A Bountiful Table: The Season’s Best Produce
Ready-to-Eat Steamed Black-Eyed Peas
Plan ahead and get ready for New Year's with this traditional legume made easy! These small beige-colored peas get their name because of the black spot on each pea, looking like an eye. They were believed to have originated in North Africa, where they were a staple food for Greeks and Romans. Many years later, they appeared in the "New World," possibly brought in by Spanish explorers. They are very popular in the Southern U.S., and even more so during New Year's celebrations, where they've earned a reputation for good luck and prosperity.
Most black-eyed peas are packaged dry, but Melissa's offers Black-Eyed Peas in a tub, or steamed and vacuum-sealed in a ready-to-use package. They make great dips and are delicious in casseroles. Black-eyed peas are very low in fat and are an excellent source of folic acid. Try one of our delicious holiday recipes to bring you good luck in the coming year!
Ready-to-Eat Steamed Artichoke Hearts
These delicious ready-to-eat artichokes have been steamed and prepared for your convenience. They are vacuum-sealed to keep their freshness, perfect to use out of the package, and great when you use them in recipes calling for cooked artichokes. They are convenient and easy to use on charcuterie boards or salads.
Steamed artichokes are low-calorie and high in vitamins. They are available all year round for last-minute meals. Melissa's Steamed Artichokes are good for two months without refrigeration but store in the refrigerator for the best shelf life.
Peeled & Ready-to-Eat Baby Red Beets
Melissa's Baby Red Beets are ready to use without the trouble of trimming, peeling and steaming. We have removed all the mess and left only the good stuff! These delicious baby red beets taste so fresh because of our innovative packaging to maintain freshness. 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 additives or preservatives; they are all-natural to keep that excellent-tasting flavor until you're ready to use them.
Baby red beets should be kept in the refrigerator until opening. 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.
Originating in Verona, Italy and now grown in the U.S., Cipolline onions are a member of the shallot family; they are flat like a saucer and offer a sweet, mild flavor. Often found whole in casseroles, sautés and side dishes, they are perfect for the holidays to enhance your favorite recipes' flavor. They are also popularly pickled for drinks.
A quick tip on peeling: make a tiny "x" on the top of each onion. Place in boiling water to blanch for about 2 minutes, then submerge them in a bowl of ice water. The skin should peel off easily, and then they are ready to use in your recipes.
Cipolline onions contain very few calories and minimal vitamins but will add flavor to your dishes. Store in a dry, cool dark place for up to two months for optimum flavor.
Pearl onions are available in three colors: white, red and gold. They are available all year round, and Melissa's offers them packaged in several ways. Pearl onions are a mild onion, about one inch in diameter. They have 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 straightforward and easy for such a delicious treat. Pearls should be stored in a cool, dry place, just like a large onion. They are very low-calorie and very low in sodium, with some iron and vitamin C.
Boiler onions are available in white, red and gold. These versatile onions are about one inch in diameter and impart a sweet, pungent flavor. They can be cooked as a side dish and are preferred for use in pickling and stews. Boiler onions are available year-round, and they are perfect for summer grilling and holiday dishes. Delicious in salads, soups, main dishes or barbecued on skewers.
Melissa's Boiler Onions should be firm, with dry, papery skins. Store whole dry onions in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to two months. Once cut, tightly wrap any unused onion in plastic, refrigerate and use within a few days.
Shallots are tender in texture, mild in flavor (less pungent than the onion), and quick to cook. Thought to have originated from an ancient Palestinian city, shallots are now widely used in France. 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 in a cool, dark place. They are low-calorie, contain no cholesterol, and have minimal sodium (12mg per 3 ounces). Use shallots in sauces, sautés, casseroles, condiments, or any way you use an onion. You will love them!
Organic Baby Yams
Yams are the perfect vegetable to add vitamins and color to your meal. Candied yams make a tasty side dish, especially during the holidays. Their skin is edible, with a short cooking time due to their petite size. They are available in several varieties and can be used to bake with or for delicious side dishes. For an easy-to-prepare method, just rinse, poke a couple of holes in each yam with a fork and place in an air fryer for a super convenient side!
Melissa's winter squash varieties will bring color and warmth to your dinner table, adding flavor, variety and health. With over 20 different squash varieties to choose from, you won't have any problem finding one you'll love.
Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti, Delicata, Gold Nugget, Sweet Dumpling, Butterkin, Kabocha, and Turban are the most popular. Try them baked or cube them into stews. Some squashes are difficult to cut. Here is a simple solution: Place whole squash in 375ºF oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the outer shell softens enough to cut. Adjust cooking time accordingly so squash does not overcook.
Use in your favorite recipe! You can also scoop out the inside flesh and use the outer shell as a unique serving dish. This is incredibly fun to do with the smaller squash, using them for individual servings. Hard squash is extremely rich in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium.
Pumpkins are extremely popular this time of the year, not just because of Halloween but also because the weather is getting colder, and squash makes a great meal! Pumpkins can be used for desserts, bread, soups and decorations.
Did you know that you can substitute a pumpkin into just about any hard squash recipe? Pumpkins, like most squash, are low-calorie, with about 45 calories per ½ cup cooked. They are a good source of fiber and an excellent source of potassium and vitamin A.
Baby Dutch Yellow® Potatoes
Grown year-round in nutrient-rich volcanic soil, where the days are warm and the nights are cool, Melissa's Baby Dutch Yellow® Potatoes are produced under ideal conditions to create an irresistibly flavorful potato. Our Baby Dutch Yellow® has a distinct yellow flesh with a subtle flavor and a creamy texture. These are one of the best-tasting potatoes on the market today. An excellent source of fiber and potassium, they are great when baked, roasted, mashed or sautéed; they are also delicious in potato salad. Be sure to check out our DYP® cookbook, too!
Chile peppers have been cultivated for over 7,000 years, and today they are used by many ethnic groups in their daily cooking. There are many varieties of fresh chile peppers: yellow (or Caribe), pasilla (or Poblano), Fresno-red and green, habanero-assorted colors, jalapeño, Anaheim-red and green, and Serrano, to name a few. Chile peppers get their heat from capsaicin, an oil that can burn your eyes and mouth. The hottest of these mentioned is the habanero chile, which is off the heat scale compared to the others — generally, the smaller the chile, the hotter the bite. Also, when preparing chiles, the chile will be milder if you remove the seeds. We also suggest wearing gloves and using caution not to touch your eyes.
Chile peppers add a delightful flavor to any dish; try them in eggs, soups, stir-fries, sauces or even bread. They are very versatile, and you can use more or less, according to your liking. Chiles should be refrigerated and used immediately for the best flavor. They are low-calorie and are an excellent substitute for salty seasonings.
The Great Pepper Cookbook
This is one of our most popular books, highlighting all kinds of peppers, from mild peppers to the hottest peppers around. Melissa's is also the source for any type of pepper you may need. This cookbook has great simple and unusual recipes for everyone; it also offers nutrition, heat levels and basic info on peppers — available in hard copy through Melissa's only.