Not all fresh herbs can survive the winter chill. However, fresh cilantro thrives during the winter, yielding a very refreshing flavor with notes of scallions throughout.
A member of the Apiaceae family, closely related to carrots, cilantro makes for a great addition to soups and salads, morning egg and breakfast potato preparations, and of course, homemade salsas. This week I prepared a coconut rice dish topped with fresh cilantro leaves as the Fix of the Week, below.
I also like to incorporate fresh cilantro into lentil soups, beef stew, as well as add it to salad dressings and marinades. I find cilantro is best when added to your meals fresh just before serving.
Cilantro is available at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets from several local producers. Certified organic is available. Price averages $2 per bunch.
Falling somewhere between a navel orange and satsuma tangerine, the tangelo is recognized by its deep orange peel, glossy skin and rounded body with a slightly lifted rounded neck. Very easy to peel and relatively seedless, it delivers a distinctly sweet and tangy flavor profile with notes of grapefruit throughout.
The tangelo is believed to be a hybrid cross of a Dancy tangerine and a Duncan grapefruit.
Tangelos are very juicy so they can be used as both an eat-right-out-of-your-hand fruit, as well as for juicing.
They’re available from several local growers. You can find tangelos while in season at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara and Thursday Carpinteria farmers’’ markets. Price averages $3 per pound.
Japanese sweet potato
With a pink skin and creamed colored fresh, these are some of my favorite sweet potatoes to enjoy when available. I like to combine some peeled Japanese sweet potatoes with Yukon gold potatoes in my mashed potatoes. They also make a very nice addition to beef stews.
Japanese sweet potatoes deliver a very smooth texture when slowly roasted in the oven, or they can be pan fried to yield a crispy exterior. They yield a nice underlying nutty flavor with an almost chestnut like presence. You can find Japanese sweet potatoes at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real and Tuesday Santa Barbara farmers’ markets.
Price averages $3 per pound.