This weekend, some of us went to eat fresh uni straight from the shell. An uni guy sells them at the Little Italy farmers market for $8 each if you want to have it cleaned and ready to eat immediately. For $5 you can take one home and do it yourself. The vendor gets the urchins from a diver who catches them off the coast of La Jolla and Point Loma so we are talking real local. I have to admit it got a little intense for me considering the animal was alive just moments before it was halved with a knife and gutted but it was perhaps one of the freshest seafood tastes I’ve ever experienced.
Uni, by the way is the Japanese name for sea urchin, of which its roe is eaten — rather, savored. I like to call it the ocean’s butter; it is that rich and special. It can be eaten straight-up as we did on Saturday, or with rice in sushi, or in warm pasta sauces, or mixed with olive oil to be dipped with bread.
We also indulged in a few fresh oysters.
And there were of course plenty of bright tomatoes to admire.
Summer’s bounty, I love you!