Farmers Market Los Angeles CA Roving JayMarket Confessional

Forgive me Mother Earth – It’s been a month since my last visit to a Farmer’s Market! 🙂  I decided it was time to head down to the local Mar Vista Sunday market again. Before I had a chance to wander around the stalls some street art caught my eye. On Grand Avenue, right opposite the Farmers Market is the Mar Vista Lanes Bowling Alley – and their wall has just been adorned with some new fifties inspired street art.

Mar Vista Bowling Alley Graffiti

Mar Vista Bowling Alley Graffiti

After this artistic distraction – I headed to the market. As usual there was an animated crowd walking the street between the two rows of stalls, enjoying the sunny weather and organic freebies offered by the stall holders. I went in search of baby beets. I hadn’t made up my mind whether I was going to bake them, to serve cold in salads or try my hand at pickling them – I just knew I wanted to experiment with Beets.

Beets and carrots Mar Vista Farmers Market Los Angeles

On one of my usual organic stalls, I found an ample selection of different coloured beets. There were two different types of Golden beets on display. An orange beet huddled between a red and a purple beet, and a lighter golden beet next to the carrots.

I bought two bunches of the lighter golden beet and then continued to look around the rest of the market to buy some herbs, free-ranges eggs and Smoked Walnuts.

Organic Walnuts Mar Vista MarketThere was a dizzying array of different size and shaped zucchini (squash), and I was almost tempted – but decided I had my work cut out for me with the beets.

Mar Vista Farmers Market Squash

Plan A: Cooking Beets

As soon as I arrived home I seperated the beets from the greenery, and as I twisted the two apart, I got a pungent waft of carrot. On closer inspection, I realized they weren’t beets at all, they were actually short, chubby, round carrots. When did they start growing round carrots?

Learning Curve

I suppose I should have realised that the tops of my “beets” looked very similar to “carrot tops” – but I was focused on the actual vegetable shape, that I overlooked the disparity on the greens.

Now I know that the tops of these vegetables look very different (carrots on the left, beets on the right), and will be able to buy the right one next time.

Difference between the tops of carrots and beets  Farmers Market Mar Vista

But now I have two bunches of carrots, an ingredient I hadn’t planned for.

Play B: Cooking Carrots

As I didn’t fancy pickled carrots, I had to think of a Plan B for my two bunches of carrots, and decided the best option would be to create a simple roasted carrot soup.

Now that I look at the photo of these pseudo-beets – it’s so obvious they’re carrots ..

Short Round Carrots

I chopped the carrots and some red onion up and roasted them in the oven.


Carrots and Red Onion for Carrot Soup


Carrots and Red Onion for Carrot Soup Roasted

Liquidize and add a bit of spice (I added Turkish Pul Biber – a red pepper flake spice)

Roasted Carrot and Red Pepper Spice Soup

It didn’t look or taste anything like the beets I’d planned .. but it was still delicious.