Due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, this variety of orange has a distinct red to purple flesh when sliced open.
A wonderful balance of sweet and tangy flavor, the deep red juice can make quite a splash on the plate. I find they pair well with beets and leafy greens such as spinach, as well as with chicken, pork and seafood preparations.
Blood oranges can also be used to make a stunning orange marmalade preserve. Incorporate them into a host of baked good recipes or enjoy a fresh squeezed glass in the morning.
This week I prepared pan seared local fish with blood orange sauce, the Fix of the Week, which is elsewhere on this page.
Blood oranges are currently available from several local citrus growers at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets. Price averages $2.50 per pound.
One of the largest avocado varieties you will encounter, this is one of my favorites that is available during the winter.
Recognized by their thin neck and bulbous base, they have a thin green skin that remains green once ripe. Ideal for all of your general avocado needs, they deliver a very smooth consistency that is not stringy like other winter counterparts such as the bacon avocado.
MacArthur avocados are a good source of pantothenic acid, vitamin K, folate, copper as well as some fiber; vitamins C, E, and K; potassium; manganese and iron.
They’re currently available at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara and Wednesday Solvang farmers’ markets. Price averages $2.50 per pound.
One of my favorite salads has always been a Caesar. Starting with a base of crispy Romaine lettuce leaves tossed with a Caesar dressing, I then top with diced avocado, croutons and shaved parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
I will sometimes add a little fresh cilantro, sliced tomato, grilled chicken and aged balsamic vinegar as a non-traditional Caesar salad variation.
Romaine lettuce is native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, growing since ancient times, but is now a California cuisine staple.
Use this lettuce to top a sandwich or burger, or shred and add to a wrap. Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of dietary fiber; vitamins A, C and K; folate; thiamin; potassium; iron and manganese.
Romaine lettuce is additionally a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and copper.
The outer leaves tend to be a vibrant green color with the central heart portion taking on a more yellow hue. Romaine lettuce is available at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets from several local growers.
Certified organic is available. Price averages $2 each.