Exotic produce grown in Texas featured in more restaurants

Staff Writer

COOPER, Texas (AP) — On a dark, muddy, will-it-ever-stop-raining recent Friday, Roy and Sofia Martinez took shelter in the hoop house at Rae Lili Farm in Cooper with chef Matt McCallister and his team. They were taking a break for lunch — a big bowl of posole — after a stormy morning of planting a field of fall crops like rapini, romanesco, cauliflower and purple broccoli.
The Dallas Morning News reports the Martinezes have been organically growing vegetables for McCallister (of the former FT33 restaurant and upcoming Homewood restaurant) and other Dallas-area chefs for about six years. In addition to common veggies like tomatoes and beets, the couple enjoys discovering exotic varieties and seeing how they fare in the often-unforgiving soil and climate of North Texas.
On that rainy fall day, they harvested kuri squash, spaghetti squash, aji crystal peppers and Mexican sour gherkin cucumbers, which are perfect for pickling. Sofia, 45, loves poring over rare seed catalogs, especially those that include Italian heirloom varieties of peppers and tomatoes...To read more, please refer to our print or online edition.