Shiny, dark green poblano peppers are just beginning to emerge for the season.
They’re readily available at our local farmers markets from several farmers through the summer and fall.
The heat level can really vary from mild to medium, which is often difficult to discern from the pepper’s appearance. Generally, the peppers are not nearly as hot as a jalapeño pepper.
Poblano peppers are ideal for roasting, grilling or a nice sauté. They are not typically consumed in raw preparations and have a natural bitterness that tends to dissipate when cooked.
This week I blistered my poblano peppers on the grill, peeled the skin and stuffed them with a mixture of grilled corn, cheese and fresh cilantro for the Fix of the Week on B2. Topped with some cherry tomato salsa, this is one of my favorite summer preparations.
Certified organic peppers are available. Price averages $3 per pound.
Organic mixed cherry tomatoes
These signature cherry tomato baskets — which are grown, harvested, assembled and sold by Ebby’s Organic Farm of Goleta — make for a fun farmers market find.
They typically contain a mixture of about a half dozen of farmer Mike Iniguez’s organically grown cherry tomatoes.
The combination of colors and flavors really adds a presence to your meals. They can be used to make a cherry tomato salsa, to toss with hot or cold pasta preparations, used to make a cherry tomato bruschetta, or placed onto skewers with peppers and your favorite protein to grill. They are also, of course, excellent in any mixed green salad.
You can currently find these certified organic, mixed cherry tomato baskets at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara and Thursday Carpinteria farmers’ markets. Price is $5 per basket.
Yellow donut nectarines
Named after its doughnut-like shape, this unusual variety of nectarine is one of the sweetest fruits I have encountered this year.
I personally enjoy them slightly on the firmer side, not quite crunchy, but not super soft. Then they can be enjoyed as they come, or you can cut the flesh off from around the small central pit and enjoy them as a side, in a fruit salad or in a smoothie.
Donut nectarines are natural mutations of flat peach varieties, such as the most commonly available white donut peach. This fruit is native to China and has been cultivated since 200 B.C.E.
You will likely not find these yellow doughnut nectarines at the commercial grocery stores, making them a unique farmers’ market find.
They’re currently available at most weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets from several local growers. Price averages $3.50 per pound.