Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Calimyrna, Kadota and Panache are just some of the figs varieties I came across last Saturday at the Santa Barbara farmers market. They each have a distinct flavor, texture and color, so it’s fun to work with them in the kitchen. Make a fig salsa or preserves, add to a mixed green salad, poach or grill and serve warm over ice cream, or simply enjoy right out of the basket! For the Fix of the Week on page A7, I made a fig salad with walnuts, herbs and feta. Fresh figs are available at the Tuesday and Saturday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang and Sunday Camino Real farmers markets. $5 per basket.
Like their name suggests, lemon cucumbers possess a pale to bright yellow skin with alternating cream stripes. I typically peel this variety before consuming unless I’m making pickles, in which case the yellow really pops. These cucumbers are delicious in a salad with summer tomatoes or when cut into rounds and used as a scoop for hummus. They are quite moist and sweet when they hit their prime. You can find these lemon cucumbers from a number of local farmers at the Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang, Thursday Carpinteria, Saturday Santa Barbara and Sunday Camino Real markets. About $3 per pound.
Flavor Grenade pluots
This variety delivers explosive flavor! Flavor Grenade pluots are crunchier than many other varieties, so they hold up well in fruit salads. While I typically eat them as they come, my wife enjoys them in her morning yogurt. We usually slice these pluots up and add to the kids’ lunchboxes. Possessing a dull yellow skin with a pink to red blush, Flavor Grenade pluots are available from Burkdoll Farms at all Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Markets. About $3.50 per pound.