The Weekly Produce Update
What’s Good, What’s Fresh, What’s Hot!
Friday May 15, 2015
Springtime Produce Essentials that can’t be missed:
Michigan Asparagus season is in full swing!
One look at the bountiful display of slender, pea-green, bundled stalks of Michigan asparagus and you’re sure to be filled with culinary inspiration. With endless options of ways to use delicious asparagus, let us get you started. First, roast them by tossing with a little olive oil, salt & pepper and a splash of lemon then throwing into a 375˚ oven for about 15 minutes. You want the asparagus to soften, but to maintain ever so slightly toothsome for a nice bite. Now you’re ready to chop your asparagus into small pieces and literally toss in everything from pasta to frittatas to stir-fries to tacos to salads to pizza. You can thank us later!
We’re on a Michigan RAMPage!
The season will be winding down shortly, so grab ‘em while you can! Ramps: spring’s finest luxury! These slender, leafy wild onions are the forest’s first delicacies of springtime. Ramps were prized by early North American settlers for their bright, garlicky flavor- especially delightful after a bland winter diet! Nowadays, foodies and chefs alike jump at the first sight of ramps to sprinkle into their springtime dishes or for pickling purposes to prolong their short season! These Michigan-grown, early spring ramps have tender leaves the perfectly subtle garlic-onion flavor. Try topping an omelet with the slivered leaves or thinly slice a small bunch of ramps to fold into your next batch of biscuits for a savory flair!
California grown Fava Beans are springtime in a pod!
If you haven’t noticed fresh favas popping up on restaurant menus over the past few years, you surely will soon! These newly trendy beans are a beloved early spring food. Known equally for their buttery, nutty flavor and their difficulty to prepare. Favas do take some elbow grease to shell and peal, however, their versatility makes the process well worth it! First, run your finger along the seam of the pod to expose the beans. Next you’ll want to peel away the pale white skin surrounding the fava beans to expose their bright green flesh, use a paring knife to make it easier. Last, you’ll need to remove the second skin. An easy way to do this is by tossing the beans into a pot of boiling salted water for a minute or two then quickly transferring them to an ice bath to stop the cooking. This method will soften the second skin and make it easier to peel away. Now you’re ready to pop your favas into a plethora of spring-tastic dishes! A good ratio to remember is that one pound of fava bean pods will transition into about 1/3 cup fava beans, so go plan to grab more than your recipe needs.
Blonde Morel Mushrooms are superb right now!
It’s confirmed: nothing beats the savory, indulgent, rich flavor sensation that morel mushrooms lend to any springtime dish! We can’t get enough of these blonde morels for their intense truffley flavor and hearty texture. After cleaning, give these guys a little sauté with some butter and fresh herbs then toss with pasta, don’t forget the cheese!
English Peas are popping with sweetness!
English peas, also known as shell peas and garden peas, are popping with green freshness. For peas that are sweet and crisp, start by looking for shiny, firm, brightly-colored pods that feel swollen and heavy. When cooking with English peas, buy much more than you think you will need, as one pound of peas will only equate to roughly one cup of shelled peas. While it's ideal to eat garden peas as soon as they're picked, they can keep for up to three days when wrapped tightly and placed in the coolest part of the refrigerator. For your convenience, we’re also stocked with fresh shelled English peas, ready to pop on salads or into recipes!
California Stone Fruit Season is here!
Ultra sweet Michigan-grown stone fruit season may seem like a long way off, but fear not! Delicious stone fruits from Cali are just getting going! Right now we’ve got: Peaches, White Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Raspberry Apricots, Bella Jewel Apriums, and Sugar Plums. These fruits are definitely sweet, however, since they are early crops, they will not get quite as soft as late season stone fruits. Their firmness makes them ideal for grilling or roasting! Try this recipe for Arugula Salad with Grilled Apricots and Pistachios!
Cantaloupes are extremely fragrant and tasty!
Cantaloupes: not just for fruit salad! When our Produce Manager, Mark, tells you that something’s good, you listen. These early season melons came in smelling so sweet! We can tell their high quality by their fragrance, shape and intricate webbing. Bust one of these open and eat as is or try draping thin slices of prosciutto for a delicious warm weather treat!
Florida Sweet Corn is a holiday weekend essential!!
With kernels so sweet you can eat them raw, this bi-color corn from Florida can’t be beat! Go traditional and serve it on the cob with a whole stick of butter waiting at the ready. If you’d like to spice things up, try shaving the kernels off their cobs into a screaming hot skillet and letting them char lightly. Hit it with a pinch of cayenne pepper then toss in chopped shallot, cilantro, lime juice. Serve with your favorite BBQ fare!
Watermelon Radishes will add some color to your next meal!
Radishes are a classic springtime staple, but we’re kicking it up a notch with these wildly cool watermelon radishes! Named for their similarity in appearance to watermelons, these guys have got a pale-pink to hot-pink colored center and a bright green rind! We recommend using them raw as their brilliant hues will fade with cooking. Try these watermelon radishes in this super simple recipe: Radishes with Burrata from Bon Appetit!
Also worth checking out:
Baby Artichokes, Heirloom Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Blueberries, Fiddlehead Ferns, Shishito Peppers, Haden Mangoes, California Sweet Cherries