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What's Fresh Right Now?

Bananas—dwarf ice cream

Bitter melon


Cucumbers—slicers, kirby

Eggplant—purple/white/graffiti italian, purple/white/green asian, thai

Greens—collards, chard, okinawa spinach, amaranth

Herbs—garlic chives, turmeric, flat leaf parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, peppermint, spearmint

Melons—watermelon, cantelope


Mushrooms—dried shiitakes


Onions—yellow, sweet, red, green scallions


Peppers—red/green/yellow/orange sweet bell, poblano, jalapeño, shishito, italian frying, red cherry, anaheim


Potatoes—yellow-flesh, red

Squash—white pattypan, yellow crookneck, green zucchini, acorn, butternut, spaghetti, blue hubbard, kabocha, delicata

Tomatoes—plum, beefsteak, cherry, grape, heirloom


Local and Fresh—
Italian Eggplant

        Eggplant is a very familiar sight at our summer famers markets. The most impressive are the large smooth-skinned Italian eggplant, usually very shiny and a dark shade of purple.
        Buying eggplant is a hands-on affair. Italian eggplant should be firm, with just a little give when pressed—not rock hard and definitely no soft spots! Store eggplant in the warmest part of your refrigerator in a cloth or paper bag since it does not like temperatures under 54 degrees.
        Unless the recipe requires its removal, leave the peel on since it is filled with antioxidants. Eggplant is like a sponge, so a quick brush of oil will be quickly absorbed, but will be sufficient to prevent sticking to the grill.
















Things we always will stop at a roadside stand for:

Mangoes from South Florida will always have me hitting the
brakes! I like certain varieties, especially Kents and Hadens, but
occasionally let the vendors give me an assortment so we can try
them all. Ever get a mango that is tasty, but full of fiber? Puree
the peeled fruit and strain out the fiber. Use the smooth fruit as
an ice cream or smoothie base.

Peaches are another reason to stop, especially if the vendor can
tell you where they are from and what variety. While my heart
may be in Georgia, I must admit that the tastiest peaches I have
ever eaten were grown in South Carolina.

Both these roadside stand treasures need special care. Place unripe
fruit on paper or cardboard in a cool dark room, making
sure that they do not touch each other. Rotate and check daily.
Use fruit as it ripens, simply cutting out any “bad” spots—no
need to throw out the whole fruit! Remember to put some by in
the freezer or pantry for summer goodness year round.