Organic Picks of the Week 09/16/13

Best if Used By 09/23/13

Organic Picks of the week for September 16th, 2013 features
Kiwi Berries, Bosc Pears, Green Beans, Cauliflower and Broccolette

Organic Kiwi Berries


You’ve gotta try these while they’re in season. A bite-sized, fuzz-less, sweet super-fruit that looks like a mini-kiwi? – that’s a Kiwi Berry. Kiwi Berries are a vine fruit the size of a Grape, have smooth skin and are a surprisingly delectable sweet ‘n tangy snack! They’re best for eating whole when soft-ripe.

Organic Kiwi Berries: in-season for a short time from Oregon and Pennsylvania.

There’s a short season each September and early October for Organic Kiwi Berries. Most Organic Kiwi Berries are grown in Oregon, but there also is an organic grower in right here Pennsylvania that specializes in them.

• Kiwi Berries are picked hard and ripen off the vine. Skin color ranges from light green to dark green with patches of brown depending on the variety. Do not eat them when the fruit is firm – it’ll be sour.

• Allow the berries to ripen at room temperature until the berries are soft and the skin begins to wrinkle. Then they’ll be really sweet! The softer they are and more wrinkled the skin is – the better the berry will taste!

• Rinse Kiwi Berries with cold water to wash them once they are are ripe and just before serving them.

Ripen at room temperature until soft and the skin begins to wrinkle for a sweet and tangy snack! Yep, you eat Kiwi Berries whole.

Organic Bosc Pears


The long, slender neck, the rustic appearance with golden-brown russeted skin over a green base: a classic. Organically-grown Bosc Pears are now in peak season from orchard slopes of Oregon and Washington. Time to enjoy a wonderful fall flavor. Their honey-sweet flavor and delightful juicy-crisp texture make them perfect for snacking, salads and desserts.

Organic Bosc Pears are now in peak season from the Pacific Northwest.

Unlike many other Pears, Bosc do not need to ripen as much to taste sweet. So, even a little “give” near the stem will mean ripe flesh. Or you can eat a hard Bosc as a crunchy treat as soon as you buy them.

The crunchy pear with classic flavor and rustic looks – Organic Bosc Pears.

Organic Green Beans


Certified Organic Green Beans will be an excellent fresh vegetable choice this month since they’re in peak season from local farms in the Mid-Atlantic and farms in California. Steam, boil or stir-fry Green Beans until they are just tender. Did you know you can roast Green Beans too?

A simple, sweet and savory fall dish – Roasted Green Beans and Bosc Pears.

RECIPE: Roasted Green Beans and Bosc Pears

  • Pre-heat oven to 450F
  • Wash and trim ends of 1lb fresh Green Beans
  • Core 2 Bosc Pears
  • Slice Pears length-wise with skin on, similar thickness to the Beans
  • Toss Beans and Pears with 3 tbsp Olive Oil, 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Season with 1 tsp Coarse Salt, 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • Re-Toss to coat evenly
  • Spread Beans and Pears out on a large baking tray
  • Roast at 450F for 8-10 minutes
  • Stir and flip with a spatula
  • Add 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts
  • Roast an additional 8 minutes until beans are tender

Select Green Beans that feel firm and snappy. Avoid Beans that are limp, wilted, discolored or have sunken areas. Store Green Beans in a plastic container or bag in the crisper of your refrigerator for up to 3-4 days and wash them just before use.

Organic Cauliflower


Well, it’s that time year…time to start thinking about turning your oven back on. What better way to ease into fall cooking than by roasting some Organic Cauliflower. Or try out some new Cauliflower recipes! Here in mid-September harvests from certified organic farms in California are on the rise, thus driving prices down. Keep an eye out for affordable prices and in-store specials.

Organic Cauliflower – ready for your raw and cooked recipes.

Select Organic Cauliflower that looks fresh and has no soft or slimy spots, but don’t get too worried if you see a little brown spot on a few florets – those discolored spots are easy to trim off with a knife when you are cutting up the head.

Parmesan Popcorn Cauliflower – try it with your family!

RECIPE: Parmesan Popcorn Cauliflower

  • Pre-heat Oven to 450F
  • Rinse head of Cauliflower with water, shake dry
  • Cut Cauliflower into bite-sized florets
  • Toss with 2-3 tbs Olive Oil in a mixing bowl
  • Season with coarse salt, cracked pepper, 3 tbs grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Re-toss to coat, then spread evenly on a baking sheet
  • Roast at 450F for 10-12 minutes
  • Flip, rearrange with spatula, Roast for 10-12 additional minutes

Organic Broccolette (Sweet Baby Broccoli)


When you can’t decide whether you’re in the mood for Broccoli or Asparagus, try a third option: Broccolette. A cross between Chinese Kale and regular Broccoli, Broccolette has slender stalks small broccoli florets. It features a delicate and sweet Broccoli flavor with hints of Asparagus. The whole vegetable is edible and is cooked any way you’d cook Broccoli.

Peak season Organic Broccolette (aka Sweet Baby Broccoli) is a delightful recipe alternative to Asparagus or Broccoli. Just be sure not to over-cook it.

Broccolette is sold by several names including: Sweet Baby Broccoli, Broccolini and Aspiration. Right now, Organic Boccolette is in peak season from California. Try it!

• Select Broccolette that is dark green and free from yellowing on the florets.
• Store fresh Broccolette in a plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator.
• DO NOT OVER-COOK Broccolette. Steam, sauté, boil, grill or roast it until the stalk is just tender enough to pierce with a knife.

Sautéed Baby Broccoli
Broccolette Salad
Roasted Broccolette

What is Organic Produce?

Certified Organic Produce meets a set of standards for growing, handling and labeling that is governed by the USDA’s National Organic Program. Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use synthetic chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. The terms “Natural” and “Local” are not the same as “Organic.” Learn more about Organic.

Eat in-season. Choose organic.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy