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October 19- October 25, 2014

Market Outlook


The Iceberg market is steady. Supplies are still on the lighter side. Quality is fair due to above average heat. We are also starting to reach the end of the growing season in Salinas which is impacting quality. Some growers will begin shipping lettuce from Huron at the end of week 42.


California leaf market is steady to stronger. We are seeing a wide range on quality. Quality has been fair to good with romaine showing fringe/tip burn and occasional mildew.


Broccoli market is showing signs of strengthening. Unfortunately, the heat is affecting quality. Quality is poor and we are experiencing diminished shelf life across all packs. Hollow cores, pin rot and yellowing are the prevalent quality defects.


The cauliflower market has rebounded and is on the way back up. Quality has been good.


Carrot market has remained steady for this week with good product coming out of Canada.


The celery market is steady to up a little depending on shipper. Quality has been good overall.


Strawberry market remains tight, but quality is improving with the move to Oxnard.


Market is up again this week on Burbank’s, product overall has been very nice. Trucks are still a nightmare. We will look to rail in the next few weeks.


The market has remained steady on onions for next week, plenty of volume and good quality.


The lemon market is adjusting down. We are seeing product loosen up slightly and there seems to be better availability from Mexico and to a lesser extent California. Orange market is steady overall; small fruit continues to be in limited supplies. Quality has been only fair on the California oranges. Lime market is steady to up slightly with good arrivals.


The south is in full production on cucumbers, producing very nice quality. Markets are similar to last week.


Peppers are now finished up in New Jersey, and that is driving the market higher. Peppers are even higher for next week. Sizing is a bit smaller to normal spec.


Tomato market on all tomato items has increased sharply as production in all growing areas has fallen off considerably. Overall, quality has been good.

Feature of the Week

This week Primo is featuring turnips and rutabagas. Many people are confused as to what the difference is between a turnip and a rutabaga, and it is no wonder because they both have many similarities. In fact, a rutabaga is actually a CROSS between a turnip and a cabbage! Who’d’ve thought! Both rutabagas and turnips are root vegetables and both are grown during the cooler seasons.


Recipe of the Week

Shepherd’s Pie with Rutabaga Topping


1 rib celery, coarsely chopped

1 sprig fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 sprig fresh thyme

2 dried bay leaves

1 clove garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, plus more for rutabagas and potatoes

2 pounds boneless beef chuck or leg of lamb for stew, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 medium onions, chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups dry red wine

1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium canned beef stock

4 carrots, cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 rutabagas (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into large pieces

4 russet or Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into large pieces

1/2 cup hot milk, or more if needed

Tie celery, rosemary sprig, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic in a small piece of cheesecloth to make a bouquet garni; set aside. Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until hot. Melt butter, and brown meat in two batches, taking care not to crowd the pieces or they will steam and not brown; transfer meat to a bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside. Add onions; cook until slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Return meat to pan and sprinkle flour over the meat and onions, cook about 1 minute, stirring often.

Add wine, and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown bits. Add the stock and bouquet garni, bring to a boil, cover, and cook on low heat until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid after 1 hour; add carrots, and cook, uncovered, for the last 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Place rutabagas and potatoes in separate saucepans; cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, 30 to 40 minutes for the rutabagas and 25 minutes for the potatoes. Drain; return to the saucepans to dry out any moisture from the vegetables for a few minutes.

Put the rutabagas and potatoes through a food mill fitted with a fine disk, or ricer, or mash by hand. Add butter, as desired, and enough hot milk to make a creamy puree. Season with salt and pepper; stir in chopped rosemary.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove bouquet garni; transfer stew into a deep 2-quart baking dish. Top with puree; dot lightly with butter. Bake 1 hour, or until top is brown and crusty. Serve hot.