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Fresh This Week Tips 01.26.2010

Celery root (celeriac)

Celeriac is a vegetable that is a member of the celery family. However, only its root is used for cooking purposes. Also known as celery root, knob celery, and turnip rooted celery, celeriac has a taste that is similar to a blend of celery and parsley.  Additionally, celeriac is grown similarly to celery, as its seeds are sown outdoors in the spring then the vegetable harvested when its roots are developed.

STORE: Celeriac can keep for up to one month in the crisper section of your refrigerator, if wrapped unwashed in a plastic bag.

PREP: whenever you are ready to use the celeriac, you must first wash the root thoroughly in water then peel its outer skin. You can then use the celeriac for cooking purposes, for example, cutting it into pieces that can be added, raw, to a salad or, slicing it into sections that can be boiled and used as an accompaniment to an entrée.

USE: Because celeriac can be used in recipes that call for celery, its use is limitless. It is, however, especially good when used as an ingredient in soups and stews or when cooked and accompanied by potatoes as a side dish. Celeriac can also be baked, whole, in its skin. Once baked, you can remove its skin and eat its inner flesh.

For some celeriac recipes go to

For the Apple Potato Celeriac Soup recipe pictured above go to:


This week we have a fairly new to KFF item in the NW and Harvest box menu: Spiced candied pepitas from the Breadfarm.

What are pepitas?

Pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds. Typically rather flat and asymmetrically oval, and light green in color. Marinated and roasted, they are a seasonal favorite. We can’t get enough of them! You’ll find yourself munching away on these!

Breadfarm has taken organic pumpkin seeds, tossed them with a light amount of organic cane sugar, allspice, cayenne, egg whites, and sea salt, then toasted them until light and crispy. Don’t worry, these are not HOT like the traditional pepitas-Breadfarm was more conservative when creating their seasoning blend for this- and the result is an irresistible, savory snack – great for topping fresh green salads, supplementing your snack mix, making into these Sweet & Spicy popcorn balls (only try to get around using microwave popcorn for this recipe…it is not so good for nutrient quality & stovetop is very easy!)

Or, try this recipe for Wild Rice Salad with spiced pepitas, cranberries, and apple cider vinaigrette!–apple-cider-vinaigrette-245


Add pumpkin seeds to healthy sautéed vegetables.

Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of mixed green salads.

Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing.

Next time you make burgers, whether it be from vegetables, turkey or beef, add some ground pumpkin seeds.


STORE: Wrap sunchokes in paper towels and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator vegetable drawer for up to a week.

PREP: Peeling sunchokes is optional. The thin peel has a slightly chewy texture, but it’s not unpleasant, and you may find the effort of peeling their knobby surfaces isn’t worth the return. The cut surfaces of sunchokes, like those of potatoes, tend to oxidize and turn pink. To prevent this, submerge cut sunchokes in lemon water until ready to cook.

USE: Sunchokes become tender and slightly starchy when cooked. To roast them, cut them into chunks, toss with a little oil, season, and add to a roasting pan with a whole chicken or a pork or beef roast during the last half hour of cooking. You can steam or boil whole sunchokes until tender and then mash them roughly or serve them whole. For a creamy soup (the one instance where you may want to peel sunchokes so the soup has a smooth texture), simmer cut-up sunchokes in broth and milk or cream until tender and then purée. And to make addictive sunchoke chips, fry thin slices in peanut oil.

However you prepare them, keep the seasoning mild and minimal to allow the sunchokes’ subtle flavor to shine. Vinaigrettes, cream, butter, goat cheese, garlic, nuts, herbs, nutmeg, mace, coriander, fennel seed, mushrooms, bacon, and lemon juice all pair well with sunchokes.

Crenshaw Melon

STORE: Whole melons can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Store cut melons at 45° F for up to 5 days.

PREP: Melon preparation is easy! Always wash melons in warm soapy water before cutting to get rid of any impurity on the rind that might be carried from the knife blade to the flesh. Simply cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds and strings.

USE: Melons can be cut into halves, quarters, wedges, cubes, or scooped into balls with a melon baller. Most melons will benefit from a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to enhance the flavor and served at room temperature.

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