A weekly update from Boston Organics.
This week's boxes are all about weird but lovable relatives. From the mysterious Cameo apples (we're not sure how they're related, but we're too polite to say so) to cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, those estranged cousins, you'll find delightful, delicious produce filling your green box, whether you care to explore the botanical family tree, or just invite it in for family dinner.
Cameo apples will be included in this week’s boxes, though fortunately for us, their appearance is slightly less fleeting than their name suggests. These apples are believed to be a cross between Golden and Red Delicious apples, though no one knows for sure.
In the 1980s, a Washington-state apple grower noticed that the fruit growing on one of his Red Delicious trees looked a bit different from the others. The fruit of the mystery tree didn’t have the bumps on the bottom characteristic of Red Delicious, and it was striped red and creamy orange. Cameo apple trees today are descendants of that first accidental discovery. Cameos have crisp, sweet flesh, and are excellent for baking or snacking. Curl up with a cozy cup of tea and a savory Apple, Gruyere and Sage Scone.
Wait, you guys are related?
Though it may be difficult to imagine, many brassicas—also known as cruciferous vegetables—are the same plant species bred for different traits. Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are noteworthy examples and both can be found in Boston Organics boxes this week. Both are the species brassica oleracea, but the small, tightly furled bundles of leaves that characterize Brussels sprouts bear little resemblance to the white, densely packed cauliflower. The white “curd”, as it is sometimes known, is in fact made up of underdeveloped flower buds. The edible portion of the plant is shaded by large, cabbage-like leaves that prevent the development of chlorophyll, keeping typical cauliflower white in color. Part of the fun of cauliflower is its versatility. Enjoy it raw for crudités, as a nutritious substitute for starchier sides (including cauliflower “rice”) or prepare a full head using this recipe for Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower.
Bok Choy Bears Nutritional Baggage
This week we’ll also deliver another brassica cousin: Bok Choy. Unlike cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, Bok Choy is a cultivar of the species brassica rapa. Sometimes referred to as Chinese cabbage or pak choy, Bok Choy is prized for its mild flavor and crunchy texture, not to mention its high concentration of vitamins A, C and K. It makes a wonderful addition to soups and stir-fries, or keep it simple with this recipe for Braised Bok Choy.
Eat well, friends.