“Baby” does not refer to a specific variety but rather their size.
While quite petite, these artichokes are just a much smaller, yet fully mature version of the larger artichokes you may encounter. While artichokes can be consumed when harvested young, they are most commonly cooked, whether steamed, boiled, sautéed, grilled or fried. This week I prepared grilled baby artichokes, the Fix of the Week, elsewhere on this page,
They’re available at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets from several local growers.
When you consume an artichoke, you are actually eating the plant’s flower head, but they are viewed by most as a vegetable.
Price averages about $6 per basket or $4 per pound.
Quite appropriate for the season as we just launched into spring, many of our local farmers offer a tender bag of baby spring greens, ready to use as the base of a salad, add to a sandwich or roll into a wrap. One of my favorites is grown by Shepherd’s Farm, which includes about three to four types of baby lettuce greens as well as petite spinach and small arugula leaves.
The arugula is what really sets this mix apart for me, with subtle peppery notes throughout.
Shepherd’s Farm spring mix is nutrient packed, and you can find it at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Thursday Carpinteria and Friday montecito farmers’ markets. Price averages $3.50 per bag.
Yukon gold potatoes
For being such a staple, potatoes at the farmers’ markets are a relatively rare commodity. Thankfully, Arroyo Grande farmer Rudy Domingo has been keeping our Saturday market supplied with about a half-dozen or so varieties on hand weekly.
These young Yukon gold potatoes are small, sweet and very creamy once cooked. Ideal for mashed potatoes, roasting, or sautéing, they are some of the tastiest around.
Recognized by their yellow skin and yellow flesh, potatoes in general are a good source of potassium and vitamin C, as well as calcium, vitamin B-6, iron, thiamine, niacin and dietary fiber. Price averages $3.50 per pound.