Organic Spring Elephant Garlic from COKE FARM, San Juan Bautista, CA
Spring elephant garlic is essentially garlic picked young, prior to it forming its bulb. Its tender young stalks look like a fat scallion and skinny leek, yet its flavor is subtle with fresh and bright garlic nuances. Spring elephant garlic can be used in various ways both fresh and cooked. At its youngest stage it has more moisture than mature garlic and the entire bulb is edible as it has not formed its dried paper "skin". Just remove the bulb from its roots and cut it as you would a leek. You can utilize the entire plant, including the greens. Spring garlic can be blanched, pureed, sautéed, roasted or used fresh as a garnish.
Organic Japanese Komatsuna Spinach from COKE FARM, San Juan Bautista, CA
Komatsuna spinach has long, slender stems with large bright green spoon shaped leaves. Komatsuna spinach is edible throughout maturity, deepening its green color and thickening its stems as it ages. In its young state Komatsuna spinach is tender and melting in texture with a mild sweet and light mustard flavor. Young leaves can and should be eaten raw to enjoy optimal flavor and texture profiles. As Komatsuna spinach ages the stems and leaves thicken with a more aggressive crunch and hardiness; the flavor advances to slighty bitter cabbage and spicy mustard. Mature Komatsuna is best braised or blanched and sautéed to achieve a tender and flavorful experience. Komatsuna spinach has a wide range of cooking applications dictated by the spinach leafs maturity. While the Komatsuna spinach is young the leaves are very tender and can be used raw in salads, lightly sautéed as a side dish or incorporated into pastas. As the spinach ages the stems become a much hardier texture needing to be blanch and sautéed or braised to become tender. Older Komatsuna spinach is a fantastic addition to soups and stews.
Organic Red Swiss Chard from TANGO FARM, Chico, CA
Red Swiss chard has broad, wavy and wrinkled bronzed green leaves with contrasting crimson red leaf stalks. The ruby red stalks extend into red veins throughout the plant's leaves. Red Swiss chard's flavor profile shares the earthiness of a beet green with the salinity of spinach. The red stalks are fibrous, often bitter and succulent, as they carry the bulk of the plant's water content. Both the leaves and the stalk are edible. Most people do not associate Swiss chard varieties with Switzerland, regardless of the given name. As Red Swiss chard is native to the Mediterranean region, many recipes and applications are of Mediterranean influence. Red Swiss chard can be served raw or cooked. It can be sauteed, blanched, stewed, baked, even grilled. It can be added to salads, pastas, pizza, bruschetta, gratins and soups. The chard stalks are edible and add texture and flavor to the dishes they’re cooked into. Complimentary ingredient pairings include citrus, tomatoes, garlic, chickpeas, white beans, aged and melting cheeses, cream, mushrooms, bacon, fennel and herbs such as basil, tarragon and chervil.
Organic Baby Green Artichokes from COKE FARM, San Juan Bautista, CA
Baby Green artichokes are roughly two inches in diameter when harvested. Their tender firm leaves form a compact floret with pistachio and lime green tones throughout. Baby Green artichokes are nearly chokeless, though they will still contain needle-like thorns on the tips of the artichoke's outer leaves. A raw Baby Green artichoke is crisp, slightly bitter, tanic and nutty. When cooked, Baby Green artichokes develop flavors of toasted nuts, dry grass and caramel. Although not as meaty as a globe, they still provide a substantial meaty consistency when cooked. Of all the baby varieties, the Green provides the most "heart", which is considered the most edible and delicious part of the plant. - Baby Green artichokes may be braised, steamed, roasted, boiled, baked, marinated and hearts preserved in oil. When slow-cooked, such as roasting, braising and poaching, artichokes become tender, more flavorful and they absorb the savory flavors around them most optimally. Artichokes pair well with both fatty ingredients and high acid ingredients. Complimentary ingredients include anchovies, bacon, basil, butter, cheeses, especially goat and feta, cream, garlic, lemon, hollandaise, mushrooms, pepper, sausage, thyme, tomatoes, vinaigrettes, white wine and truffles. For the optimum quality baby artichoke, select artichokes that have a tight core. If you squeeze an artichoke and it squeaks, it is fresh.
RECIPE: Roman-Style Artichokes
ORGANIC HEIRLOOM TOMATOES From Del Cabo Organics, Pescadero, CA
Heirloom tomatoes are most often served fresh as simple preparation allows their intense, tomato flavor to come through. Add slices to salads or layer with basil and fresh mozzarella to make a classic Italian Caprese salad. Blend with strawberries and fresh herbs for a take on gazpacho. Slow-roast to concentrate the tomato's natural sweetness and puree into a dip with garbanzo beans and tahini. Layer in savory tarts, dice into fresh salsa or roast and add to risotto with summer vegetables such as squash and corn. Heirloom tomatoes are fragile, bruise easily, and should be used immediately upon ripening. Do not refrigerate.
Organic Seedless Watermelon from COKE FARM, San Juan Bautista, CA
The Seedless watermelon has the same trademark two-toned variegated green skin and juicy, aromatic sweet flesh as the common watermelon. Though devoid of the ubiquitous black seeds of common watermelons, the Seedless watermelon may contain a trace amount of white, edible seeds. Watermelon is used predominately in fresh preparations both sweet and savory. It works well as a core salad ingredient or can be added alongside savory components such as poultry and seafood. As a result of their lack of seeds the Seedless watermelon is ideal for applications calling for pureed watermelon such as beverages, sorbets, soups and sauces. When considering preserving watermelons the flesh can be made into jams and the rinds, pickled. The lack of seeds allow for easy preparation. They can be sliced, cubed, scooped or formed in to balls. For best flavor and texture keep Seedless watermelons refrigerated.
RECIPE: Tomato and Watermelon Salad
Amano Morobe 70% Bar
Landaff from Jasper Hill Creamery in Greensboro Bend, VT
Landaff has a natural rind and a semi-firm paste with subtle aromas of cave and grass. Its balanced complexity harmonizes a bright buttermilk tang and savory brown butter notes. This cheese is harmonic with a wide array of accompaniments - raw honey, whole-grain mustard, smoked meats, or berry preserves. Though elegant when simply paired with a sturdy white wine or crisp pilsner, Landaff is versatile enough to use in the kitchen - it melts exceptionally well, retaining a smooth body and indulgent character.