Basque turban garlic
If you have ever been interested in doing a diverse garlic sampling, make sure to swing by the Yes Yes Nursery stand at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market and check out their nearly one dozen options.
This week, I picked up this Basque Turban garlic, known for its exceptional flavor and large outer cloves. This variety delivers a medium level of spiciness with a mellow aftertaste. These specimens are larger in size than most of its counterparts.
This garlic is excellent for any general garlic use. You can roast the head whole until creamy smooth, blend it into spreads and sauces, use it as a rub for your meats or enjoy it in a chicken and vegetable soup as in the Fix of the Week, elsewhere on this page. You can mix and match from a wonderful array of varieties.
Price is $20 per pound.
September yummy pluot
Visalia grower Todd Burkdoll of Burkdoll Farm told me this past week that this variety of pluot should really have been named “October Yummy” since it’s more readily available during October.
This very late season fruit is comparable to a Santa Rosa Plum, without the bitterness in the skin. This skin is somewhat green, with splashes of red and purple coloring as they develop The flesh takes on a golden hue, delivering a sweet and juicy presence, yet it has a nice firm texture.
This low acid pluot is excellent to enjoy as it comes and can be added to a fruit salad with seasonal nuts, Asian pears, apples, pomegranates and persimmons.
You can find September Yummy pluots at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’’ markets while in season. Price averages $4 per pound.
This is not an item on my regular shopping list, and I am assuming this is true for most people.
I do, however, take the opportunity to engage in various culinary experiences, and bitter melon is quite unique, particularly with regards to flavor. These gourds have a long and slender physique, with a deep green skin and rigid body.
Bitter melon has a naturally astringent and bitter flavor, and is best suited for cooked preparations, such as stir-fry’s, soups and stews.
One of my favorite uses for bitter melon is to incorporate it in curry dishes, allowing the intense flavor of the curry sauce to balance out the intensity of the natural bitterness.
Bitter melon is available at the Saturday Santa Barbara and Sunday Camino Real Marketplace farmers’ markets. Price averages $2.50 per pound.
— Sam Edelman