Shalom Farms is a 6-acre sustainable farm located just outside of Richmond that’s devoted to combatting our cities growing food desert issue and bringing fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables to the underserved communities in our city. We paid them a short and sweet visit this month to see what’s good in their fall harvest and learned more about ways to make the following members of the brassica family (informally known as cruciferous vegetables) really shine on your plate. Along with being delicious additions to pastas or side dishes to a meat and three, these hearty green vegetables are chockfull with vitamins, offer numerous health benefits, and will keep you feeling in tip-top shape through the holidays.
How to Buy: Look for moderately sized, dark green leaves that are firm. (Not wilty!)
How to Store: Store in a plastic bag in your produce door - should be eaten within 1 week.
Recipes: Pasta with Collard Greens and Onions
, Southern-Style Collard Greens
, Collard Green Wraps with Tofu and Thai Peanut Sauce
How to Buy: Look for tight, sizable heads that are blueish green, with a healthy and firm light green stalk.
How to Store: Store in a plastic bag in your produce door - should be eaten within 1 week
Recipes: Salty Broccoli on Toast
, Brocolli Strascinati
, Caramelized Broccoli with Garlic
How to Buy: Similar to broccoli, look for tight sizable heads that are white or cream and feel heavy for their size.
How to Store: Store in plastic, but make sure to store stem side down so moisture does not pool in the florets. You can also cut it up into more manageable florets and store them in a sealed ziploc. Should be eaten within one week.
Recipes: Buffalo Cauliflower
, Cauliflower Rice
, Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Olive Oil and Capers.
How to Buy: Look for tight, firm heads. The outer leaves can be pulled off if they are damaged or starting to yellow, and this shouldn't effect the inside. Smaller varieties are great if you are cooking only for yourself or one other.
How to Store: Store in the produce drawer. Cabbage is a storage vegetable and should keep for quite a while -- put in a plastic bag if you don't anticipate eating it within a week or two.
Recipes: Grilled Cabbage with Bacon
, Roasted Cabbage with Apples and Sausage
, Easy Kimchi
How to Buy: Look for vibrant, perky leaves (not limp). Store in a plastic bag or on the counter, stems down in water.
How to Store: Should keep up to 1 week, possibly more depending on the humidity level in your fridge. If your kale goes floppy, use it in a smoothie!
Recipes: Collard Greens and Kale Pesto
, The Greenest Smoothie, Green Tacos
: Toscano Kale (dark green oblong leaves) is great lightly braised in salads. Curly Kale (curly, green leaves) is wonderful chopped up raw and massaged with olive oil, balsamic, and topped with grated parmesan, pecans, and raisins or baked up as chips. Red Russian Kale (Purple stem, light green flat leaves) is the best for smoothies.
Photography by Kate Thompson. Learn more about Shalom Farms and their volunteer opportunities here. Thanks to Sara and Dominic for their contributions.