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blog Category: Produce

Great Grapes! A Sweet Recipe for Labor Day

posted on August 30th, 2016 by John Savidan

It’s always a great time to gather family and friends together, and for your Labor Day celebrations consider a new dish with a secret ingredient:  grapes from California.  Fresh grapes are refreshing on their own, of course – pretty much anytime, anywhere.  But they are a versatile ingredient too.  Here's one of our favorite recipes incorporating sweet grapes. Give it a try at your holiday soiree and then bask in the compliments. Shrimp Orzo and Grape Salad When it’s too hot to cook, toss up this filling summer salad of orzo, grapes, and shrimp with a mustard-dill dressing for dinner or as a side. Ingredients: 2 cups cooked, drained orzo pasta 2 cups California seedless grapes 8 ounces small cooked peeled shrimp 1 cup cucumbers, seeded, diced 1/4 cup green pepper, diced 1/2 teaspoon each salt and dried dill weed 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper Mustard-Dill Dressing 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon each olive oil, dijon-style mustard and… Read More

Hatch Chile Season is Heating Up!

posted on August 8th, 2016 by John Savidan

It’s getting hot in here! Get ready for Hatch Chile Season. Hatch chiles are only here once a year—in August and September—and that’s why you might find us Hatch-heads going a little nuts. Grown exclusively in the Land of Enchantment (New Mexico), Hatch chiles have a reputation among foodies as the best peppers grown in the U.S. and some people say the world. The Hatch chile has the same shape as its Anaheim cousin, but has firmer flesh and a greater range of flavor, from mild to medium. It’s that strong New Mexico sun, those cool nights, and the mineral-rich soil that makes the flavor so distinct. Hatches are hardly ever eaten raw; it’s when they’re roasted that the smoky richness and depth of flavor really shine. If you buy them fresh, we recommend roasting over an open flame to get the absolute best flavor possible. Once roasted, they're easy to seed and make a great Southwesterny addition to almost any dish. Hatches have a short harvest season—just six weeks! So… Read More

Let's Talk Peach

posted on July 12th, 2016 by John Savidan

One of our favorite things about summer is that it means we’ve got an abundance of organic peaches in store for you. Our favorite stone fruit ranges in flavor from the super sweet and juicy to the tart and tangy. While eating them straight from the hand, with ice cream, or in a cobbler is always appropriate, we’ve found that peaches are remarkably versatile for all types of more savory summer dishes: salsas, chutneys salads, meat marinades, and more. How to Pick the a Perfect Peach Nothing’s more disappointing than biting into a bland peach. So how do you pick the best? Well, when you shop at Bristol Farms, you’re already halfway there. That’s because our farmers leave fruit on their trees two to three weeks longer than an average grower, which means the fruit’s sugar levels and maturity are at their absolute peak. Here are a few more perfect picking tips: Good Scent Pick up a peach and give it a sniff. Good peaches smell, well, good. Like a peach should! Vibrant… Read More

Your Summer Secret Weapon: Peaches on the Grill

posted on July 8th, 2016 by John Savidan

It’s not really summer if you’re not firing up the grill, and lucky for you there’s some seriously great meat on special to officially kick off summertime parties. And to finish things off sweetly, we have a secret tip for something special: grilled peaches. When you grill peaches (or other stone fruits), you perform a kind of magic. The heat of the grill makes the natural sugars caramelize, creating a new sweet and smoky flavor that will make you an instant fan. And you don’t have to serve the peaches warm to get the full flavor impact. Grill them up in advance, pop them in the fridge, and serve when you’re ready. And though you can use the grilled peaches in an endless variety of ways, some of our favorites are the simplest: Just top with whipped cream, Mascarpone cheese, cinnamon, chopped nuts, honey, or all of the above! How to Grill Fruit Our favorites for grilling: Peaches (of course!), nectarines, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, and watermelon 1. Cut the fruit so… Read More

3 Ways to Grill Corn

posted on June 27th, 2016 by John Savidan

Sweet corn is very forgiving and takes little effort to make a big impact on the 4th of July. There are many methods to prepare corn, but nothing beats freshly grilled corn with a light char and nutty flavor. Here are our favorite methods for grilling corn: Grill Naked The simplest of methods is going naked, for the corn of course! Shuck the corn ears and remove silks and place on the grill so the flames touch the corn directly. Grill for about 10 minutes while turning constantly to avoid overly burnt spots. This method results in lightly charred brown bits with perfectly grilled flavor. Husks On Grilling corn with the husks on gives the corn a deeper and nuttier flavor, plus it allows you to peel the husks back and tie for a nifty handle. Be sure to soak your corn at least 30 minutes to prevent flare ups. Peel the husks back and remove silks, season as you wish, then rest the husks back down over corn. Grill while turning until corn is steamed throughout; about 15 minutes. When… Read More

It's Cherry Pickin' Time

posted on June 24th, 2016 by John Savidan

When it comes to fruit here in California, it's easy to say we are spoiled. You can enjoy most of your favorite fruits pretty much any time of the year as you please. Cherries, however, are only here for a limited time: in the late spring and summer months. Whenever we get our first cherry delivery of the year, the entire produce team shouts for joy. That’s not just because we miss them when they’re gone, but because we know that we’ve picked the very sweetest and most flavorful varieties for you. Mounds of jumbo, sweet Washington red and rainier cherries are now piled high in our produce departments! Our cherries are large in size,  sweet like candy, and a pure joy to eat. When it comes to enjoying cherries, pie is just the beginning. We like to add cherries to a myriad of sweet and savory dishes, such as topping salads, plopping them in summer cocktails, or cooking down into a spiced chutney. Perfect for 4th of July celebrations, this rustic Peach and Cherry Galette is an… Read More

In‑Season! Plumcots

posted on June 20th, 2016 by Keith Tsuchiyama

Grown in the San Joaquin Valley, Plumcots are known for their sweet, juicy plum-like flavor with a hint of apricot goodness. That’s because they’re a hybrid fruit, the result of carefully controlled cross-pollination between plums and apricots. When picking plumcots, the fruit should be firm with just a slight “give” when gently squeezed. Avoid fruit that is overripe, characterized by loose skin and a “watery” feel to the fruit. Plumcots will continue to ripen at room temperature. Once the fruit reaches your desired softness, refrigerate it to keep it that way. Plumcots will last for a week or more in your refrigerator. Plums and plumcots often have a white or silvery colored “coating” on them. The “bloom” as it is called, is natural protectant and produced by the fruit itself. It is harmless and easily removable by wiping the fruit with a cloth or paper towel. Plumcots are great in many dishes, such as a topping for salad, fruit salads, infused vodka… Read More

Peace, Love, & Avocados!

posted on June 14th, 2016 by John Savidan

Could there be a more perfect food than the glorious avocado? Nope! And lucky for us, it’s now officially avocado season, and we’ve got all summer to enjoy these green beauties. Haas avocados are the classic West Coast-grown variety, full of buttery, nutty flavor and dense with nutrients. In fact, just one little avocado has 20 vitamins and minerals, as well as a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat (that’s the good kind!). But don’t stop at just one! Stop by Bristol Farms all summer long and keep the avocado love going. Whether you grill, scoop, dip, or slice, there are countless ways to enjoy avocados! Here are some of our favorite preparations below. Grilled Avocado This may sound strange, but believe us - grilled avocados are tasty! Start by selecting avocados that aren't fully ripe, but give just a little when gently squeezed. The trick is to grill a semi-ripe avocado so it does not soften too much on the grill. Simply slice in half and remove the seed, place the… Read More

In Season! Honey‑Lite Nectarines + Recipe

posted on June 10th, 2016 by Keith Tsuchiyama

The first member of the esteemed “honey” line, the super sweet Honey-Lite Nectarine is now available in our stores! Rest assured the name does not mean it is light on flavor. These sub-acid nectarines are absolutely the sweetest, most flavorful nectarines of the season. Their beautiful deep red tones represent the rich sweet taste and “honey-like” flavor profile they possess. They are so sweet, they sometimes develop “sugar spots,” which look like little freckles! Many of our stone fruit farmers come from 4 generations of agricultural experience. Our farmers care for both the consumer and the environment. They are conservationists and they take pride in growing the world’s finest tree fruit the all-natural way. The journey begins with a fertile soil and the right tree. Before the trees are planted, the farmer carefully analyzes and selects the best variety available from local nurseries. Information on taste, appearance, and quality are all taken into… Read More

Grilled Mexican Street Corn!

posted on May 31st, 2016 by Nicole Vuletich

One of our favorite joys of summer is enjoying a warm, freshly grilled corn on the cob. It seems anywhere you turn, you can find some grilled version of corn, whether it's at a summer fair, from a local street vendor, or prepared in your own backyard. Nothing beats the flavor of sweet corn with a light char of the grill. There are many ways to prepare grilled corn, such as grilling with the husks on or off, shucked and in foil, or naked on the grill. Not to mention the many ways to enjoy the corn once it's grilled. It seems the most popular method is eating corn straight from the cob, but grilled corn is also a wonderful addition to salads, salsas, cornbread, and more! Our current favorite method? Mexican Street Corn. Grill up some sweet corn and kick it up a notch with a spread of mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, chili powder, and fresh squeezed lime. You'll be enjoying this recipe all summer long. Elote (Mexican Street Corn) Serves 8 Ingredients: Bristol Farms Olive Oil, for… Read More

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