Many of our CSA subscribers ask us what they should do with the unfamiliar (and even the familiar) produce they receive each week. So we are in the process of collecting storage and cooking tips for the vegetables and fruits you may receive in your CSA shares. Check this page for updates and additions. We also like this book, by Mark Bittman, on How to Cook Everything.
To sign up for the Muir Ranch CSA and receive your own box of delicious, fresh, local food each week, please contact Erika, out CSA manager:
johnmuircsa [at] gmail [dot] com
Some of the fruits you receive may not be quite ready to eat. To encourage them to ripen, place them in a paper bag on the kitchen counter. Please share your storage tips in the comments below.
Citrus fruit storage tip: for those times that there is a plethora of ripe fruit. Juice your citrus fruits, store in air-tight containers, and freeze. Whenever you want fresh lemonade, orange juice or grapefruit juice, it will be ready to defrost all year ’round! (Mix with water and sweetener to taste, especially the lemon juice.)
Store in a cool, dry place, or at room temperature. To encourage ripening, place in a small paper bag. Once cut, you can store pieces of avocado in an airtight container in the fridge, but not for long–they will soon turn brown!
We featured two avocado recipes in an old Muir Ranch Bulletin.
You may store beets at room temperature, or in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator to make them last longer.
The link above directs you to an article about the versatility of the might beet. And here’s another recipe to prove it, which uses them for their rich hue to make mashed potatoes in a way that would make Dr. Seuss proud.
To keep chard crisp and fresh, store in the refrigerator, preferably with the stems in water.
Juice your citrus fruits, store in air-tight containers, and freeze. Whenever you want fresh lemonade, orange juice or grapefruit juice, it will be ready to defrost all year ’round! (Mix with water and sweetener to taste, especially the lemon juice.)
These bad boys can last for weeks in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Just make sure to peel away limp leaves before cooking.
What’s better than Potato Leek Soup? (Okay, a lot of things. But you asked for cooking tips, so that’s what we’re giving you.)
Store persimmons in a cool, dry place. You may refrigerate them, but it’s not necessary. These fruits are generally ripe when the skin gives a little to the touch and they are a dark orange color.
Persimmons are delicious raw–just watch out for seeds! And you can even eat the vitamin-rich skin. But if you absolutely must put them to culinary use–say you have ten pounds worth and you can’t stomach another one raw–here is a delicious recipe for persimmon cookies that will knock your tastebuds’ socks off. (Scroll to the bottom of the post for the recipe.)
Store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and heat.
Use in fruit compotes, as a garnish for plain yogurt, or just surrender yourself to getting red stains all over your clothes and mouth by eating it as nature intended: raw, and after a lot of work.
How to Seed Pomegranate
Everyone has their favorite method for carefully removing these delicate and tasty seeds without staining everything around them red. Here is one idea we invite you to try:
You will need a knife, a colander, and a deep mixing bowl. Fill the bowl half-way with water. Cut the pomegranate in half and place the two pieces into the bowl of water. Use your fingers to pry the seeds out of the shell. The pieces of shell and the white inner membrane will float to the top. All you need to do is skim the surface to remove these inedible pieces. Then dump the bowl of water into the colander, leaving the seeds ready to eat!
Red Torpedo Onions
Store these like you would any onion (on the kitchen counter or in a hanging basket) for up to a week. After that, these suckers get delicate, so you might want to think about sticking them in the fridge.
Word has it you can eat these mild onions raw, but your best bet is to always saute’ them in oil or butter, whatever recipe you decide to add them to afterward.
Most varieties of squash do well when you store them in a cool, dry place. This prevents them from becoming moldy and mushy, which is downright yucky.