Take a look at our fresh April vegetables...
Shallots are a member of the onion family and are tender in texture, mild in flavor (less pungent than the onion), and quick to cook. Once thought to have originated from an ancient Palestinian city, shallots are now widely used in France. Since each head is made up of several cloves, shallots often resemble garlic rather than onions. Covered with a thin, paper-like skin, shallots are an excellent way to enhance flavor without adding sodium or other salty seasonings. The skin color of a shallot can range from pale brown or gray to a soft rose. Once exposed, the ivory flesh is usually marked by a pale green or purple color.
Shallots should be stored like an onion, in a cool, dark place. They are low calorie; contain no cholesterol and very minimal sodium (12g per 3 oz.). Use shallots in sauces, sautés, casseroles, as a condiment or any way you would use an onion. You will love them!
Baby Red Beets
Melissa’s Baby Red Beets are ready to use without the trouble of trimming, peeling and steaming. We have taken all the mess out and left only the good stuff in! These delicious baby red beets taste so fresh because of our innovative packaging to keep the freshness in and the bitterness out. No one will ever know these beets came out of a package! These tasty beets come from France, a country well known for beets. We don’t add any additives or preservatives-they are all natural to keep that great tasting flavor until the very end!
Baby Red Beets should be kept in the refrigerator and used once opened. Beets are very nutritious, a great source of fiber, have no cholesterol and are low calorie. They will add color and flavor to your main dish, salad or side dish.
Pearl Onions are members of the lily family. They are thought to have originated in Southern Europe. Pearl Onions are available in three colors: White, red and gold. They are available all year around and Melissa’s offers them packaged several ways. Pearl onions are a mild onion, about 1-inch in diameter. They have a papery skin and look like a miniature regular onion. Pearl Onions are very popular around the holidays. They are generally used in vegetable sautés, casseroles or creamed in a side dish. . Pearl onions are great on skewers or in sauces too.
To peel pearl onions, blanch them in boiling water, and then plunge them into cold water. Cut off the root end, and squeeze the onion out of the skin. It is very simple and easy for such a delicious treat. Pearls should be stored in a cool dry place, just as you would a large onion. They are very low calorie, and very low sodium with some iron and vitamin C.
Chile peppers have been cultivated for more than 7,000 years, used extensively by the Incas and the Aztecs. Today, they are used by many ethnic groups in their daily cooking preparations. There are several varieties of fresh chile peppers: Yellow (or Caribe), Pasilla
(or Poblano), Fresno
-red and green, Habanero
-assorted colors, Jalapeno
-red and green, and Serrano
, to name a few. Chile peppers get their heat from ‘capsaicin’, an oil in them that can burn your eyes and mouth. The hottest of these mentioned is the habanero chile, which is off the heat scale in comparison to the others. Generally, the smaller the chile, the hotter the bite. Also, when preparing chiles, if you remove the seeds, the chile will be milder. We also suggest wearing gloves and use caution not to touch your eyes.
Chile peppers add a delightful flavor to any dish they are added to. Try them in eggs, soups, stir-fries, sauces or even bread. They are very versatile...and you can use more or less to your liking. Chiles should be refrigerated and used immediately for best flavor. They are low calorie and are a great substitute for salty seasonings.
Chayote squash is also known as a Mirliton. It is native to Mexico and Central America, but grown world wide. Most chayote are a light green color, but it is also available in a less familiar white variety. Chayote contains one large seed in the center of the squash, which can be eaten after it is cooked, but generally it is discarded. Very popular among Hispanics, chayote is often prepared diced and sautéed as a side dish. First the skin is peeled, then the squash is used in a variety of ways: raw in salads, sprinkled with lemon or lime juice, boiled, steamed, sautéed, in soups or stews, on skewers or even in chutneys. Chayote lasts several weeks in the refrigerator and is available all year around. Chayote squash are low in calories (about 28 per 3 oz.) and provide some Vitamins A and C.Jicama
Jicama is a very popular vegetable in today’s produce department. Generally thought to be eaten by mainly Hispanics, it is also popular among Asians and Americans alike. Sometimes called a ‘yam bean’, jicama looks like a turnip, but the taste is similar to a potato or waterchestnut. It is a very versatile vegetable, from eating it raw in salads or with dips, to boiling and mashing like a regular potato. Jicama is also a great substitute for waterchestnuts, with the same juicy, crunchy flesh that stays firm when slightly cooked. Jicama must be peeled before using, and should be stored like potatoes in a cool, dry place. It should last several weeks when stored properly. Jicama is very low in calories (about 22 per 3 oz.), and an excellent source of Vitamin A. Also, a good source of Vitamin C and iron.Tomatillos
Tomatillos are sometimes referred to as a Mexican husk tomato. They are thought to be native to Mexico, but no one is certain. Tomatillos are grown in California and a few other areas, along with Mexico. They are very popular for making green sauce or salsa. Tomatillos are actually a fruit, but like a regular tomato, are used like a vegetable. The best way to store tomatillos is with the husk on, in the refrigerator. They should keep for at least one week. Tomatillos can be eaten raw, like a red tomato, but are most often used in fresh salsa. They are an excellent source of vitamin A and C and are very low in calories.Cilantro
This versatile herb is used in several countries: China, Southeast Asia, India, Latin America, and the Middle East. It is also known as coriander or Chinese parsley. In the past, cilantro was used as a medicinal herb for stomach ailments. It has also been used to freshen “garlic breath” after eating a sprig raw. Cilantro is used in salsas, pestos, sauces, salads and more. It is one of the most versatile herbs today, and is available year around. Cilantro, like any other herb, should be kept in the refrigerator. To keep it at its freshest, rinse each bunch, then wrap it in dry paper towels and store in a loose plastic bag.