Farmers’ Market Vegetables with California Chèvre
This recipe was inspired by a visit to the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers' Market, which crowds four long city blocks with a glorious array of Southern California's considerable agricultural bounty. Cultures from all over the world are represented here, in vegetal form: Japanese sweet potatoes, tatsoi, and Chinese okra keep company with amaranth, Armenian cucumbers, cactus paddles, and avocados. For this dish, we chose more conventional vegetables and cooked the beets separately to keep them from staining the other vegetables.
2 cups shelled fresh favas
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
12–14 baby beets, trimmed and halved lengthwise
8 baby yukon gold or other waxy potatoes, quartered
10 baby red onions, peeled and halved lengthwise
20 baby pattypan squash, halved lengthwise
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3–4 oz. fresh goat cheese
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat, blanch favas for 1 minute, drain, cool, slip off skins, and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add beets and sauté until browned on the edges and just cooked through, 4–5 minutes. Transfer beets to a large bowl.
3. Heat another 2 tbsp. of the oil in another large skillet over high heat. Add potatoes and sauté until browned on the edges, 3–4 minutes. Add onions and sauté for 2–3 minutes. Add squash and favas, season generously with salt and pepper, and sauté for 3–4 minutes more. Transfer to bowl with beets, toss gently, and set aside to let cool to room temperature.
4. Divide vegetables among six small plates. Place a spoonful of the goat cheese on top of the vegetables in middle of each plate, then drizzle goat cheese with the remaining 2 tbsp.olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.