What's in Season December 2013

Here’s a preview from The FruitGuys regional produce buyers of the fresh fruits and vegetables being harvested in December by some of our farms. To see what’s being delivered in your box this week, visit fruitguys.com/mix and choose your region.

East

Belgian Endive

chicoryEndive was discovered in 1830's Belgium by a farmer returning from war with chicory roots which were used as a coffee substitute. In the root cellar, the chicory sprouted tender white leaves ("Witloof"), which consequently became all the rage in Parisian cuisine. The wonderful Chicory family includes an array of sophisticated flavors: red, white and curly endive, escarole, frisee, tardivo and radiccchio.

Curly Chicory Endive

Night at the Opera

Chica Chica Boom!

Bite from the bitter greens, the spring chicories, Radicchio and Dandelion greens, are here to help you to tone your tummy (from the inside) and put some zest in the rest of your body.

Chicory heads of Radicchio can appear loose leafed and freckled, or as compact maroon bundles. Radicchio varieties with beautiful Italian names like  Pan de Zuccero, Bianco, or Castelfranco always get top billing in restaurants. Wolfgang Puck's Radicchio and Chanterelle Pizza is served with the same  haut cuisine treatment as a small plate of grilled Radicchio with an artful dash of balsamic reduction. On the other hand, the serrated Dandelion Greens are a stepchild that constantly reminds diners that it isn't the same weed you just stepped on coming up the walk.

Penne with Rapini, Dandelion Greens, Chicory, Walnuts, and Parmesan Cheese

Adapted from Bon Appétit

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 large bunch of rapini, stemmed & coarsely chopped
1 bunch of red dandelion greens, stemmed & coarsely chopped
1 head of chicory, base removed and leaves finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup light cream
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 pound penne
1 cup walnut halves, toasted
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped