I’m not sure if I’ve ever been to the Fourth of July event without watermelon present in some form.
Whether simply sliced and served in wedges, cubed and tossed with a splash of lime juice, incorporated into a fruit salad or served on skewers (as in this week’s Fix of the Week on the next page), this refreshing summer staple is just beginning to emerge.
Watermelons are available at all of our weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers markets from several farmers. The recent heat has allowed them to ripen up quite nicely.
When selecting a watermelon, choose one that feels heavy for its size and has a nice hollow “knock” sound when tapped on its side. Your local farmers will be ready to assist in selecting the perfect specimen.
Certified organic are available. Price averages $6 each.
The fresh pepper season is just getting started, with this purple and yellow skinned beauty the first to arrive each year.
Delivering a mildly sweet flavor with slight bitter notes, these purple peppers have thin, crisp flesh walls. They’re ideal for eating in both raw and cooked preparations.
Slice and dip peppers in your favorite hummus, add them to a green salad, or stuff and bake them. This week, I enjoyed my purple peppers on a grilled vegetable platter that included grilled summer squash, carrots, turnips and asparagus.
Purple peppers can currently be found at the Saturday Santa Barbara and Sunday Camino Real farmers’ markets from select growers. Price averages $4 per pound.
This variety of cucumber is ideal for making, yes, homemade pickles!
Possessing a thicker skin and seedier center, pickling cucumbers hold up quite well when pickled, whether cut into spears or wedges.
This variety can also be enjoyed raw, but they are often peeled before serving.
Cucumbers have only 16 calories in a one-cup serving, making for a great refreshing snack. They are additionally a decent source of potassium, dietary fiber and vitamin C.
You can expect to find pickling cucumbers at most weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers markets from several farmers. Certified organic are available. Price averages $3 per pound.