The first fully mature heads of fresh garlic are being pulled from the local fields, sold before they have had time to fully cure for long-time storage.
Very aromatic, sticky and loaded with flavor, garlic is ideal for homemade salad dressings, bruschetta, adding to stir-fries, marinades, soups and stews.
I also enjoy garlic roasted whole by cutting off the very top portion, drizzling with olive oil, and seasoning with salt before wrapping in foil and baking in the oven.
After about 40 minutes at 400 degrees, the garlic squeezes out like a paste making for a tasty bread spread.
This week I prepared a garlicky chicken tortilla soup for the Fix of the Week elsewhere on this page.
What gives garlic its distinct flavor and aroma is a sulfur-based molecule called allicin, which is most noticeable when the garlic clove is crushed, chopped or pressed. Garlic can currently be found at most weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets from several local producers. The Saturday Santa Barbara market has the largest selection.
Price averages $1.50 per head
While most have tried fresh spinach, many have never experienced amaranth, which can be treated similarly to spinach in most cases. With a very stunning variegated purple, red, white and green coloration across the leaves, the younger the leaves, the more tender and mild the flavor. Fully developed leaves take on a more bitter presence.
Excellent when enjoyed raw in salads, amaranth can also be sautéed or added to soups and stews. It’s an excellent source of carotene, vitamin C, iron and calcium. It also provides some protein.
Amaranth is grown and harvested by Her Family Farm, and it can be found at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market weekly. Price averages $2.50 per bunch.
There are about a dozen types of grapefruit available at at our weekly farmers’ markets throughout the week but these pink beauties are my favorite. With a golden skin at maturity, the pink juicy flesh offers wonderful notes of sweet, tangy and bitter, yielding one of the most dynamic flavors.
This grapefruit is ideal for juicing, or cutting in half and spooning out the individual sections. An excellent source of vitamin C, it’s also a good source of vitamin A, fiber, magnesium and potassium.
These pink-fleshed grapefruits additionally provide the antioxidant lycopene, present in many pink and red pigmented foods.
It’s available from several local growers at the Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang and Thursday Carpinteria farmers’ markets. Price averages about $1.50 each.