Here’s an indication the summer is upon us. Nearly a dozen varieties will likely be encountered at the farmers markets from now into the fall season.
Once cooked, the flesh of the eggplant tends to sweeten and delivers a pleasing creamy texture. It can be steamed, sautéed, roasted and grilled. This week I prepared a roasted sweet chili eggplant dish for the Fix of the Week, which will appear in Friday’s News-Press.
The eggplant is currently available from a number of local farmers at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara and Thursday Carpinteria farmers market. Price averages $3 per pound.
Dragon tongue beans
These are among the most stunning fresh beans you will encounter throughout the season. The variety is recognized by its cream colored pod that is splashed with purple and yellow.
The elongated flat pods contain small beans within, yielding a crisp texture and slightly sweet flavor. Enjoy them raw or cooked as you would a standard green bean. A good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, fresh beans are a healthy food to incorporate into your seasonal diets.
Currently available from Tutti Frutti Farm of Lompoc and Two Peas in a Pod Farm of Arroyo Grade at the Saturday Santa Barbara and Tuesday Santa Barbara farmers markets. Price averages about $5 per pound.
Organic cherry tomatoes
Planted in February, the tomatoes in my garden are being harvested on a daily basis.
But for those that need to supplement for your home, there are currently some delicious certified organic cherry tomatoes, available in an array of colors, from John Givens Farm, Ebby’s Organics, Tutti Frutti Farm and McGrath Family Farm at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Goleta, Tuesday Santa Barbara and Thursday Carpinteria farmers markets.
Use to top a salad, make a salsa or bruschetta, or slice in half and toss with pasta. So tasty they can also be enjoyed right out of the basket.
Certified organic price averages $5 per basket.