April 14, 2004

Peculiar Produce

About our guests:
Dan Avakian and Guido Ferro
are “The Produce Pair.” This lively team hosts a weekly radio show encouraging listeners to try new produce and giving them all the tools to pick out produce like a pro. “Dan the Produce Man” and “Guido the Gardener” write weekly columns for local newspapers and magazines in the Northern California area.


1 - fresh pineapple cut into chunks
1 - medium jicama, peeled and chunked
1 - fresh lime - juiced
hot sauce to taste (chili powder is OK too)

If you don’t want to cut up your own pineapple, buy it fresh, but cut into chunks already.
Cut the jicama in half, and then cut side down on the cutting board, cut off the suede-like skin. You can also use a paring knife and peel it whole, like an apple. (The peel is too thick to use a vegetable peeler, in case you were wondering.) Gently roll the lime on a tabletop or counter to soften the fruit. You get more juice this way. Cut the lime in half and squeeze into the jicama/pineapple mix. Add splashes of your favorite hot sauce until your nose starts running (just kidding!). Naturally, add hot sauce to taste. You can use powdered chili instead. It shows a bit prettier that way, but the wet hot sauce marries better with the wet pineapple juice.


This dish combines two of spring’s specialties, green garlic and dandelion greens. Green or spring garlic is immature regular garlic. It is juicier and less pungent than cloves of garlic. Another advantage of green garlic is that you can cook it a while without it getting bitter on you.

Take 4-5 stalks of green garlic, slice off the most fibrous part of the tops, and slice the garlic as you would green onions. Saute in olive oil along with a few chopped mushrooms and some diced red bell pepper or crookneck squash (mainly for color). Add one bunch of washed and chopped dandelion greens, stems included, either green or red variety. Add a few splashes of water and balsamic vinegar to the pan and cover to wilt the greens. Simmer for five minutes or so or until the greens are tender. Before serving, toss with olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 3-4 as a side dish. (This also goes great served over cooked rice!)


4 large Spring onions cut in half lengthwise
Olive oil
Lime wedges
Salt & pepper.

Cut spring onions in half drizzle olive oil into the layers. Add salt
and pepper to taste.
Place on grill cut side up for 4 minutes
Remove drizzle lime juice and serve.

Great addition to other dishes like grilled eggplant, pasta, pizza topping, burgers (veggie & meat)


3 large pears halved and cored
I large pear cored and diced.
2 grilled or roasted boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup chopped candied walnuts
¼ cup blue cheese crumbled
Lemon juice.
2 green onion leaves
black pepper
Celery seeds

You can use your own chicken salad or use this one.

Dice cooked chicken breasts into salad sized chunks (about ¼ inch) and place in a bowl
Chop green onions and add to the bowl along with the fourth pear diced. Add pepper to taste and a pinch of celery seeds.
Add chopped candied walnuts
Mix with mayonnaise or Nayonaise (soy based Mayo made by Nasoya)

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