Fresh Produce for Tasty Resolutions
Resolutions arrive with the new year, but the diet versions don’t have to include only carrots and celery. Although these items are healthy and tasty in their own right, the best way to turn your resolutions into habit is to broaden your produce horizons. Here are some suggestions for items you might not have tried and might surprise you with their flavors. If your favorite local grocer doesn’t carry these items, be sure to ask your friendly produce clerk to bring some in for you.
Pink Lady Apples
It's getting near the end of the season for Honeycrisp apples and there are two varieties that I eat when they are finally and sadly gone for the year; Jazz and Pink Lady. Both are excellent in their own right and I can only suggest trying both and making your own personal decision.
Meyer Lemons are a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange - and as such, they have a slightly sweeter nature. Use anywhere you would a regular lemon, but they are especially nice in lemonade, on salmon, used for zest, sliced over a roasted chicken or game hen and last - but not least - make a killer lemon drop.
Cipollini onions are a lesser-known but tasty variety. They take a little work but in my opinion, they are well worth the effort. There are lots of recipes on the net, but the best involve roasting and a wine or balsamic vinegar reduction. The end result is a tender onion that nicely absorbs flavor and delivers a bite-sized juicy bust of flavor.
Heirloom Tomatoes and apples have grown in popularity as customers seek out specific flavors that contributed to commercially grown varieties. Citrus heirlooms like these navel oranges are growing in popularity driven by unusual flavor profiles and sometimes unexpected coloring as customers become more intrigued by the "character" of heirloom varieties.
Taylor Gold Pears
Taylor Gold Pears are one of my two favorite pears (the other being a Comice Pear). These Washington-grown beauties are simply stunning. They are amazingly sweet and juicy, yet the flesh isn't overly soft. If you like a really crisp-fleshed pear, then I would suggest an Anjou, but in my opinion, you can't beat these Taylor Golds.
The Honey Tangerine is one of my favorite varieties of citrus - but it's a bit of an ugly duckling. The skin tends to have scars and spots, but as beauty often is - those blemishes are only skin-deep. Cut this fruit across the equator and you'll catch your first glimpse of real beauty - a brilliant deep orange. You'll find a few seeds, but the juiciness will surprise you. Finally, when you taste a slice, you'll really appreciate what I'm saying. Hard to describe other than to say it's just plain excellent eaten out of hand or also great added to your morning smoothie.
Winter squash are looking great. There are as many different varieties as there are taste preferences, so even if you have never liked squash, I highly encourage you to try again. Search the web for recipes matched to each of the varieties we carry and reviews that seem to fit your preferences - I bet you'll become a convert.
I personally like Broccolini (or Asparation) better than broccoli. Use as you would broccoli and you'll find that it's more tender than broccoli and has a subtle sweet & nut-like flavor. With thinner stocks and more tender tops than broccoli, Asparation steams faster than broccoli and gives you great plate presentation.