Edible Santa Barbara Late Winter/Early Spring

Page 1

Quick turmeric preservedgremolatacitrus


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LIZ DODDER page 56 DEPARTMENTS 6 Food for Thought by Krista Harris 8 Small Bites Your New Favorite Snack A Central Coast Success Story A Recipe Resource 11 In Season 12 Seasonal Recipe Quick Turmeric Preserved Citrus Gremolata by Jane Chapman 14 Seasonal Recipe Avocado Toast by Krista Harris 16 Seasonal Recipe Compost Cookies by Krista Harris 20 Edible Garden A Beginner’s Guide to Composting 21 Edible for Kids Created for Family Sharing 26 Drinkable Landscape A Lemon and a Cello Walk into a Bar by George Yatchisin 54 Support Local Guide 56 The Last Bite Winter’s Don’t-Miss Dish Passion Fruit Pavlova at Bettina by Liz Dodder ® edible
page 14
Late Winter
Spring 2023


28 Documenting Vintage 2020

36 Crank it Up

Local Couple Celebrate 10 Years of Creating Fun, Vibrant and Natural Amplify Wines

Hana-Lee Sedgwick

40 In the Age of Megadrought

Is Agave the Crop of the Future in the American West?

46 A Vibrant Approach to Seasonal Cooking




13 Quick Turmeric Preserved Citrus Gremolata

Salads and Side Dishess

15 Avocado Toast

48 Baby Arugula, Wild Mushroom, Mung Bean and Goat Cheese Salad

50 Lentils du Puy and Carrot Salad

50 Roasted Beets, Butternut Squash and Red Onions with Zesty Parsley Pesto


17 Compost Cookies

52 Crêpes à l’Orange


27 Limoncello

27 The Limo Ryed Cocktail

Jane Chapman’s Quick Turmeric Preserved Citrus Gremolata.
Photography by Gallois Photo.
Tasting Room & Wine Library 12-6 PM Mon-Fri 11AM-6 PM Sat & Sun Taking tasting reservations on Tock 813 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara 805-963-7999 ~ www.aubonclimat.com wines of vision, balance and character EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 5 FOXEN® VINEYARD & WINERY Foxen’s historic tasting Shack is now open! Open Daily by Reservations | 7600 & 7200 Foxen Canyon Road | 805.937.4251 | www foxenvineyard.com Sustainable Wine Growers Since 1985


Toward the end of winter in Santa Barbara, it starts to feel like spring. To those who say we don’t have seasons, I say we have seasonal changes. The light changes, the air temperature changes and the availability of local produce changes at the farmers market. When we’ve had rain like we’ve had this year, the green hillsides are so easy on the eyes. I still think it’s too cold for picnics, but it’s the best time of year for nature walks.

This issue straddles that late winter and early spring season that I find so enjoyable. It’s citrus season. And Jane Chapman’s gremolata recipe is a good way to use those Meyer lemons and oranges growing in your backyard or overflowing the bins at the farmers market. As pictured on the cover, this gremolata can be added to some whipped Greek yogurt for a delicious dip.

It’s also a good time to use those oranges for a slightly more decadent recipe— Pascale Beale’s Crêpes à l’Orange. Pascale writes that this dessert takes her back to her childhood. For me, this dish reminds me of my maternal grandmother. It was one of her favorites, and I remember making it for her birthday one year when I was still in high school, and I invited her over for a special lunch. I have no memory of what else I made that day, but I remember that my grandmother loved the crepes. And that’s all that matters. Neither my mother nor my grandmother taught me to cook, but my grandmother was wonderful at entertaining. I am certain that my love for beautiful silverware, linen napkins and elaborate table decorations comes from her.

I believe that a love for cooking and feeding those we love can come early in life. If you have children or grandchildren, please encourage them to cook. Every day more and more information comes out about the unhealthy nature of highly processed foods. And the simple way to avoid fast food and processed food is to cook more. My hope is that children who start cooking early will continue to prioritize cooking and take it a step further by seeking out local ingredients. Please share our special feature Edible for Kids with the children in your life. And whatever your age, I hope this issue feeds your search for recipes, information and inspiration.

Member of Edible Communities

Edible Communities

James Beard Foundation Publication of the Year (2011)


Krista Harris


Nancy Oster


Doug Adrianson


Steven Brown


Tara Howard


Liz Dodder

Jill Johnson


Pascale Beale

Jane Chapman

Bambi Edlund

Liz Dodder

Karen Gearhart-Jensen

Sonja Magdevski

Anne Marshall-Chalmers

Hana-Lee Sedgwick

Carole Topalian

Mark Velasquez

George Yatchisin


Pascale Beale, Jordan benShea, Rosminah Brown, Janice Cook Knight, Katie Hershfelt, Jill Johnson, Nancy Oster

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Edible Santa Barbara® is published quarterly and distributed throughout Santa Barbara County. Subscription rate is $28 annually. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission from the publisher. Publisher expressly disclaims all liability for any occurrence that may arise as a consequence of the use of any information or recipes. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Thank you.

Visit our website at EdibleSantaBarbara.com and sign up for our email newsletter or go directly to EdibleSantaBarbara.Substack.com/welcome. Visit our website at www.EdibleSantaBarbara.com and follow us on social media @edibleSB
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EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 7

Small Bites

Your New Favorite Snack

Shaka Bites Chocolate Energy Bar

Here’s the most feature-filled snack bar that you’re likely to ever come across. It’s extremely tasty, loaded with plant-based ingredients—dates, dark chocolate, puffed quinoa crisps, almonds, cocoa powder, guarana seed powder, coconut oil, vanilla, water, salt—and it’s compact and easy to take with you. It’s just as notable for what it doesn’t have—no unhealthy oils, artificial flavorings—and it’s vegan and gluten-free. It would be great for a quick breakfast or afternoon pick me up since it has the equivalent of about a cup’s worth of natural caffeine.

Santa Barbara native Kyle Riharb started experimenting with the idea of making an energy bar that was better than what he could find in the stores and that had the added bonus of some ingredients with naturally occurring caffeine. Partnering with his good friend Vir Singh, they perfected the recipe and debuted their concept in January 2022. They are currently working with a co-packer to increase their production and to be able to make the bars available to local retailers. And look for more tasty flavors in the future.

You can order online at www.ShakaBites.com.

A Central Coast Success Story

Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie Company

In 2011 we wrote about the delectable line of cookies produced in Cayucas by the Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie Company. They have since expanded to Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo and have introduced a Cookie Club so that no matter where you are, you can get fresh shipments of cookies four times a year.

The original Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie is similar to a shortbread cookie but the toasty brown butter and touch of sea salt take it into higher plane of existence. Once you taste them, you will crave them. The original is amazing, but they didn’t stop there. They came up with additional flavors cocoa, espresso, cinnamon, pecan and a cocoa mint that is glutenfree. Their cookies contain simple, high-quality ingredients and are beautifully packaged for gifting, if you can bear to part with them.

Visit one of their three locations or order online at www.BrownButterCookies.com. 8 | EDIBLE SANTA BARBARA LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023

A Recipe Resource Cook It Easy

Cook It Easy is a website designed for young people, in particular college students, who want to learn to make simple, scrumptious and healthy meals. Developed in 2020 by Dos Pueblos High School senior Margherita Scussat, the website was designed to counter the obesity epidemic among young people and the infamous “Freshman 15.”

The website offers many creative recipes, all with tempting photos. Recipes are available in English and Spanish and will satisfy a wide range of diets. Vegan and gluten-free options are included, and an onsite search engine helps you find what you’re looking for.

Cook It Easy is both timely and inspiring.

A quick browse through the recipes brought up some particularly delicious-sounding dishes for this time of year: Baked Breadcrumb Salmon with Asparagus, Barley Salad and Chia Seed Pudding. We love the fact that you can search by so many criteria—difficulty, dietary restriction, preparation time and cost per serving. Visit www.CookItEasy.org.

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 9

Season this Winter




Basil Blood oranges

Broccoli rabe (rapini)

Brussels sprouts



Celery root

Chanterelle mushrooms







Fava beans



Green garlic





Mustard greens

Onions, green bunching



Pea greens

Peas, snap


Pineapple guava








Sweet potatoes



Tomatoes, hothouse



Almonds, almond butter (harvested Aug/Sept)



Beans, dried


Bok choy






Dates (harvested Sept/Oct)

Edible flowers

Garlic (harvested May/June)

Herbs (Bay leaf, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme)






Onions, bulb (harvested May/June)


Pistachios, pistachio oil (harvested Sept/Oct)



Raisins (harvested Sept/Oct)




Squash, winter (harvested July/Oct)

Walnuts, walnut oil (harvested Sept/Oct)

Yams (harvested Aug/Sept)




Ridgeback shrimp

Rock fish


Spiny lobster

Spot prawns

White seabass


Abalone (farmed)

Black cod



Rock crab





Coffee (limited availability)

Dairy (Regional raw milk, artisanal goat- and cow-milk cheeses, butters, curds, yogurts and spreads)

Fresh flowers


Olives, olive oil

Meat (Beef, chicken, duck, goat, rabbit, pork)

Potted plants/herbs


Wheat (Wheat berries, wheat flour, bread, pasta and baked goods produced from wheat grown locally)

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 11

seasonal Recipe

Quick Turmeric Preserved Citrus Gremolata


Iuse the term gremolata here loosely. The color of these preserves is a gorgeous marigold yellow, instead of the traditional green. But the green herbs in a traditional Italian gremolata are often added later and are really up to the home cook’s discretion.

This recipe was something I created to top a bed of whipped Greek yogurt for a Mediterranean-inspired dinner party and has now become a staple in my refrigerator all year long. What I love about this recipe is that it is no fuss, adaptable, adds depth of flavor and most of all is made from our worldrenowned citrus, grown right here in Santa Barbara. This quick preserve has all the umami and brightness of a long ferment with “day of” convenience.

I’ve been told these quick preserves can last for months once refrigerated, but I will never know as my family goes through a jar in less than a week. These preserves elevate any dish of roast vegetables or protein—my favorite is on roast lamb. Toss in a vinaigrette, serve a generous spoonful on hummus or yogurt for a quick dip, add chopped olives or fresh fruit to make a relish, include in a marinade or simply chop your preferred herbs and voilà! It’s a traditional gremolata.

Sometimes for a little heat I include a red serrano chile and use it to garnish winter soups. As a reminder, this recipe is salty so be sure to eliminate and be mindful of balancing salt in the dish you are pairing it with. Enjoy this seasonal recipe and most of all the invitation to experiment, enjoy yourself in the kitchen and make it your own.



4 organic Meyer lemons (unwaxed)

1 organic orange (unwaxed)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Extra virgin organic olive oil

In a nonreactive bowl, roughly chop citrus into ¼-inch cubes—skin, juice, fruit and all. Carefully remove all seeds. Stir in salt, sugar and turmeric. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1–3 hours. Pour into a glass jar and cover with olive oil. Use right away or refrigerate and bring to room temperature before use.

Jane Chapman is a Santa Barbara native, has a lifetime of experience in the kitchen, recipe development and has worked in the restaurant business for over 20 years. She prides herself on simple, delicious and approachable recipes to encourage the burgeoning home chef. Her newest venture, The Communal Table Santa Barbara, curates intimate events for women combining food and conversation. Her goal is to create authentic community and connection one meal at a time. To learn more or attend one of her events visit www.CommunalTableSB.com

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 13 CELEBRATING 50 YEARS! Winery & Vineyards WINE TASTING PRIVATE TOURS WEDDINGS & EVENTS 6905 Foxen Canyon Rd. Los Olivos, CA 93441 www.zacamesa.com | (805) 688-9339 RECIPE

seasonal Recipe


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Avocado Toast

There are countless ways to make avocado toast. At its simplest, it’s just avocado and bread. But it’s easily elevated with the addition of nuts, radishes and fresh herbs. You can vary the toppings depending on what you like and what you find seasonally at the farmers market. Here’s a classic recipe to get you started.


2 large or 4 small slices of bread

1 ripe avocado

Salt and pepper

A handful of pistachios, chopped

Several small radishes, sliced thinly

A few sprigs of fresh parsley, chervil, basil or cilantro, stems removed Olive oil

Toast the bread until lightly golden. Peel and cut up the avocado. Distribute the chunks of avocado evenly on the toast and mash lightly with a fork, covering the entire surface of the toast.

Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios, pressing them in slightly to the mashed avocado. Top with slices of radish and scatter a few chopped leaves of the herb of your choice. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 15
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Photo: Nell Campbell

seasonal Recipe


Compost Cookies

When I first heard about Milk Bar’s famous Compost Cookie recipe by Christina Tosi, I knew I had to try it. As much as I loved the combination of salty and sweet flavors, what I appreciated even more was the inherent flexibility of this “everything but the kitchen sink” cookie. There are many versions of her recipe online, and I’ve drawn from several to come up with this one. I’ve seen it with and without coffee grounds, but I love the idea of putting something in my cookies that would have normally gone in the compost bin. And maybe you have some crumbled-up bits at the bottom of a bag of pretzels, breakfast cereal or potato chips that you can use, perhaps a few graham crackers that are going stale and that tiny amount of leftover chocolate chips and butterscotch chips that aren’t enough for a full batch of cookies. It sounds like a crazy approach to a recipe, but surprisingly, it all works.


1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1 cup granulated sugar

3⁄4 cup light or dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons used (but clean and dry) coffee grounds (you can also substitute fresh finely ground coffee)

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 ⁄2 cup rolled oats

1 1 ⁄2 cups chocolate chips and/or white chocolate chips

1 ⁄2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 1 ⁄2 cups crushed pretzels, breakfast cereal and/or potato chips

Cream butter, sugars, coffee grounds and honey in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium high for 2–3 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix on low speed until incorporated, and then beat on high speed for 10 minutes. The sugar will dissolve and the mixture will increase in volume. Then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oats and mix just until incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips and graham cracker crumbs, then gently fold in the crushed potato chip and/or pretzel crumbs. Try not to over mix but make sure they are fairly well distributed. Refrigerate cookie dough for at least 1–2 hours, or overnight. If you bake them without refrigerating, the cookies will spread too much.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Using an ice cream scoop, portion the dough onto a parchment- or silicon-lined baking sheet, spacing them 4 inches apart. Bake 9–10 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to brown. Enjoy them warm from the oven or store in an airtight container for a few days or freeze. You can also freeze the balls of cookie dough and bake them a few at a time as needed.

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 17 388 Bell Street, Los Alamos, CA 93440 805.344.1900 CasaDumetzWines.com Thu–Sat noon–7pm, Sun noon–6pm, Mon noon–4pm, Tue–Wed by appointment Extra virgin olive oils, flavored olive oils, olive tapenades, table olives, gourmet vinegars, local food products. Open Thursday through Monday 11am–5pm 2901 Grand Ave., Los Olivos 805 693-0700 olivehillfarm.com ella & louie flowers for celebrations of all sizes delivering Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez www.ellaandlouie.com

There’s no better way to fortify your garden while reducing your contribution to landfills, but starting a compost pile can feel a little daunting. Just remember to follow this simple equation:

Nitrogen-rich items make up the “greens” part of your pile.


• fruit peels, seeds and cores

• vegetable peels and seeds

• green leaves

• grass clippings

TURN, TURN, TURN Use a pitchfork or shovel to turn the pile once a week or so, to aerate and help distribute moisture content. Gaps between the boards also help oxygen circulate.

Items that produce carbon are called “browns,” and should make up the bulk of your pile (aim for three parts brown to one part green).


• twigs and branches

• dry leaves

• sawdust

• hay or straw

• mulch or wood chips

• old topsoil

• animal manure (from vegetarian animals ONLY—no cat or dog feces)

START WITH A THICK BASE LAYER of brown material, including sticks, twigs, wood chips, hay or straw to promote air circulation. Then alternate layers of greens and browns, making sure to always have a layer of browns on top, to balance the moisture. Add water as needed to keep the pile damp but not wet—the moisture content should be like a wrung-out dishrag. Too dry? Add some water or greens. Too wet? Add more browns.


Items that should not be added to your compost pile include:

• ashes (affects pH balance of the soil)

• meat (causes odor, attracts pests)

• fish and fish bones

• whole eggs (egg shells are okay)

• animal fats or other oily products

• dairy products

• cat litter

• dog or cat feces

BOX SIZE: Aim for at least 3x3’ . bambiedlund.com

HARVEST! The compost is ready to use after 2–3 months. Once the pile is ready, you can also add worms to speed the process up.

TIGHT ON SPACE? A smaller compost pile can be successful with the addition of red wiggler worms. Fill a box 8–16” deep with layers of soil, newspaper and leaves. Place the worms on top with a layer of fruit and vegetable waste. Be sure to make holes in the bottom of the box to allow for ventilation and drainage.



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EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 21 Activities, recipes, stories (and more!) created for family sharing | created for family sharing Read to Learn More: Explore dumplings from 10 different cultures — and find their recipes — in Dumpling Day barefootbooks.com/dumpling-day Delicious Dumplings!




Pelmeni Recipe

Try your hand at cooking savory dumplings with this recipe for traditional Russian pelmeni.



3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt • 2 eggs

⅔ cup lukewarm water


1 lb ground chicken, turkey or beef

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tsp salt • ½ tsp pepper


2 Tbsp butter • 2 Tbsp sour cream

1. Make the dough:

• Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

• Crack the eggs into the bowl and mix everything together.

• Pour in the water and mix with your hands, kneading until you have a smooth and elastic dough.

• Cover the bowl with a damp towel. Set aside.

2. Make the filling:

• Put the ground meat, onion, salt and pepper into a large bowl and mix.

3. Assemble the pelmeni:

• Take out the dough and divide it into two large balls.

• Roll out one ball into a log, about 2 inches in diameter.

• Cut off a section about 1 inch long and roll it into a ball.

• Use a rolling pin or your fingers to flatten the ball into a thin circle, 2–3 inches in diameter.

• Place 1 tsp of filling into the middle of the circle.

• Fold over the circle to create a halfmoon and pinch the edges together with your fingers to seal. Join the two corners towards the middle and pinch again to seal.

• Sprinkle flour over the pelmeni and place it onto a clean surface. Repeat until all pelmeni are assembled.

Makes: about 48 pelmeni • Time: 1½ hours

• Serves: 6 people

4. Cook the pelmeni:

• Fill a large pot halfway with water and add a pinch of salt.

• Turn on the stove to mediumhigh heat and bring the water to a boil.

• Add a handful of pelmeni to the pot.

• Cook for about 3–5 minutes, until the pelmeni float to the top. Check to make sure the meat has cooked all the way through! They might need a few extra minutes.

• Take out the pelmeni and place them onto a serving plate.

• Serve with melted butter and sour cream for a filling meal.

and text adapted from Dumpling Day Books), written Meera Sriram and illustrated by Inés de Antuñano. Recipe by Laurel P. Jackson
is created in partnership with indie, award-winning, Concord, MA-based children’s publisher, Barefoot Books. Learn more by visiting www.barefootbooks.com.

LET’S EAT... more! Samosas Recipe

Crispy and flavorful, these fried dumplings from India are a mouth-watering side dish or snack.



8 puff pastry sheets, defrosted


3 medium potatoes

1 cup peas

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp coriander

½ tsp garlic salt

½ tsp garam masala


3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1. Make the filling:

• Wash and peel the potatoes. Slice each potato into 6 pieces and place them in a large pot.

• Fill the pot with cold water, just enough to cover the potatoes.

• Turn on the stove to medium heat and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until they are tender (easy to pierce with a fork).

• Place the cooked potatoes in a large bowl and let them cool. Then mash with a fork or potato masher.

• Stir in the peas, curry powder, ginger, cumin, coriander, garlic salt and garam masala.

2. Assemble the samosas:

• Take out one puff pastry sheet. With a knife, cut out a circle that uses most of the pastry. Then fold the circle in half.

• Dip your finger into a bowl of water and gently moisten the edges of the half circle.

• Fold the half circle over to make a triangular shape. Pinch the moistened edges together to make a cone.

• Fill the cone ¾ of the way with filling.

• Pinch the open side of the dough to close the cone. Use a moistened finger to make sure that the edges are all sealed.

• Repeat until all the samosas are made.

3. Fry the samosas:

• Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium heat.

• Place 3 or 4 samosas at a time into the frying pan. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side, then flip. Repeat until both sides are golden brown.

• Put the fried samosas on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off extra oil.

• Serve alone or with chutney, as a side dish or snack.

Makes: 8 samosas

• Time: 1½ hours

• Serves: 4 people

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 23
| created for family sharing
Illustration and text adapted from Dumpling Day (Barefoot Books), written by Meera Sriram and illustrated by Inés de Antuñano. Recipe by Laurel P. Jackson
Delicious Dumplings!

Dumplings, Dumplings, Everywhere!

Dumplings, Dumplings, Everywhere!

Find recipes for all of these dumplings! www.barefootbooks.com/dumpling-day

Find recipes for all of these dumplings! www.barefootbooks.com/dumpling-day

People all around the world make different-shaped dumplings with a wide variety of spices and ingredients. Some are eaten before a meal or as part of a main course, while others are enjoyed for dessert.

United States of America

Apple dumplings

Many of these dumplings come from regions of the world, not just single places. For example, shish barak are enjoyed in several Middle Eastern countries including Syria, and people cook fufu throughout West Africa.

Many of these dumplings come from regions of the world, not just single places. For example, shish barak are enjoyed in several Middle Eastern countries including Syria, and people cook fufu throughout West Africa.


People all around the world make different-shaped dumplings with a wide variety of spices and ingredients. Some are eaten before a meal or as part of a main course, while others are enjoyed for dessert. Shish

Shish barak comes with a tangy hint . Baba garnishes with parsley and mint .

is created in partnership with indie, award-winning, Concord, MA-based children’s publisher, Barefoot Books. Learn more by visiting www.barefootbooks.com
Adapted from Dumpling Day (Barefoot Books), written by Meera Sriram and illustrated by Inés de Antuñano Illustration and text from Dumpling Day (Barefoot Books), written by Meera Sriram and illustrated by Inés de Antuñano
barak comes with a tangy hint .
garnishes with parsley and mint .
is created in partnership with indie, award-winning, Concord, MA-based children’s publisher, Barefoot Books. Learn more by visiting www.barefootbooks.com
Italy Ravioli Mexico Tamales India Samosas Russia Pelmeni China Wu-gok Japan Gyoza Nigeria Fufu Syria Shish barak Israel Bourekas
Adapted Dumpling Day (Barefoot Books), written by Meera Sriram and illustrated by Inés de Antuñano Illustration and text from Dumpling Day (Barefoot Books), written by Meera Sriram and illustrated by Inés de Antuñano


For some locals, a Saturday morning stroll through one of the area’s biggest farmers markets is a habitual start to every weekend. Arrive at the downtown Santa Barbara Farmers Market empty-handed at 8:30am and leave with armfuls of vegetables, fruit, herbs, eggs, meat, cheese, bread, flowers and plants from as many as 90 vendors. Head to the Tuesday Farmers Market on State Street and make an evening of it—meandering down the street for shopping, wine tasting, live music and dining. Our farmers markets are generally year round and rain or shine, but hours can vary from season to season, so check market websites or call for more information.



Farmers Market

800 block of Linden Ave.

Thu 3–6:00pm



Camino Real Marketplace

At Storke & Hollister

Sun 10am–2pm SBFarmersMarket.org



Farmers Market

1100 & 1200 blocks of Coast Village Rd.

Fri 8–11:15am



Central City Farmers Market

Oak Knoll South Corner of Bradley Rd. and Clark Ave.

Tue 10am–1pm Farmers Market Orcutt on Facebook



Santa Barbara Farmers Market

Corner of Santa Barbara & Cota St.

Sat 8:00am–1pm


Old Town Farmers Market

600 & 800 Blocks of State St.

Tue 3–6:30pm


Saturday Fishermen’s Market

Santa Barbara Harbor

Sat 6–11am



Santa Maria

Farmers Market

Broadway & Main St. (located in Town Center West) Wed noon–4pm


Downtown Fridays

Corner of Main St. & Broadway

Fri 5–8pm (Seasonal)



Solvang Village

Copenhagen Dr. & First St.

Wed 2:30–6:00pm




Route One Farmers Market

3745 Constellation Rd. Sun 10am–2pm

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 25

A Lemon and a Cello Walk into a Bar

This time of year, our lemon trees are weighted with fruit all ripe at once, so rich with yellow they look like their foliage hopes to camouflage a school bus. Fortunately, it’s not much of a chore deciding what to do with all that deliciousness. I’m here to suggest limoncello, that sticky Italian liqueur. I like the idea of messing with two old sayings at once: If life gives you lemons, lemonade is dandy, but limoncello is quicker.

Note there are as many limoncello recipes as there are people who buy some and pretend that they made it themselves (locally, Ventura Spirits crafts a delicious one). There are arguments over which kind of lemon to use, but as usual, I’m fond of Meyers, as they hit a lovely sweet-tart spot on my taste buds.

There are arguments over whether one should use vodka as the infusing spirit or Everclear—pretty much “raw” grain alcohol (it warns you how flammable it is right on the label). You can get 151 proof Everclear at BevMo! and other stores. I’d argue the higher the ABV of your infusing alcohol, the more lemon you will extract, so go for it. (Note: I did make four variations to test my taste beliefs: Meyer/vodka, Meyer/Everclear, Eureka/vodka, Eureka/Everclear. All were tasty, so there’s no loser option.)

The recipe for making the limoncello is quite detailed, so

I’ll just point you down to the article’s end for that. Do note it does take time—you want to let the lemony goodness infuse into the alcohol, and then age does not wither this high alcohol product. Simply put, you can’t make this cocktail minutes after you started the limoncello. (Which is why many people just buy some, at least to tide themselves over.)

Limoncello, of course, is a fine digestif all on its own and works in spritzers and all sorts of mixed drinks (consider a margarita variation with limoncello in for the lime juice, say). But I hoped to come up with something particularly apropos for Santa Barbara “winter,” when you need a bit of warmth, but in a town like ours elegance is also always in season. The drink also features a Los Angeles product, Greenbar Distillery Grand Hops Amaro. Whoever decided that the bitter of hops deserved to star in an amaro deserves many kudos.

The Limo Ryed Cocktail offers pucker first, what with the double dose of lemon. But the limoncello, despite its alcoholic kick, is quite tempered by the sweet of the simple syrup you mix into it, so it’s the fresh juice that gives the most citric acid zing. Add it all up, and you get a rich golden taste. The mid-palate of the drink is all rye whiskey, a breadiness, some toast, some oak,


some grassiness. Then the finish sings like solving a complicated math problem: more of that wide range of citrus notes, the twist of the Hops Amaro with some pine and grapefruit, but just enough sweet to leave you licking your lips. For a simple concoction, it piles on the delicious contradictions.

George Yatchisin happily eats, drinks and writes in Santa Barbara. He blogs at GeorgeEats.com.


The Limo Ryed Cocktail


4 ounces rye whiskey

2 ounces limoncello

1 ounce Greenbar Hops Amaro

1 ounces fresh Meyer lemon juice

4 dashes of a spicy bitters (Bitters Lab Habanero Lime recommended)

2 lemon wheels (cut as narrowly as you can and still have them hold their circular shape)

Add the first 4 ingredients into a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake well. Drain into 2 coupes. Garnish each glass with a lemon wheel.


Consider the proportions of this recipe and make what you need from there.

750 ml bottle of Everclear (or the highest alcohol % vodka you can buy)

10ish lemons (Meyer preferred)

3 cups granulated white sugar

3 cups water

I’d prefer to be more accurate with how many lemons, but it depends upon the size of your fruit—one of our trees likes to grow monsters, so we can get by with 8 lemons for a recipe like this. Consider 10 as your goal if your lemons are about 1½ inches in diameter. Here’s the actual labor for this project: Scrub your lemons. Peel all the lemons—gently and carefully, as you want as little pith as possible (the white stuff). A vegetable peeler tends to be a good tool for this work. Place the lemon zest in a large, clean jar. Pour the Everclear over the zest and give it a good stir. Seal the jar and give it a light shake. Store the jar in a dark spot at room temperature, for at least a couple of weeks. Once most of the color has leached out of the peels, you’re ready to go.

To make a simple syrup, heat the water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir to dissolve all the sugar. Let it reach boiling, then lower it to a simmer. After 5 minutes, turn it off. Let cool to room temperature.

Drain the peels from the infused liquor. Combine the infused liquor with the simple syrup. This remains stable at room temperature, but tastier stored in the freezer, and with all that alcohol, it won’t freeze.

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Documenting VINTAGE 2020

A collaboration between Karen Gearhart-Jensen and winemaker Sonja Magdevski encompassing 60 images from nine vineyards and seven varietals using printmaking, photography, spray (spritz) painting, cyanotype and digital collage.

hen I first started the conversation with artist Karen GearhartJensen back in May 2020, as leaves were bursting from sleepy wintery vines and grape clusters were blooming, I found extreme solace in walking quiet vineyard rows, the bright sun warming my face, inhaling unobstructed deep breaths. After two months of Covid lockdown, I already knew the words I wished to never hear again: pivot, new normal and lockdown being the first in a long list. An eternal optimist, I have always sought unique paths to achieving a desired goal when all other options seemed obstructed. I can follow the arrow even when it is crooked, dodging trees in the forest. The clearing is always just around the ridge.

I was seeking connection in ways I didn’t understand, and honestly haven’t had the time to reflect upon since. Initially, in mid-March 2020, I thought people would never buy wine again. A luxury product in a time of crisis? Alone in the tasting room day after day, I called wine club members, concerned about our collective welfare. News outlets and social media channels continuously provided too much information and not enough.

W“How are you?” “How are we?” I sincerely wondered, reaching beyond the noise. We were in our spring wine club season, and it felt callous and insensitive to run business as usual. I was wracked with doubt and disbelief. Everyone was resoundingly positive and delighted on the phone. “You still want wine? You want to double your order? You are excited for your shipment? You want to send wine to your friends?”

I never take anything for granted, which is why I don’t save wine for special occasions. Today is the day. Winemaking and grape growing force us to be present, hopeful and orient ourselves toward the future. Grapevines grow whether we tend them or not. The sun shines with or without us documenting its cycle in a perfect arc from sunrise to sunset. Together they create a magical photosynthetic energy that produces abundance for us to share with each other. And we weren’t even watching.

When I asked Karen if I could commission her to collaborate with me on Documenting Vintage 2020, the initial goal was to have a celebratory art show a few months later in the fall of 2020, displaying all the works next to the fermenting grapes and the wines they reference, so we could all gather in a collective sigh of relief at being able to embrace and enjoy togetherness once again. Of course, the pandemic would be over soon. (I told you I am an optimist.) The art show finally happened in late November 2022. Not a special time, just the right time.


As these pieces came together, I asked Karen to create whatever mood struck her. There were no parameters besides expressing the joy and gravity of life in front of us. I gathered foliage, stems, tiny clusters and other vineyard objects, placed them in bags with water and left the bundles on her front porch for her to retrieve whenever she felt safe and comfortable to do so. We repeated this exercise several times. She produced artwork at a thrilling pace. To see the creativity of what I was feeling from the vineyards translated through someone else’s lens was achingly poignant. Today, each time I study them the more humbled I become.

At the art show this past November, someone asked me, “Why do you want to bring us in so intensely?” She had come to drink wine and connect with friends. I wanted to talk about the meaning of life. Tasting wine is experiencing a moment in time from a very distinct place that will never be re-created again. I realized we were speaking different dialects of the same language. “That’s a great question,” I answered. “One I don’t have an answer for just yet, though I will, maybe, one day soon.”


As a printmaker artist, I am drawn to color, textures and patterns, especially those found in nature. That, along with my enjoyment of wine, led me to explore the ever-so-humble grape leaf through printing many varietals over the years. This current body of work focuses on the collaboration with winemaker and friend Sonja Magdevski of Casa Dumetz Wines in Los Alamos, California.

Sonja commissioned me to document her 2020 year of winemaking by printing leaves from the vines growing her luscious fruit. Over the months of June and early July, she brought me specimens from her vineyard visits, including leaves, tendrils, vines, tiny fruit clusters and other plant material found in the area. I got to work not only printing the samples on my printmaking press but also using spritz (spray) paint and photography to express the beauty and personality of the hardworking vines. I created 60 images from nine vineyards and seven varietals.

Creating this body of work allowed me to take an intimate look at the elegant structure and tiny details of the leaves and vines that are doing their best to fulfill their potential. In a way, it also allowed me to walk alongside Sonja’s own process of creation, which added another layer of appreciation to documenting this time and place through art and nature.

Planted in 2008. Ballard Canyon. 22 acres. Loam + sand. Certified organic. Farmed by Ruben Solorzano.

Clementine Carter Grenache Blanc.

printed 7/3/20 | collected 7/2/20

Planted in 1999, 34 acres, 9 x 5 spacing, bilateral spur pruned, vertical shoot positioned. Certified Organic. 580 ft. Elevation. Marina sands + loam soils. Family owned and operated. Farmed by Michael Larner.

Carter Larner Grenache.

Clementine Opposite: Larner Grenache printed 7/6/20 | collected 7/2/20 printed 7/3/20 | collected 7/2/20
“I know every square inch of the vineyard”—Michael Larner
Certified organic, Sta. Rita Hills.
by Ofer Shepher.
printed 6/4/20 | collected 6/3/20

On Alisos Canyon, planted in 2008. 20 acres. Biodynamic farming. Monterey shale and sand. Clementine Carter Mourvèdre 2021 vintage.

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 33 printed 6/10/20 | collected 6/9/20
printed 6/14/20 | collected 6/11/20 printed 6/12/20 | collected 6/9/20 Picpoul means “bee sting.” A very tart and juicy grape. 120 acres planted on Alisos Canyon.

Nine Vineyards and Seven Varietals: Spear – Grenache

Robert Rae – Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Roussanne

Hopgood – Pinot Noir

Martian – Mourvedre, Grenache Blanc

Nolan Ranch – Picpoul Blanc

Kimsey – Grenache

Portico Hills – Grenache

Christy & Wise – Grenache

Larner – Grenache

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 35
printed 6/5/20 | collected 6/3/20
Los Alamos Valley, planted in 2015. Certified Organic. 83.16 acres, 7 x 3 vertical shoot position, unilateral cordon. Farmed by Andrew Heilbronn. The Feminist Party GSM. 12 acres certified organic, sits above Santa Rosa Road in the Sta. Rita Hills. A stunning vantage point, due west facing the Pacific Ocean. Clay, loam soils. My happy place. Farmed by Chris King. You can order framed and unframed prints from the original work at www.RelatingToNature.com


Local couple celebrate 10 years of creating fun, vibrant and natural Amplify wines

For the past 10 years, Cameron and Marlen Porter have built a business around making wines they like to drink—namely, bright, fresh and natural. Since founding Amplify in 2013, the husband-and-wife team have earned a loyal following for their vibrant, minimalist wines, and today, the two continue to create wines that balance expression of site with a sense of style.

Cameron and Marlen, who both grew up in Santa Barbara County, first bonded over a shared love of wine and music. “When we met, I was working at a winery on the Central Coast while Cameron was in the music industry, spending his nights working at a wine shop to pursue his growing interest in wine,” says Marlen. “We each have a background in music, which has been influential in our lives, and we both appreciated wine and were from Santa Barbara County, so early on in our relationship, we dreamed of finding a way to bring these passions together.”

in love with wines with fewer additions, wines that are a bit more natural, bright and great with food, but we weren’t seeing a lot of those wines being made in our area,” explains Marlen.

“So we thought: ‘We’ve both been in the wine industry for years—Cameron more on the winemaking side, and me on the business and management side—so let’s combine our passions and skills to make the wines we want to drink.’”

While the Porters had been making Amplify wines at Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria, where Cameron worked as the estates manager, they moved into their own production space during the early stages of the pandemic and jumped headfirst into growing Amplify.

In 2013, starting with two tons of Carignan and Viognier, they made 90 cases of wine under their newly established Amplify label, which, not surprisingly, they named after a song. “The name Amplify came out of looking through albums that were meaningful to us, combing over lyrics and song titles,” recalls Marlen. “Fortuitously, we came across Cam’s old band Tin Teardrop’s album Never Shake a Polaroid, which had the song title ‘Amplify the Autumn,’ and it was an immediate ‘that’s the one.’”

After Cameron moved back to the region in 2008 to work in wine full-time and be closer to Marlen, the duo found they were drawn to the winemaking techniques and site-driven styles of Old World wines, but they couldn’t find many wines from Santa Barbara in the fresher, more food-friendly style they craved.

“While Cameron was studying for his Sommelier Certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers, we fell

By the time they were ready to sell their first vintage in 2015, Amplify had already acquired distribution in California and New York, which, as Cameron puts it, “got our name out there and really pushed us to increase production.”

When their son Miles was born that same year, Marlen left her full-time winery job to focus on raising him, which allowed her the space to put more effort into Amplify. “Being at home gave me flexibility, both to be a new mom and to give more

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 37

attention to our brand,” she says. “That was a big shift for us, professionally and personally—it’s when we realized Amplify could really be more than just our on-the-side passion project.”

While the Porters had been making Amplify wines at Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria, where Cameron worked as the estates manager, they moved into their own production space during the early stages of the pandemic and jumped headfirst into growing Amplify.

“Moving into our own space was a turning point,” says Cameron. “We were always inspired by the similarities between wine and music, how exploring different wines is much like exploring different types of music, but having our own space allowed us to step back and reevaluate what type of ‘composers’ we wanted to be for the vines.”

They started experimenting with different winemaking techniques, exploring longer barrel-aging times and taking on

custom crush projects. And by the end of 2021, the Porters had increased production to 3,000 cases and were working with 20 different grape varieties.

Around that same time, Cameron and Marlen felt the calling for greater inclusion in the wine community at large.

“Throughout our wine journeys, we have seen firsthand the need to foster more diversity in the wine industry,” says Marlen, a firstgeneration Hispanic American whose family hails from Oaxaca, Mexico. Adds Cameron, “Marlen is one of the first indigenous Latina winery owners in the U.S., and what she has accomplished is an inspiration to many, but it was important to us to find a

Cameron and Marlen Porter with their son Miles. A bottle of their 2020 Subliminal Red.

way to make a larger impact, to play a greater part in fostering an equitable environment that better reflects the world around us.”

This prompted them to establish Natural Action, a quarterly wine club they founded with several friends in the wine and art world, designed to promote inclusion and opportunity for the BIPOC community by creating jobs, internships and scholarships. Members receive four exclusive bottles from natural winemakers, each adorned with unique art created by BIPOC creators and historical artists. “Proceeds go toward supporting those in the BIPOC community interested in exploring careers in the wine industry,” says Marlen. “It’s a cause we believe in and are grateful to be a part of.”

Since founding Amplify, it’s definitely been “educational, in ways both positive and negative,” says Cameron, who explains that they’ve “learned some hard lessons and also had some wonderful surprises” along the way. Through it all, though, the duo remains proud of all they have learned and accomplished in the last decade—and happy to have followed their instincts to source naturally grown grapes and use natural winemaking techniques at a time when several others said it was too risky.

“From the start, we were utilizing carbonic maceration, native yeasts, little to no sulfur dioxide—things that most people were not doing here locally 10 years ago,” says Cameron. “Fortunately, we had enough support from people like Kevin Law of Cotiere and Mike Roth of Lo-Fi that we could still do exactly what we wanted in the cellar without having to compromise. It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come… and that we’ve been able to expose people to a different side of winemaking in Santa Barbara.”

Today, the Porters have scaled back production to 2,000 cases a year, launched an Amplify wine club and remain focused on working with smaller, organically farmed vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County and beyond.

Known for their fun and unique blends, such as Mixtape (a red blend of Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet, Montepulciano, Mourvèdre and Grenache) and Duke & Ella (a white blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, Albariño and Viognier), the couple also make single-varietal wines, including from unexpected Mediterranean varieties like Carignan and Montepulciano. And, aligning with the Porters’ non-traditional approach, each bottle of Amplify features a bright, eye-catching label that matches the creative spirit of the juice inside.

“By treating each variety and site differently, much like every songwriter approaches a new song uniquely, we want to honor what the fruit is giving us while amplifying the voice of each site, showcasing the best characteristics in the most honest, natural way possible,” concludes Marlen. “It’s a lot of work, but we’re so grateful to be able to do what we love.”

Hana-Lee Sedgwick is a Santa Barbara native who writes about wine, food and travel. When not keeping busy as a freelance writer and editor, she happily spends her downtime eating, drinking and wandering up and down the West Coast. Follow her on Instagram @wanderandwine.

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In the Age of Megadrought

Is Agave the Crop of the Future in the American West?


Raul “Reppo” Chavez surveys his agave crop on a sunny morning north of Sacramento, California. His largest plants sit at the top of a hillside, while the youngest and smallest are down by the road. “They look real good,” he says, nodding. The plants’ giant leaves are arranged like the petals of open roses, but they’re as sharp as eagle talons reaching out of the earth. Chavez and many others who drive by find the agave field striking. Cyclists out for rides stop to take photos.

Mexican-American girls celebrating their quinceañeras pose in glimmering gowns among the plants, which stand out as different from the olive, citrus, and almond orchards typically blanketing the region.

and momentum with its promise of drought resilience and a path into the potentially lucrative world of spirits.

A perennial succulent native to the arid Southwest U.S. and Central and South America, agave plants, with spiky leaves as stiff as cartilage, can grow to weigh up to 110 pounds, and the distilled spirits, made from the plant’s hefty heart, or piña, are soaring in popularity. Since 2003, tequila and mezcal volume has increased by more than 200 percent, with a significant surge in demand over the last five years.

Long before George Clooney kicked off a celebrity tequila brand deluge that heightened agave’s worth, Indigenous and rural communities relied on the plant for food, and used its fibers for textiles, rope, and even roofing material.

Chavez, a native of Tonaya, Mexico—where mezcal is produced—grew up with agave growing in every direction and learned the skills of a jimador, or agave farmer, from relatives. He’s leasing the plot from a family that used to grow grapes there. Three years ago, the family he works for ripped out the vines in an effort to conserve water and gave him the green light to plant agave. Now, as the West grapples with the worst drought in more than 1,000 years, he’s among a small but growing group of farmers in California, Arizona and Texas who are turning to these hearty plants, which can survive with little to no water.

As many farmers in drought-prone regions are rethinking what they grow, there are some other familiar workhorse crops that require little irrigation and could step in to keep bare land from turning to dust—such as winter wheat, legumes and safflower. It’s agave, however, that has captured recent interest

In California, Stuart Woolf, president and CEO of Woolf Farming & Processing, a prominent operation that grows massive tracts of almonds, pistachios and processing tomatoes, has emerged as agave’s biggest champion. Last summer, Woolf donated $100,000 for an agave research center at University California at Davis.

Woolf, who used to rely on the state’s network of canals to deliver “surface water” to most of his 25,000 acres of farmland, hasn’t received a full allocation in years. He can pump from his wells to make up for that loss, but a sweeping state law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, aims to curb that practice.

“In all likelihood,” Woolf says, “I’m going to end up with more and more of my land being unable to farm because I just don’t have enough water.”

That’s how, three years ago, as the 63-year-old sipped on tequila, Woolf’s mind landed on agave, plants that

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 41
Opposite: Over the course of two days, Chavez would dig up 1,000 pups from the fields of Craig Reynolds to sell to a new grower.
Raul “Reppo” Chavez’s field of agave in Yolo County.
EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 43 PHOTO

are incredibly drought tolerant thanks to a twist in plant physiology. Agave plants keep the openings in their leaves (the stomata) closed during the day to avoid water evaporation, reopening them at night to collect and store carbon dioxide, and engage in photosynthesis come dawn.

“All I have now is a test plot, land and a desire,” says Woolf.

A New Climate Crop?

Woolf is in the San Joaquin Valley, a 5-million-acre stretch of the most productive agricultural land in the world. It’s also the epicenter of California’s water crisis. Unregulated pumping of groundwater has resulted in depleted aquifers, sinking land and thousands of dry agricultural and drinking water wells. A recent study estimated that at least 500,000 acres of heavily irrigated land in the San Joaquin Valley will need to be permanently retired in the next 20 years.

All across the Southwest, the fallowing of land is already underway. In 2022 alone, California farmers left hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland unplanted. In New Mexico, the state legislature allotted millions of dollars to pay farmers to idle fields. And in Arizona’s Pinal County, 30-40 percent of the 250,000 acres of irrigated farmland has been fallowed due to cuts in the water supply from the Colorado River.

“By next year that number is expected to rise,” says Paul Orme, an attorney for several irrigation districts in Pinal County.

Doug Richardson, an agricultural consultant who owns Drylands Farming Company near Santa Barbara, is an agave enthusiast, and not just for their ability to thrive in arid climates. “They’re fire resistant,” he says. “We’ve done a lot of farm design where we do agave as a perimeter crop to act as a line of defense. A row of these succulent plants can keep a wildfire from encroaching.”

For nearly 20 years, Richardson encouraged mostly small-scale growers in the West to incorporate agave into their operations, and within the last 10 years he says his business has soared, with new clients in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona all seeking a less water intensive crop.

Ian Beger, the farm director at Castle Hot Springs, a luxury resort north of Phoenix, worked with Richardson to plant about three acres of agave so that the resort could offer hyper-local spirits.

Water savings was not Beger’s main motivation, but he believes if he and other well-resourced growers can work out the kinks and better understand the viability of this novel crop, that may help bring other farmers along.

“Unless it has significant promise, no one is willing to risk their livelihood to grow it,” he says.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAIG REYNOLDS Agave can be harvested at any time of year. Their 100-pound piña is what is used to produce distilled spirits.

‘Agave Spirits’ on the Menu

Long before George Clooney kicked off a celebrity tequila brand deluge that heightened agave’s worth, Indigenous and rural communities relied on the plant for food, and used its fibers for textiles, rope and even roofing material.

On a cloudless, bright autumn morning north of Sacramento, Craig Reynolds walked through around 1,000 agave plants. Olive and nut trees used to stand here, but about eight years ago when the landowner, a friend of Reynolds’, had to start rationing water, he agreed that planting agave made sense. An almond orchard requires about four-acre feet of water, and Reynolds estimates an agave plot of the same size requires about a tenth of that amount.

Founder of the California Agave Council, a trade group of 40 growers, distillers and retailers formed this year, Reynolds is a newbie farmer who worked in California state politics (and witnessed a lot of hand wringing over water shortages) before retiring.

While there are hundreds of species, he has planted mostly blue agave, the variety used for tequila. Harvesting the piña, the pineapple-shaped heart of the plant that gets fermented for distilled spirits, demands patience, as agave can take six to eight years to mature. Still, Reynolds says over time farmers can build up their acreage so that every year there are plants ready to harvest. And he’s found a lucrative, boutique market in craft distillers. “I can get $15,000 per acre, which is a lot compared to most crops,” he says.

The spirit distilled from his agave is clear and smooth— essentially tequila in taste but not in name. Like Champagne must originate in France, agave spirits can only be called tequila if the agave is grown inside the Mexican state of Jalisco, and is made from Agave tequilana, or blue agave. Similarly, mezcal, which can be made with many varieties of agave, must be produced in one of 10 designated states in Mexico.

It’s not clear how much of a market there may be for U.S.-made agave spirits, but Reynolds and Woolf say before addressing that issue, the research center at U.C. Davis will examine California’s advantages and disadvantages in growing this crop. “An important question on the minds of growers is how well can they survive in areas where maybe no water is available [aside from rainfall],” says Ron Runnebaum, an associate professor of viticulture and enology at U.C. Davis.

Research will likely also focus on how agave handles the occasional frost. Are there species best suited for California? And will the long, hot San Joaquin Valley summers speed up plant growth?

“It would be great if they could figure out a developing agave plant that would mature faster, grower larger and have greater sugar content where you could actually produce more distilled spirits per acre than elsewhere,” says Woolf, adding that efficiency in a California agave market will be key to keeping it competitive, since labor and other costs are lower in Mexico.

The Developing Agave Market

Raul Chavez understands agave’s appeal in the U.S. Southwest. “You can plant a lot of acres. You don’t use too much money, don’t use too much water,” he says, adding that a relentless gopher is his only major headache. “You need a market, but the market is coming.”

Beyond distilled spirits, there is agave syrup; the plant can also be used as a fiber additive to foods, and agave can make animal feed, which could pose an alternative to waterthirsty alfalfa grown in drought-riddled Southwest, says Ronnie Cummins, founder of Regeneration International. The nonprofit is dedicated to regenerative farming and land management and strives to plant 1 billion agaves worldwide, in part to help farmers with access to little water.

Cummins has worked with ranchers in Texas to blend fermented agave leaves with the pods from native mesquite trees to create a low-water, sustainable cattle feed. “We think that the west Texas ranchers who already have mesquite (trees) on their property are going to be very amenable to this,” he says.

Cummins says a growing number of farms in the Northern Guanajuato state of Mexico are already relying on agave for animal feed, while also harvesting the piña for mezcal or tequila. And because agaves help store water in the ground, the plant is helping native vegetation to return to barren, overgrazed lands. It can become, he says, an intact, productive agroforestry system. “Do this right and you can preserve the natural biodiversity that’s already out there,” he says.

At a time when rainfall is increasingly unpredictable and reservoirs in the West are reaching historic lows, Cummins hopes the sudden interest in agave leads to an agricultural transformation in areas facing a long, dry future.


Drylands Farming Company

Doug Richardson, horticultural and agricultural consultant, along with his wife, Lisa, operate Drylands Farming Company, an agave plant nursery (open by appointment), which also offers landscape design and project development services. www.drylandsfarmingcompany.com


Augie Johnson, who has promoted the planting of agaves in burn zones, has also made tequila in Mexico (www.augiesagave.com) and recently opened Augie’s—a restaurant and bar featuring agave spirits at 700 State St., in Santa Barbara. www.Augiessb.com

Ventura Spirits

Innovative craft spirits distilled, aged and bottled in Ventura. Their La Paloma single-estate agave from La Paloma Ranch in Goleta is sold out. But they currently have another agave spirit—YOLO, which is made with blue agave grown at Muller Ranch in Yolo County. Their canned cocktail Prickly Paloma made with prickly pear brandy also has agave. www.venturaspirits.com

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 45

A Vibrant Approach to SEASONAL COOKING

When I grew up in London, we had a little greengrocer around the corner from our house, who, in winter, sold mainly leeks, potatoes, cabbages and carrots, and some apples and pears. He would wrap each vegetable up in a small paper bag. My mother, brother and I would stand in the drizzle; it was always drizzling or raining, and as this was an open-air affair, the grocer and all the customers were bundled up in layers to try and keep out the pervasive damp that crept up our bones. Every few days, we would walk the two blocks to look at his produce in the hope we’d be inspired by something new, and every week we would walk home with the same ingredients, the paper bags getting soggy in the rain. We’d make soup; Mum made spiced dahl and lentils, and terrific apple crumbles—foods designed to keep us warm.

I recently read these lines by poet Edith Sitwell: “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” This reminded me of those wet London days, and invokes images of hearty roasts, rich sauce mopped up with chunks of freshly baked bread, rib-sticking stews or a dish with a heart-stopping amount of melted cheese. Hugely satisfying every now and then, but as the short damp days drag on, some of us

get the winter blues and get stuck in a rut cooking the same three dishes and a general throw-it-all-in-the-pot vegetable soup. At first, these big warming bowls of hearty stews, bean chili, gratins and soups are just what we need when the weather turns chilly and wet—and don’t get me wrong, I do love a bowl of creamy vegetable soup—but it can get tedious, and taste buds get tired.

I long for food that offers a little pick-me-up, something with a little zest and piquancy. Enter winter greens, citrus, lots of herbs, and meals that don’t require a spoon to eat them. It wasn’t until I moved to California that I found (and still find) winter markets more inspiring, the obvious bonus being that the temperature isn’t hovering just above freezing, and “winter,” such as it is, is thankfully short.

Here the markets are filled with vibrant colors from dazzling chards, radicchio and purple Chidori kale, to watermelon radishes, multihued beets and cauliflowers, and such a huge variety of citrus fruit, in particular fragrant Cara Cara oranges, stunning blood oranges and sweetly tangy Meyer lemons. This colorful bounty is stimulating to the senses, and as the old adage attributed to the Roman epicurean Apicius goes, “we eat first with our eyes.” Drawn in by these colorful winter vegetables, I walk through the market creating an array of dishes in my mind. I may

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well see a beautifully whorled creamy cauliflower and think of a curried cauliflower soup or a gratin. But I will balance that rich dish with a crisp winter greens salad with thinly shaved candycane-colored radish slices or will see a mound of carrots piled high on a farmer’s table and think of a carrot purée to serve alongside a roast chicken and balance the hearty meal with a dessert salad of sliced winter citrus fruit.

So much of winter cooking is about creating food that is warming and sustaining, making comforting dishes—dishes that take time to simmer and develop flavor, to slowly percolate on the stove while you, hopefully, curl up on the sofa with a good book until it’s time to eat. Sometimes these dishes can be monotone, a mac and cheese, say, or a mushroom soup. This is when I like to think about texture. A change in texture enhances a dish. Crispy Brussels sprouts in the bowl of mushroom soup will give it a pop in much the same way crispy bacon will to the mac and cheese or adding al dente vegetables to a bowl of lentil curry. The lentils are soft and tender, yet the vegetables add an uplifting note keeping each mouthful interesting.

Creating and cooking a lively winter menu is about balance between comfort food and dishes that open the appetite and keep satisfying all one’s senses, from the aroma of a roast filling the kitchen as it cooks to the fresh taste of citrus zest shaved across a salad, from the texture and sensation of a sensually soft yet crunchy mushroom crostini to the sight of a lemon souffle rising. As each of our senses is stimulated, our taste buds start salivating in anticipation; imagine a crunchy crisp pear and arugula salad followed by a luscious stew, a hearty vegetable soup with a zesty herb pesto followed by a mouth-puckering lemon tart, or a radicchio and shaved parmesan salad, followed by a lentil curry with a tangy yogurt sauce. Adding that little extra touch—the crisp pears to the salad, the pesto to the soup, the yogurt to the curry—livens up each dish. Adding these extra touches to winter dishes has kept my taste buds happy. Is this something you do too?


Baby Arugula, Wild Mushroom, Mung Bean and Goat Cheese Salad

Robert Dautch—or BD, as he is known to everyone— has been farming for more than four decades in the Ojai Valley and Carpinteria. I have heard him described as an “organic alchemist.” And having cooked with his exquisite array of herbs, greens, edible flowers and vegetables

for many of those years, I can attest that he and his hardworking crew, are masters of their craft. He is also a fountain of knowledge, and it was he, when he saw that I held a bunch of his Japanese globe turnips in my hand one market day, who said, “You know those are great eaten raw, Pascale.” I had not, up to that point, tried raw turnips, but dutifully went home and tried one. The texture and flavor were a revelation: sweet, delicate, with a hint of a mild radish on the palate, and the crunch of an Asian pear. They are terrific in salads. In this recipe they add a delicate yet crunchy contrast to the warmth of the sautéed mushrooms, the creaminess of the goat cheese and the pepperiness of the arugula.



1 tablespoon walnut mustard

1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Champagne or white wine vinegar


8 ounces baby arugula

2 ounces sprouted mung beans

4–5 baby Japanese globe turnips, washed (and peeled, if necessary) then thinly sliced

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

3 ounces goat cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 1⁄2 pounds assorted mushrooms, including cremini, trumpet, shiitake, sliced

Sea salt

Black pepper

In a large salad bowl whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients to form a thick emulsion. Place salad utensils over the vinaigrette. Place the arugula, mung beans, sliced turnips, chives and goat cheese on top of the utensils.

Pour the olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is just sizzling, add the butter and melt until foaming. Add the mushrooms, a good pinch of salt and 8–10 grinds of pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, until liquids evaporate and mushrooms turn golden brown, about 5–6 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the salad. Toss to combine well. Serve while the mushrooms are still warm.

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Lentils du Puy and Carrot Salad

I must admit I am a little obsessed with these lentils from Auvergne, France. Lentils du Puy are sometimes called the caviar of lentils, and for good reason. They are absolutely worth the premium one pays for them. There are other small French lentils out there, but please trust me when I tell you that these are absolutely the best. They have a slightly nutty, mineral-like quality to them. They can be prepared quickly and because of their unique characteristics, they retain their shape when cooked, unlike other varieties. Lentils served with a mustardy vinaigrette are classic bistro fare in France and are often served with crispy bacon (lardons) added or as an accompaniment to duck confit or roast chicken. I love to make variations of this dish by adding assorted vegetables and herbs to the mix. In this version, multicolored carrots with green onions, parsley and chives are tossed with the lentils and vinaigrette.


2 cups Lentils du Puy

2 small red onions, peeled and quartered

1 bay leaf

4 cups vegetable stock

Coarse sea salt

3 large red carrots, halved lengthwise and cut on a bias into

1 ⁄2 -inch slices

3 large orange carrots, halved lengthwise and cut on a bias into

1 ⁄2 -inch slices

Olive oil

4 green onions, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

3 tablespoons chives, finely chopped



Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon Dijon or walnut mustard

1 ⁄4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Place the lentils, red onions, bay leaf and vegetable stock in a large saucepan. Add a good pinch of salt. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 20–25 minutes, or until the lentils are just al dente. Drain and remove the bay leaf. Place the lentils and onions in a medium salad bowl.

While the lentils are cooking, steam the carrots until they are just tender, 6–7 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let cool to room temperature. Pour a little olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the green onions, parsley, chives and the cooked carrots. Add a pinch of

salt and 4–5 grinds black pepper and cook for 4–5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and mix well. Add the carrot mixture to the lentils. In a small bowl whisk together the mustard, ¼ cup olive oil and vinegar to form an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the lentils and carrots. Mix well. Let sit at least 30 minutes before serving.

Roasted Beets, Butternut Squash and Red Onions with Zesty Parsley Pesto

This is one of my favorite beet dishes. The vibrant pesto is terrific with the rich, roasted butternut squash, the meltingly soft onions and the tender beets. I like to serve this dish with green salad filled with herbs, and for a hearty meal with a lentil dish alongside, as the earthiness of the legumes pairs wondrously with the voluptuousness of the roasted beets and butternut squash.



4 red beets, unpeeled

Olive oil


Black pepper

1 medium butternut squash, halved, seeded, peeled, cut into

1 ⁄3 -inch slices

1 large red onion, peeled, thinly sliced


1 cup parsley leaves

1 tablespoon capers

4–5 cornichons

1 ⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 small Meyer lemon

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place the beets in a small baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, add a good pinch of salt and some pepper, and roast for 50–60 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and slice into 1 3 -inch rounds.

Pour a little olive oil onto a rimmed sheet pan. Place the butternut squash and onion slices in the pan and turn to evenly coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the same oven as the beets for 40 minutes. While the vegetables are roasting, make the pesto. Place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender, and purée to a semi-smooth consistency.

Arrange the beets, squash and onions on a large serving platter. Spoon the pesto over the vegetables. Serve warm.

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Crêpes à l Orange

You know how you can taste a dessert that instantly transports you back to your childhood? Well, this is that dessert for me. My mother comes from the French Alps. We would escape the bitterly damp London winters to the fresh air of her alpine hometown whenever we could. This is what we ate when we came in from cold, snowy days in the mountains. We would thaw out by the fireplace in the local café at the bottom of the ski slopes and eat crêpes—sometimes sprinkled with sugar, sometimes with sugar and orange juice. They were hot, somewhat lacey, slightly buttery and faintly crispy on the outside. It was blissful.


1 cup unbleached flour

1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 ⁄4 cup water

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Zest of 1 orange

3 eggs, beaten in a small bowl

Vegetable oil

Juice of 2 oranges


Put the flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a large bowl if you are whisking this by hand). With the mixer running, pour in the milk, water, melted butter, orange zest and eggs. Whisk until the batter is smooth.

Heat a 7-inch frying pan or crêpe pan until it is very hot. Using a paper towel, wipe the surface of the pan with a little oil. Pour just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan, just under 1 ⁄3 of a cup. Tilt the pan to coat evenly. Cook the crêpe until the bottom is golden brown and then flip it over, cooking a minute more. (You may lose the first one or two as they might stick or not form properly. Don’t worry; this is normal.)

Keep the cooked crêpes in a stack on a warm plate. When ready to serve, place a crêpe on a plate, drizzle with orange juice and a little sugar. Fold in half and half again. Serve warm.

Pascale Beale grew up in England and France surrounded by a family that has always been passionate about food, wine and the arts. She was taught to cook by her French mother and grandmother. She is the author of The Menu for All Seasons, Salade II, Les Fruits and Les Legumes. Visit her website and blog: The Market Table at PascalesKitchen.com.

June 11th at 6pm

Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez

Where Opera Meets Bluegrass

The unexpected and original merger of two dynamic musical legacies

Held at the beautiful Sunstone Winery in the heart of the Santa Ynez valley, this one night only performance features world class opera singers performing both new and classical operatic favorites, followed with songs that celebrate a distinctively American musical heritage.

Sunstone Winery, modeled after a Tuscan villa, is visually spectacular in both grounds and architecture. The performance, located in the “Cave” amplifies the clarity of the singing as well as providing an intimate setting for the audience.

Limited Premier seating is available for $270, while general admission is priced at $180.00.


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All proceeds benefit both our community and allow us to further our mission in supporting charitable contributions to the broader Santa Ynez Valley. Contact Susie Margolis Pierson with questions:
more info, visit:



Now more than ever, it’s important to seek out and support local businesses. Here is our guide of the current advertisers that we fully support and hope you will, too. Visit the websites to get more information about what they offer and any updated hours of operation.

Farms & Ranches

Babé Farms

805 925-4144


Babé Farms boasts a year-round harvest of colorful baby and specialty vegetables, grown in the Santa Maria Valley. Family-owned and -operated, Babé Farms is the “couture” label top chefs and fine retailers look to for their gourmet vegetable needs.

Winfield Farm

805 686-9312


Taste the magic of Winfield Farm Mangalitsa at these special places: Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles, Pico at the General Store in Los Alamos, and we’re delighted to announce our new relationship with Michelin star restaurant First and Oak at the Mirabelle Inn in Solvang. You can also order through our Mangalitsa Market on the Winfield Farm website—please call first! Follow us on Facebook (WinfieldFarmBuellton), Twitter (@WinfieldFarm.us) and Instagram (Winfield_Farm).

Food & Restaurants

Bob’s Well Bread

550 Bell St., Los Alamos, CA

805 344-3000

2249 Baseline Ave., Ballard, CA 805 691-9549


Now in two locations with convenient online ordering, Bob’s makes bread the old-fashioned way: handcrafted in small batches with the finest ingredients and baked to perfection in a custom-built stone-deck oven. Drop in to taste what visitors and journalists are raving about as “worth the drive” about—signature Pain au Levain, award-winning artisanal breads, croissants and specialty pastries. All-day menu of made-to-order breakfast, lunch and weekly special dishes. Indooroutdoor picturesque café. Los Alamos: Thu–Mon 7am–4pm. Ballard: Thu–Mon 8am–4pm. Café closes at 3pm. Closed Tue and Wed.


1150 Coast Village Rd., Montecito, 805 969-2500 2700 De la Vina St., Santa Barbara, 805 770-2238


Bree’Osh is a French artisan bakery café specializing in sweet and savory brioche bread made with traditional sourdough. Featuring local, organic, highquality ingredients. Serving breakfast and lunch daily 7am–2pm (kitchen open until 1:30pm).

Chocolate Maya

15 W. Gutierrez St., Santa Barbara 805 965-5956


Chocolate Maya handmade chocolate confections: a variety of velvety truffles and chocolate-dipped temptations that are made from the highest-quality chocolate (Valrhona, Felchlin, Conexion, including small bean-to-bar artisans couverture) fresh local ingredients and exotic findings from their travels overseas. Covid-19 hours noon–5pm every day. Closed on Wednesday.

Global Gardens

3570 Madera Street, Santa Ynez 805 686-4111


Global Gardens grows, produces and sells awardwinning organic olive oils, balsamic vinegars, organic mustards, snacks, gift baskets and more. Santa Barbara’s first extra virgin olive oil producer since their first harvest in 1998. A true family business with expert knowledge and love for the land.

Olive Hill Farm

2901 Grand Ave., Los Olivos 805 693-0700


Specializing in local olive oils, flavored oils and balsamic vinegars as well as many locally produced food products. Olive oil and vinegar tastings with fresh local bread available. Open Thu–Mon 11am–5pm.


458 Bell St., Los Alamos 805 344-1122


Located in the historic 1880 General Store, offering a casual dining experience with innovative cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients. The extensive wine list has earned a Wine Enthusiast “Top 100 Wine Restaurant” award two years running. Open Tue–Thu 3–9pm; Fri–Sat noon–10pm; Sun Burger Night noon–9pm.

Plow to Porch

805 895-7171


Plow to Porch Organics is a local organic/pesticide-free produce and grocery delivery service to members who subscribe. They simplify the purchase of local fresh organic produce and other organic, local foods in order to inspire good nutrition, support local farmers, protect the environment and make eating healthy food fun! Subscriptions start at $22.50.

Wine & Beer

Au Bon Climat

813 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara 805 963-7999


The tasting room and the Jim Clendenen Wine Library are known for world-class Chardonnays and Pinots, yet other varietals are available. Jim Clendenen made wines of vision and character for over 30 years. Amazing lineup of current releases and library wines on hand. Tasting room open Mon–Fri noon–6pm, Sat and Sun 11am–6pm. Outdoor wine tasting daily. Reservations recommended.

Babi’s Beer Emporium

380 Bell St., Los Alamos 805 344-1911


Great beer. Impeccable selection. Great fun. Adventurous beer drinkers can discover unique, hardto-find craft beers, ciders and special projects—on tap or in bottle. Stay to have a bite from Dim Sama’s menu. Thu–Sat noon–7pm, Sun noon–6pm, Mon noon–4pm, Tue–Wed by appointment only.


Casa Dumetz

388 Bell St., Los Alamos, 805 344-1900


A boutique winery specializing in Rhône varietals crafted with premier Santa Barbara County fruit. Their wines are sold almost exclusively at their tasting room in historic Los Alamos and through their wine club.

Thu–Sat noon–7pm, Sun noon–6pm, Mon noon–4pm, Tue–Wed by appointment.

Foxen Vineyard & Winery

7600 Foxen Canyon Rd., Santa Maria 805 937-4251


The Foxen Boys’ winery and tasting room features Burgundian and Rhône-style wines. Visit the historic shack “Foxen 7200” for Italian and Bordeaux-style wines. Picnic tables and scenic views at both locations. Open daily by reservation.

Margerum & Barden

Tasting Room at the Hotel Californian, corner Winery Tasting Room, 59 Industrial Way, Buellton; 805 686-8500


Enjoy wine tasting, order from their menu and stock up on provisions at the combined Margerum and Barden Tasting Room across the street from Hotel Californian in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone. Indoor and outdoor patio seating, with an indoor mezzanine that can host private events. Handcrafted Rhône varietal wines from Margerum Estate Vineyard and from grapes grown at top Santa Barbara County vineyards. All complemented with a simple fare menu—cheese and charcuterie, pizzas, paninis, salads and other foods to complement the wine. The winery in Buellton is open by appointment for wine tasting and winery tours.

Meritage Wine Market

18 W. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara 805 845-0777


Meritage Wine Market offers the best personal wine experience with the core belief that making great wine is a complex process but choosing one shouldn’t be. They manage their customers’ needs with wine selections specifically chosen for their individual purpose and fulfilling the highest-quality wine within budget. Open Tue–Sat 11am–6pm.

Riverbench Vineyard & Winery

137 Anacapa St., Ste. C., Santa Barbara 805 324-4100

6020 Foxen Canyon Rd., Santa Maria 805 937-8340


Established in 1973, when the first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes were planted on the property. For years since then, some of the most renowned wineries have purchased Riverbench fruit for their wines. In 2004, Riverbench began producing their own still and sparkling wines in limited quantities, with many available exclusively through their tasting rooms in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.

Zaca Mesa Winery

6905 Foxen Canyon Rd., Los Olivos 805 688-9339


Since 1973, Zaca Mesa Winery has crafted distinctive wines from their unique mesa-top vineyard. As an early pioneer of the region, they now have 150 acres planted, specializing in the production of estate-grown Rhône-style wines. Tasting room and picnic area open daily 10am–4pm. Call for more information on winery tours and private event space.

Specialty Retail

ella & louie


Floral designer Tracey Morris has two great loves: flowers and people. Relying on more than 25 years of design experience, Morris helps clients celebrate their big occasions with exquisite and expressive floral arrangements. Ella & Louie produces a range of looks from classic elegant designs to unusual and stylish. Local delivery.

Professional Services

American Riviera Bank

525 San Ysidro Rd., Montecito, 805-335-8110


1033 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara 805 965-5942


Offering a local and sustainable approach to banking. The founders of American Riviera Bank are a carefully

selected group of successful, prominent, experienced and influential community and business leaders who understand the unique needs of the Santa Barbara community. Montecito branch open Mon–Thu 9am–5pm; Fri 9am–5:30pm. Santa Barbara branch open Mon–Thu 8am–5pm, Fri 8am–6pm.

Change Home Mortgage

310 927-2467


Change Home Mortgage offers traditional and nontraditional loans as diverse as the borrowers they serve.

Monterey County


SBCC Foundation

805 730-4401


The SBCC Foundation has provided Santa Barbara City College with private philanthropic support for over 45 years, serving as the vehicle through which individuals and organizations may invest in the college and its students. The Foundation provides more than $5 million annually for the SBCC Promise, student success programs, scholarships, emergency grants and more— supporting SBCC students as they prepare for careers, transfer to four-year universities and pursue lifelong learning goals.

Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce


Representing 1,100 businesses and 75,000 jobs from Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta and everything in between, the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce is proud to advocate for business, support economic development and promote tourism and visitor services.

Taste of Santa Barbara


This Spring, Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, in partnership with The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, will present Taste of Santa Barbara, May 15–21, a countywide celebration of all things food and drink.

EdibleSantaBarbara.com LATE WINTER / EARLY SPRING 2023 | 55

Winter’s Don’t-Miss Dish

Passion Fruit Pavlova at Bettina

Passion fruit is one of Santa Barbara’s most abundant farmers market foods, and late winter is the perfect time for it to brighten up your table with its tart, citrusy flavor. Here at Bettina pizzeria in Montecito Country Mart, their Passion Fruit Pavlova dessert is available three-quarters of the year, including winter.

Owners Rachel Greenspan and Brendan Smith opened this Cal-Italian joint in 2018 after a catering stint in the Santa Ynez Valley and multiple eating trips to Italy. They became known for their fresh and inventive toppings and naturally leavened bread and pizza dough (they both used to work at the renowned Roberta’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn). And their zeal for farmers markets and local food means we all reap the delicious rewards.

Weekly market forays are the backbone of the restaurant’s ever-changing menu, and Head Chef Josh Pressman routinely fills about 14 crates of produce each time. “It’s super important to us, and it’s also difficult at a restaurant, committing to as much produce as possible from local markets,” Greenspan said. They create two or three market pizzas from

this haul each month and also offer classic pizzas that stay on the menu, along with unique starters, side dishes, salads and desserts. Where they can’t source ingredients locally, they stay as local as possible and stick to California (like their California-grown San Marzano tomatoes for the sauce).

2020 was a hard year for restaurants, but Greenspan and Smith quickly switched their focus to the obvious: pizza to-go. This made it easier for folks to try this new neighborhood spot, and it was a success. The couple feels they’ve grown so much in the last two years from all that navigating, as well as from the wonderful surprise of receiving a Bib Gourmand rating from the Michelin Guide in late 2021. In the future, watch for more to-go options, new menu items, fun events and maybe even another space.

To make the dish, beat 4 egg whites at medium speed, gradually streaming in 2 cups of sugar. Once it gets glossy, stiff peaks, fold in 2 tablespoons each of cornstarch and apple cider vinegar. With a large cookie scooper, scoop out portions, placing them on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 1 hour in a 210°F oven with

the door cracked open (you want to bake it as dry as possible). It’s done when it’s completely set, hard on the outside, and slightly sticky. While baking, make a simple syrup of water and sugar and add coriander seeds (1 cup of each). Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain the seeds and set syrup aside for another use. Pan-fry or deep-fry the seeds in neutral oil for 3–5 minutes, place on paper towels to dry, and sprinkle with salt.

Beat 1 cup cream, ¼ cup sour cream, some vanilla bean paste and powdered sugar until medium-soft peaks form. With a paring knife, carefully cut a circle in the top of each pavlova and fill the inside with the whipped cream mixture. Cut 4 passion fruits in half, and scoop out the seeds onto the top of the whipped cream. Add the candied coriander seeds and drizzle with good olive oil.

Liz Dodder is a drinker, eater and traveler who has eaten five kinds of foie gras in one day. She’s also a blogger, writer, photographer, recipe developer, web designer, social media maven and Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW).


This Spring, Santa Barbara Culinary Experience will host a county-wide celebration of all things food and drink. M AY 1 5 TH T O 21ST , 2 0 2 3 Visit sbce.events for the full schedule of events! p l ease fol l ow us on Insta g ra m @sbculinaryexperienc e
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