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KCRW Gets Our Italian Soda Recipe

January 5, 2016

Recipe: Union’s Pomegranate-Orange Italian Soda

Posted January 1, 2016 by Camellia Tse
Bruce Kalman picks up his pomegranates from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch

This week at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, we met up with Chef Bruce Kalman of Union in Pasadena and Knead & Co., his brand new pasta bar and market that’s slated to open in Downtown LA’s Grand Central Market on January 11.
Among other things, we found him shopping this week for pomegranates from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch. Combining the best of this season’s fruit, his sous chef, Cassy Pugh, and general manager, Francis Castagnetti, Jr., have come up with a freshly squeezed Pomegranate-Orange Italian Soda that is a must-try at Union.
While everyone might have his or her own technique for deseeding pomegranates, Bruce begins by slicing them in half. Then, holding one cut-half so that it’s facing down into a bowl, he taps the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon until the seeds fall directly into the bowl. Some suggest using a bowl of water to avoid staining your hands while gathering the seeds, but Bruce prefers not to. Instead he picks out the white pith so as not to lose any of the essential pomegranate oils. He then blends the arils in a Vitamix and strains the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, which he reduces to create a pomegranate syrup for the soda’s base.
Union’s Pomegranate-Orange Italian Soda
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At Market with Chef Kalman

May 28, 2015

We’re at the market every week picking up fresh produce to bring you the best of what local farmers have to offer. We love all of our suppliers and encourage our eaters to shop local, eat fresh and make friends with the people who are growing your food. When we asked what Chef Kalman was most excited about this time at the market, he said “everything!”. Please enjoy some pics of what’s in season and being served at Union. — All pics from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.

A basket full of goodies from our time at market.

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These purple potatoes will go into the Little Gem Salad.

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Red shallot onions from JF Organic Farms. 

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Squash blossoms from JF Organic Farms which will be sauteed.

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Mike and Dan pick up the goods.

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Flowers for the tables from Peads and Barnetts.

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Asparagus from Life’s a Choke Farms.

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Bruce picks a handful of beautiful nasturtium from Coleman Family Farms.

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When you’re at the market, say hi to Laura! She knows everything about the market and is very nice.

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Peruano Beans from Two Peas in a Pod and Mama’s Preserves.

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English peas for the Spring Panzanella Salad. Chef Kalman also juices the peapods as a way to eliminate food waste.

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Gi-normous mulberries so good Chef Kalman calls them “F*cking awesome”.

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Meyer lemons from J.J.’s Lone Daughter Farms for that amazing Meyer Lemon Panacotta.

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