Category: Featured Produce

Green Beans

Beans

Green beans, also known as snap beans because they “snap” when broken, are harvested when young, when the beans inside the pod are small and tender and the pods are thin. They are very low in calories and loaded with vitamins K, A, and C, fiber, folate and anti-oxidants. Interestingly, green beans were originally cultivated in Peru and were then spread throughout Central and South America by Indian tribes. Spanish explorers brought them back from the “New World” to Europe in the 16th century, and from there they spread around the world. (more…)

Ground Cherries

Ground Cherries

Ground cherries  (aka goldenberries, husk tomatoes, or cape gooseberries) are one of the fun, unique items that you learn about when you join our CSA.  These small fruit are in the tomato family and have a paper wrapper similar to a tomatillo.  They are very sweet and have an interesting flavor, nutty and a bit of pineapple.  (more…)

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

The tomato, like the eggplant, is a member of the Solanaceae, or Nightshade family.  Tomatoes are native to western South America, but were cultivated in Mexico by Mexican Indians, who were intrigued by its resemblance to the tomatillo – a staple in their cuisine.  With the discovery of the New World, tomato seeds were brought back to Spain, beginning the introduction of the fruit into Europe.  Tomatoes made their way to North America with the colonists who first settled in Virginia. (more…)

Summer Savory

Summer Savory

Summer savory is commonly used as a flavoring for soups, stews, and marinades.  But it is also known as the “bean herb” because it goes so well with many types of beans, especially green beans or any other type of broad bean. It is also quite tasty in stuffings, with any type of meat or chicken, or sausages.  For a different use, try it in scrambled eggs or omelets. Add it to a salad dressing recipe for an aromatic flavor. (more…)

Fennel

Fennel

Fennel, also known as sweet fennel or finocchio, originated in the Mediterranean and is popular in Italian and Scandinavian cooking. Closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander, this aromatic vegetable is the swollen, immature stem of a large, feathery bush. The young stems of the plant overlap at the base to form a bulb with white-to-pale-green ribbed layers. Although the stalks are similar to celery both in their appearance and in their crunchy texture, all parts of the plant (bulb, stalks, and fronds) have a pleasantly sweet anise, or licorice-like flavor, and are edible. (more…)

Eggplant

Eggplant

Eggplant is a member of the Solanaceae, or “nightshade,” family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers, and potatoes. As you already noticed, they come in a variety of shapes and colors. While the varieties exhibit slightly different tastes and textures, generally eggplants have a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture. (more…)

Arugula

Arugula

If you ever see a salad green referred to as “rocket,” it’s simply another name for arugula, or roquette in French. Yet another brassicaceae along with kale and cauliflower, its delightfully pungent leaves have been cultivated in the Mediterranean since time was recorded. As such, arugula is a perennial favorite in Italian cooking. (more…)

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard, along with kale, mustard greens, and collard greens, is one of several leafy, green vegetables often referred to as “greens.”  It belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile.  Chard is a tall, leafy vegetable with a thick, crunchy stalk (akin to celery but less stringy) that comes in white, red, or yellow, with wide, fan-like, ruffled leaves that are similar to spinach but chewier.  Regardless of the stalks’ color, they have similar flavors and cooking properties, although the white stalks are most tender.  Very tender leaves can be added directly to green salads. (more…)

Summer Squash

Summer Squash

Welcome to Summer Squash season!  As you may have noticed already, summer squash appears in a variety of shapes and colors, the most prevalent being the well-known green zucchini, the straight or crooked necked yellow squash, and the round, flat, often scalloped edge, patty pan squash.  All these varieties are tender, warm-season vegetables that differ from their fall and winter cousins in that they are selected to be harvested while still immature.  Thus, the entire vegetable, rind, flesh, and seeds, can be eaten. (more…)

Hakurei turnips

Hakurei Salad Turnips

Hakurei turnips are a Japanese salad turnip.  They are sweet and much softer than a regular turnip, and rarely need to be peeled; just wash and trim the root ends.  The leaves are also edible but should be eaten within 1-2 days.  Wrapped tightly in plastic, the turnips can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (more…)