Babycorn is produced from regular corn plants that are harvested early while the ears are very immature, resulting in small ears or “baby corn”. Fresh, locally produced baby corn has better flavor and texture than canned baby corn. Look for fresh baby corn at your local farmers' market from mid-August to mid-September. Buy baby corn in the husk to maintain crispness and flavor.
Baby Corn Recipes
Some farmers in the Pacific Northwest are now growing bamboo for shoots. You can find fresh, locally grown bamboo shoots at early farmersā markets and select stores and restaurants in the spring and early summer; typically May through June. Canned bamboo shoots are available at most grocery stores, and frozen shoots are available at a few stores.
Bamboo Shoots Recipes
Tart, red cranberries are grown in the coastal regions of Washington, in Pacific and Grays Harbor Counties, and are available fresh from October through December. Fresh cranberries can be stored in the refrigerator for two to four weeks in a plastic bag. The fruit can be easily frozen in the purchased bag for 9 to 12 months. Just rinse and use the frozen berries.
Lingonberries are small, red, edible berries that are related to both blueberries and cranberries. They can be used in any recipe that calls for cranberries or blueberries, and make great jam, jelly, sauce, wine and liqueur. Lingonberries also make a great accompaniment to meat and cheese dishes.
Pea shoots are the choice leaves and tendrils of pea plants. When selecting shoots choose ones that include the top pair of small leaves (the tip), delicate tendrils attached to the young stem, and maybe a few larger leaves or even blossoms. Pea shoots are fragile and best used within one to two days of harvesting. Keep them wrapped in paper towels in an open plastic bag in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator.
Pea Shoot Recipes
Edamame are a special type of large-seeded soybean with a sweet, nutty flavor, now available at local farmer's markets. When ready to prepare, remove the edamame pods from the plant. Place in boiling water and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Edamame can also be steamed or microwaved. Drain and let cool for a few minutes. Remove beans from pods; discard pods. Edamame release a sweet, pleasant aroma when cooked.
The wasabi plant (Eutrema wasabi) is a member of the cruciferous family and contains the same cancer-fighting isothiocyanates as its cabbage cousins. It traditionally grows in very cold, flowing water from natural springs or rivers in deep valleys, under the canopy of trees. The grated Īrhizomeā or above ground root-like stem of this plant has a fiery hot flavor that quickly dissipates in the mouth to leave a lingering sweet taste, with no burning sensation.
Local farmers are providing new foods for your table. Buying locally grown food not only gives you fresh, nutritious food, but also enhances your community by keeping small farmers in business, preserving farmland and protecting the environment. Make a difference with your food dollars!
This recipe series is produced by:
Agricultural Systems Program, 360-848-6150, email@example.com http://vegetables.wsu.edu, and Gayle Alleman, MS, RD, 360-337-4651, firstname.lastname@example.org http://smallfarms.wsu.edu