10/8/18

Tender Profile | Bok Choi

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Botanical name/plant family: Brassica rapa chinensis

Important practices: Like other varieties of cabbage, I'm less of a threat to pests, which means that generally, less pesticides are used on me than other vegetables. We always recommend purchasing organic for better flavor and nutrition!

Harvest season: I'm available year-round, but fall and spring are my peak.

Great source of: I have one of the highest concentrations of nutrients per calorie of any vegetable! I'm full of Vitamins A, C, and K, and am a good source of folate, vitamin B6, and calcium as well. I also contain the mineral selenium, which isn't found in many other fruits or vegetables.

Storage methods: I'm best kept in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. I'll last about a week!

Cooking methods: I'm best added to soups, braised, or sautéed, either on my own or with other veggies in a stir-fry. I like to hide dirt in between my stalks, so make sure to separate them like you would celery, and rinse me well before cooking. I come in baby and mature varieties, but either way, the whole plant can be eaten.

World cuisines: I'm a Chinese variation of cabbage, so you can often find me in Chinese or other Asian dishes.

Pairings: I'm very porous, meaning I absorb the flavors of whatever you cook me with. However, I go especially well with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame, and mushrooms.

 

Fun Fact:

  • I'm sometimes referred to as "soup spoon" due to the shape of my leaves.

  • I'm made up of 95% water.

  • I've been cultivated for over 5,000 years.

Tender Profile | Onions

Onion

Who Am I?

  • Botanical name/plant family: Allium cepa

  • Great source of: Vitamin C and Manganese

  • Harvest season: I am ready for harvest in the summer

Important growing practices: Buying organic is always a smart choice. Onions are naturally fairly pest resistant and do not require much pesticide use.

How to care for me:

Keep me in a cool, dark, dry place, away from potatoes. 

Flavor and Pairings:

I am well suited to be used raw on sandwiches and in salads, and add a crunchy zing. When I'm caramelized (cooked slowly for a long time until browned and sweet), I add a lovely flavor to pastas, sandwiches, quiche, salad dressing, and more. I am delicious sautéed, grilled, and baked as well. I am great with a wide variety of ingredients, including meats, cheeses, celery, chicory, mushrooms, curry, tropical fruits, honey, and cloves just to name a few.

Fun Facts:

  • The ancient Egyptians worshipped onions, because they believed that their spherical shape and layers symbolized eternity. There are even ancient onions that have been found buried in pharaohs' tombs!

  • In the Middle Ages, onions were accepted as a form of currency for paying rent and for goods and services (if only that were still true!)