The first yellow peaches of the season have arrived. While small, they still have a nice peachy flavor throughout.
Clingstone peaches are categorized by this name because the central pit, or stone, is tightly attached to the flesh within.
Peaches are excellent in both raw and cooked preparations. This week I prepared a clingstone peach, feta cheese, and cucumber salad, the Fix of the Week, elsewhere on this page.
Peaches are rich in vitamin A, as well as thiamin, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorus, iron and niacin.
They are also a good source of vitamins C, E, and K, as well as dietary fiber.
You can find fresh yellow clingstone peaches at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real and Tuesday Santa Barbara farmers’ markets. Expect peaches to be readily available at all weekly Santa Barbara farmers’ markets by the end of next week.
Price is $3.99 per pound with price drops as the season progresses.
Organic basil pesto
I often make fresh pesto at home, blending together fresh garlic, basil, raw pistachios or walnuts (pine nuts are traditionally used), Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and olive oil.
This week I decided to give myself a break and let Mt. Olive Organic Farm of Paso Robles do the work, so I purchased its delicious house-made organic basil pesto.
Growing all of the core ingredients in the jar, including the olive oil, this rich flavored pesto is excellent for use in hot and cold pasta dishes, or as a dip for bread. Drizzle a little over a sandwich or into a mixed green salad.
This pesto is also a nice addition to a homemade pizza. The ingredients in the product include certified organic basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, apples, black pepper, and salt for a very unique interpretation of this classic spread. They additionally offer a version that incorporates walnuts.
Certified organic is available. Price is $9 per 6-ounce jar.
Costata romanesco squash
Recognized by the alternating dark and light green stripes across their ridged outer surface, this Italian heirloom squash variety is one of my favorite among the summer squashes to emerge all year. With a firm texture, nutty flavor, with an underlying sweetness, they are ideal for cutting into thick spears and grilling, or to sauté in a hot pan.
Add to pasta sauces or pasta dishes, or slice thin and enjoy in a raw squash salad. You can also use this squash for homemade pickles, or fried “zucchini” sticks.
This squash is available at the Saturday Santa Barbara (Her Family Farm) and Sunday Camino Real (Moua Family Farm) farmers’ markets. You can expect to soon find it at most weekly markets from many local growers. Price averages $4 per pound for the first harvest, with price drops as the season progresses.