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Gourmet herbs and produce once privy only to top restaurants is now available to the home cook

Posted By Karen Young On March 9, 2011 @ 12:31 am In Farmer's Markets,Featured,Food,Home & Garden,Markets,My Daily Find,Other,Outdoor,Shop,spotlight | 2 Comments

BY CAROLE ROSNER

What started with a little plot of land in a Tarzana backyard 25 years ago has grown into Country Fresh Herbs— a family-run organic farm that produces high quality, hard to find produce used by some of L.A.’s top restaurants and caterers.  Former Ma Maison Chef Michael Feig’s little planting bed was so successful that he and wife Kathy now operate two full time local farms, growing such unique items as zucchini flowers, lemon basil and rainbow beets.  Although Country Fresh Herbs has been a chef’s secret for a long time, these delicious, fresh ingredients can be on your own table too.

Edible flowers, including pansies, snapdragons and mini roses. Photos: Carole Rosner

Restaurants up and down Ventura Blvd. (and throughout Los Angeles) are customers of Country Fresh Herbs. Artisan Cheese Gallery, La Cava, Mistral, Fabs, Ca de Sol, Farfalla, I Cugini, Food, The Lobster, and Angeli Café are just a few of the many places that incorporate these extra special ingredients. Next time you have a salad made with rainbow carrots (purple, yellow and orange) or a plate decorated with pink lavender and edible pansies, most likely these herbs and veggies were grown by Country Fresh Herbs.

White baby frisee, watermelon radish, baby squash with flowers.

“I have used Kathy at Country Fresh Herbs for 25 years…twelve years at Citrus Restaurant and 13 in my own cooking school, A Day in the Kitchen. They have an amazing array of the most beautiful and freshest herbs— and prices that are unbeatable! And to round that out, they are so accommodating…really, they are a must,”  said Chef Diane Molief.

Baby lettuce.

The general public can also buy produce from Country Fresh Herbs. You can place a phone or email order with a $20 minimum purchase; you can go to local Farmer’s Markets including one at the Americana Mall in Glendale on Saturdays and Brentwood or Westlake on Sundays; or you can buy a box of produce ($40 per box) through Napa Valley Grille in Westwood (www.napavalleygrille.com) under their “Community Supported Agriculture” project.

Herloom baby tomatoes.

Variety is what Country Fresh Herbs is all about. During the year there may be eight different types of basil (including Thai and cinnamon), all colors of peppers, many types of baby lettuces, heirloom cherry tomatoes, chive flowers, squash blossoms, and chocolate peppermint. Prices and items do vary by season.

Country Fresh Herbs Warehouse: 18324 Oxnard St. #3  Tarzana, CA 91356 (818)345.8810 Email: kathyfeig@earthlink.net. Warehouse NOT open to the public unless arranged ahead of time. Rules: $20 minimum order. Call 2 days before to place phone order and pick up at warehouse

Carole Rosner is a native Valley Girl who took the school bus with Michael and Janet Jackson and worked at the Sherman Oaks Galleria in its heyday. She likes to spend her free time finding bargains at Crossroads Trading Company, eating Chinese chicken salad at Stanley’s and admiring the view from Fryman Canyon. Check out her new blog: www.anythinggoodlately.blogspot.com – reading, watching and eating.

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