California a rare peanut state

California is one of the biggest growers of nuts in the country—and I don’t just mean our politicians. We ship massive quantities of almonds and walnuts all over the world. But surprisingly, we’re also one of the few states to commercially grow peanuts. While they’re mostly grown in the south, they do well here, too. You can even harvest them from a backyard garden in much less time than you’d need for a tree nut.

Once you have them, peanuts are incredibly versatile. How about a peanut slaw, like the one on the menu at The Porch Restaurand and Bar (1815 K Street)? The peanuts add crunch and sweetness to the red cabbage and carrots.

Or try the Mussamun curry at Bangkok @ 12 (900 12th Street). The Thai dish comes with a lightly spicy peanut sauce combined with potatoes, tofu and coconut milk.

If you like your peanuts the usual American way, though, you shouldn’t miss the Fat Elvis at Dad’s Sandwiches & Deli (1310 S Street). It’s a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich, gooey and grilled.