Sugar snap peas
I currently have a nice crop of this seasonal favorite growing in my home garden, with my kids heading out to harvest these sweet crunchy peas any change they get.
Possessing the crisp edible pod of the snow pea, and the sweet plump inner pea of the English pea, this late winter and early spring favorite can currently be found at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets from several local growers.
Sugar snap peas are an extremely healthy addition to your winter and spring diets. A one-cup serving of raw sugar snap peas delivers 3 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of protein, 98% of your daily value of vitamin C, 21% DV of vitamin A and 11% DV of iron. They are also a great source of many other essential vitamins and minerals.
And they’re excellent both raw and cooked.
This week I decided to prepare a raw sugar snap pea salad, the Fix of the Week on B2. My favorite cooked preparation is to sauté them in olive oil along with mushrooms and sliced shallots.
Certified organic peas are available. The price ranges from $4 to $6 per pound.
You’re right; it isn’t spring yet, but there are several “spring” crops that are getting an early start this year. One such crop is this aromatic and flavorful spring garlic.
Also commonly referred to as “green garlic” or “baby garlic,” this milder stage of garlic is perfect for adding to stir fry’s, chopped over salads, in soups, sauces, and any other dish typically looking for a little extra garlic essence. It also does wonders in salad dressings.
Spring garlic is culinarily treated as you would green onions. It is currently available from several local growers at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara and Friday Montecito farmers’ markets. The price averages $2 per bunch.
I was quite pleased to encounter some nice Meyer lemons this past weekend at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market. Less acidic and thus slightly sweeter than the more standard lemon varieties, this lemon-orange hybrid cross has a pleasing dynamic flavor underneath its bright yellow shiny peel.
They are perfect for most traditional lemon uses — most notably as salad dressings, preserves, fresh squeezed lemonade or when enjoyed over grilled fish and vegetables. They are also great for use in cocktails.
Meyer lemons can currently be found at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang and Thursday Carpinteria farmers’ markets.
The price averages about $2.50 per pound.