Category: Featured Produce

Savoy cabbage

Cabbage

Cabbage is a leafy green or purple biennial plant, grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. Closely related to other cole crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.  Smooth-leafed firm-headed green cabbages are the most common, with smooth-leafed red and crinkle-leafed savoy cabbages of both colors seen less frequently.  The cabbage heads are generally picked during the first year of the plants’ life cycles, but those intended for seed are allowed to grow a second year. (more…)

Peppers

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers belong to the nightshade (Solanaceae) family of plants, along with chili pepper, cayenne pepper, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes (except sweet potatoes and yams).  Their scientific name is Capsicum annuum.  This scientific name, however, is used to refer not only to bell peppers, but also to wax peppers, cayenne peppers, chili peppers, and jalapeno peppers. (more…)

Endive (aka Frisée)

Curly Endive (aka Frisée)

Curly endive, also known as frisée, is a leafy vegetable in the chicory family.  (Other chicory types include bitter veggies like escarole, radicchio, and the white-leaved Belgian endive).  Curly endive is a crisp bitter green can be used as an addition in salads, or can be cooked as a side dish.  The inner pale leaves are somewhat more tender and mild than the bitter outer ones.

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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…)

Spinach

Spinach

Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach provide more nutrients than any other food.  Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia.  Spinach made its way to China in the 7th century when the king of Nepal sent it as a gift to this country.  Spinach has a much more recent history in Europe than many other vegetables.  It was only brought to that continent in the 11th century, when the Moors introduced it into Spain.  In fact, for a while, spinach was known as “the Spanish vegetable” in England. (more…)

English Peas

Garden Peas (aka English Peas)

Garden, or English peas, are your standard “pea in a pod.” They have more nutrients and calories than snow or sugar snap peas and are a bit more work as they need to be shelled. Garden peas are sweet and succulent for three to four days after they are picked, but turn mushy and starchy very quickly after harvesting.  So use them fast! (more…)

Lettuce

Lettuce

It is true, eating all that salad is good for you!  While the nutritional value of lettuce varies with the variety, the following excerpt from the University of Illinois website sets the record straight:  Lettuce in general provides small amounts of dietary fiber, some carbohydrates, a little protein and a trace of fat. Its most important nutrients are vitamin A and potassium.   (more…)

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a winter squash belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family of field pumpkins.  It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin.  It has tan-yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom.  When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. (more…)

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts as they are now known were grown possibly as early as the 13th century in what is now Belgium. During the 16th century, they enjoyed a popularity in the southern Netherlands that eventually spread throughout the cooler parts of Northern Europe.  They are a cool weather crop that, rather than being damaged by a frost, actually gets a little sweeter and improves in taste. (more…)

Acorn Squash

Although considered a winter squash, acorn squash actually belongs to the same species as all “summer” squashes (such as zucchini and yellow squash).  The most common variety is dark green in color, but newer varieties can be yellow, white, even variegated.  As the name suggests, its shape resembles that of an acorn.  It is a good candidate for winter storage, keeping several months in a cool dry location.  Squash can be refrigerated, but it will deteriorate quickly and should only be refrigerated 1-2 weeks. (more…)