Fresh green beans
I picked a fairly hearty bowl from my garden for a recent meal, but also grabbed a couple of pounds from the farmers market this past week just to ensure my craving was satisfied.
When these fresh, green beans are excellent both raw and cooked. My favorite technique is to saute them in olive oil and high heat, seasoned with salt, and finished with coarsely chopped garlic, as in this week’s Fix. A great source of dietary fiber, beans are also rich in vitamins A, C and K as well as folate and potassium. (How you cook the beans matters. Boiling them will cause a decrease in the vitamin intake.)
This is a great vegetable for pickling! You can expect to find fresh green beans at all weekly Santa Barbara farmers’ markets by a number of local producers. Certified organic available, the beans average $6 per pound.
Idyllwild goat cheese
Aged from over 60 days, this Old World Portuguese recipe is an incredible farmers’ market find. With a firm yet giving texture and sharp pleasing flavor, this is a great one to enjoy on your meat and cheese platter alongside pickled veggies, nuts and toasted bread rounds.
It also makes for a great substitute for parmesan cheese in most cases, and can be enjoyed shaved over warm pasta, a mixed green or Caesar salad, or freshly grilled asparagus, which is currently thriving. Currently available from the Drake Family Farm at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers market. Price averages about $11 per 5 ounce block.
Plump, juicy, sweet but still with a pleasing crunchiness, these yellow and pink blushed cherries are dominating the scene right now. Eat on the go, pit and add to a fruit salad, or enjoy as a homemade cherry preserve.
The window is limited for this pre-summer favorite. Loaded with vitamins A and C and a great source of dietary fiber, this is a healthy snack to bring with you to the beach, or enjoy in your backyard on a warm afternoon right out of the refrigerator. Currently available from a number of California certified agricultural producers, they are available at all weekly Santa Barbara Certified farmers’ markets. Price averages $6 per basket.