The Weekly Produce Update 
What’s Good, What’s Fresh, What’s Hot!
Friday April 24, 2015

Morel Mushrooms are superb right now!

We can all agree that spring has officially sprung and, we’re happy to say, with it comes a bounty of foraged treats. These blonde morel mushrooms from the Pacific Northwest are equally as delicious though slightly smaller and lighter in color than those we’ll find here in Michigan in the coming months. With an earthy flavor reminiscent of toasted hazelnuts and butter, morels will add a distinctive richness to your spring menu. If you haven’t used morels before, now’s the time to start experimenting!
First, start by reading this article about cleaning your morels for cooking...
Then try them in this
recipe for Fresh Morel, Asparagus and Sweet-Pea Risotto! 

Everyone’s going wild for Michigan Ramps!

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! 

Green Knob Onions are perfect for your spring menu!

What does every spring dish have in common? That wonderfully subtle, fresh oniony flavor! These long green knob onions will do the trick nicely. Their flavor is mellower than regular onions but a little more pungent than scallions. Try using knob onions in place of regular onions in your spring dishes or slice them in half and throw them on the grill for a dramatic and deliciously smoky side dish! When thinly sliced, the long green stems make an amazing and tasty garnish for risotto or pasta dishes too!

Beautiful Washington-grown Asparagus is a true sign of SPRING!

When the weather finally breaks, we all start craving asparagus! This is the first USA-grown asparagus of the season, which means warm weather really is on its way! Keeping the preparation simple is your best bet. Grab a bunch, toss in olive oil and sea salt and throw it on the grill. If you’re feeling creative, wrap the spears with thin slices of prosciutto before placing on the grill! Michigan asparagus season is up next!

Artichokes are rockin’ right now!

Enjoy a bit of springtime right now! Our large artichokes will add a fresh and fun element to your meal! Our favorite way to eat them is to boil them in salted water until tender, then serve whole with a side of melted butter and lemon juice for dipping! Don’t forget to trim away the last few leaves and fibers to get to the artichoke heart- the most delicious part! Need a how-to on prepping and trimming artichokes? Check out this video from The New York Times! 

Have you ever tried sweet Shishito Peppers?

Traditionally served in Japan, you might have seen Shishito peppers listed on trendy restaurant menus lately as they are gaining wild popularity in the United States. Usually simply char-grilled and sprinkled with coarse sea salt, Shishitos are not only delicious but also fun to eat!  For an unknown reason, one in every ten peppers is packed with a burst of spicy heat! You never know who’s going to get that unexpected spicy kick, making these guys awesome for sharing at summer parties! Ready to test your luck?

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. 

Looking for a POP of color? Rhubarb will knock your socks off! 

Rhubarb has been popping up all over restaurant menus and food magazines lately, and for good reason! We adore the bold red color and tart flavor of this hearty vegetable.  Since its tartness is so very pronounced, our favorite application of rhubarb is in sweeter recipes. Try incorporating it into your favorite jam recipes or try it in pies and crisps! Here’s a great recipe for Rhubarb Raspberry Crisp! 

Curly Endive is bittersweet! 

The lacey, long outer leaves of endive plant have a hearty crunch and a delicate flavor, less bitter than the inner leaves commonly known as Belgian endive. This member of the chicory family is known as one of the most difficult crops to grow. Endive contains multiple heath benefits including being high in folate, fiber, and vitamins A & K. Try roughly chopping a head of curly endive to add to your next salad or soup for a textural variation you’re sure to enjoy!

Fiddlehead Ferns are a sure sign of spring!

Fiddleheads are here! These succulent coils are some of spring's first treats! Their flavor ranges from asparagus-like to green bean-like. Use these guys quickly, their flavor and sturdy texture will fade pretty fast. We recommend buying them fresh, boiling in salted water for about 10 minutes to remove bitterness and cook the fiddleheads, then sautéing with butter and lemon before serving. Soak it up, folks, spring is here!

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