Tarragon oyster mushrooms
A unique farmers’ market find from Golden State Papaya Co. of Santa Barbara, these oyster mushrooms deliver an aroma and underlying flavor reminiscent of the fresh tarragon herb.
With a distinctive layer of trumpet-like caps, this variety is both delicate yet meaty, excellent when cooked in a sauté pan.
This week I prepared pan-seared tarragon oyster mushrooms infused with butter, garlic and a little fresh thyme as the Fix of the Week, which is elsewhere on this page.
Oyster mushrooms are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients. They are also a good source of antioxidants, support overall immune health, and have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.
You can currently find tarragon oyster mushrooms at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market in limited quantities. Price is $5 per quarter-pound.
This is likely not the type of broccoli you’re accustomed to, with the first indication being the absence of the florets or crown.
Sold bunched, this dark green narrow leafy green is attached to a slender stem at the base. The edible leaves deliver a textural balance that is slightly firm, crisp, yet tender when consumed.
The leaves of this Italian heirloom variety can be enjoyed both raw or cooked, with the fibrous stems often discarded. I typically sauté the greens and find it is quite enjoyable when tossed with pasta preparations infused with garlic and lemon. Incorporate them into soups and stews, casseroles, or quinoa preparations.
This green can be used as you would kale in many cases.
Nutrient-dense, broccoli spigarello can be found from several local farmers at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Tuesday Santa Barbara and Wednesday Solvang farmers’ markets primarily during the winter and early spring.
Certified organic is available. Price averages $3 per bunch.
Cara Cara orange
First discovered in Venezuela in the 1970s, this pink to red seedless orange is thought to have been created as a hybrid of a Brazilian Bahia and the Washington navel orange.
With a dynamic flavor, Cara Cara oranges tend to be sweeter than your standard navel orange, with a lower acidity, yet still underlying tangy notes. You can basically enjoy these as you would a standard navel orange.
Cara Cara oranges are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, folate and the carotenoid lycopene, which is an antioxidant that gives the fruit its pink flesh (and tomatoes their red color).
You can currently find Cara Cara oranges from several orchard growers at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang and Friday montecito farmers markets. Price averages $2 per pound.