Alex Jones, Farmstand Product Manager
I'm really excited about the wide variety of produce this lingering warm weather has made available to us, but I must confess my relationship with seasonal ingredients has been a bit strained this week.
My lovely landlady has given my kitchen an upgrade, which I'm super excited about. The only downside is that I haven't been able to cook, and I've been living on West Philly takeout, U-Pick apples from a recent trip to Frecon Farms, and leftovers from a Hocks 'N' Coqs early Thanksgiving celebration for the past week and a half.
Besides the crispy fried egg, which I was able to try out once my stove was reconnected, I haven't been able to experiment much with all the exciting produce coming in. But enough about my cooking compulsion; here's a breakdown of the crops you should pounce on at the Farmstand this weekend.
Fruit: New and scrumptious apple varieties continue to roll out from our orchards as the weeks pass. Please welcome crunchy, sweet Cameo apples and a variety I haven't seen before, Melrose -- it's a cross between Red Delicious and Jonathan, which makes for a juicy, tart apple that's great for baking and other sweet preparations. Subarashii Kudamono is bringing in their signature Asian pears, with their AsaJu variety coming in this week.
Niagara and Concord grapes are in, too, along with kiwiberries, the firm green vine fruit that taste and look just like little fuzz-free kiwis. Pick up a half pint and let them ripen until very soft for maximum flavor. Combine with cherry tomatoes (we still have Sun Sugars and mini rainbow heirlooms) for a sweet-tart salsa.
Summer veg: Each week I think it's last call for warm-weather goodies, but the Indian summer goes on. In addition to the aforementioned little tomatoes, we have romas, along with a wee bit more sweet corn, zucchini, and even slicing cucumbers coming in. Red and green bell peppers are still around, as are their hot little friends ghost and Scotch bonnet peppers.
Fall veg: Roots and cruciferous vegetables are shining right now! Broccoli, along with white and cheddar cauliflower, are perfect for making into a cheesy yet light soup or cheesy and rich traditional French casserole. Romanesco cauliflower, with its lime green color and fractal florets, is better cooked to maintain and highlight its unique shape. I like to toss with olive oil and roast until those spindly tips start to crisp and brown, or make a quick or canned pickle with the florets. Purple sweet potatoes, gold beets, and French Breakfast radishes would make a beautiful roasted root vegetable salad.