Organic Brussels Sprouts
Peak Season Best Flavor Value Priced
Great news! Here late February and early March there is an abundance of high quality, great tasting fresh Organic Brussels Sprouts from southern California and Mexico. That means you find some of the most affordable prices of the year – so get cooking!
Recipe: Roasted Brussels & Broccoli with Smoked GoudaSmoked Gouda is kinda like the bacon of cheeses – smoky, salty, savory – and it pair great with Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli. This recipe taste luxurious!
- Pre-heat oven to 450F
- Veggie Prep
- Wash and trim 1 lb of fresh Brussels Sprouts, halving the large ones for even cooking times
- Wash and cut 1 bunch of fresh Broccoli into evenly sized florets
- Toss the veggies in a large mixing bowl with 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Season with 1 tsp coarse salt, ½ tsp black pepper and ½ tsp garlic powder – retoss to coat
- Arrange seasoned veggies on a baking tray and roast at 450F for 12 minutes
- Flip the Broccoli florets and Brussels Sprouts with a spatula and roast for an additional 15 minutes until the veggies are browned and fork-tender
- Place the roasted veggies in a small casserole dish and top with 1-½ cups freshly grated Smoked Gouda Cheese
- Allow the Smoked Gouda Cheese to melt over the roasted veggies in the oven then serve. (Steps 7-8 can be done in the microwave instead, using a microwave-safe serving bowl)
Brussels Sprout Tips
- Select Brussels Sprouts that are nice and green, and have tight, firm heads. Avoid Brussels Sprouts with heavy black discoloration on the ribs at the base or ones that have evidence of bug damage. Size, large or small, does not affect flavor, but it will impact the cooking time.
- Store Brussels Sprouts in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator in a plastic bag or container.
- Prepping: Trim the bottom ¼” off the bottom stem end of the head. Peel off the loose outer leaves with your fingers, usually 1-2 layers.
- For Even Cooking Time: Slice larger Brussels Sprouts head into halves or quarters, slicing along the stem direction, while leaving the smallest ones whole.
Organic Murcott Mandarins
Peak Season Best Flavor
Small and slightly flat, Organic W. Murcott Mandarins are bright orange inside and out. They are sweet and extremely juicy, feature a rich citrus flavor and are mostly seedless. The thin skin peels simply and becomes even easier peel by hand as the season progresses into mid-March. Look for Organic Murcott Mandarins at natural food stores, organic markets and food co-ops that carry a broad variety of citrus. They’re often displayed loose and be sold by the pound, though many stores have also offered 2 and 3lb pouch bags this year. Try a few this week while they’re at their best!
Other Organic Mandarins in season from California during late February and March:
- Organic Gold Nugget Mandarins: The skins are deep orange in color and appear pebbled and bumpy – like a nugget of gold, I suppose, and peel fairly easily. Inside this virtually seedless mandarin the orange-gold flesh is sweet and juicy. They’re acidic enough to be bright, yet richly sweet, making them an excellent snacking variety for both kids and adults.
- Organic Royal Mandarins: This variety is a cross between an orange and a tangerine, technically making the fruit a “Tangor.” Royal Mandarins have robust citrus flavor. Their juicy flesh is tangy and sweet.
- Organic Tango Mandarins: While not very prevalent in stores, this variety is very similar to the Murcott Mandarins described above. They’re quite delicious! Yum!
Select Mandarins that feels heavy for its size, since they’ll have more juice. The fruit’s skin can feel a little puffy – those will likely peel quite easily – but avoid Mandarins with soft, squishy spots which are a precursor to decay.
Easy to peel, Sweet with deep Mandarin flavor, Organic W. Murcott Mandarins are at their best right now.
Peak Season Value Priced
- Select Broccoli that has tight beads on the crown, is firm and has fresh, green cut ends.
- Avoid Broccoli that has a strong odor or is flabby and limp.
- Keep your Broccoli refrigerated in your crisper drawer or in a plastic bag.
- Smart Move: Make it convenient for yourself! Cut your Broccoli into florets as soon as you buy it and store it in plastic baggies or small tubs on an eye-level shelf in your fridge. With the prep work already done it will be ready to enjoy. With it highly visible, you’ll be more likely to eat more of it more often!
- Stems? You don’t need to throw those Broccoli stems in the trash or composter. You can julienne cut them for Broccoli Slaw or to add to a stir-fry or pasta.
Peak Season Best Flavor Value Priced
- Check out this collection of 10 Vegan Leek Recipes.
- Leeks are a St. David’s Day Welsh tradition (Sunday, March 1): 10 Best Leeks Recipes for St. David’s Day
- Or if you indulge in some meat from time to time: sear a salted/peppered London Broil or Flat-iron Steak in olive oil 2 min each side, add 2 leeks chopped + 3 minced garlic cloves + 1” fresh ginger (minced), braise it all in a bottle of beer in a Dutch Oven over low to medium-low heat for 2 hours.
- Roasted Leeks are Easy! Leeks halved, washed then roasted at 425F for 25 minutes with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Kitchen Tip of the Week
How to Cut and Prepare Leeks
- Trim roots off the base of the Leeks
- Cut the tops off the Leeks where the leaves begin to turn dark green and fibrous
- Slice the Leeks length-wise
- Pull off any fibrous outer leaves
- Wash Leeks in a bowl or deep baking dish (dirt and sand will sink, leeks will float)
- Chop and use in recipes!