With a flavor and texture somewhere between that of eggplant and asparagus, this summer and fall veggie can be purchased from Her Family Farm and Moua Family Farms at the Saturday Santa Barbara and Sunday Camino Real farmers’ markets weekly.
Fresh okra possesses a pocket of seeds that exude sticky juices, which is perfect for thickening soups and stews or as addition to jambalayas and gumbos.
This week I prepared fried panko okra as the Fix of the Week, elsewhere on this page.
Okra is an excellent source of dietary fiber and a host of essential vitamins and minerals, and it can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. Okra can be sliced and sauteed with fresh or dried chili peppers, and it pairs very well with seasonal tomatoes, adding a unique twist to pasta sauces and lasagnas.
Price averages $6 per pound.
Pink Lady apples
The Pink Lady apples are one of my favorite local finds, available thanks to Fair Hills Farm at the Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, and Tuesday Santa Barbara farmers’ markets.
Recognized by the pink blush across their outer surface, this variety delivers the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. It is an excellent general eating apple, but it’s also wonderful in pies and other baked recipes. They make for a great afternoon snack with a little peanut butter, and they’re great when sliced over a mixed green salad. It’s also my apple of choice for homemade applesauce.
Price averages about $3.75 per pound
Hosui Asian pear
The Asian Pear season is under way, and Penryn Specialty Orchards has just returned to our Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market for the season with its incredibly high-quality fruit.
With seven varieties of Asian pears under production, this Hosui was on full display this past weekend. It’s recognized by its golden-brown white speckled skin and rounded shape.
Sweet and quite juicy with a rich flavor, it is an exceptional general eating fruit, whether out of hand as it comes, or sliced. It is also a nice addition tto salads, cheese platters, and it can also be poached, roasted or grilled.
Price averages about $4 per pound.