In the past when Jeff and I have been travelling our modus operandi has been to seek out the best food at the coolest restaurants. Planning our trip to Southern California we knew that dinners out were off the table given that our sweet little babe needs to hit the sack by 6:30 pm. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been eating our fair share of delicious dinners!

For years I have been a fan of LA-based KCRW’s Good Good podcast, listening to the weekly report from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market — usually with intense jealously, particularly in the winter months when squash and sweet potatoes were about all the Ontario markets had to offer. Visiting the market was at the top of my list of things to do while in LA (after lunch at Cafe Gratitude, of course). So it was a very exciting day when my little fam got up early to hit the Sunday market for breakfast and to stock up on fresh produce.


Probably the most exciting part about the market was buying fresh, locally grown citrus fruits and avocados. Come summer the bounty of fruits and vegetables on offer at our local markets in Toronto is impressive, but we won’t be picking up fresh lemons any time soon!

After Maisie was fast asleep in her travel crib I hit the kitchen to see what I could do with our market haul. When your produce is fresh, local and organic you really don’t have to do much to make it delicious! Here’s what I came up with, which paired fantastically well with a cold glass of white wine.

Santa Monica Farmer’s Market Salad
Serves 2


4 cups torn romain lettuce
1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced (reserve fronds)
1 small avocado, sliced
1 small blanco grapefruit
1/4 raw almonds, roughly chopped
2-4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Arrange lettuce on a large serving platter or in a bowl. Top with fennel and avocado.

2. Peel and supreme your grapefruit over a cutting board or plate to reserve the juices. Arrange grapefruit slices on lettuce and drizzle reserved juices over the salad.

3. Add chopped almonds and fennel fronds, season with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil. Toss before eating.

4. Enjoy!