One of the best general eating cherries, this variety is plump and juicy, yet relatively firm when ripe. Recognized by their rounded shape and deep red skin, they have a very dynamic flavor that is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy with subtle notes of blackberry.
An excellent source of the antioxidant anthocyanin, cherries are also a good source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as iron, potassium, copper, calcium and magnesium.
Cherries are a wonderful eating fruit — one I love to take with me to the beach or on a hike. They are also the perfect addition to a host of desserts, including simply taking out the pits and enjoying them over ice cream.
This week I prepared a cherry chutney crostini, the Fix of the Week, elsewhere on this page.
You can expect to find fresh cherries from several Central Valley growers at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets.
Price averages $7 per basket.
Another one of my favorite seasonal items is just starting to emerge, with the first small wave of freshly harvested green beans sprinkling into the markets. Young and tender early in the season, they can be enjoyed both raw and cooked.
One of my favorite ways to cook them, and an easy way for my kids to enjoy them, is to blister them in a high heat pan that has been drizzled with a little olive oil. Finish with a seasoning of garlic and salt, and your veggie side is ready to go. Use these beans to make a green bean casserole, in a green bean and bacon salad, or steam and serve them over mixed greens or rice.
You can expect to encounter fresh green beans at all weekly Santa Barbara Certified farmers’ markets in the weeks to come.
Price averages $6 per pound for the early harvest crop with prices expected to drop as quantity increases.
This pine-scented herb can have a strong presence, but when used in moderation does wonders to adding a unique flavor profile to your dishes. The main culinary portion of the plant is the pointed needles that are attached to the central stem. It’s used to add flavor to roasted vegetables, meats and sauces.
In particular, I like to add springs of rosemary to my tri tip marinade, and the thicker central stem can be used as a skewer, infusing the attached ingredients with flavor.
Rosemary pairs incredibly well with poultry and pork, as well as red meat and fish. You can expect to fish fresh rosemary at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers markets from several local growers.
Certified organic is available. Price averages $2 per bunch.