Pitaya is also commonly labeled as dragon fruit.
Rancho Santa Cecilia of Carpinteria has had an impressive haul of this freshly harvested fruit, which is available for sale at the Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang and Thursday Carpinteria farmers’ markets.
Pitaya offers a very unique culinary experience. The central edible flesh is uniquely spongy, yet dense, delivering a mild melon like flavor. You can get a slightly crunchy consistency from the small edible black seeds that are embedded in the flesh, similar to that of kiwifruit.
Add pitaya to a fruit salad, blend it into a smoothie, use it to top ice cream, or simply enjoy it as it comes.
This week I prepared a pitaya-banana smoothie as the Fix of the Week, elsewhere on this page.
Price averages $5.99 per pound.
Only available during the fall season, this creamy goat cheese is reminiscent of pumpkin cream cheese. It’s slightly sweet.
I really enjoy this pumpkin chevre over a tart apple, or a light spread on a toasted bagel. It’s also a nice treat when spread over a graham cracker. This cheese pairs well with fall fruits, such as Asian pairs, and nuts, in a salad.
Pumpkin chèvre is available at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market from Drake Family Farm for the next couple of months only.
Price is $6 each.
Raw green olives
For a very limited time, Peacock Farms will be offering these freshly harvested green olives for sale at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market. Picked from the trees before they turn yellow, the flesh has a nice firm texture with notes of naturally grassy and bitter flavor.
In order to eat these olives, they must be cured, with a number of techniques available online. I’ve cured olives previously using a salt brine solution, infusing the mixture with garlic cloves, dried chili, and lemon rind for an added underlying flavor.
Price is $2.25 per pound, $21 for 10 pounds, or $60 for 30 pounds.