• At Market with Adeena Sussman •
Adeena Sussman knows a thing or two about the farmer’s market — or in this case, the shuk. When Adeena’s not writing cookbooks — her latest, Sababa, is one of the best cookbooks of Fall ‘19! — the Cali-born, Israel-based recipe developer is grabbing snapping up all the citrus, stinky goat’s cheeses, and olive oil that Tel Aviv’s open-air Shuk HaCarmel has to offer. In other words, Adeena lives out our collective dream of grocery shopping every single day because she knows the truth: “Buying fruit or veg is like finding your soulmate.” In this installment of #pineformarket, Adeena takes us around the shuk to show us where — and how — to shop for produce with “the blush of freshness.” (Her top tips: ask your vendor to choose for you, wait your turn, and never stick to your list.)
Shop Adeena’s market:
I am a big believer in being ready for guests at any time. That doesn’t mean having a crown roast in the oven on a moment’s notice, but rather making something quick and easy that allows me to enjoy each visit. I always have a sheet of roasted tomatoes, a jar of garlic confit in oil, a little pot of spicy Yemenite hot sauce (schug), and some preserved lemons so I can throw together several meals in the blink of an eye. I also love cocktails, so I always have mixed citrus — blood and caracara oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruits, clementines, anything else I can squeeze! — in a big bowl and a bottle of good gin in the freezer. When friends stop over I juice to order, stir in a drop of maple syrup, honey, or silan (date syrup), and shake with gin.
shopping at the market
One motto: go early, go often.
I ask the vendor to pick the best for me. Since they know I am always coming back tomorrow, they always give me the best. I look for what’s in season and what has the blush of freshness. Buying fruit or veg is like finding your soulmate — when you see the one, you know it!
know your farmer
I spend a lot of time hanging back listening to them talking to other customers. I pick up cooking techniques and advice that way. I also wait my turn patiently, which they appreciate, and then when it’s my turn they give me full attention! I always ask how they are and what I should be buying. Since the Carmel Market is so full of Israeli history and pretty much everyone is an immigrant, I ask them where they came from, how long they’ve been in Israel, and what their history in the market is.
market routine & rituals
Sunday morning is a gateway shop; the market is quiet since it’s closed Saturday and fresh stuff is still trickling in. I will stop at my friend Miki Perez for a coffee, maybe run to the butcher (they close at noon on Sundays), then pick up any must-have produce for that day’s cooking (even though I know Monday would be better). Later in the week I do a major shop for provisions, and if I need specifics for a recipe developing project I can always just hop out since the market is right by my house.
I always make a cup of french press coffee, pretending to make a list even though I know I won’t stick to it, step out onto my balcony to do a weather check, clean out the fridge to make room for the overabundance I know I am going to come home with!
To Sum it Up:
her go-to farmers market outfit: a cute shift dress, sneakers, and a cross body bag; my Helen Kaminski foldable hat which I can fold and fit in my purse.
one or two items she always picks up from the market: cherry tomatoes, good local goat cheese
her favorite farmer: Gili’s corn, which grows sweet Jersey-style corn in Israel
her most trusted market bag: a Reisenthal floral tote I got at an event five years ago!
5 adjectives that describe her food style: relaxed, seasonal, lemony, spicy, eclectic
her all-time favorite market: the Carmel in Tel Aviv, of course
her ideal farmers market haul: sourdough bread, stinky goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses, tomatoes, oyster mushrooms to grill, a good local ribeye steak, good olive oil, olives, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, every herb under the sun!