Also referred to as “baby broccoli” or “Chinese broccoli,” this winter vegetable is one of my favorites.
Broccolini’s thin stems are incredibly sweet, while the frilly florets deliver subtle notes of mustard greens. Broccolini is excellent both raw and cooked. This week, I prepared a seared broccolini dish with garlic, lemon zest and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
An excellent source of dietary fiber, broccolini is rich in an array of micronutrients, such as calcium, iron and potassium, and it’s a source of vitamins A, C, E and K.
Brocollini reaches its peak flavor and availability during the cooler time of year. You can expect to find freshly harvested broccolini at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets from several area farmers.
Price averages $4 per bunch or $6 per pound. Certified organic is available.
Scarlet runner beans
Available both in the pod, or fully shelled, this variety of dried bean is one of the most colorful that you will encounter in its dried state. Once scarlet runner beans are cooked, the color tends to bleed out, but the speckles on the bean remain.
Very meaty, scarlet runner beans are a very hearty variety that is excellent when simply slow cooked and served as a side, or when added to a hearty chili recipe.
Growing on vigorous climbing vines, the shell beans come in variegated shades of purple, lavender and pink. An excellent source of dietary fiber as well as a good source of potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium, they make a great addition to your seasonal diets.
These beans are grown and sold by Two Peas in a Pod Farm of Arroyo Grande at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market. Price averages $6 per pound for unshelled and $11 per pound for shelled.
Native to central Mexico, this subtropical fruit is a fun farmers’ market find. Possessing a green skin that turns golden as it ripens, the sweet velvety flesh within delivers notes of pineapple, pear, and caramel. Enjoy sapote fruit as you would an apple out of hand or slice and eat around the seeds within. They are also a nice addition to seasonal smoothies, combined with fresh kiwifruit.
You can find sapote fruit from both Rancho Santa Cecilia and Rancho Vista Del Mundo at the Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara and Wednesday Solvang farmers’ markets. Price averages $1 each.