Organic Baby Red Beets, COKE FARMS, San Juan Bautista, CA
Sweet, earthy and colorful, baby red beets are a member of the Chenopodiaceae family, along with carnations, chard, spinach, and Venus fly traps. The deep rich color is due to betalian pigments, which are also thought to support the body's detoxification process. However, betalians are very heat sensitive; cook the roots until just fork tender.
The beet roots are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber and many essential minerals. The leafy greens are rich in beta-carotene, iron and calcium. To best store beets, remove and use the beet greens as soon as possible, leaving about a 1 inch stem on the beet roots. Keep the greens no more than 1 or 2 days, wrapped loosely in damp paper towels and refrigerated. Roots will keep for more than 1 week in a bag in the fridge.
Before handling either cooked or raw beets, we recommend wearing rubber gloves to avoid staining of your hands.
Organic Orange Carrots, COKE FARMS, San Juan Bautista, CA
Originally grown in ancient Persia, all carrots were purple. Other colors, such as white, yellow, and red began to develop over the course of the next thousand years as their cultivation spread through Asia. The first orange carrots were grown in the Netherlands about 200 years ago for the Royal House of Oranje.
Rich in potassium, plus Vitamins A and C, cook carrots and serve with a little oil or butter to release their full nutritious potential. Keep wrapped in a bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Organic Basil, COKE FARMS, San Juan Bautista, CA
Basil is the king of herbs. Highly aromatic and versatile, basil offers complex notes of anise, citrus, and clove. A staple around the world in global cuisine, basil is native to Asia and the Middle East. Crush or chop and add to fresh sauces, or puree fresh with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil for a delicious pesto.
Basil is best used fresh. Its flavor dissipates when cooked or dried. When adding to cooked sauces, add basil at the end just before serving.
Basil is thought to assist in digestion and possess antibacterial properties. To store best, trim the stems and hold upright in fresh water in the refrigerator, like you might store fresh cut flowers. Use as soon as possible; basil's distinct nose and flavors will lessen after just a few days.
Organic Green Kale, TANGO, San Juan Bautista, CA
Kale, along with collard greens, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, is a descendant of the wild cabbage. An important source of nutrition in Europe since Roman times, kale was introduced to the Americas by English settlers in the 1600's. Kale is rich in Vitamins A, C, B6 & K, plus many minerals such as calcium and copper.
Kale is best when freshest – stronger bitter flavors develop the longer it is stored. Wrap loosely in damp towels and then store unwashed in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Organic Rutabaga, COKE FARMS, San Juan Bautista, CA
Something about the name of this wholesome veggie scares people – it is casually lumped with parsnips, turnips and celery root – and many of us routinely skip over them as our "grandmother's vegetables." Its less than glamorous exterior hides its bitter sweet flavor and fine texture.
About the size of a grapefruit and colored shades of tan and purple, rutabagas will last several weeks stored unwrapped in a cool, dark place. Rich in minerals such as calcium and potassium, rutabagas can be served simply mashed with a little butter as a tasty side dish, or are a wonderful addition to stews. Before cooking, remove the skin with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife.
In Scotland, rutabagas are also called "Neeps." As part of the traditional festivities on Burns Night, they are mashed and served with haggis.
Organic Radicchio, ROUTE 1 FARMS, Santa Cruz, CA
Although radicchio is a member of the chicory family, it resembles a small head of cabbage. With crisp and thick, deep purple-burgundy leaves with starkly contrasting white ribs, radicchio works nicely for lettuce cups or shredded and added to green salads for colorful contrast. Grilling or roasting will temper its bitter flavor and bring out its natural sweet notes.
Radicchio is rich in Vitamins A & C, plus calcium and fiber. Store unwashed in the refrigerator and use within one week.
Additional Fruit: Organic Crimson Lady Yellow Peaches, BURKART FARM, Dinuba, CA
Vegetarian: 1 Dozen Eggs, CLIFFORD FAMILY FARM, Provo, UT