News from The Veggie Bin: December 22, 2011

What’s in the bin this week?

Top row left to right: cauliflower, green onions, bell peppers, spinach, tangelos

Bottom row left to right: beets, tomatoes, snow peas, broccoli rabe

green text indicates organic produce

brown text indicates sustainable practices

Please visit our website for organic bin information and a YouTube video.

This week’s Veggie Unearthed: Broccoli Rabe from The Family Garden – Bell, Florida

Broccoli rabe (pronounced “rob”) goes by many names – broccoli raab, rapini, broccoletti, broccoli di rape, friarielli, rappi, cime di rapa, turnip broccoli, taitcat, Italian or Chinese broccoli and more. Most of them sound Italian because many of the culinary applications spring from southern Italy and the veggie comes to us via the Mediterranean region as a wild herb of the Brassicaceae (mustard) family. The veggie also grows in Asia where it is among the most popular vegetables.

The spiky green leaves surround buds that resemble broccoli which bloom into edible yellow flowers. However, broccoli rabe is not a relative of broccoli! The flavor is similar to broccoli, but much more intense. You can clean it in the same way you’d prep any other greens; trimming off the lower stems which are woodier. You can remove the more tender parts of the stems up to the point where the leaves start and saute those for a few minutes before you add the leaves to be sure your dish turns out perfectly cooked.

As with most greens, the broccoli rabe’s flavor is best showcased by sauteing along with garlic. Garlic and pine nuts combine for a quick and easy dish in Giada de Laurentiis’ Sauteed Broccoli Rabe. For a heartier entree, try Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage or a veggier version, Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe and Garlic.

To keep your broccoli rabe fresh, store it unwashed in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in your refrigerator. As with all Veggie Bin produce, it is real food that left its home in the dirt just a few short days ago. Be sure to wash it thoroughly before preparation. However, excess moisture during storage will speed up wilting, so wait until just before cooking to wash.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Please remember that you can re-use your Veggie Bin boxes. Just leave your empty boxes at your door or hand them off to our delivery folks to make yet another contribution to keeping your footprint small.

Season’s Greetings!

This week’s bin has been carefully chosen with family and entertaining in mind. Beets, snow peas, cauliflower and tomatoes should complement your holiday meal choices nicely. Spinach will be a hit in delicious dips, omelets or quiches. You’ll also find tangelos in your bin this week. Traditionally, citrus fruits are often added to the toes of stockings here in the south. Your tangelos should be a perfectly sweet fit!

As the New Year approaches many businesses, churches, clubs, groups and schools organize weight loss and health challenges. The Veggie Bin is happy to coordinate with any size business or organization to deliver our boxes and add-ons to employees or members. If you’re interested in getting your workplace or group involved in the Veggie Bin, please email us at info@theveggiebin.com or call 904.314.9437. If your referral results in five or more folks signing up, you’ll get $10 in Veggie Bucks – good for any of our delicious add-on products!

The Veggie Bin wishes you the happiest and healthiest of holidays. Thank you for being a part of the Veggie Bin family!

Happy Cooking!

~Amie

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