At the beginning of the summer of 2011, we found The Produce Box. It's a CSA delivery service providing the freshest produce grown in NC. We weren't sure what to expect, but we've found that we absolutely love produce!

We've amassed a lot of new recipes due to the new kinds of produce. Here are some of our favorites, grouped by produce item.

Actually, there aren't a lot of recipes for fruit, because it tends to get inhaled before it can be put in a recipe! We'll eat fruit over homemade yogurt (it's easy, milder, and cheaper than storebought)
Refrigerate in a loosely covered container.
Store at room temperature until cut.

Store on the counter until ripe, then in the crisper for up to 5 days.

Freeze ripe peaches by peeling and cutting, then sprinkle a mixture of 1 teaspoon ascorbic acid to 1 cup sugar. Pack in freezer containers leaving airspace, then freeze. The Produce Box newsletter

Melons -- Cantaloupe, Sprite, Oriental
Ripe when a melon has a fragrance. Leave on counter until ripe, then store in refrigerator.

Store in crisper or in cool, dark place.

Kinds of apples: Red Delicious: Heart shaped, bright red. Crunchy and mildly sweet. Granny Smith: Rounded green apple, sometimes with light green speckles. Tart, crips, and juicy. Great for pies. Gala: Pink/orange stripes over a yellow background. Crisp and yummy. A Martin Family Favorite. Golden Delicious: Mellow and sweet. Fuji: Hard texture and very sweet, holds its texture well for baking. Arkansas Black: Very deep red and waxy. Mutsu/Crispin: An oblong, yellowish green fruit with an orange blush. Creamy, white, juicy taste and crisp flesh. Stores well.
Vegetables, not including root vegetables.
Summer Squash -- Zucchini, Summer/Yellow, Zephyr (yellow straight neck with green blossom end)
Store in crisper. Side Dishes Zucchini Oven "Fries"
Tomatoes -- Roma, Cherry, Field, heirloom
Store on the counter. Long term storage in refrigerator can cause mushiness and loss of flavor.
Store in crisper for about 5 days. Avoid nicks to skin.
Sweet Corn
For maximum sweetness, eat as soon as possible. Cut off long shanks and store in husk uncovered in refrigerator.
Sweet Peppers -- bell (green, red, yellow, purple, white), banana
Refrigerate in crisper. Can be chopped or sliced and frozen.
Hot Peppers -- Poblano, Jalepeno
Store in crisper. Can be frozen whole.
Cucumbers, Pickling Cucumbers
Microwave Pickles
Field Peas
Keep refrigerated until ready to cook.
Store in the refrigerator in a paper bag or wrapped in a paper towel in a perforated plastic bag. If not able to use in 2-3 days, blanche and freeze.
Greens -- collard, chard, turnip, beet, radish, kale, spinach
Store wrapped in a paper towel -- avoid keeping it wet. Kale becomes stronger (more bitter) as it ages; to freeze it, wash it, dry it well, then chop or mince it. Kale Chips -- NOT our favorite! They were much too bitter.
Cabbage -- including bok choy and napa
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Romaine Lettuce
Store loosely wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag. If it wilts a bit, perk it back up by soaking it in water.
Winter Squash -- Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, Pumpkin

Store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Herbed Spaghetti Squash, Emeril Lagasse

Want to try: Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos/Burritos/Enchiladas

Green Beans
Keep refrigerated, loosely covered.
Root Vegetables
Unless otherwise specified, store potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place. For other roots, remove greens and store greens and roots separately in the crisper.
Potatoes -- white, red, Yukon Gold, Kennebec

Store with an apple to prevent sprouting.

Kennebecs: gently wash, leaving the skin on it. Boil with a bit of butter for the tenderest potatoes ever.

Sweet Potatoes -- orange, white, and purple
White are the sweetest, followed by orange, then purple.

Will keep for several months, getting sweeter along the way. The exception is white sweet potatos (batata blanca) that tends to spoil quickly.


Spicy Mango Sweet Potato Chicken
Cut off greens to prevent rotting. Store in refrigerator away from apples, pears, and potatoes as their ethylene gas will make the carrots bitter.
Cut off greens. Store turnips wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper; greens loosely wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag.
Remove greens and store greens separately. Wrap in a damp towel, place in plastic bag, and store in coldest part of the fridge for up to a week. Soak in water if they dry out a bit.

Braised Radishes by Rachael Ray I had thought I'd wind up throwing these out as I'm not a radish fan, but these are WONDERFUL! Slightly sweet, slightly mustardy, tender crisp and yummy!

Beets -- golden and red
I wasn't sure what I'd do with beets. The first ones were golden beets. Per the newsletter, I found a recipe to roast them. They are SO SWEET and tender! I found myself buying more beets at the farmer's market, too! And the greens are really good!
Fresh Herbs
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Fresh Garlic and Ginger
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Recipes? They're eaten straight from the shell so quickly!
Chestnuts are highly perishable, so place in a ventilated bage in a crisper or freeze. Cut an "x" in the flat side all the way through the skin. Place in a shallow pan and roast for about 30-40 minutes in a preheated 425F oven, shaking the pan several times. Peel as soon as they are able to be handled (if they cool completely, reheat to make them easier to peel).