For an in-season dinner truly inspired by the local farmers market, stop by Taste on a Thursday evening. Every week, chef Brian Sheard creates a special entree at the restaurant for "Farmers Market Thursdays" -- using the ingredients he found at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesday.
"I just pick up local stuff, see what's out there, and then put a special together with that," says Sheard, who likes to keep his local dishes relatively simple. "I try not to do too many things that are too out of the ordinary, because I want to keep it more about the fresh ingredients from the farmers market instead of making something really complex."
Usually the farmers market special will be an entree, though on some Thursdays, diners will be surprised with a locavore-friendly dessert -- and occasionally, a three-course farmers market-inspired meal. Taste also boasts organic produce and market vegetables, all-natural meats, and organic, free range chicken and eggs on its everyday menu.
To get a taste of Taste at home, try your hand at making chef Sheard's Pan Seared Scallops at home after a trip to the farmers market.
Pan Seared Scallops with broccoli ginger purée, sautéed baby carrots, and Meyer lemon beurre blanc
(serves 3 - 4)
6 oz scallops
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup broccoli ginger purée (recipe below)
2 fl. oz vegetable stock
1 tablespoon butter
3 baby carrots
1/2 tablespoons agiloi
Blanch and shock carrots.
Season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear in a hot sauté pan; finish in oven.
Heat broccoli ginger purée, add vegetable stock and butter to finish. Check seasoning and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Sauté carrots with agilio and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange items on a large rectangular plate. Divided the broccoli ginger puree into equally-sized piles on each plate. If the carrots are large, cut in half lengthwise. Lay one piece of carrot on each mound of purée, cut side up if they are cut. Lay the scallops on top of the broccoli ginger puree.
Broccoli Ginger Purée
2½ lb broccoli
2½ oz fresh ginger
10 oz yukon gold potato
½ sprig fresh tarragon
1¼ pt cream
2½ teaspoons champagne vinegar
5½ oz butter
Combine all ingredients and cook over low heat until cream is reduced. Purée and season with salt and pepper.
Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc
8 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated Meyer lemon zest
2 tablespoons heavy cream
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the Meyer lemon juice and zest and wine. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking to melt.