Cooking with a seasonal produce box is a lot of fun because every week is different. While this keeps you on your toes as a cook and forces you to learn new things, we also realize that it can be overwhelming. Who has the time to look up every new piece of produce in their box? Here’s a primer on 5 of our favorite types of produce that you might be less familiar with:
- Romanesco: This gorgeously symmetrical cousin of broccoli looks like someone asked Leonardo Da Vinci to design a vegetable, but it’s actually very easy to cook with. Use it as you would use broccoli. It’s excellent roasted or sauteed and pairs well with Mediterranean flavors like garlic, oregano, and lemon juice!
- Collard Greens: Widely loved in the South, these greens don’t always get the love they deserve elsewhere, which is a shame because they’re as delicious as they are hearty and healthy. They’re members of the brassica family (along with romanesco and kale), which means they have a similar nutty flavor and are jam-packed full of vitamins C, K, and A, plus minerals like manganese and lots of healthy fiber. We love them cooked down in winter stews or sautéd with some onions, cider vinegar, smoked paprika, and tomato paste. You can also take out the ribs and use them as a healthy wrap for other food!
- Daikon: This intimidatingly large root is nothing more than an oversized radish (the name literally means “big radish” in Japanese). This makes it a great value. Just one daikon goes a long way, and they also happen to be packed with minerals like magnesium and a surprising amount of vitamin C, like enough to make oranges jealous. We love daikon pickled alongside our Imperfect carrots, which makes a great topping for sandwiches, tacos, and rice bowls!
- Persimmons: They look like orange tomatoes but they’re actually wonderfully complex fruits. Make sure to brush up on the differences between the two main types: Fuyus and Hachiyas. Fuyus are great eaten raw or added to salads or desserts. Hachiyas are excellent in baked goods and puddings!
- Watermelon Radishes: It’s no secret that we’re straight up Beyoncé crazy in love with watermelon radishes. In addition to being beautiful enough to deserve their own episode of “Planet Earth,” watermelon radishes provide wonderful color, texture, and flavor contrast to salads. We love them thinly sliced on top of rice or tacos as well as pickled!