This week I picked up some really nice meaty bone-in lamb shanks from the Jimenez Family Farm of Santa Ynez, available at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbra, Wednesday Solvang and Thursday Carpinteria farmers’ markets.
Lamb shanks can be grilled or roasted, but I prefer to cook them low and slow, either in a crockpot, simmered on the stovetop or in a Dutch oven. This week I prepared some flavorful seared off, slow-cooked lamb shanks infused with red wine, tomatoes, carrots, onions and celery as the Fix of the Week (elsewhere on this page).
I also incorporated some rosemary, fresh grated ginger and garlic for an additional layer of flavor. Naturally raised, a full range of fresh cuts is available. Price is $15 per pound.
Manzana chili peppers
Shaped like a small pumpkin, these yellow to orange peppers can really pack in the heat at full maturity, often five times hotter than a jalapeño. They possess a nice thick flesh for their size with a crisp texture.
A very aromatic chili, they deliver subtle notes of citrus and fruitiness throughout. Manzana chili peppers are often used to make salsas and hot sauces, as well as used to flavor traditional Peruvian sauces. You can add them to soups and stews, or roast and add to quesadillas.
They can additionally be grilled. Grown by Rancho Santa Cecilia of Carpinteria, as well as several other local growers, they can be found at most weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets. Price averages 50 cents each or $4.50 per pound.
Also commonly referred to as “pineapple guavas,” feijoas have an inside flesh is quite sweet and delivers wonderful tropical flavor notes. The green skin itself is quite tart and slightly bitter, so many choose to cut them in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon, discarding the skin.
Personally I enjoy eating the entire feijoa for a nice balance of flavor. Feijoas are excellent when added to a host of salads. They’re also excellent for making unique preserves, sorbets and ice creams. And they’re a nice dessert topper.
I find feijoas pair quite well with chicken, fish and pork preparations, as well as charcuterie style meat and cheese platters.
You can expect to find freshly harvested feijoas at most weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets from several Santa Barbara and Ventura county producers. Price averages $3.50 per pound.