Organic Green Cabbage, BONPACK, Chowchilla, CA
Grown on most continents and a dietary staple of many global cuisines, cabbage is one of the most heavily planted vegetables in the world. Rich in Vitamins K & C, plus many essential minerals, frequent consumption of cabbage is linked to lower levels of breast cancer in women.
Store cabbage heads in a bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. The longer the cabbage is stored, the stronger the flavors and odors will be when it is cooked.
If using only half of the cabbage head, sprinkle the cut side with a few drops of water and store the remaining head in a plastic bag for another day or two.
Organic Gold Turnips, HEIRLOOM, California
In season October through early spring, gold turnips are usually best enjoyed young and do not cellar as well as traditional white or purple turnips. With a hue that varies from pale yellow to deep sunflower gold, the gold turnip boasts a nice combo of crunchy and sweet, with earthy and peppery notes. As with all turnips, roasting enhances flavor. Use its peppery greens in any recipe for beet or radish greens or chard, such as this week's Spring Bruschetta.
Turnips are rich in Vitamins A & B6, plus many essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron. Store greeens removed from the turnip root, loosely wrapped in damp paper towels for a day or two. Turnip roots should be kept in a cool dry place with good air circulation, for up to one week.
Organic Red Onion, LILLY'S, California
A storage or "dry onion," red onions are sufficiently sweet to be eaten raw as a colorful addition to salads, or work nicely sautéed or grilled. Finely dice red onions to add a sweet crunch to raw sauces, or use as the base for almost all full flavored dishes. Onions, when cooked with garlic, round out the flavor and provide needed depth to slow-cooked dishes. Store out of the fridge in a cool dark place for several weeks.
Organic Cilantro, JJM, Watsonville, CA.
Cilantro leaves are the world's most widely used fresh herb. The seeds are known as coriander, and are frequently used in curries and baking. Chop and use the leaves only (not the stems) in stews, soups or as a colorful garnish. The distinct aroma fades quickly in hot food, so cilantro is best added at the end of cooking or used raw in salads or salsas.
To best keep cilantro, trim the ends and store upright in a glass with about ½ inch of water. Loosely cover with plastic and replace the water as needed. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Organic Rainbow Chard, BONPACK, Chowchilla, CA.
While all chard leaves are green, the stems and ribs can vary from pale white to bright orange to fuchsia or deep red. Chard was given the name "Swiss Chard" to distinguish it from several varieties of spinach in early French seed catalogues. Considered to be one of the more healthful and nutrient dense vegetables, chard is ideal for steaming or sautéing, or added to soups or pastas. The crisp stems should be removed and cooked separately. In season in late spring and early winter, chard is rich in Vitamins A, C & K plus fiber, iron and protein. Wrap loosely in damp towels and store for two to three days in the refrigerator.
Vegetarian: Wasatch Mountain Gruyere, Rockhill Creamery, Richmond, UT
Extra Fruit: Gold Nugget Mandarins, Sundance, CA
Organic certification is provided by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). CCOF has been helping to create and maintain extremely high standards in organic farming since 1973.