Organic Artichokes From COKE FARM, San Juan Bautista, CA
Artichokes are thought to have originated in North Africa, where they still grow wild today. They were introduced to the United States in the 19th century by French and Spanish immigrants. Artichokes can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. To prepare artichokes leaves for a simple boil, use kitchen scissors to trim each scale to remove the thorny tip. Boil in salted water until tender, then remove the leaves one at a time to dip in melted butter, hollandaise or aioli, scraping away only the soft inside of each leaf with your teeth. Remove the inedible fuzzy choke to reveal the delicate heart underneath. Store fresh artichokes unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. When working with artichokes, avoid discoloration after cutting by holding in water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Organic Fava Beans From COKE FARM, San Juan Bautista, CA
In season for a few short weeks in the spring, fava beans are flat, bright green beans with a sweet nutty flavor and a buttery texture. They are contained in thick, long inedible pods. Remove both the inedible shell as well as the beans waxy coating before cooking or enjoying raw. To easily remove inner coating, either blanch or steam the beans, then slip off the shell, or freeze on a sheet pan and crack off the coating. Favas pair especially well with other spring vegetables such as morels, English peas, or asparagus. They are delicious pureed into a soup, enjoyed sautéed with pasta, or raw in spring salads. To best store favas, keep them unshelled in the refrigerator and use within 5 – 7 days.
Organic Leeks From COKE FARM, San Juan Bautista, CA
Sometimes called the poor man’s asparagus, leeks are delicate, sweet and succulent. Abundant in the fall and winter, leeks make an excellent addition to soups and stews. They easily serve as a partial substitute for onions in many recipes to add depth and a more subtle nuanced flavor. Leeks pair especially well with fish dishes. Leeks are a member of the garlic and onion family, and are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Manganese, as well as a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Iron and Magnesium. Store leeks for 4 or 5 days in the refrigerator, loosely wrapped in a damp towel in a plastic bag. Leave untrimmed until just before use.
For smaller sized leeks, trim off all of the roots just at the base of the stem. Cut off the tops, but leave several inches of the tender green leaves. Remove the very outer leaves, and then gently separate to rinse in cold water to rinse out any dirt or sand. For larger leeks, cut lengthwise in half before rinsing.
Organic Dino Kale From COKE FARM, San Juan Bautista, CA
Laciniato or Dino kale is an heirloom kale variety with very dark blue-green leaves that can be up to a foot long, and an unusual “prehistoric” look. In peak season in late fall and winter, its flavor is distinctly rich, with an almost sweet quality, with notes of minerals and earthiness. Kale belongs to the same super food family as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Kale is one of the healthiest and most nutritionally dense vegetables. An excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, it is also rich in Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus. Store Kale only a few days in the refrigerator, lightly wrapped in damp towels. Kale should always be rinsed and drained before cooking. When preparing for quick cooking, always remember to remove the tough ribs and stems first.
Organic Rhubarb From COKE FARM, San Juan Bautista, CA
Rhubarb could be mistaken for a celery stalk gone awry. With bright pink to deep crimson colored stalks and green inedible (toxic to humans) roots and leaves, rhubarb is in season from early spring into June, grown in both hothouses and fields. With a bitingly tart flavor, rhubarb blends best with sweeter fruits or in desserts. Store rhubarb stalk in cool, dark, and dry spot for 1 – 2 weeks.
RECIPE: STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SCONES
Organic Strawberries From COKE FARM, San Juan Bautista, CA
In peak sweet season from April to June, strawberries are considered a nutrient dense super fruit due to their high levels of Vitamin C, potent antioxidants, and potassium. While commonly enjoyed raw as a snack, sliced onto cereal, and in a multitude of desserts, strawberries may also add sweetness and acidity to salads and are perfect in smoothies. Store strawberries unwashed in the fridge for up to two to three days. Strawberries are thought to be so named as, after picking, they were stored in straw lined baskets.
RITUAL MID MOUNTAIN BLEND
COWGIRL CREAMERY ORGANIC WAGON WHEEL FromPetaluma, California
Wagon Wheel's rosy-hued rind surrounds a delightfully supple center. Luxurious in its natural state, the paste becomes irresistible when melted. The flavor has a slight tartness balanced with richer notes of brown butter and cream.