Turnips, Kohlrabi, and Peas

Ragout of Turnips, Kohlrabi, and Peas

Here is a great way to use at least three ingredients from the shares this week.  It is a little hot for soupy things, but this would be good not-piping-hot as well.

1 Tbsp Butter
6 green onions, halved (or diced scapes, if yours are still good)
4-6 smallish turnips, scrubbed and quartered
2 or 3 small kohlrabi, peeled and quartered
1 tsp thyme
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound pea pods, shelled (about half of our snap peas are big enough to shell, or simply dice the more tender snap pea shells into pea sized pieces)
a few handfuls shredded chard (or baby spinach)
dollop Mexican crema (or creme fraiche or sour cream)
4 large basil leaves, slivered

1. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onions, turnips, kohlrabi, and thyme. Add water to cover halfway and a teaspoon of salt. Simmer while you shuck the peas.

2. When the vegetables are tender (12-15 minutes), add the peas and chard and cook until the spinach has wilted down, a few minutes more. (Add the peas at the 10 minute mark if you’re using the pods, too — they take a little longer to cook). Stir in the crema and add the basil. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve as a side or main dish, with some crusty bread or even over robust pasta.

Adapted to this week’s share from Local Flavors, by Deborah Madison.  I recommend the book as it focuses on using ingredients from farmer’s markets when they’re in season.  If they’re ripe at the same time, they’re probably in the same recipes.

Advertisements

A, B, C’s – Artichokes, Beets, and Cherries

I so rarely eat artichokes that aren’t hearts in a jar that I always have to look up what to do with them. So rather than pretend to know what I’m talking about, I’m going to link you all to a very good visual instruction guide!

From SimplyRecipes.com

Beets, I know something about. Scrub the beets very well, trim off most of the stems (leave less than an inch), and the little tail if it is bugging you. Wrap them individually in foil. Pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour (small ones) to an hour and a half. Remove, cool, unwrap, and slip the skins right off. They are delicious as is, or dice them up with butter and salt, or put into your favorite recipes. This is the least-stainy way to deal with them, but don’t do any step in the process in a favorite shirt (or on your unspoilt new wooden cutting board).

Cherries. I challenge you to not just eat them all. I just needed a C. However, they make a really great combo with the apricots that come into season at the same time. Or make a cherry salsa to top meat or grilled veggies. 1 part diced red onions left to sit with a squeeze of lemon juice to take the edge off, 3 parts pitted and chopped cherries, basil to taste. You can just chop it all and combine, or you can throw it through the food processor. Surprisingly delightful.

Scapes

Not all of you are probably used to scapes, the flowering stalks of onions, garlic, and shallots. I tend to chop mine up when I first receive them (much like I’ve been doing with my green garlic) and pull handfulls out whenever I would usually add garlic or onions to a dish. When the pile gets too large because I’m not using it up, I made pesto with the pre-chopped scapes.

Our co-manager, Helena, made this dish this week and wanted to share it with everyone. Pipe in with your own suggestions.

http://wooddogs3.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/the-greens-of-spring-scapes/

Enjoy!

Dusty

Garlicky Pasta with Greens

Garlicky Pasta with Greens

Time: As long as it takes to boil pasta water

1 pound pasta of choice
2 bunches of strong greens, tough ribs removed, roughly ripped
several ‘glugs’ of olive oil (a little less than 1/4 cup)
2-3 scape stalks, roughly chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

Start the pasta water boiling while you rip up the greens and chop the scapes and garlic.  Heat the oil in a smaller skillet, then saute the garlic and scapes until fragrant and starting to brown.  Boil the pasta as usual, and about 3/4 of the way through, toss in the greens.  Strain the pasta and greens, then toss with the garlicky sauce.  Serve.

I made this recipe with the broccoli rabe when we had it last week, but it works with Chinese broccoli, mustard greens, or chard.  You can sub lots of green garlic for the scape/garlic combo as well.  The pasta to greens ratio can be tweaked quite a bit, and the sauce can be stronger or weaker based on how much pasta/green mix you toss it with.

Pesto, generic

Pesto, which most of us know as a saucy mix of basil, garlic, and oil, tossed with pasta, is actually a generic term for things made by pounding.  It is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, at least in Italy.  It is far easier in a food processor or blender.  Pesto is an incredibly versatile vehicle for using up produce at the height of freshness.  I’ll give you a generic basil recipe with some rough proportions, but it can be adjusted to taste with a free hand and ingredients are limited only by your imagination.  Basically, you need something bright and fresh, something nutty, something salty, and something oily.  (And as a side note, you’re not far off from hummus with this recipe, which also has infinite variations involving beans and seasoning.)

Generic Basil Pesto

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cups washed and dried basil
salt and pepper
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated hard cheese (pecorino romano, parmesan, italic)

Chop the garlic and pine nuts in the food processor.  Add the basil and pulse until a thick paste forms.  Season and add the oil while the food processor runs.  If you are making a dip or spread, add less oil.  If you’re tossing it with pasta, add a little more.  Lastly, stir in the cheese.  This will keep a week in the fridge (longer in the freezer) if you put a thin layer of olive oil on top to seal it in.

Alternatives:
– try cilantro, parsley, sorrel, spinach, or arugula as a partial or full substitute for the basil
– create a red pesto from sun dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers
– try almonds, cashews, walnuts, or beans as substitutes for the pine nuts
– cilantro, garlic, edamame beans, a little ginger, and a little sesame oil to replace some of the olive oil (cheese isn’t necessary for this one)
– cilantro, garlic, chipotle chile, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) — fantastic in tacos, especially with a little tomatillo included
– scapes (coming soon), green garlic or green onions in place of most of the basil and garlic

Spinach, flowers and all

Quick note:  We’ve all become so accustomed to baby spinach in giant clamshells, we probably don’t recognize it when it gets to be full-grown.  I had to taste mine because I thought it was Chinese broccoli, and I neglected to pass on David’s notes to you all on Tuesday.  Those big, stemmy, flowering greens we received this week are spinach.  The entire thing is edible, flowers and all, and David says it is much more common to see it that way in Asia (where he grew up).  He’s also quite excited that the spinach is producing large roots this year.  After another week of harvesting tender leaves, we might see something pretty unique — edible spinach roots.  I will be sure to have David give us at least one recipe for how his mother prepares them.

Sorrel and green garlic pesto

Helena, our membership coordinator, collected a tasty recipe from the blog Local Milk.  Scroll down a little ways, it is the garlic scape and sorrel pesto.  I’m going to adapt it to what we actually have in our boxes, because the garlic scapes are a couple of weeks out.  It is a fairly basic pesto recipe, with sorrel replacing the basil.  I’m picturing this slathered onto chicken breasts, tossed with pasta and asparagus, or smeared on crusty dark bread.  I adjusted it down for the smaller bunches of sorrel, but bump it up if you’re a large or medium share and have a lot of it to use.

Sorrel and Green Garlic pesto

1/2 cup chopped green garlic (roots and tough green ends discarded)
1 cup chopped sorrel
scant 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
scant 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
juice of a quarter lemon
1/4 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Run the garlic, sorrel, pine nuts, Parmesan, and lemon juice quickly through a food processor to form a rough paste.  Add the olive oil slowly, pulsing until it is as smooth as you’d like.  Taste, season, and serve.  Pestos can be frozen in small portions for later use in sauces, soups, and dips.

** Helpful hint:  this is a good way to use up your green garlic all in a go — freeze it and save it for later.  I have made arugula pesto in the same way, which is spicy and sharp.