(left to right – top: bok choi, baby tokyo turnips, thai basil, roselle, shishito peppers; left to right – bottom: tri-color beans, fuyu persimmons, sweet potatoes)
In your share this week will be:
Roselle Hibiscus: Try this recipe for “Florida Cranberry” sauce and save it for Thanksgiving! You can also pop your Roselle into the freezer, whole, to preserve for later use. Break them out for a festive Sorrell Drink around the holidays with a cinnamon stick and splash of rum. Substitute the pint of fresh Sorrell for the dried in the recipe. You do not need to remove the seed pods if you’re making a drink. You do want to remove them if you’re making relishes or jam. There are many variations including with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, etc.
1 1/2 c. orange or apple juice
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
a couple of dashes of ground cloves
24 oz. Florida cranberries (seed pods removed)
1 c. raisins (golden or ordinary)
1 c. chopped pecans
*Chopped citrus and orange zest (Amy’s suggestion)
In a saucepan, combine juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved. Add Florida cranberries and raisins, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, simmer 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in nuts. Chill for several hours.
Tri-Color Beans: These tender beans can be steamed, sauteed or grilled and will make for a perfect side item ahead of a Thanksgiving feast. If you want to ensure beans will be on the Turkey Day table, pickle them! Here’s a Dill Pickle recipe we shared earlier in the year:
Quart Dilly Beans
1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans
3-4 garlic cloves, halved
1/2 cup dill/dill flowers
Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least three days before eating. Quick pickles are good for 3-4 months in the fridge.
Fuyu Persimmons: This non-astringent variety of persimmon fruit is picked at a firm, crispy consistency and is delicately sweet when eaten straight as you would an apple or a pear. We recommend you try it while light orange/tan, crunchy and firm, to taste the difference from the Saijos last week. Try it sliced on a salad, or lightly grilled and served alongside a savory entree. If you let them ripen until they have a darker shade of orange, they will soften and can be used to bake bread and/or pies! Eaten as is, processed into a jam or baked, the sweetness of these Fuyus always comes through.
Shishito Peppers: This Japanese pepper variety is somewhat in the middle on the bitter-sweet spectrum. The Kitchn published a great piece on how to properly roast shishitos. The key seems to be high heat and fast cooking. Here’s an excerpt from the post: “The key to fantastic roasted peppers is high heat and quick cooking. The higher and quicker the better. You’re aiming for charred blisters on all sides and a texture that is still fairly firm. Cook the peppers too slowly or at lower heat and they tend to wilt and become too soft before they develop charred spots.”
Baby Tokyo Turnips: These very small roots are incredibly tender and make for easy pre-cook processing (most can simply be halved to be cooking ready). If our Turnips haven’t graced a stir-fry yet for you this season, there’s still plenty of time to give it a try. Slice or shave raw into a salad or pickle to last through the winter!
Sweet Potato Fingerlings: TIt’s almost suspect that something so sweet tasting can be so nutritious. Almost. A good sized baked sweet potato may contain nearly 440% of your daily value of Vitamin A! I recently came across a great site with 25 descriptive Sweet Potato preparations, so you’ll have an arsenal of ideas to draw from as we near holiday feast time. Follow the link here!
Bok Choi: This Chinese cabbage strain has been cultivated for approximately 5,000 years and seems to only be expanding in use and popularity. The leaves and the stalks can both be cooked, but should be separated before washing to ensure that both parts are thoroughly cleansed.Once washed, choi is best enjoyed cooked, whether steamed, braised, or included in a simple stir-fry with garlic, soy sauce and some of our ground or shaved turmeric root for good measure.
Thai Basil: As soon as you smell it you’ll know how to use it in cooking. Thai basil is absolutely essential to stir-fries and curries. Sautee with your Tokyo Turnips & Shishito Peppers or bake with your sweet potatoes!