Costata Romanesco squash
Don’t let the “Romanesco” part of the name get you mixed up with the Romanesco broccoli that thrives during the winter.
This, rather, is a summer squash variety recognized by its alternating light and dark green-striped skin and ribbed structure.
Quite tasty when enjoyed both raw and cooked, it is excellent when sautéed, grilled, steamed, roasted and fried. This week I prepared a Costata Romanesco pasta salad, the Fix of the Week, which is on the next page.
Costata Romanesco is a good source of dietary fiber and a decent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, manganese and riboflavin. It’s currently available from several local farmers at the Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real and Tuesday Santa Barbara farmers’ markets. Price averages $3 per pound.
With all of the fancy lettuce varieties out there, there’s still something quite enjoyable about the crunchy, slightly sweet simplicity of iceberg lettuce.
It’s ideal for a wedge salad topped with blue cheese dressing and crumbled bacon, or a salad-bar style tossed salad with your favorite fixings. It’s additionally nice as a lettuce wrap for burgers or lunch meats for those looking to cut back on the bread intake.
Iceberg lettuce is a good source of potassium, iron, calcium, fiber and vitamins A, C, and K, and it’s grown by Mendoza Farms of Lompoc. You can currently find this lettuce at all weekly Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ markets. Price averages $2 each.
Mulberries are not botanically classified as a berry, but instead as an aggregate of many tiny fruit clusters arranged around a central stem. They grow on large trees rather than a bush or vine as many would expect.
Recognized by their elongated physique, mulberries are very sweet when ripe, absent of much of the acidic tangy properties encountered in other berries. You can enjoy this seasonal favorite, stem and all, as they come; add them to a fruit salad, or use them to make a homemade preserve. They are also a fun addition to cocktails, and they are packed with antioxidants.
The mulberry season typically lasts no more than a couple of months, so enjoy them while you can.
Certified organic mulberries are available from several local farmers at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara and Tuesday Santa Barbara farmers’ markets. Price averages $5 per basket.