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Now In – Erbette Chard – The Softer Side of Chard

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Erbette Chard – The Softer Side of Chard

Erbette Chard, an Italian Heirloom varietal (also known as perpetual spinach), is a refined and delicious leafbeet type Chard with the same earthy flavor but less bitterness than its other Chard relatives – its known for its tender and mild Spinach like flavoring and texture.  Erbette features narrower leaves and midribs than traditional Chard which help give it that texture more akin to Spinach (especially when harvested young) and makes those leaves perfect for raw eating in salads.

In addition to fresh eating (especially the younger leaves), Erbette Chard is great steamed with other greens or in the place of Spinach (like Spinach its leaves also cook fast) – think about adding it to a Quiche or Lasagna for a savory addition – or try it the traditional Italian way: lightly braised and tossed with fresh garlic and a bit of aged goat cheese.

 

*Freshly foraged from The Farm at Malibu

Summertime Powerhouse Green: Purple Amaranth!

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Purple Amaranth

Not only is it delicious but this is one “Powerhouse Green”, full of nutritional oomph – so read on and make sure to add this one onto your list!

Although Amaranth is technically classified as an herb, for culinary uses its cultivated by many Asian Cultures for use as a leafy vegetable. The young shoots can be eaten raw in a salad but mature Amaranth (like you’ll see in most Farmers or Asian Markets) is most often used cooked – primarily in stir-fries but also in soups or simmered dishes.

The younger leaves are more mild and tender with a slight nutty flavor like spinach and are perfect for adding to salads; once more mature, the leaves get more fibrous and bitter (when raw) and so you’ll want to cook them to bring out that nutty flavoring. All are great used raw in your green drinks or juicing (just check out the incredible nutrition below). If you see flowers on the stalks it’s usually a sign the leaves are past their prime for cooking. Often when plants are cultivated they are done so for their leaves, however they are also cultivated for the edible seeds that come from the flowers – similar to Quinoa the seeds contain high amounts of protein.

Amaranth Nutrition: Similar to Beets, Swiss Chard, and Spinach – but genetically closer to their wild ancestors – they offer a superior source of Carotene, Iron, Calcium, Protein, and Vitamin C.

Here’s two great takes on a simple but delicious way to partake of your Purple Amaranth – in a stir fry:

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Wild Arugula – We Dig the Bite!

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Wild Arugula

You can think of Wild Arugula as your normal Arugula times two. What we typically ingest as “Arugula” is most often an Arugula Varietal crossed with Spinach, garnered for its much faster growing time (60-90 days as compared to the 120 days required of Wild Arugula) – but what we loose in that cross for faster growth, is the depth of vibrant and peppery flavor that only pure or Wild Arugula can give us. It’s deeper green and slightly more jagged leaves give off a pungent aroma – which hints at its more intense pepper flavor.

Its flavor is reminiscent of other greens with a bite, like mustard greens and watercress, and likewise it makes a great fresh green for salads (although its recommended to blend it with other lettuce varieties as it can be over-powering all on its own) – as well as acting like a herb in other scenarios where it can add a flavorful earthy and bright bite to the dish. If you prefer your bite with a little less kick, you can also cook arugula which mellows out its flavor (but be careful – it can quickly loose all of its flavor as a victim of over-cooking) – try it wilted or add at the end to soup, stews, stir-frys, or risottos to maintain the majority of its flavor.

Nutrition: Is rich in Folate, Vitamins A (Beta-Carotene), B, C, and K – it also gets its kick from many of its cancer-fighting Phytochemicals – powerful anti-oxidants. Wild Arugula also contains high levels of nitrate which can help lower blood pressure, and help oxygenate muscles during exercise.

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Check out some our favorite creative ways to add Arugula into your Culinary Arsenal with these Delicious Recipes:
(Clockwise from Upper Left)

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.

 

 

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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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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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Italian Savoy (And Baby Savoy) Cabbage Now in!

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Italian Savoy Cabbage/Baby Savoy Cabbage

Savoy Cabbage is characterized by its crimpled or crinkled leaves which are a bright to dark green on the outside, and fading into towards the center where they lighten to a creamy white. Savoy is known for having a more mild flavor than its darker green or red counterparts – it has a mildly sweet and slightly grassy flavor and crunchy yet succulent and tender texture.

The Savoy Cabbage is a sort of middle ground between the hard-headed western varietals and the more loose-headed eastern/Chinese varieties of Cabbage and it can easily replace either in most recipes. Its texture and flavor make it a great addition to soups, stews, and salads – and a perfect sponge for rich ingredients like cream, cheese, and sour cream or olive oils and animal fats.

Baby Savoy: With the same characteristics of its more mature counterpart, the Baby Savoy has an even milder earthy flavor, and that, along with its size, makes it a perfect individual serving size for a variety of creative dishes (see some of them below) – delicious!

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As promised above, here are our some of our favorite recipes from the Web – perfect for getting creative with your Baby/Savoy Cabbage:
(Clockwise from Upper Left)
Buttered Savoy Cabbage:
http://www.marthastewart.com/313070/buttered-savoy-cabbage

Roasted Savoy Cabbage Salad:
https://lifeisazoobiscuit.com/?p=3068

Baby Savoy Cabbage with Pomegranate and Feta:
http://coldhandswarmearth.blogspot.com/2014/11/baby-savoy-cabbage-salad-with.html

Stuffed Baby Savoy Cabbage
http://www.foodlustpeoplelove.com/2014/04/stuffed-baby-savoy-cabbages.html

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First of the Season Greens: Lambsquarters, Tetragonia, & Watercress

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First of the Season and Freshly Foraged Greens Now In at the Markets!

 

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"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” "watercress" "water cress"Watercress – Another entirely edible green, from its succulent stems to its bright green and delicate leaflets (if allowed to flower and seed, once again it’s all edible:) It is know for its peppery mustard flavoring that only continues to heighten as the plant matures. Most commonly eaten fresh in salads or added to sandwiches, you can also sautee it or puree and add to soups, dip, sauce, or pesto. It’s also considered a super food due to its high content of anti-oxidants. 

 

 

Why Go For Greens?!

 

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"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"Why Go For Greens ?

(from our most recent Newsletter, a little reminder:)
Some people have the same reaction to “Greens” as a child would when contemplating a plate full of Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower. A necessary evil of healthy eating. But of course we know that it’s not so – that as enlightened “Farm-to-Table” and “Farmers-Market-Shopping” adults we’ve dropped the evil and ran off with the necessary and never looked back right? Well maybe…because for as many who have embraced the wide variety of textures, flavors, and cooking options of Greens, there are just as many who still think eating greens means plugging their nose and gulping down the “Green Monster” as fast as they can.

But regardless of which side of the fence you are on – those of you who aren’t quite sold – or those of you who count themselves #1 fans of the greenery – we thought it would be a good time to remind you just why those Greens are so darn good for you:

Leafy Green Vegetables have more Nutrients
per Calorie than any other Food.

And it’s really that simple – Greens contain more nutrients per equal caloric parts than any other Food.

What’s in your average Green? Greens contain significant amounts of Vitamins A, C, E, and K (and some B group) – as well as dietary Fiber – and are rich providers of minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Potassium, and Zinc.

Ready to make the most of your Greens and want to explore some delicious ways to prepare them? Head over to our Go For Greens section of our Blog and view some our past Newsletter and Blog Posts on some of our favorite Greens!

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Time for Tatsoi!

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Tatsoi Greens

Tatsoi Greens are a varietal of Chinese Cabbage (AKA Spoon Mustard, Spinach Mustard, Rosette Bok Choy), most often categorized as a Mustard Green, and which feature vivid and deep green broad leaves (similar in shape to a small spoon) and short succulent stems. When raw, Tatsoi has a sweet nutty and earthy flavor with mild peppery undertones – once cooked however the flavor settles into a mild and warm earthiness similar to that of cooked spinach.

As far as the Kitchen goes, Tatsoi is a versatile green and can be used much as spinach is – either eaten raw, as in fresh salads (or on sandwiches and Pizza as a topping), or cooked in a variety of ways including steaming, braising, sauteeing, stir-frying, or even as an addition to soups. It also pairs very well with fermented ingredients (so bring out the Kimchi), or combine with other Asian Mustard Greens and make your pickled concoction (see link below).

Red (Or Purple) Tatsoi is identical in appearance to your standard green Tatsoi with the exception that the leaves are a deep burgundy-to-purple color. Also featuring the same glossy and buttery texture, the leaves of the Red Tatsoi are tender and succulent and have a sweet and tangy flavor, with mineral/earthy undertones. Once cooked, it also develops a warm earthy flavor similar to that of Spinach.

Tatsoi Nutrition: Tatsoi is a good source of Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as Folate, Calcium, Potassium, and Carotenoids. The purplish color of the Red Tatsoi is due to anthocyanins – health boosting phytochemicals which have some of the strongest physiological effects of any plant compounds (like anti-inflammatory and anti cancer properties). So in addition to eating those Greens for your health, eat those Red-Greens too!

 

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(Clockwise from Upper Left)

Tatsoi and Mustard Green Salad with Ginger Honey Vinaigrette:
http://www.sunday-suppers.com/blog/recipe-tatsoi-and-mustard-green-salad-with-ginger-honey-vinaigrette

Ginger Beef Stir-fry with Tatsoi and Jasmine Rice:
https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/ginger-beef-stir-fry-with-tatsoi-and-jasmine-rice

Sweet Potato and Tatsoi Soup:
http://foodloveswriting.com/2012/11/06/sweet-potato-and-tatsoi-soup/

Pickled Mustard Greens:
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pickled-Mustard-Greens

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