Austrian chef Bernhard Mairinger brings the fun at the farmers market

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These winter greens from The Garden Of will be available for another month at the farmers market. Photo by Gillian Ferguson/KCRW

Angelenos may remember Bernhard Mairinger's Austrian dishes from his restaurant, BierBeisl. Showing the cheeky side of his personality through his food is behind his latest venture, Lustig, which translates to fun in German. Mairinger shops for little gems and winter greens from The Garden Of at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. "It's actually my favorite thing to eat, believe it or not. Salad is the one thing I can't live without," says the chef.

"People said, 'How dare you put a pork belly salad on the menu in Beverly Hills'," he says about choosing to recreate the popular BierBeisl house salad on the new menu. The dish includes pickled peppers, arugula, pumpkin seed pesto, shaved radishes, parmesan, and white corn. His modern riff on a Caesar mixes endive, radicchio, chicory and little gems with a vegan vinaigrette (no anchovies or egg) and topped with chopped caviar marinated in yuzu.

Ky Takikawa is part of the family from The Garden Of, bringing down the winter greens from Santa Ynez. As the weather gets cooler, more varieties of radicchio become available. Five types of radicchio are currently on offer along with frisée, escarole, and puntarelle, which they started growing four years ago. Looking almost like a Buddha's hand fruit, the finger-like leaves are indicative of the dandelion family. The green can be very bitter so Takikawa recommends eating the stalks in the middle. Takikawa recently grilled puntarelle on a hibachi.