Growing on trees rather than vines or plants, this elongated berry is incredibly sweet, absent of the subtle tartness found in most other berries.
Native to southern Asia, local mulberries are seasonally available from late spring into the early summer months, brimming with antioxidants. They can be enjoyed right out of the basket, petite stem and all, added to a smoothie or morning yogurt. Or you can use them to top your ice cream for dessert. This week I incorporated them into a stone fruit and berry fruit salad with fresh mint, the Fix of the Week.
Mulberries are currently available from both Lori Heal of Two Peas in a Pod Farm from Arroyo Grande, or “BD” Dauth of Earthtrine Farms of Ojai at the Saturday and Tuesday Santa Barbara farmers markets.
Mulberries are a favorite with the kids. Price averages $5 per basket.
The first harvest of the season is under way and very flavorful and tender. Depending on the size of the green zucchini, I will usually cut them lengthwise in either half or quarters, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill for a couple of minutes on each side until nice char marks are present.
Saute and toss with pasta, enjoyed raw or cooked over a mixed green salad, or saute with other seasonal veggies. You can also use a veggie spiralizer to make your own spaghetti noodles or use long thin slices as a noodle substitute for your lasagna.
A good source of vitamin C, zucchini makes for a healthy, low calorie plate filler. It’s currently available from a number of local growers at all weekly Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ markets. Price averages $2-$3 per pound, certified organic available.
Candy-sweet, juicy, and loaded with rich flavor, the nectarines being plucked from the California orchards right now are one of my top picks. This week I prepared a delicious nectarine salad with fresh mint, feta cheese, walnuts, sliced cucumber, red onion, drizzled with good quality olive oil and aged balsamic. They are also nice to bring along to the beach on a warm sunny afternoon, or as a snack for the kids mid-day.
They can also be incorporated into a host of baked goods. You can expect Barbara, Sunday Camino Real, Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang, and Thursday Carpinteria farmers’ markets. Price averages $3.50 to find mouth-watering yellow nectarines at the weekly Saturday Santa per pound.