Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Green, Green, Glorious Green! at Yao Cheng Farms

After much deliberation, I have decided to do an extended two-week profile of the farmer's-market staple Yao Cheng Farms. I simply did not acquire enough from their stand to post a comprehensive review. Known for their wide selection of unusual leafy greens (Japanese broccoli sprouts, chrysanthemum) and gourds (kabocha squash and winter melon), in addition to more common varieties (the only garlic I ever buy, ginger, bok choy, and more), Yao Cheng Farms is a great table to visit for a vegetable exploration mixed with culinary brainstorming.

David (above) spent a few moments with me pointing out a number of favorites among Irvine's health-nuts and frequenters of his stand. He raved about the "sweet" kabocha squash (the green gourd below), which he said possesses all sorts of health benefits for heart troubles, diabetes, and more. Though I didn't pick one up this time, I will next week; I'm thinking about using it to make some kind of a warm, savory, sweet mash, or maybe a soup...

And nuzzled in between the kabocha squash and the baby bok choy is the bright yellow Chinese honeydew, which tends to be quite a bit firmer than the honeydew we're used to seeing in the supermarket. I love it because it provides the sweet crunchy break from the citrus-overload I always find myself in this time of year.

Do check back soon for my recipe using pea tips and next week for another post on Yao Cheng Farms!

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