Broccolini has been a preferred option in my house over broccoli lately. This vegetable delivers a wonderfully sweet presence when cooked.
It’s similar to broccoli, but has longer stems and smaller florets at the top. A hybrid vegetable of broccoli and gai lan (also referred to as Chinese kale), it can be treated as you would broccoli in many cases.
Add it to stir-fry’s and soups, and it’s nice when roasted or grilled.
This week I prepared a seared garlic Broccolini dish, the Fix of the Week, on A4.
You can currently find this nutrient-packed, winter favorite from several local farmers, such as Juan Mendoza of Mendoza Farms of Lompoc. It’s available at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets. The price averages $3 per bunch.
If you’re looking for a super sweet tangerine, absent of seeds and incredibly easy to peel, this is the one for you.
Even my 3-year-old can break through the skin with ease, removing the entire peel in one large piece. Once opened, Satsuma mandarins break into perfect bite-sized sections.
Native to China, this vitamin C-packed fruit produces very well in a number of regions throughout California, including our backyard garden. Enjoy this fruit as it comes or juiced, or incorporate it into a mixed green or Chinese chicken-style salad.
Satsuma mandarin is currently available from several local growers at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets. The price ranges from $2.50 to $4 per pound.
Dried dragon tongue beans
When fresh, these beans are quite sweet and snappy, possessing a stunning splash of pink and purple over its yellow pod.
When left on the plants to fully mature, these beans are shelled and then sold for the months to come as a dried bean.
For those making a homemade chili, these are an excellent choice.
I also recently prepared them in a slow cooker infused with a little tomato paste, brown sugar and ground cumin for a baked bean style side.
Keep an eye out for hearty, richly flavored dried beans from Two Peas in a Pod Farm of Arroyo Grande, which are available at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara farmers market. The price is $10 per pound