Fa la la la! Happy holidays from our family here at the co-op to yours! We’ve been busy in the produce department as of late and cannot wait to share all the latest and greatest with you. We are rolling into the peak of citrus season (thank you Florida, California and Texas!). When I think of citrus, the first thing that pops into my mind of course, is an orange. But there is so much more! We’re pulling in some of your more rare citrus here at the Dubuque Food Co-op. This week we’re seeing kumquats, mandarinquats, blood oranges and cara cara oranges arrive. All of which have arrived beautiful, ripe and ready to eat! I put together a handy little guide about these rare (and not-so rare) citrus that now grace our store shelves:
- Kumquats: A little larger than a table grape, these little flavor bombs are eaten whole, peel and all. They’re fabulous in marmalades or in sauces vinegarettes. The peel is actually sweeter than the flesh. So when you eat them, it’s a combination of sweet and tart.
- Mandarinquats: These interesting fruits are a cross between a kumquat and a mandarin. Like the kumquat, they too can be eaten whole—peel and all! They are larger than kumquats and have a much deeper orange color. They can be eaten raw and also cut up and put into salads or pair nicely with cheese. Cooked they are excellent in sauces, preserves and purees.
- Cara Cara Oranges: A variety of navel discovered in 1976 in Venezuela Cara Caras look like traditional navel oranges on the outside. However, looking inside shows a beautiful pink flesh that offers a cranberry-like taste and the fruit is seedless! The oranges also contain less acid.
- Blood Oranges: One of the tastiest citrus out there! The skin of these showcase orange and red blushing. Open them up and you’re in for a treat, literally! The flesh is bright to deep red and the taste is tart-sweet with berry-like undertones. Blood oranges are best eaten fresh and look beautiful accompanying cocktails.
Locally we still have ample squash supplies. Honey Hill Organic Farm stopped by last week to show a couple new ways to whip up easy and healthy squash recipes. One was as simple as this (be warned, it’ll make you hungry just reading it):
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 4 colored mini sweet peppers
- Your favorite cooking oil
- Salt & pepper
- Shredded parmesan cheese (as much or as little as you like)
- Garlic powder
Quarter the spaghetti squash and clean out seeds. Place face up on baking sheet or dish and rub flesh with oil to cover. Dice the colored peppers and place them inside the curve of the squash. Bake for 45-55min. at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool enough to fork the flesh out of the squash, add butter, cheese, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
Small Family Farm CSA in La Farge, WI is sending over their cipollini onions. Wondering how best to bring out the flavor and add a little ‘fancy’ to a meal? How about Cipollini onions braised in red wine? Check out this 5 ingredient recipe that will wow your friends and family!
As we near the close of 2014, I’d like to express my gratitude to the farmers and community members that have supported our mission at the Dubuque Food Cooperative! We’re all greatly looking forward to 2015. Cheers and Happy New Year to everyone!