All Posts In In Season

Market Watch: Sweet Cherries

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, July 11, 2016

Few fruits taste as amazingly sweet and scrumptious as a freshly picked cherry. Head out to your local farmers market soon, as they are only available for a short time.

Cherry Facts

One cup of cherries contains 90 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. You will also find about 10 percent of the daily requirement for potassium, 16 percent for vitamin C and 3 percent for iron. Cherries are rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins, powerful plant compounds that may help reduce the risk of heart cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

What to Do with Cherries

Enjoy cherries as part of snacks, baked goods, beverages and frozen treats. Accompany them with flavors like almond or vanilla to enhance the natural essence of this magnificent fruit. Sweet preparations are most intuitive, but the tangy flavor also works well in savory applications like salsas and pan sauces.

When at the market, look for cherries that are deep red in color, firm and unblemished. Once you bring them home, store them in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag. You can also freeze pitted cherries for up to six months. Use this step-by-step guide to learn how to easily pit fresh cherries. Read more

What’s in This Week’s CSA Box?

by in Healthy Tips, In Season, July 6, 2016

We in the Food Network Kitchen got our first box of CSA (community supported agriculture) produce from Mountain View Farm in Easthampton, MA. And probably like many of you at home, unpacking the box had us wondering, “What are we going to do with all this stuff?”

CSAs aren’t exactly a new idea. After all, farmers selling directly to the consumer is the original business model. But the locavore trend is one way to buck the industrial agricultural system (or skip the hassle of the produce aisle), with members buying “shares” in a farm’s annual harvest.

This is the most-exciting box of produce you will ever receive — your own mystery basket to keep you on your culinary toes week after week. So sign up, get to know your local farmer and keep reading to find out how to use even the most alien-looking produce in the box. We’ll give a glimpse at our CSA box and share tips on how to use the produce every other week throughout the summer and fall.

Bok Choy
Bok choy is a mild-flavored member of the cabbage family you’ve probably enjoyed at your local Chinese restaurant. Whether steamed, stir-fried or tossed in a saute pan with minced garlic and oil, it is a delicious dinner table addition.

Fennel
You might not know it from looking at this vegetable, but it comes from the same family as carrots. Slice your fennel bulb for adding crunch to salads, roasting for a side dish, or steaming and serving with fresh dill. Read more

Market Watch: Fennel

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, June 14, 2016

If you don’t think you’re a fan of fennel, it’s the perfect time of year to give this remarkable veggie another chance. Head to the farmers market and pick up these sweet and delicate young bulbs while the getting’s good.

 

Fennel Facts

These edible bulbs of fennel are referred to as the “Florence” or “finocchio” variety. Don’t be turned off by the anise descriptor often attached to this member of the carrot family. Fennel’s licorice essence is extremely subtle and becomes even more subdued when cooked.

Fennel also contains plentiful amounts of vitamins and minerals, including A, C, folate, calcium and potassium. One cup has fewer than 30 calories but 3 grams of hunger-fighting fiber. Read more

Farmers’ Market Finds: Scapes and Rabes, Beyond Broccoli and Garlic

by in Farmers' Market Finds, May 28, 2016

If you haunt your farmers market looking for signs of spring, you’re probably familiar with garlic scapes and broccoli rabe…they’re some of the first greens you’ll find. But scapes and rabe come in more varieties than garlic and broccoli. Here’s the skinny on what they are and what other varieties to look for.

 

What Are Scapes?

These shoots are one of the first edible greens to crop up in spring. Scapes are simply flower stalks that grow out of the bulbs of garlic, onions and leeks. At the top of each is a bulb that will flower if left unplucked. For eating, though, scapes are picked when the green stalk is sturdy and the bulb is still a bulb. Scapes taste like the alliums they grow from, and you can use them in places you would use chopped onion.

 

How to Use Scapes

To cook scapes, remove the bulbs and use the stalks. Chop them finely and saute to soften. Add them to omelets or quiche, blitz them into a pesto or preserve them by pickling. Read more

7 of the Quickest — and Healthiest — Side Dishes Ever

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, May 12, 2016

Here’s the predicament: You’re having guests over for dinner tonight, and while you’re at the grocery store gathering ingredients for your carefully thought-out dessert and entree, you realize you completely forgot to plan a side dish. Don’t panic — we’ve all been there. When you’re short on time, it’s wise to avoid slow-cooking grains and zero in on the produce aisle instead. Spring peas, asparagus, edamame and fresh salad greens are just a few of the season’s lifesaving ingredients, each one quickly and easily transformed from its raw state into a flavorsome, complementary side. Here are seven of our easiest and lightest spring sides that are ready in 20 minutes or less. Tuck these ideas away in your recipe arsenal to consult the next time you’re hosting — no one will know the dish was an afterthought.

Green Salad with Strawberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Time: 5 minutes
Rachael Ray’s simple five-minute salad embraces the flavors of spring with fresh greens, strawberries and a sweet-tart vinaigrette.

Read more

6 In-Season Sides That Kids Will Love

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, April 28, 2016

Buying and preparing in-season produce is part and parcel of maintaining a healthy diet, but it’s much easier to eat nutritiously when the whole family is on board. In a world full of boxed mac and cheese and freezer-friendly chicken nuggets, we can understand why packaged or prepared foods are a reliable fallback. But we’re hopeful that the right seasonings and preparation methods can turn arugula, carrots, spinach and more into healthy homemade dishes for the whole family to enjoy. Here are six recipes that incorporate spring produce in ways that will appeal to even the pickiest eaters.

Arugula
Getting kids to eat their greens can be the biggest hurdle of the day, but this Quinoa Salad with Apricots, Basil and Pistachios makes crisp, peppery arugula appetizing for younger palates. Combine the seasonal green with fluffy quinoa, sweet dried apricots and dollops of tangy goat cheese and you’ll hear zero protests when the dish hits the table.

Read more

5 Healthy Ways to Pump Up the Fresh Pumpkin

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, October 14, 2015

Cooking with Fresh PumpkinThough canned pumpkin puree stars in many of our favorite baked goods, fresh-picked pumpkin isn’t as widely used, even when it’s in season. As it turns out, fresh pumpkins have uses beyond jack-o’-lantern carving: Cooking with this tender-when-roasted squash variety brings a hearty, mildly sweet element to many of our favorite fall dishes. This season, use a little elbow grease to break down fresh, in-season pumpkin so you can use it in some of fall’s finest good-for-you recipes.

1. Next time you crave innately creamy risotto, bring morsels of diced, semisweet pumpkin into the mix. This Creamy Baked Pumpkin Risotto, made extra-creamy and luxurious with the addition of mascarpone cheese, is cooked in the oven so you won’t have to stand over the stove for endless stirring.

2. Amplify the sweetness of standard pumpkin soup by bringing in juicy (and also in-season) apples. The Honeycrisp variety, as well as chopped sage, adds multiple layers of flavor to this healthy Pumpkin-Apple Soup, which gets a garnish of chopped peanuts on top.

3. If you haven’t considered fresh pumpkin as a contender for your side dishes, meet Anne Burrell’s Curried Pumpkin with Caramelized Onions. Cooked low and slow for over an hour, this mild, slightly sweet squash variety becomes dynamic with a seasoning of garam masala, red pepper flakes and toasted green pumpkin seeds.

4. Scoop out a pumpkin’s flesh to make way for a festive fall presentation of Food Network Magazine’s Squash Soup in Pumpkin Bowls. Use the hollow pumpkin as a vehicle for this healthy, creamy, slightly sweet soup, and bits of roasted and tender pumpkin will work their way into your spoonfuls.

5. Bring another side of fresh pumpkin into your comfort food dishes. Turkey and Pumpkin Seed Chili may not call for the flesh of the fall favorite, but the pumpkin’s seeds bring a satisfying crunchy element to warming, good-for-you and cocoa-spiked chili.

Get even more healthy ways to cook with both fresh and pureed pumpkin here.

Produce Picks: Squash

by in In Season, October 9, 2015

Squash

Squashes are technically fruits, since they have seeds and are the fruit of the plant that bears them. They are primarily broken down into two types, the latter of which is now in prime season:

  • Summer squashes, whose skins are still tender and edible, are typically harvested in the late spring and summer. They include zucchini (green), yellow, pattypan and cousa.
  • Winter squashes, whose seeds and skins have fully matured and need to be cooked before they are eaten, are harvested in the late summer and fall. Examples include butternut, acorn, spaghetti squash and pumpkins.

Read more

Market Watch: The Beauty of Heirloom Tomatoes

by in Healthy Tips, In Season, August 28, 2015

It’s peak tomato season at the local farmers market and the best time to explore heirloom varieties in all their imperfect glory. Read more

Market Watch: Early Golden Plums

by in In Season, July 26, 2015

With the first stone fruits appearing at local farmers markets here in New York City, it’s time to get on those golden plums. This early variety of plum is not only rosy and beautiful but also low in calories and a perfect snack. Read more

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