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March 2017

Green Garlic – From Farming Byproduct to Culinary Gem

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Green Garlic (Baby/Spring Garlic)

Now one of our favorite hallmarks of Spring, Green Garlic (AKA Baby Green Garlic, Spring Garlic, Baby Spring Garlic, etc.) was actually once a waste product, the result of “thinning” out Garlic fields (pulling some of the young plants to allow others to grow larger). Thankfully however, Farmers were never ones to let anything go to waste, and they quickly discovered this “Baby Garlic” could become a cash crop all of its own – one known for its mild onion flavor and light crunch. Depending on just how early it is pulled it can range from having almost no bulb – similar to a scallion – through to having a small to medium garlic round (a bulb similar to an onion), which represents the end of its “baby” growth stage (once it starts dividing into separate cloves it can no longer be considered immature).

Featuring a milder Garlic flavoring, Green Garlic is cherished for its mellow pungency and grassy notes, along with its sweeter undertones. Compared with its more developed counter-part the flavor of Green Garlic is still garlicky, but with less of its spice and bite. Green Garlic is a short crop so explore this tasty addition while it’s available!

Nutrition: Garlic’s nutritional properties have long made it a Folk Remedy to a multitude of ails – and rightly so, as it contains a lot of antibiotic properties that make it a good agent against bacteria, viruses, as well as intestinal parasites. Alliums (Garlic included) are also known for their benefits in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure – and Garlic in particular can act as both an anti-inflammatory agent, expectorant and decongestant. So toss some Spring Garlic in your next salad and help your body fight off the last of the winter season cold bugs.

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Green Garlic Confit

When it comes to its culinary uses, the whole plant, including the leaves, can be used (although you may want to cut off the darkest ends of the leaves if they are overly woody or earthy). Green Garlic can be sautéed, grilled, braised, or roasted, but its milder flavoring and tender crunch also makes it a great raw addition to spring salads (but keep in mind it still has a pungent kick, so if sensitive to this flavor, you may want to consume them cooked, which will mellow them out even further). It also goes great with other fresh spring green veggies like Asparagus, Peas, Artichokes, and Leeks, or as an ingredient in hummus or pestos. Try it in some of your go-to recipes as a replacement of either green onions or regular garlic.

Before we get to sharing some of our favorite Green Garlic recipes from across the web, we want to share two delicious recipes that were featured during Demo’s at the Farmers Market this time last year, and starring late winter/early spring favorite Green Garlic (click on the highlighted titles to visit the recipe pages):

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown summerlin" "las vegas" "chef demo" "culinary arts" "cooking demo" "cooking" "executive chef" "hemant Kishore” "nettle soup" "recipe" "cooking" "how to cook" "health benefits of" "stinging nettles" "the green fairy"
Executive Chef Hemant Kishore’s amazing “Green Fairy” Nettle Soup

Longtime Market supporter, and Executive Chef, Hemant Kishore demoed his absolutely amazing “Green Fairy” Nettle Soup – featuring both Green Garlic along with another late winter gem – Stinging Nettles. **To read more about both Chef Hemant and his additional demo dish, an incredible Parsnip Citrus “Alfredo” Pasta, click here.

 

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "chef demo" "cooking demo" "culinary arts" "cod recipes" "pacific cod" "nettle puree" "border grill" "Green Garlic Chimichurri" "executive chef" "jamaal taherzadeh" "kerry clasby" "healthy recipes" "organic eats" "pan roasted"
Pan Roasted Pacific Cod with Artichokes, Green Garlic Chimichurri, and Nettle Puree

Executive Chef Jamaal Taherzadeh, then of the Border Grill (Mandalay Bay) gave us a wonderful demo of the Border Grill’s delicious Pan Roasted Pacific Cod w/ Green Garlic Chimichurri and Nettle Puree. Light with a complex layering of flavors, it’s no wonder this dish has been such a hit. **For a full overview of Chef Jamaal’s demo you can read about it here.

 

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” "green garlic" "baby green garlic" "spring garlic" "baby spring garlic" "green garlic recipes" "recipes" "spring garlic recipes"Here are some of our favorite recipes on the web perfect for combining Green Garlic with some of your go-to entrees:
(Clockwise from Upper Left)

Grilled Spring Garlic:
https://8ateateight.com/2012/05/31/recipe-goodness-grilled-green-garlic/

Green Garlic Pesto Pasta:
https://www.thespruce.com/green-garlic-pesto-recipe-2217490

Sauteed Chicken Breast w/Fava Beans and Green Garlic:
http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/sauteed-chicken-breasts-with-fava-beans-and-green-garlic.html

Alice Waters Spaghetti with Green Garlic:
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/06/alice-waters-spaghetti-with-green-garlic.html

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Chicories – Greens with a Bite!

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Chicory or Chicories refers to a group of Greens which includes Escarole, Raddichio, and Endives (as well as Dandelions), and unlike your more common Lettuce Greens , Chicories are favored for their bitter flavoring. It’s this bite that makes them a unique and sought after addition to salads, especially those with richer ingredients, like nuts, fruit, and sharp cheeses (for more culinary uses and tips, see the lower part of this article).

Chicories come in a variety of colors and textures, from the crisp green and crunchier red Radicchio’s – to the green frills of Curly Endive and their longer torpedo shaped Belgian cousins – to the light green to white lettuce-like Escaroles, your Chicory options offer a delectable hint of bitter peppery flavor along with a dash of color and unique texture. Here’s the low-down on some of our favorite varietals now available:

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” “greens” “go for greens” “fresh greens” "chicories" "chicory greens" "castelfranco" "castelfranco chicory" "castelfranco chicories" "castelfranco greens"Castelfranco Radicchio – Is a cross between Escarole and radicchio Trevisano, and features round slightly open heads with tender pale green to creamy white leaves generously splashed with violet and burgundy. It’s delicate yet crisp and has a mellowed bitter flavor with sweet undertones, making it a great choice as a fresh green in salads.

 

 

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” “greens” “go for greens” “fresh greens” "downtown 3rd farmers market" "chicories" "curly endive" "endive"Curly Endive –  This chicory has vibrant bright green “ruffled” leaves that fan out long and lean. It has great texture and flavor, varying from its trademark bitter ruffly greens to the slightly more tender blanched hearts with their milder bite and sweet undertones. A great chicory to use for fresh eating as salad greens as its texture maintains form and holds up well to heavier dressings.

 

 

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” “greens” “go for greens” “fresh greens” "chicories" "chicory greens" "palla rossa" "palla rossa radicchio" "palla rossa chicories" "radicchio" "palla rossa chicory" "red leaf chicory" "red italian chicory"Palla Rossa Radicchio – Also referred to as Red Leaf Chicory, or Red Italian Chicory , it has round, solid, compact heads with deep-red to purple leaves. It has a bitter and spicy taste which tends to mellow after being cooked – cooking also brings out its natural sweetness. It can be used raw for salads, especially mixed with other greens (where its spice can be tempered) or cooked.

 

 

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Treviso Radicchio – Also known as Rosso de Treviso, it’s a mild radicchio and forms similar to a Belgian Endive, featuring elongated leaves of reddish purple with white ribs. It provides a good mixture of both texture, with its crisp robust leaves, and earthy flavor – with its more mild pungency than most other varietals. It’s elongated shape also makes it a unique vessel for plating.

 

 

The bitterness and/or spice of chicories can be a turn-off to some people, especially if they are expecting the mild, grassy, or nutty flavor typical of Lettuce varieties – however, when combined with the right ingredients Chicories can offer a rich and sophisticated layer of flavoring not found in other Greens. When used raw, Chicories make a great addition to salads, adding not only a complex and peppered bite but a unique texture and great color to the plate as well. The sturdiness of the leaves of most varietals means they also hold up well to heavy or warm dressings, and wont typically wilt.

Chicories pair particularly well with other strong flavors, especially salty ones (as salt cuts some of the perception of bitter flavors), so think of making salads with ingredients like Bacon or Prosciutto, or adding sharper cheeses like Blue, Gorgonzola, Asiago, or Feta. Also, especially Escarole in particular, makes a great sandwich green, or try using it instead of bread as a wrap. Speaking of which, the whole fresh leaves of Palla Rossa and Treviso Radicchio, as well as Escarole and Belgian Endives can all be used as wraps or as a “cup” or “bowl” for other ingredients and dishes.

The bitter spiciness of Chicories mellows when they are cooked, transforming the flavor towards their more nutty and earthy undertones. The majority of Chicories have robust and hearty leaves, and hold up well to sauteeing, grilling, and braising – maintaining their integrity and crispness. They can also be chopped or slow cooked into soups, stews, or risottos.  In Italy Radicchio is a common ingredient in risottos, as well as on its own as a side dish or appetizer, when its simply grilled and drizzled with olive oil.

Feeling ready to try some Chicory Recipes? We’ve scoured the web for some of our favorite recipes that utilize some of the pairings we mentioned along with other favorite produce ingredients. First up we’ll cover salads, then on to a few cooked Chicory entrees and side dishes:

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Clockwise from upper left:

Arugula, Radicchio, and Fennel Salad:

http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/arugula-radicchio-and-fennel-salad

Grilled Pear, Chicory, and Endive Salad:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-pear-chicory-endive-salad

Escarole and Seared Radicchio Salad w/Pecan Vinaigrette:

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/escarole-and-seared-radicchio-salad-with-pecan-vinaigrette

Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad:

http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/shaved-cauliflower-and-radicchio-salad

Charred Escarole Salad:

http://www.saveur.com/charred-escarole-salad-recipe

Mixed Chicories with Persimmons:

http://www.marthastewart.com/857654/mixed-chicories-persimmons

 

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Clockwise from upper left:

Oven Braised Endive with Gremolata:

http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/oven-braised-endive-with-gremolata.html

Roasted Chicory with Garlic and Pine Nuts:

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Recipes/Roasted-chicory/

Grilled Chicory with Pomegranate Molasses:

http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/grilled-chicory-with-pomegranate-molasses/

Braised Chicory with Radish:

http://ritual-cuisine.com/wordpress/?p=1466

 

 

 

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Sugar Snap Peas are in!

 

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Sugar Snap Peas

These entirely edible podded peas are a hybrid developed during the 1950’s by crossing the Chinese Snow Pea with a Mutant Pea plant – resulting in an extra snappy and plump sweet pea. Their crispy small pods are firm with a smooth green surface and a thicker pod wall – making them extra plump – and are known for a fresh, snappy, and crunchy sweet flavor. The average pod contains anywhere from 4-8 peas.

All of this makes them a go-to in the Kitchen, and for use in a wide variety of dishes and preparations. Toss them into a fresh green salad for additional flavor and texture, or use them in a cold and fresh chilled pea salad. In addition to fresh eating they can also be steamed or stir-fried, and make a great side dish beside your favorite entrees, or as an ingredient into soups or stews. Before cooking or eating, fully mature pods may need to be de-stringed, which means removing the stem and the “string” (a tough membranous string which runs from top to bottom along the seam of the pod). Try and use them within a week of purchase, and keep them stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.

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Nutrition: They are a great source of Dietary Fiber and Protein, and super rich in Vitamin C – which many of you know as being an immunity booster, but did you know that this antioxidant vitamin also aids in collagen production and helps wounds heal more quickly? They also have significant amounts of Vitamins A, B and K, as well as Folate, Iron, Magnesium, and Manganese.

 

 

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” "sugar snap peas" "snap peas" "pea pods" "recipes" "creative recipes" "cooking with snap peas" "sugar snap pea recipes"Here are a few of our Favorite Recipes from the Web that will bring out the best of your Sugar Snap Peas :
(Clockwise from Upper Left)

Snap Peas with Meyer Lemon and Mint:
http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-snap-peas-with-meter-lemon-and-mint-recipes-from-the-kitchn-81633

Quinoa and Sugar Snap Pea Salad:
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/quinoa-salad-sugar-snap-peas

Roasted Scallion & Sugar Snap Pea Spring Rolls:
http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-roasted-sugar-snap-pea-and-scallion-spring-rolls-with-tahini-sauce-recipes-from-the-kitchn-203330

Snap Pea Chips:
http://www.cottercrunch.com/how-to-make-homemade-snap-pea-chips/

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Get Exploratory this Spring with Sorrel

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Green Sorrel

This most common varietal of Sorrel is also often referred to as Garden Sorrel or Common Sorrel. Recognizable by its bright green long and arrow shaped leaves, this Herb doubles as a Lettuce/Salad Green. Sorrel is known for its bright, sharp, and uniquely lemony tang flavor, giving it its nickname of “Sour Grass”. The sour tang is due to the herbs high oxalic acid content. It’s been cultivated as an eating plant for thousands of years, and was very common during the middle ages across Europe – at the time Citrus hadn’t made its way from East yet, and so Sorrel was the primary ingredient to add a tang or sour flavor to dishes. Once Citrus made its global spread however, Sorrel became used less and less – before making a comeback on the tail end of the earlier Farm-to-Table movement in the 60’s & 70’s and maintaining its upward trend every since.

Sorrels fall into two categories, Common or Garden Sorrel as described above, and French Sorrel. Both are Perennial Herbs, part of the Buckwheat Family, but they are therein separate species. French Sorrel in general has a slightly broader or rounder shaped leave, often with a rippled appearance. The leaves are tender and particularly succulent (historically it was often used as a thirst quencher), and feature the same grassy and sharp lemony flavor characteristic of all Sorrel. However, the French Sorrel varietals do tend to be milder and more delicate in flavoring than their Garden Sorrel counterparts.

It’s culinary uses range from the fresh and raw, to the cooked (prepares similar to Spinach) – the earlier harvested young leaves are more tender and mild making them ideal for fresh eating and raw applications like salads, while the more mature leaves show an increase in their acidic production and strengthen the lemony sour taste, making them a better choice for cooked applications. (Note: Use your stainless knives and avoid metal cookware when using Sorrel to a void discoloration and erosion from its acid content). Additionally Sorrell makes a great puree for soups and sauces – it’s the main component of the famous French recipe, soupe aux herbes. Be sure and check out our favorite Recipes from the Web starring Sorrel down below!

Sorrel Nutrition and Additional Varietals:

Nutrition: Green Sorrel is packed with Vitamins – A, B, C, D, E, and K, as well as Potassium. It’s also a great source of certain anti-oxidants and additional nutrients with antibacterial properties.

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” “greens” “go for greens” “fresh greens” "french sorrel" "red veined" "sorrel" "red veined sorrel" "baby" "baby sorrel"Baby Red Veined Sorrel (Now Available!): Rapidly growing in popularity as a Gourmet Green this striking French variety of Sorrel features bright red veins on light green leaves. It has a light and vibrant lemony flavor with delicately tart undertones, and a tender yet crisp and succulent texture. All these contribute to make it a top choice for fresh Spring Greens Salads, as well as an attractive raw garnish to other dishes. It can also make a great addition to soups and stews.

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” “greens” “go for greens” “fresh greens” "wild sorrel" "wood sorrel" "sorrel" "wild foraging"Wild or Wood Sorrel: Not to be confused with the other types of Sorrel – Wild, or Wood Sorrel as it’s more often called, is easy to differentiate from other varietals by its appearance alone. Unlike the longer more broad leaves of the cultivated Sorrel herbs, Wood Sorrel more resembles long stemmed clovers with small yellow or white flowers (being the most common, though there are those with purple or pink flowers). The “clovers” are comprised of three folded heart-shaped leaves each, and the whole plant, including flowers, grows to around 15” tall. Also referred to as “Sour Grass” it has the same Oxalic acid content, and thus similar flavoring as its cultured cousins. To learn more about foraging for your own Wild Sorrel check out the Wild Edible’s info on Wood Sorrel

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We gathered some of our Favorite Creative Sorrel Recipes from across the Web:         (Clockwise From Upper Left)

White Peach and Sorrel Salad with a Honey Balsalmic Vinaigrette:

http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/white-peach-and-sorrel-salad-with-honey-balsalmic-vinaigrette/

Potato Leek and Sorrel Pesto Pizza:

http://saltandwind.com/recipes/347-potato-leek-and-sorrel-pesto-pizza-recipe

Beet and Red Veined Sorrel Salad with Pistachio:

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/beet-and-red-sorrel-salad-pistachio

Salmon with Fresh Sorrel Sauce:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/salmon-with-fresh-sorrel-sauce

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” “greens” “go for greens” “fresh greens” "sorrel" "sorrel pesto" "recipe"Plus make your own Sorrel Pesto to use with a variety of dishes:

Sorrel Pesto Recipe:

http://relish.com/recipes/simple-sorrel-pesto/

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