust crunch and a pungent, peppery flavor due to an amino acid and an enzyme which combine when chewed to form the same compound found in mustard, horseradish and wasabi. The young leaves are edible, making a nice addition to soups, as are the seeds, which can be used as a spicy, crunchy seasoning.

Seasonal Eats: Summer Squash for the Summer Season!

It's officially summer, so let's start with something that's abundant all season: zucchini! It is one of the many offspring of the ancestral summer squashes introduced by the americas, and has spread to temperate climates around the world to spawn the many varieties we see today. Though they can take on different shapes, most pattypan squashes grow and taste very similar, so mix them up for some variety of color and shape!

Seasonal Eats: Taste the Rainbow of Heirloom Tomatoes

For the last week of spring, we're looking at colorful heirloom tomatoes that have a longer season than hybrid tomatoes, if what my favorite organic sellers are carrying is any indication. Heirloom varieties don't have a hard & fast definition, but they tend to be strains that haven't been crossbred or hybridized for about 50 years, predating the more recent commercialization of agriculture.

Seasonal Eats: Snap Into Spring Peas

In the final weeks of spring, we'll enjoy some delicious seasonal transitions between spring and summer fare. This week, we're looking at peas, are cool-weather annuals with longstanding traditions in Mediterranean cooking. While there are many delicious things to do with dried & frozen peas, to keep with our seasonal theme, we'll just be looking at fresh peas, so you can enjoy them now with all their seasonal pairings.

Seasonal Eats: Cherry Season is Upon Us!

If you love cherries, good news is finally here: it's cherry season! I found these lovely specimens at the farmers' market to be colorful, sweet and delicious, and so declared this week cherry week. While it's hard to argue with eating them raw, one after the other, plenty of people will try, so I've collected the best of a range of options for your cherry enjoyment.

Seasonal Eats: Get Fava Beans While They're Fresh!

If you've been to the farmers' market recently, and noticed these large, fuzzy beans and put them off for next time—think again! Fava beans are only available fresh for a short time in spring, so get them while you can. Though they can be prepared so you can eat the pods and all, favas require a bit of work to shuck and shell, but if you're able to plan ahead a bit, you'll be rewarded by a tasty, hearty bean with a fresh nutty flavor.

LA Design Events: May 2011 Preview!

It's a new, springtimey month, designers of Los Angeles and surrounding environs, and that means a new selection of fantastic & fun creative industry events—maybe even outside on patios! Take a look, join in if you can, and post any new ones in the comments so we can all get out, meet up, hang, and enjoy our profession!

Seasonal Eats: Go Sweet or Savory with Strawberries!

It's April, it's warm, and no doubt, strawberries have popped up all over the Southern California farmers' markets. As one of the most familiar household fruits, I can't tell you much you don't already know, but I'll try to give you some new ideas about how to use them. On the hit parade, we have fruit salads, jams & jellies, juices, milk shakes & smoothies, ice creams & sorbets, tarts & pies. Throw some in your spring sangria, substitute them for stone fruits in spring BBQ and hot sauces, or melt down your favorite chocolate, dip & chill for a delicious treat.

Seasonal Eats: Forage Your Local Loquats!

Though they're rarely sold commercially, if you've been in southern California for more than just a vacation, you've probably encountered loquat trees all over the landscape, sometimes in parking strips, empty lots, and often used in decorative landscaping on private property. If you grew up here, and your parents knew they were delicious and safe to eat, you've been eating them for years, surprising friends, co-workers and other transplants by sharing this sweet and abundant treat.

LA Design Events: April 2011 Wrap-Up

Hey, LA design community! Get out your planner, or launch your fancy calendar apps, and take note of some great design industry events happening around town for the last two weeks of April. As usual, if you have an event to share, post it in the comments to maximize the direct proportionality of the more truly being the merrier.

Seasonal Eats: Fare From the Ancients with Asparagus

If you've been frequenting the Farmer's Markets around town, you've probably noticed asparagus popping up everywhere. It's high-asparagus season right now, which means it's not only available, it's abundant, with some sellers offering great deals on multiple bunches. Interestingly, recipes for preparing asparagus are found in the oldest surviving cookbook, and was popular in ancient cultures of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, which makes it a traditional favorite in all of western civilization.

Seasonal Eats: Have Flowers for Dinner with Artichokes!

The artichokes are here! It's truly springtime when you can say you're having a flower that eats like a meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Artichokes are the flowerbud of a perennial thistle, with a long culinary history in Mediterranean culture, which is probably why they can be enjoyed almost any way you like to eat. There are endless amazing recipes out there, so let's jump right in!

LA Design Events: April 2011 Preview

Here we go again with a line-up of design-related, creative industry events to pepper your calendar. As usual, if you hear of new ones you want to share, post them in the comments so we can all join in!

An Old Fashioned Good Time: The 1st Ever LA Food Swap

You know what this town needs? A good, old-fashioned community food swap! At least, that's what my friend, Emily Ho, thought when she read about other organized food swaps around the country and decided to set one up here in LA. The inaugural swap took place Sunday, March 27, 2011, but if you missed out yesterday, the LA Food Swap is open to all participants willing to make homemade goodies to trade (space permitting), so sign up to find out about the next one.

Seasonal Eats: Now is the Time for Nasturtiums!

You've seen them growing on hillsides every spring, and maybe sometimes as a garnish or in a salad, but did you know how infinitely edible nasturtiums are? Besides being beautiful in a range of color, nasturtiums are a very garden-friendly plant. If you've planted some this year, you're noticing the blossoms have come to life in recent weeks, so let's get started on putting it to good use.

LA Design Events: March 2011 Wrap-Up!

Hey LA designers, get out and get social with some these great creative industry events for the second half of March! Below is my round-up for the next two weeks, but it is by no means exhaustive. If anyone has more to add, post them in the comments so we can all join in.

Seasonal Eats: Get Your Green Garlic!

While we're still a bit shy of the official start to spring, every article I've read on the arrival of green garlic would beg to differ, as it's availability is widely considered the first sign of season. What exactly is green garlic? It's the first crop of garlic we get in the spring season, having a bulb at the bottom that has not yet split into cloves, and long green scallion-like stalks.

LA Design Events: March 2011 Preview

Calling all print, web & motion graphic designers from all corners of the Southland, come out and meet your colleagues, listen to lectures from the masters, participate in talks, see exhibits, and celebrate our fantastic profession. Plan your industry social calendar right here!

Seasonal Eats: Winter Wrap-Up & Spring Preview

Winter Root Vegetables (Heather Parlato/LAist) When I went to the market this weekend, it was apparent everywhere that we're on the brink of spring. Strawberries, artichokes, and asparagus are starting to pop up here and there—not to mention the lovely early spring flower blooms. I was also impressed, though, at all the late fall root veggies and winter greens and brassicas that have supported us all winter, so I thought I'd do a winter-wrap...

Seasonal Eats: Culitvar-Hopping for Year-Round Avocado Eating!

I got to talking with one of the avocado sellers at the farmer's market, and since i was impressed with the variety she sells, I asked about seasonality of avocados. I always knew different cultivars matured at different times of year, but wasn't sure which. The seller set me straight, while Haas may be harvested year-round depending on the climate, it's typically a springtime avocado in California—but don't despair, you can strategize seasonally and still enjoy local avocados most of the year.

Seasonal Eats: Cut up your Cauliflower!

Another member of the brassica family that we love to eat in winter is cauliflower, which is in season late winter through spring in California. Though it seems vegetal, we’re actually eating floral meristems of the plant. Cauliflower is typically white, but also comes in a light orange variety [containing 25 times the Vitamin C of the white variety] and purple, which contains the antioxidant anthocyanin.

Seasonal Eats: When Life Gives You Wild Chanterelles

Foraged Chanterelles, Photo Credit: Gregory Han / I found myself in the fortunate position of receiving a bag of chanterelles from a generous friend, and figured the situation alone warranted coverage in seasonal eats--for what is more seasonal than foraged food? Before we go any further though, I want to stress that foraging for mushrooms is not for amateurs. Despite the fact that chanterelles are one of the more recognizable species out there,...

Seasonal Eats: A Tale of Kale

I wasn’t raised eating kale, so when I discovered it in my 20s, I didn’t have much of an idea what to do with it, and left it on the shelf in favor of more familiar greens [back when I shopped in places with shelves]. It’s gone from being something I never heard of as a kid to a go-to green I absolutely love, so if you’re lost somewhere along that spectrum, maybe I can help you make it your valentine this year.

Seasonal Eats: Orange You Glad It's Orange Season!

They’ve made their way into recipes in every post I’ve written so far, and despite the fact that everyone knows exactly how they like them, I wanted to give oranges a spotlight this week, because there are so many ways to use them.

Seasonal Eats: Say Yes to Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is that really sculptural curiosity we’ve all seen, but haven’t all taken home to try [every blog post on it starts out with regret, trust me]. It’s a member of the brassica family, which makes it a cousin to cabbage, broccoli, and kale, all grandchildren of wild cabbage. Though it’s got a light, apple-broccoli flavor all it’s own when raw, it resembles more of a delicate broccoli stem when cooked.

The Man Who Loves Packaging: Andrew Gibbs of at Creative Mornings LA

Gibbs (Photo by Jon Setzen) I think the first thing that impressed me about Andrew Gibbs was his youth and energy. I’ve been reading his blog,, for the last couple years, and it’s so comprehensive, professional, and full of content, I somehow assumed he had to be older than 25. But he’s been ahead of the curve since he graduated high school early at 16, so he’s been out and about longer than...

Seasonal Eats: The Story of Celeriac

Celeriac at the market (Photo by Heather Parlato/LAist) A good deal of my winter food research leads me to these amazing root vegetable purees and mashes, where a variety of vegetables take your typical mashed potatoes and infuse them with color and flavor. One popular suggestion is celeriac, or celery root, which has the flavor of celery with a touch of fennel, and a nutty warmth when cooked. This nice reader-person asked if I’d...

Los Angeles Designers, Get Ready for AIGA LA: Speakeasy!

Every year, AIGA LA (the professional organization for design) bestows the highest honor of the organization upon individuals carefully selected for outstanding contributions to design in Los Angeles, the AIGA LA Fellow Award. But don’t be fooled—this is no stuffy awards show with long speeches from relatively inaccessible stars. This year, the Fellows celebration, AIGA LA: Speakeasy, is a party in a salon-style soirée at the Palihouse in West Hollywood on January 20, 2011,...

Seasonal Eats: Bringin' Mad Beets

An assortment of market-fresh beets (Heather Parlato/LAist) I’ve wanted to write about beets for awhile now, because they’re a cool-season crop that’s available fall, winter and spring here in California. They taste great on their own, highlighting or contrasting from their natural sugar content, and they add bright colors to all kinds of foods. Best known are red beets, but a spin through your local farmer’s market will reveal golden beets and the candy-striped...

Seasonal Eats: Root-to-Flower Fun with Fennel

Fennel Bulbs (Photo by Heather Parlato) If you're looking for the path back from your comfort-food-filled holiday weekend to farm-fresh fare, we';re taking a look at fennel today. Fennel is a plant with distinctively different parts that can all be used uniquely, for minimal fallout to the compost bin. Before we get into the recipes, let's talk about the 5 usable parts of fennel. We mostly buy fennel for the bulb, but before you...

Seasonal Eats: Add Local Flavor to Your Holiday Menu

Cara Cara Oranges (Photo by Heather Parlato) One of the great things about holiday fare is that it’s usually already seasonal, based on traditions that are older than the globalized food market. However, if you’re anything like me, you like a good blend of traditional favorites with some new and innovative flavors to mix things up. Also, these holidays originated in the north-east in the freezing cold, not the, uh, sometimes-very-rainy south-west. On the...

Choosing Change, Urban Landscapes, Walking, and Gelato: Creative Mornings Talk with Designer and Writer Alissa Walker

As a graphic designer, I’ve been reading Alissa Walker in various design publications for years. She’s been somewhat of a household name for designers and architects, but when I started seeing her name pop up with other credits, like Good, Fast Company, Longshot Magazine, helping produce DnA for KCRW, speaking on and moderating panel discussions—it seemed like she was suddenly everywhere. This is a great thing, however, because she writes about the things I love: Los Angeles, design, walking & gelato! I got my complimentary Coolhaus bacon ice cream sandwich (yum!), poured myself a coffee and got settled in for her talk as part of the Creative Mornings Los Angeles series.

Seasonal Eats: Celebrating Swiss Chard

If you’ve been in LA for the last few days, I don’t need to explain why we’re so lucky to live in a mild climate where so many delicious things are seasonal through winter. Swiss chard is a cool-weather leafy green that loves the southern California climate and grows here year-round if you can give it enough sun in winter, and partially shade it in summer. If you love swiss chard, hopefully you’ll get some new ideas on how to use it. If you haven’t loved it yet, it’s never too late—read on!

Seasonal Eats: A Little Something About Sunchokes

I'll admit, I don't have an extensive history with Jerusalem artichokes, so when I saw them at the farmer's market, I decided to make them the topic of the week. As the photo caption suggests, there is no easily-searchable information on how they got “Jerusalem” in their name. They're native to north America, though when cooked, they do have an artichoke-like taste.

Seasonal Eats: Getting Playful With Persimmons

If you didn't grow up with a persimmon tree in your back yard, your only exposure to this late-fall fruit may have been a downplayed basket in the corner of your supermarket's produce section. It's really too bad this delicious, beta-carotene-rich treat gets so little attention, and a stark contrast to what you'll find at the farmer's market this time of year, where you can buy them by the branch-full from October to February.