Delivering the true essence of the fall season, bright orange persimmons can now be found at all weekly Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Markets from several local growers.
This variety is best enjoyed when super soft, delivering a gooey texture and sweet flavor. If purchased firm, you can let them sit on the countertop until soft before enjoying.
Delivering an abundance of beta-carotene, vitamin C, dietary fiber and a host of essential vitamins and minerals, they are a perfect fruit to enjoy this time of year. Excellent when added to a smoothie, this variety is probably most regularly used to incorporate into baked recipes. This week I prepared a Hachiya persimmon bread as the Fix of the Week (elsewhere on this page).
Price averages about $3 per pound.
Available at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market weekly thanks to Roan Mills, this tasty granola is composed of Roan Mills’ own grown, house-made rye flakes and oat flakes, as well as almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, olive oil, honey and sea salt.
This granola is baked fresh for the market weekly and regularly sells out before the markets end. It’s excellent in a parfait or over yogurt, incorporated into baked goods, enjoyed slightly warmed with milk, or worked into mixed green or fruit salads.
Price is $8 per bag.
There are more than a dozen varieties of culinary winter squashes to choose from at any given weekly farmers market that all belong to the gourd family. Acorn, delicata, butternut, Cinderella and spaghetti squashes are just some of the varieties to choose from.
My favorite to cook with, however, is a flavorful Japanese variety called the kabocha pumpkin.
There are two common forms of Kabocha pumpkin present at your local farmers markets. One has a dark green skin, and the other is “sunshine” kabocha, possessing a stunning bright orange skin. Both are quite similar with regard to flavor and texture, and the thin skin is indeed edible.
Use kabocha pumpkin to make soup, for a pie or in a tempura-style preparation.
Price averages $3 each.