Organic Picks of the Week 03/05/12

Best if Used By 03/12/12

Organic Picks of the week for March 5th, 2012 features Bok Choy, Honey Tangerines, Sugar Snap Peas, Grapefruit and Mushrooms

1. Organic Bok Choy

PEAK SEASON

Any Bok Choy experts in the house? If so, come forth and offer up your insight and recipes by posting a comment here or on our Facebook page. My knowledge of Organic Bok Choy is mostly relegated to delightful dishes I’ve eaten at restaurants and my market perspective. Bok Choy is a popular Asian vegetable from the Cabbage family that has smooth crunchy, white ribs and green leaves. Right now Organically grown Bok Choy is coming from both Florida and California. Bok Choy is steamed, stir-fried, used in soups or for Kim Chee. Select Organic Bok Choy that feels firm and heavy, and has healthy leaves. Rinse the leaves and ribs thoroughly to make sure to get all of the dirt and sand out that may have been trapped there as it grew. Here’s a recipe I experimented with and was pleased with the outcome!

RECIPE: Chili-Garlic Bok Choy

  • Rinse one head Organic Bok Choy
  • Cut out root bulb at base
  • Chop Organic Bok Choy ribs into large, bite-size chunks, and leaves into 1×2″ strips
  • Heat 2-3 tbsp oil on HIGH in a large frying pan adding three cloves diced garlic and 1 tsp Chili Pepper Flakes
  • Add in Bok Choy ribs, stir for 1-2 min. until translucent, cover for 1 min.
  • Add Bok Choy leaves, stir for 2 min.
  • Season with coarse salt before removing from pan

Chili-Garlic Bok Choy

2. Organic Honey Tangerines

BEST FLAVOR | PEAK SEASON

Florida Honeys = ugly duckling goodness. Organic Honey Tangerines from Florida have an orange-gold colored, smooth, tight, glossy skin that is often scarred up from rubbing against the limbs and leaves as it matured. This squatty Tangerine is loaded with a ridiculous amount of seeds. So, why again am I writing about them, you ask? Here’s the deal, I think they taste amazing – super sweet, yes… honey-sweet!, super juicy and super flavorful yet mellow. They’re perfect for snacking (over a trash can or sink so you can spit the seeds) or juicing! They’re at the tail end of the season’s peak in Florida, enjoy them while they last.

Florida Honeys. Homely, but sweet.

3. Organic Sugar Snap Peas

BEST FLAVOR | PEAK SEASON

Crunchy, fresh and sweet – Organic Snap Peas, also called Sugar Snaps, are a great raw or cooked! Salads, stir-fries, and steamed veggies all benefit from the addition of Organic Snap Peas. And now is a great time to enjoy fresh, in season Organic Snap Peas from Mexico. Snap Peas are eaten whole – crunchy-sweet pod, flavorful peas and all. Choose Snap Peas that feel firm and have vibrant color. Light green nicks on the pod are common and will not impact quality.

Snap-n-Green!

4. Organic Grapefruit

BEST FLAVOR

In honor of The Grapefruit League starting back up this week (as in the MLB’s spring training exhibition games in Florida – Go Phillies!), I thought it’d be timely to tell you how good I think Florida Red and Pink Grapefruit are tasting right now. They’re delicious! Mild, very sweet, but still tangy enough to remind you they’re a Grapefruit. Here’s the rub… we’re near the end of the Florida Organic Grapefruit season and Texas is just about finished too. Too bad, because this late season fruit is some of the best eating of the year! The good news is that California grown Organic Grapefruit, while yellow-skinned and pink inside is still quite tasty and in season. The next few weeks are an excellent time to enjoy Organic Grapefruit – for breakfast, a snack, on salad or as fresh-squeezed juice. Select Grapefruit that feel heavy for their size. Scars or a few splotchy color spots on the skin are nothing to worry about, but soft spots are.

Going out with a flavor-bang!

5. Organic White Mushrooms

VALUE PRICED

Certified Organic White Mushrooms are always in season, since they’re grown in the controlled environment of mushroom houses. Still, now is a great time to enjoy Organic Mushrooms as retailer ads and in-store specials are common this time of year. Organic White Mushrooms are excellent in salads, on pizzas, in sauces, sauteed, stuffed or in soups. The flavor becomes more intense with cooking.

Always in season!

CLEANING: Mushrooms are picked from the compost/soil they grow in and packed right away. Dirt is simply part of the equation. So, what is the best way to clean them? It is important to know that Mushrooms are porous and soak up water easily. That doesn’t mean you can’t use water at all. A quick rinse in a colander before use will get much of the dirt off, but there still may be some to buff off with a paper towel. Soft-brush Mushroom cleaning tools actually exist, but I’ve never used one. Wiping with a damp paper towel is still my preferred method. Don’t peel them since it’s way too tedious and you end up peeling away flavor.

Buy Smart. Shop Healthy. Live Organic.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy

Forward this to a friend if you think they’ll like it – Here’s to fresh!