Arriving in unison each year with the start of the cherry season, these sun gold-hued beauties are brimming with notes of tangy and sweet.
Excellent when incorporated into baked goods such as crisps and cobblers, they can also be used as the base of a homemade preserves, diced into your morning yogurt or blended into a smoothie. Or they can simply be enjoyed as they come, with the pits discarded, of course. This week I made some pistachio butter and goat cheese stuffed apricots for the Fix of the Week.
Rich in potassium, beta carotene and folate, apricots are one healthy snack the kids will devour.
They’re currently available at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang and Thursday Carpinteria farmers’ markets. Price averages $3.50 per pound for the early harvest.
Organic pistachio butter
The Santa Barbara Pistachio Co. just started producing this delicious pistachio butter product, which possesses a vibrant green color. Easy to spread, pistachio butter is not floating in oil, as you might expect with most processed nut butters, but rather in fluffy clusters in the container. An excellent addition to a charcuterie platter, it is ideal for spreading on a toasted bread round, topped with cheese and salami and finished with a drizzle of honey to tie it all together.
It’s a nice peanut butter substitute, which can you spread into celery sticks, enjoy on a sandwich or over cracker rounds. Certified organic, this pistachio butter is available at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara and Tuesday Santa Barbara farmers markets. Price is $4 per 8 ounce container.
Mount Baldy goat cheese
One of my favorite weekly farmers’ market pick-ups, this goat cheese delivers a wonderful flavor profile and velvety smooth texture. A soft-blooming, mold ripened cheese, the longer it sits, the creamy and more robust the flavor gets.
Encased in vegetable ash, this cheese is excellent on crackers with a dollop of pepper jelly and also nice when very thinly sliced and added to a turkey sandwich with lettuce and red onion. I also occasionally enjoy it over my morning eggs.
It’s currently available from the Drake Family farm at the Saturday Santa Barbara Farmers Market. The price averages $11 for a 4-5 ounce round.