Dan's Farmers Market

Dan's Best of Season

Pronounced “on-deev” in France, called Belgian chicory in Great Britain and witloof (Dutch for “white leaf”) in Belgium, this member of the chicory family is the white shoot that we most commonly refer to as Belgian (and sometimes French) endive. Here in the Golden State we have our very own name: California Pearl.

When selecting Belgian Endive in the store look for “fat” white shoots with yellow tinge around the rim of the leaves. The shoot should be shiny and vibrant, free of any browning and slime. Green tinge on the leaves means that the shoot has been exposed to too much light and causes increased bitterness in flavor. Some folks like this, other folks don’t.

This distinct flavored orange was discovered in Spain in 1929. They called it Sanguinelli. It is the common orange in Europe especially Italy.Two varieties are most common in California The Moro and the Tarocco. The Tarocco is mild in color both on the surface and the interior, but very sweet. It has red veins inside but remains light in color. Hints of berry mixed with a mild but recognizable tartness make this a fabulous citrus experience. The Moro is deep blood red inside with a strong raspberry undertone. Both varieties are easy to peel and have few seeds. Available from November to May from various growing regions in California. Pick fruit that is heavy for it’s size. This fruit normally has a fair give to it.

What to look for: Well colored (light green or a darker shade of green color) firm compact sprouts. The ideal Brussels Sprout is not less than an inch in diameter and no longer than 2 ¾ inches.

Now I don’t expect you to go shopping with a ruler or a ring sizer, but this gives you an idea of the approximate size that will pack the most nutrients and of course flavor!

What to Avoid: sprouts that have been trimmed down too far or starting to yellow. Also look for black spots on the tips of the leaves or larger sprouts that have burst ( a split in them) open or are puffy and light in weight. All are signs of sprouts that have been around too long or are better suited for cattle feed.

When selecting cabbage in the store, look for firm heavy heads. The heavier it is the more compact it will be. A pale green color with vibrant leaves wrapping around it are signs of a fresh head. Keep away from yellow wrapper leaves and brown stem butts. Round cabbage will be bright green and a more flattened Dutch cabbage will be mostly white with a green tinge. Both are great varieties and will make an excellent “American” St. Patrick’s Day Meal!

When selecting chard in the store look for vibrant leaves that are crisp and a bit curly.
Many varieties are available year round on the produce stand; the green Swiss Chard, Red Chard, Golden Chard and Rainbow Chard (a mixture of all the colors in one bunch).
All the colors have the same nutritional value, they are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K as well as good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber. 

Fresh Cardone or Cardoon is a relative to the artichoke. Instead of eating the bud, the stalk is eaten. The flavor resembles artichokes and salsify.

When selecting cardone in the store, look for bright green silvery-gray stalks that are not cracked or brown.

At home, remove strings, cut into 1 inch chunks and boil for 30 minutes or until tender, then sauté with garlic, olive oil and herbs or add to a marinara sauce and let simmer for a few minutes. The reward of all your labor is astounding!

Look for firm heavy fruit with no soft spots. Newer grapefruit will be shinier on the surface and is perfect for out of hand eating. However, dull, mildly dehydrated skin and slightly softer grapefruit is best for juicing.

Varieties Courtesy of
Florida Department of Citrus 
:

Flame Grapefruit
Flavorful, sweet and juicy. Flesh is red in color and usually seedless .

Ruby Red Grapefruit
Medium to large size, usually flattened at each end. Smooth yellow peel with areas of pink to red blush. Segments have characteristic pink to reddish tinge. Few seeds.

White Seedless Grapefruit
Medium to large size, usually flattened at both ends. Peel is yellow, smooth and thin. White to amber colored flesh and almost seedless. Easy to section. Excellent flavor and plenty of juice.

Texas Grapefruit is available October through May with the Ruby Sweet and Rio Star varieties with the extra sweet Flame variety available November through April.
The Rio Star is a combination of Rio Red and Star Ruby and is the reddest variety; it has a nice blush to the exterior and is very juicy. The Ruby Sweet is a combination of three varieties; the Henderson, the Ray and the Ruby Red. The Flame varieties are the sweetest varieties and are the least red. All three varieties are excellent eating and juicing varieties.

Look for firm heavy fruit with no soft spots. Newer grapefruit will be shinier on the surface and is perfect for out of hand eating. However, dull, mildly dehydrated skin and slightly softer grapefruit is best for juicing.

 

Pummelo is the ancestor of the common grapefruit with it’s origin in Malaysia. It is cultivated in China, Japan, India, Fiji, Thailand and most recently Israel. Today California is the largest commercial producer of Pummelo worldwide. The fruit comes to the market as early as September, but is most popular in the winter particularly around Chinese New Year. It is the largest citrus fruit commercially grown and can range is size from a medium cantaloupe to a very large watermelon.
The skin of a Pumello is very thick and is used in preserves and candied confections and even pickled. It is used medicinally as well.
Pummelo trees are anywhere from 16 to 50 feet high with several clusters of up to ten pieces of fruit.
Inside thick skin is tasty sweet citrus fruit sections which make all the work involved in peeling them well worth it!
Look for firm Pummelos with a bit of a give du

e to the thickness of the skin. Full yellow color is not essential, some green is okay.
Pummelo’s are loaded with vitamin C and have only 72 calories per serving.

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