Beef stew meat
I sure do enjoy a hearty bowl of beef stew this time of year, particularly during the cooler winter evenings.
There are currently four local ranches bringing premium beef products to our farmers markets: Pork Palace, Parker Ranch, Rancho San Julian and Parker Ranch.
Stew meat is a great grab to have on hand in the freezer when the time is right. When placed in a slow cooker, a Dutch oven, or low and slow on the stovetop, the beef yields a very soft texture, gelling perfectly in the stew with the surrounding carrots, potatoes, celery or other complementary ingredients of your choosing as in this week’s Fix on B2.
The meat itself adds a rich layer of flavor to the surrounding liquid and other ingredients as well. Stew meat is currently available at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara and Friday Montecito farmers’ markets. The price averages about $10 per pound.
Buddha’s hand citron
This variety of citrus likely draws more intrigue than any other fruit and vegetable that emerges throughout the year at local farmers’ markets.
Possessing a golden yellow color, the non-stem end separates and extends into elongated, finger-like segments.
Unlike most other citrus, the center is practically void of pulp, juice and seeds. Instead, it’s like that spongy membrane you see toward the skin portion of lemons.
It’s often used for its bittersweet zest for salad dressings, deserts or other dishes that call for zest, and for infusing liquors, most notably vodka. The other common use is to candy them.
A rare farmers’ market find, Buddha’s Hand citron can be found at both Rocking Chair Ranch and Friends Ranches at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang and Friday Montecito farmers markets. The price averages about $4 each.
Red beets aren’t related to carrots. But like their root vegetable counterpart, beets reach their peak flavor this time of year, thriving in the cool soil.
Possessing edible tops that can be enjoyed both raw or cooked, the main prize develops below ground and delivers a super sweet flavor.
The root itself too can be enjoyed both raw and cooked, although most people tend to roast them in the oven for the most desirable texture and flavor. You can also pickle your beets, yielding a stunning red color in the jar. Beets are a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese and iron.
A farmers’ market staple this time of year, they are currently available from several local farmers at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers markets.
Certified organic red beets are available at all farmers’ markets. The price averages $2.50 per bunch.