Dragon tongue beans
Dragon tongue beans are broad, crisp and one of the most visually stunning fresh beans around. Two Peas in a Pod Farm of Arroyo Grande just began its seasonal harvest of this farmers’ market favorite.
Dragon beans are a Dutch type of wax bush bean, and they can be treated as a shelling bean when they reach full maturity. However, right now they can be substituted for standard green beans in most cases.
Fresh beans generally retain most of their vitamin content when consumed raw, or lightly sautéed or steamed, acting as a good source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as calcium, potassium, iron, folate, selenium, manganese, fiber and protein. They can be enjoyed both raw and cooked.
This week I prepared some quick-pickled dragon tongue beans with carrots and onion as the Fix of the Week.
Price averages $5 per pound. They’re available at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market weekly.
Mara Des Bois Strawberries
If there was ever a speciality strawberry with a truly unique flavor, this is it. Grown organically by Harry’s Berries of Oxnard, these small fruits have a delicate texture and an incredible fragrance. Mara Des Bois Strawberries are most comparable to a true wild strawberry.
Delivering a wonderful sweetness with subtle notes of Concord grape throughout, they’re most commonly enjoyed right out of the basket or used to top yogurt or ice cream. They are also a nice addition to cheese plates, or used to make a strawberry shortcake.
They’re available at the Saturday Santa Barbara, Tuesday Santa Barbara, and Friday Montecito farmers’ markets. Price is $9 per basket.
Purple majesty potato
Yet another freshly dug new potato from Roots Farm of Los Olivos, this variety has a purple skin and violet flesh all the way through.
Antioxidant-rich, these potatoes are full of flavor and slightly denser than some of the other offerings.
Use purple majesty potatoes to make purple mashed potatoes, or halve and roast them in the oven to serve as a side to grilled and roasted meats. Incorporate them into a potato salad or serve them as breakfast potatoes. However you prepare them, the purple color will hold true through the cooking process.
Certified organic, purple majesty potatoes can be found at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Tuesday Santa Barbara and Wednesday Solvang farmers’ markets. Price averages $3 per pound.