Veggie Spring Delights
Cleaned and Sliced Leeks
Melissa’s cleaned and sliced Leeks make it easy by cutting the edible part of the vegetable into carefully sliced and ready-to-use pieces. This new pack is simple and convenient to use in your favorite recipes. Leeks are related to both onions and garlic, but they are milder in flavor and fragrance. Used primarily as a soup green, leeks can also be used in salads or just cooked with a combination of vegetables for a side dish.
Leeks are low calorie and full of flavor. They are high in Vitamin A and a good source of Vitamin C. A great addition to salads or any recipe you would add chives or shallots.
Ready-to-Eat Baby Red Beets
Melissa's Baby Red Beets are so convenient and easy to use. No more mess from boiling and peeling fresh beets. These no-hassle beets are vacuum sealed for extended shelf-life (a good 3 months!). Just slice or dice and add to your favorite recipe. They can be served hot or cold.
Melissa's Baby Red Beets are approximately 40 calories each and contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol. Beets are also a source of fiber and are rich in potassium.
Also available now are Ready-to-Eat French Country Style Beets in Balsamic Vinaigrette. These are delicious as a side dish and are ready to go right out of the package. Perfect for a quick and easy meal.
This “First of Spring” vegetable is unique and delicious. Only available for the first few weeks of spring, they are the tell-tale sign that spring has arrived. Generally harvested when still curled, these young ferns come from the west coast. They are referred to as “fiddlehead” because their curled shape looks similar to the musical instrument: the fiddle.
Fiddleheads can be sautéed or steamed and are very perishable once harvested, so use immediately for best results.
These mini-cabbage looking vegetables are tightly wrapped leaves filled with vitamins and flavor. They taste like regular cabbage but are compact for easy cooking and serving. One of the latest trends for chefs, shaving Brussels sprouts for salads and side dishes is becoming more and more popular. Restaurants and home kitchens are adding delicious nutrition to menus and meals everywhere with this flavor packed vegetables.
Melissa's boiler onions are considered a dry onion (mature onion) harvested when their inner flesh is juicy and is covered with a dry papery skin. Melissa’s 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 favored for use in pickling and stews. Boiler onions are available year-round. 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.
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, Anaheim (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.
A newer chile to these familiar chiles is the Shishito Pepper. These chile peppers are approximately 3-5 inches long. They are used in both Asian and Latin cuisine with heat levels (scoville units) somewhere between a serrano and a Thai chile. They have an unusual shape which twists and turns in every chile. They offer a nice green skin and a thick walled texture. Shishito Peppers are delicious added to stir fries or even sautéed and eaten as a side dish.
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.
Russian Banana Fingerlings, named for their development in the Baltic States, look like a banana in shape. These yellow skinned potatoes are unique fingerlings. They have a firmer texture and are an excellent base in potato salad. Russian Bananas are one of the most popular of the fingerlings. Ruby Crescent Fingerling potatoes are long and slender with rose-pink skin and sweet yellow flesh. These potatoes are very interesting in the way they occasionally grow branched off one another. They are the best roasting potato and are also delicious boiled for potato salad or baked and topped with sour cream. French Fingerlings are medium size tubers with satin smooth reddish orange skin. These potatoes are rumored to have been smuggled into America from Europe long ago in a horse’s feed bag. A welcome addition today, these potatoes are delicious boiled for potato salad or baked and topped with sour cream. Fingerling potatoes make a great side dish for any meal. They are low calorie and filling…making them great for those watching their food intake.
Ginger root is one of the most popular “spices” used for flavoring foods and giving them some extra zing. It is most commonly found in Asian and Indian cooking, but it is finding its way into more and more recipes every day because of its pungent aroma and tangy flavor. Ginger is a root that looks like branches growing and it is referred to as a “hand” of ginger. It is usually grated or thinly sliced to be used in stir-fries, dessert dishes, soups, casseroles and many other foods.
Ginger root has basically no calories or nutrient value, but adds a robust flavor to anything it is used in. It should be stored in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic and used in a week or so. It can also be frozen up to 2 months.
Dutch Yellow® Potatoes
Grown year round in nutrient-rich volcanic soils 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 sweet 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. They are naturally sweet and taste like they are already buttered. Dutch Yellow® Potatoes are an excellent source of fiber and potassium, and low in calories. They are great when baked, roasted, mashed or sautéed. They are also delicious in potato salad, too.
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 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.
Cactus Leaves (Nopales)
Cactus Leaves are actually a delicious side dish or ingredient for many recipes. Cactus leaves are the pads of the prickly pear cactus. They are also called nopales. They taste similar to asparagus or green beans. Cactus leaves are great in omelets or casseroles. They are also delicious sautéed and served as a side dish. Cactus Leaves are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C. They are low in calories. They should be stored in the refrigerator and washed before use. Also, be careful of any pricks which can poke your skin.