While fresh leeks are available year-round, their peak season runs from fall into spring.
With the white edible portion growing below ground and the hearty green tops above ground, they make for the perfect onion substitute this time of year.
This week I prepared a hearty beef and leek stew, the Fix of the Week, below.
Leeks are a rich source of vitamins B6 and K, as well as iron, manganese and dietary fiber. Leeks are high in the nutrient folate, and they contain prebiotics, which helps regulate healthy gut bacteria and helps digestion. Leeks are excellent when sautéed in oil or butter, which creates a nice underlying sweetness.
You can find fresh leeks at all weekly Santa Barbra certified farmers’ markets from several local farmers. Certified organic is available. The price averages $2.50 per bunch.
We currently have several local ranchers, including the Jimenez Family Farm, Casitas Valley Pastures, Santa Barbara Meat Co., Rocky Canyon Ranch and Mt. Olive Organic Farm, selling premium bacon at our weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang and Thursday Carpinteria farmers markets.
Most offer a thicker, meatier cut of their naturally raised bacon. The most recognizable difference from your standard grocery store bacon is in the vibrant color.
They’re perfect for using for bacon-wrapped dates, adding to a breakfast burrito or omelette, or crumbling over a wedge style salad. Price averages $12 per pound.
I tend to rotate through the various flavors of hummus from Baba Small Batch. This week I have been thoroughly enjoying this za’ atar.
This creamy spread starts with simmered down garbanzo beans, which are then blended with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and za’ atar (roasted sesame seeds, thyme, and sumac).
Delivering a tangy, nutty and herb infused presence, this one is loaded with flavor.
This hummus is available at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real and Tuesday Santa Barbara farmers’ markets. Price is $6 per 8-ounce container.