Looking Sharp at the Encino Farmers Market


purple caukiflower

Too beautiful!               Photo by Amy Sawelson

I have not mastered the sharpening steel, so when my knives become dull, I take them to the Encino Farmers Market where a fellow named John Powers, a professional knife sharpener, holds forth. Knife sharpeners, like shoe repair people, work miracles with everyday items. They restore function to items whose function is diminished, making shoes like new and knife blades slice with deadly precision. The cost is modest compared to replacing shoes or knives, and it gives me a little thrill to bring these items back to life.


Romanesco Photo by Amy Sawelson

Best of all, the process takes about an hour, which gives me a good excuse to explore the market and be seduced by all the fresh and prepared offerings. This day, I practically shrieked when I spotted beautiful rainbow-hued bell peppers across the aisle at Enrique Acevedo’s stand. The colors of sunsets, these peppers start off deep purple and turn to orange and red as they ripen. Of course I had to buy some as well as some glossy green beans. My other great fresh finds were giant, fat carrots and very large purple carrots. I’ll probably slice them lengthwise into big, flat slices, roast them in the oven with a little olive oil than dress them with some aged balsamic vinegar.

Sunset Bells

I named these, “Sunset Bells.”
Photo by Amy Sawelson

My last purchase was Afghan flat bread called, bolani. They come in stuffed with several fillings including spinach, pumpkin, lentil and potato. The bread part is delicate and flaky.


Bolani, my new obsession. Photo by Amy Sawelson

They claim the breads are low calorie and low carb and maybe they are, but they taste too good! The company,East & West Gourmet Afghan Food, Inc., also makes ten sauces including basil pesto, garlic mint cheese, sun dried tomato and sweet & sour carrot. Throw a piece of the bread on a griddle, spread on one of the sauces and that makes a delicious, healthy lunch or snack.

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