get fresh

What’s in Season: Butternut Squash

Despite the millennium-long lifespan of squash, butternut is relatively new to the game–it wasn’t introduced until 1936! Now it’s one of America’s most popular squashes, and for good reason! Butternut squash is hearty, sweet and oh-so versatile. We love it in soup, salad and even dessert. But you already knew all that. Here’s what you may not know about this delicious gourd.

 

 

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What to Buy at the Farmers’ Market: Strawberries

It’s strawberry season, ya’ll! And that means plenty of pies, trifles and parfaits are in order, but did you know there are lots of savory recipes that contain strawberries, too? While you’re at the farmers’ market this weekend, pick up a carton or two of fresh berries… you’ll need the extras to snack on while you’re cooking!

 

Look for berries that are bright, firm and shiny with fresh green caps still in tact. Take a whiff to make sure they smell, well, like strawberries! Opposed to other produce, you do not want to wash or cut strawberries before you are ready to use them. A wet strawberry turns into a spoiled strawberry very quickly!

 

Although strawberries are available year round, unless you’re in California or Florida, they aren’t going to be as fresh before June or after August, so buy your local strawberries while you still can!

 

Here are some recipes that utilize strawberries, from main ingredient to accent note, and from dinner and drinks to dessert!

 

Grilled Halibut with Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Salsa

Angel-Berry Parfaits

Strawberry Margarita

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Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Radishes

This stellar spring ingredient is meant for more than just the crudités platter! Here are just a few reasons why you should be buying it now:

 

 

The Product

There are about 100 radish varieties, ranging in size from tiny to tremendous. (The world’s heaviest, from Japan, weighed more than 68 pounds!) Some of the most common varieties (pictured above) include cherry bellies, plum purples, burpee whites, white icicles, French breakfasts, watermelons and Easter eggs. Talk about some fun names!

 

Why You Should Buy It

Radishes have a sweet and peppery flavor, which sines when roasted under a chicken, pickled in vinegar, braised in broth or beer, buttered and salted on toast or shredded into coleslaw.

 

How You Should Use It

From completely raw to slowly cooked, here are some delicious radish recipes to take advantage of this spring:

 

Sauteed Radishes with Herbs

 

Grilled Bread with Ricotta and Radishes

 

Mango-Radish Coleslaw

 
 

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Watermelon Cocktail Time

I love our Get Fresh column because, even though I freely confess to a dependency on Lay’s potato chips, I’m also a fresh fruit and vegetable enthusiast, especially in the summer. So I encourage you to check out (and tear out) “Get Fresh with Watermelon” in our July/August issue, which is full of fun facts and helpful tips.

 

What we didn’t have room to include is the recipe for my favorite watermelon cocktail. My sister, Anne, and I concocted it for our Sisters’ Secrets to Confident Entertaining newsletter long before I became editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray, but you guys are my priority now, so I’m sharing!

—Lauren Purcell, Editor-in-Chief

Watermelon Quencher
Makes 2 drinks
2 ounces fresh watermelon juice*
1 ounce vodka
½ ounce triple sec
½ ounce fresh lemon juice

 

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake 10 to 15 times to chill. Pour, with ice, into a glass rimmed with a mixture of half sugar, half salt.

 

Extra credit: Tint the sugar-salt mix with a couple of drops of red food coloring.

 

*To help you with portions: We bought a watermelon wedge that weighed about 2 1/2 pounds. That yielded about 4 cups of chunks. Puree those in the food processor (if you’re not using a seedless melon, please remove the seeds first), strain the mixture through a sieve, and you get about 1 1/2 cups of juice—enough for six cocktails. For kids and designated drivers, the watermelon juice, with or without a squeeze of lemon, is great straight up or mixed with seltzer.

 

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Get Fresh…with Strawberries!

Summer Cocktail Recipes

Easy Cocktail Upgrades