Fresh & New: May 8-14, 2014

We’ve got some exciting news about strawberries! Fair Food member and local food hub Common Market has established a relationship with a fellow sustainable food hub in North Carolina, and they’re bringing a batch of CERTIFIED ORGANIC STRAWBERRIES to us on Monday! I met the good folks at Eastern Carolina Organics (ECO) when I was in Raleigh for the National Good Food Network’s Food Hub Collaboration conference in March, and they’re doing great work down south. As someone who grew up in NC, I’m excited that sustainable food hubs from the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions are working together. Common Market is able to add product from ECO onto a truck run up and down the coast by a third party logistics company - piggybacking on transportation that’s already heading up north. It’s a win-win situation that gets us sustainably grown first fruits of the season from a source we trust.

So make sure to stop in for berries early next week! As for this weekend, more and more green veggies are starting their seasons. We’ll have gorgeous ORGANIC BABY BOK CHOY - one of my favorite cooking greens because its small size means the leaves and pale-green stems are especially tender. You can use it as you would spinach or kale and sauté with garlic, ginger, and/or red pepper, or sub it out for hardy greens in other recipes. Just be sure to give the stems a little more cooking time to rel  ease extra moisture.

ORGANIC BROCCOLI RABE is also back from Blooming Glen Farm, in Perkasie and I.P.M. ASPARAGUS is going strong in graded, one-pound bunches from Sheppard Farms in New Jersey. And CHEMICAL-FREE RHUBARB is in full force from Oasis at Bird-in-Hand. In addition to jams, baked goods, and other sweet preparations, rhubarb is also delicious when it’s not dessert. Try these miso-fermented rhubarb pickles from Phickle, our favorite fermentation blog, or make this beet and rhubarb salad from Yotam Ottolenghi (and grab some BIRCHRUN BLUE cheese to crumble on top). Rhubarb’s tart, bright flavor pairs well with rich, savory meats - check the bounty of rhubarb-based sauces and recipes for pork, beef, and chicken here.

At our cheese counter, Meadowset Farm’s THE LAST STRAW is ON SPECIAL through next Wednesday - 10% off per pound! This subtle, nutty raw sheep’s milk cheese comes from farmer/veterinarian Thomas Schaer’s herd of East Fresian and French Lacaune goats. It’s delicious on a cheese board with BUCKWHEAT HONEY from Stockin’s Apiaries, or with a crusty baguette and a slab of quince paste. Or use a vegetable peeler to slice off delicate curls and toss with crisp RED and GREEN LEAF LETTUCE from Gehman Family Farm, slivered almonds, and your favorite vinaigrette.


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