Thursday, September 16, 2010

Late Summer Organic Goodness

Today was the most recent delivery from the organic co-op. Just look at how colorful and plentiful it is! One thing that I really love about being in this co-op is the way the produce follows the seasons and this time of year is one of my favorites. It's kind of a transitional period between seasons in which we still get a lot of the bountiful late summer harvests such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and plenty of greens and we start to get a selection of classic fall produce such as acorn squash, apples, grapes and pears. I am a little sad that we didn't get corn, but I'm hoping the farm stand down the street still has some fresh corn from its sister farm an hour or so south. If they do, I'll buy some over the weekend.

Here's a picture of what came in this week's share:

From top to bottom, left to right:

broccoli rabe, green leaf lettuce and spinach
scallions and beets with greens (vertically along the left)
bananas, gala apples, and acorn squash
cilantro, tomatillos, tomatoes, deVoe pears, unknown fruit? and niagara grapes,
green peppers, hungarian hot peppers, carrots
and an eggplant

I'm disappointed about the broccoli rabe [also known as rapini]. We were expecting regular broccoli, which I LOVE, but the farmer didn't have any so we got broccoli rabe instead. Ugh. I'm not a fan.

I'll definitely be cooking Mexican one night using the cilantro, tomatillos, tomatoes and the green peppers. I'm thinking chicken enchiladas or fajitas--one or the other-- with salsa verde.

As for the unknown stone fruit, I'm not sure what it is. It wasn't listed on the newsletter we get with our order, so I'm thinking it's probably a makeup item for something from last time that arrived in poor condition or was simply missing. Especially since I just gone one lonely fruit. Or maybe someone special ordered some of those and accidentally dropped it in my box? I think it's some sort of plum or pluot [that's a hybrid plum and apricot, I think] because it looks like a plum and feels soft like a plum. It doesn't smell like much, though, so I'll have to do some research, and see if it tastes like a plum!

I also special ordered a whole case of red peppers to share with my friend who hosts our local group in the co-op. This is probably the fourth of fifth year we've done this right around this time. We both love red peppers and this way we get to buy organic red peppers when they are at their peak and least expensive and then enjoy them throughout the winter.

This variety is called 'lipstick' red peppers. Can you see that they're sort of shaped like lipstick? There is also some small, really round red peppers in there. I'm thinking those might be a different variety. They look like they'd be hot peppers!

I usually cut at least half of the peppers into strips and freeze in ziptop bags. Then I can grab as much as I want and use as is in stir fries or dice them for stews, soups or other cooked dishes. I'll roast the remaining peppers, then pack them into clean jars and top off with olive oil for roasted red peppers to use on sandwiches and salads. I'll keep one jar in the fridge to use for now and freeze the other bottles for future use.

I used several of the lipstick peppers in tonight's dinner in a dish that is a reinvented version of stuffed peppers from an old CookingLight magazine issue. In my version, I saute the peppers and combine them directly with the filling in a one dish meal. For a side dish, I sauteed the broccoli rabe and beet greens in olive oil with half an onion and some kosher salt.

Any ideas what that little unknown stone fruit might be?

I'd love to hear what you'd cook for dinner tonight if you had some of this produce in your fridge!


  1. I have no idea what that fruit is, sorry LOL.

    and wow, that is a lot of red peppers! I loved the picture though :) I didn't know we could just freeze it like that... Seriously, I wonder what your fridge and freezer look like inside... it just might be more packed than ours!

  2. I don't know what your mystery fruit is, either. Though it does look like an apricot (I've seen some white ones recently, just can't remember where....)

    I've found that of the three colored peppers (red, green, yellow) I like yellow the best. I wish we could find a huge box of them like your box of red peppers!

    I love all the apples this time of year, gala's are some of our favorites.
    I"d definitely make something mexican with the produce you received. Maybe nachos, maybe bean dip or as you suggested fajitas or quesadillas. *G*

    Enjoy your bounty! (And hope you had a sensational day!)

  3. You don't think that stone fruit is an apricot? That's what it looks like to me. Oh, I am SO jealous of those gorgeous organic red peppers. YUM YUM YUM. There is some fine eating about to happen at your house, little missy.

  4. nath...
    That is a lot of red peppers! Doesn't it look gorgeous laid out on my table like that?

    My freezer is definitely packed. And I have a stand alone freezer in my basement. It's like the size and shape of a washing machine, which isn't huge, but it's so useful. Part of the reason we bought that was to store all produce I freeze from the summer season. But mostly because I have 1/6 of a cow down there. LOL. My girlfriend (Ange in my recent beach post) lives in a rural-ish area of NY and knows a butcher from her church who knows a farmer who raises grass fed cows on his farm. So once a year, we split half a cow three ways. Well more like four. My girlfriend and I get 1/3 of this half cow, and her sister and my local friend who hosts the co-op I'm in share the other 1/3 of the half. So Ange and I get 1/6 of a cow every year and the other two gals get 1/12 of a cow. It sounds like a lot of meat, and it is, but it lasts a family of five who eats beef once a week about 13 months or so. It tastes SO good and I know exactly where it came from and how the cows were raised. And it's so affordable at $3/lb for grass grazed beef!

    It looks like the color of an apricot, but is the shape and softness of a plum. No fuzz. Don't apricots have a bit of fuzz like a peach? It's been a while since I've had apricots, actually.

    I like yellow bell peppers, too! Reds are my favorite, but yellow comes in second. Have you ever had a chocolate pepper or purple one? Those are nice, too, but a little too close in flavor to the green ones, which are my least favorite.

    I love the gala apples, too! Honeycrisp are delicious, too. I loved the ones we got in our last share so much that I even emailed the co-op office trying to find out. They think it was either Paula Red or Tydeman.

    Hope you're having a fantastic Friday, too!

    I don't think it's an apricot. I actually think I figured out what it is. I'm going to take a picture and edited it into the post and see if anyone can figure it out. Stay tuned... LOL!

    Those red peppers are indeed very gorgeous. And delicious, too, as we ate about 6-8 of them in last night's dinner!

    I put the peppers in the basement where it's cooler because I don't have room in my fridge and I think I need a good couple of hours to process all of that for the freezer and jars of roasted peppers, so I'm going to do it on Saturday.

    I did find out that the round ones are not lipstick peppers but hot ones. Which is okay, because I'll use those in a spicy peanut chicken stir fry for me and my husband. But the rest of the family won't be able to handle the heat.

  5. Hmm, could it be a nectarine?

  6. I figured out what it was after looking more closely at the stem end. It doesn't look like the kind of stem end of something that would grow from a hardwood or tree type plant, but rather a "soft tissue" plant.

    In fact... it looks a lot like a tomato stem end, doesn't it? Because that's what it is! Or was... I ate it last night in a salad. I've had yellow tomatoes before, but I've never seen one this light in color before.

    Kind of funny that I thought it was a plum. LOL!

  7. Christine, OMGosh! How funny! Glad the mystery was solved. I bet you'd like some of the tomatoes that are making a resurgence down here, the heirloom varieties. Some look really weird, I saw a purple one last month and couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that it was a tomato! *g*

  8. Well in the close up pic, I do think it looks like a plum... did you eat it yet? :P

  9. Brandy, I love the heirloom tomatoes. They're so fun to eat and analyze the different flavors... which one is sweeter, milder, more acidic, which one is more fragrant or fruity, etc.

    I got two dark tomatoes on Thursday. Can you see them in the photo next to the red slicing tomatoes? The dark ones are streaked ... hmm... almost brown. I ate them already too. Very good.

    YES! It was a tomato! Imagine that! LOL!

  10. The fruit does look a little like an apricot, but not quite...apricot in colour (if that makes sense :)

    And I freeze peppers too. It's horrifying what the supermarkets charge in winter for peppers...and chillies!

    Ah, my apricot tree has blossom...roll on the fruit :)

  11. Omgosh, orannia! I'm so jealous that you have an apricot tree! I would love to see pictures of that in bloom! And laden with fruit! And what you'll do with all that fruit! Apricot jam is one of my absolute FAVORITES!

    Red peppers are very expensive here, too. Especially in the winter and especially organic? Forget it. The organic peppers shown in my photo, plus about four or five that I put in my fridge straight away because they were cracked or had soft spots, cost me $20, but I had a gift credit with the co-op for recommending a friend who stayed in for over six months, so it only cost me $10! Awesome deal. =)


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