Blenheim apricots have arrived at the farmers markets. Mike Cironi of Sea Canyon is one of farmers that brings them to the Santa Monica Farmers Market. They are considered the premier variety of apricots as they have the best flavor and are the most difficult to grow. It's said that coastal breezes help the Blenheims grow and this year has produced the best tasting yet. Mike says that they'll have apricots in the markets for another 3 weeks.
We are in the midst of a "corn gap," where corn disappears from the markets for a few weeks. Oxnard and Ventura farms will start having corn again at the end of July.
Amelia Saltsman has some great ideas for summer melons, including a salad:
Melon, Cucumber, and Mint Salad
1 cantaloupe or other melon (about 3 pounds), cut into bite-sized chunks
4 cucumbers, preferably a mix of lemon and Persian or Japanese (about 1 lb total)
1/2 white onion, sliced paper-thin
1/2 cup fresh regular or lemon mint leaves, torn into pieces
2 to 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon honey
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the melon chunks in a large bowl. If using lemon cucumbers, peel them, cut into wedges, and cut each wedge in half crosswise. If using Persian or Japanese cucumbers, peel them and cut in half lengthwise. Use the tip of a spoon to scrape out the seeds, then cut the cucumbers crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and add them to the bowl. Rinse the onion slices in water to remove a bit of their bite, and add them to the bowl. Add the mint, lemon juice, honey, feta, and salt and pepper to taste and toss gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Chill for 1 hour before serving.
: To peel a cantaloupe efficiently, cut a thin slice off the top and bottom ends, and stand the melon upright. Tracing the curve of the melon with your knife, slice off the peel in thick strips. Cut melon in half, scoop out the seeds, and then cut fruit as desired.
Makes 8 servings.
Adapted from The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm
by Amelia Saltsman (Blenheim Press, 2007)