Buttered Turnip Ideas adapted from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food

 

Cut turnips into medium pieces, small turnips can be halved. Put them in a Heavy pan with a pinch of salt and a pat of butter (about 1 Tbs). Cover and cook of medium heat. They can be served as is, mashed slightly or caramelized by turning up the heat to medium high and cooking until lightly brown. Do not burn or get overly dark because this will increase bitterness. All these methods yield sweet cooked spring turnips.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Cashew Sauce (from Asparagus to Zucchini)

 

½ cup raw cashews, ¼ cup white wine vinegar(or rice vinegar), ¼ cup maple syrup, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon minced gingerroot, pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 ½ lbs. Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage (turnips and turip greens can also be added) , ¼ cups peanut oil. Toast cashews in a dry skillet until lightly brown and fragrant. Combine cashews, vinegar, syrup, soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and 2-4 tbs. water in a blender of food processor until smooth. Set aside. Chop Bok Choy. Heat peanut oil over in large skillet over high heat until hot, add Bok Choy stems , stirring often until crisp tender, 2-3 mins. Add leaves until they wilt slightly and turn bright green. (1 min) Cover with sauce or serve on the side.  

Throw it in the Soup (salad or stir fry) Ideas for simple cooking approaches to a CSA Box

 

by and for Stoney Acres Farm

 

Over the past 4 years we have received many phone calls, visits and emails where CSA members say something along the lines of “sometimes I just do not know what to do with this…” Kale, cooking greens, beets, green peppers, cabbage, summer and winter squash all top the list of confusing items.  We always try to offer quick tips when we explain what is “In Your Box”, and we choose recipes around some of the more obscure veggies. Nevertheless, while the boxes are always exciting, dealing with the quantity, novelty, and diversity of some CSA boxes can add a bit of anxiety to the general anxiety of figuring out the answer to ‘What’s for dinner?’. But, NEVER FEAR! We have an answer for you… throw it in the soup. If the kohlrabi or radish greens are starting to wilt throw them in the soup.  If you always eat your winter squash mashed, consider throwing them in a salad or grating them into a stir fry. Our simplest cooking tips are to find a few good references books or websites but more importantly to find a few good techniques for preparation. We think salads, stir fries and soups offer the greatest promise for integrating new ingredients in with veggies you know and love.

Reference Materials

We plan on a newsletter discussing cookbooks in the near future but some of the best resources we have found are –

{C}-          How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

{C}-          Asparagus Through Zucchini from MACSAC-available at Downtown Grocery and Janke’s books.

{C}-          Epicurious.com (this site compiles a collection of cooking magazines from the 1980s through present and offers a search feature where you can search by ingredient(s))

Soups

Mark Bittman has a some simple advice for soups. If you don’t want to make stock, water is a fine broth for soup. If you have another premade option in your freezer that is fine, but the broth is basically a flavored base, usually with salt. You can replicate this flavoring with wine, extra veggies herbs, soy or other sauces or pastes (curry paste for example) by mixing them with water. For soups, as with stir fries cut things to be about the same size (preferably smaller) which allows things to cook at the same rate.

If you are stuck with extra vegetables or leftover veggies try a “cream of something or other”.  Rinse leftovers with boiling water, combine with stock and seasonings, puree and reheat mixing in cream, milk or yogurt. An immersion blender is great for pureeing soup right in the pot. Later, in the rooty part of the season, we love an “everything and barley soup”.  Add rice for body, and dairy for a bisque. Finally, the following is from Mark Bittman: How to Improvise a Soup

{C}1.       Start with a little fat and a lot of flavor. Cooking one or two aromatic vegetables, like garlic, ginger, onions or shallots, in a little olive oil or butter takes only a few minutes and gives a soup backbone.

{C}2.       Add Seasonings. Simple: salt,  pepper, bay leaf or as complex as spice blends or citrus zests. Add them at the end for the most impact and fragrance.

{C}3.       Stir in liquid. Stock, water, juice, wine, beer or whatever you think is a good compliment.

{C}4.       Add main ingredients from longest cooking time to shortest. Think carrots, mushrooms, then bok choy

{C}5.       Taste as you go along. Rethink your ingredients and adjust seasonings. Its only soup.  

Salads

In approximately ¾ of your boxes this season you will receive some sort of salad green. It’s simple enough to toss on some vinaigrette and munch away, but many other items from the box can be added to enhance your salad in all sorts of interesting ways. Add sliced tomatoes, raw or roasted peppers, chopped shallot, onion, scallion, leek or garlic, fruits or berries, or any chopped vegetable. Don’t be afraid to use or mix in more intensely flavored greens like arugula or radicchio. And cheese or crumbled bacon are old tricks.

Chef and writer Deborah Madison introduced us to the idea of a platter salad which we returned to several times last year. The basic gist is that one can take a diverse set of vegetables, steam or roast some of them, leave other raw, add a protein and/or carbohydrate and a simple dressing and … you have a meal. Tofu, lean cooked meats or seafood, eggs and cheese all offer good options for protein. Quinoa, bulgur wheat, rice, and noodles offer good options for carbs.

Black beans, brown rice, chopped raw radishes, grated baby turnips and carrots, steamed radish greens, feta cheese,  with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch or two of cumin is a salad we made this past week.

More elaborate salads with fresh greens serving as a bed for fresh beans, eggs, cherry tomatoes, roasted green peppers and zucchini with an Italian dressing or vinaigrette are one of our favorites for later in the summer.

Finally, if you dare to go down the rabbit hole, read one of my favorite food columns. Mark Bittman’s “101 Simple Salads for the Season”  These are fun, mostly easy and look beautiful.

Stir fry

Get your rice or other base going first, then cut up all the veggies — carrots, green beans, onions, broccoli and whatever else looks stir-friable in your produce box — which is usually almost everything. Again, the smaller you cut them the faster they will cook.

When you’ve finished your prep heat a large skillet over medium/high heat. Start with the oil, if you want  meat or tofu cut it thin and throw it in to the hot oil until it begins to brown.

Stir and cook for a minute and remove from pan. If it is just veggies, start with your alium (scallions, onion, garlic etc.). Give it about 15 seconds while kicking it around. Then add your other veggies denser to lighter (think carrot, beans, bok choy). Cook stirring frequently until the veggies are tender (apx. 7 min.)  If the combination looks dry add some stock. Finish with your soy sauce and sesame oil or any other stir fry sauce you might like. Remember , this isn’t rocket science, throw some veggies together, improvise and have fun!

Buttered Turnip Ideas adapted from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food

 

Cut turnips into medium pieces, small turnips can be halved. Put them in a Heavy pan with a pinch of salt and a pat of butter (about 1 Tbs). Cover and cook of medium heat. They can be served as is, mashed slightly or caramelized by turning up the heat to medium high and cooking until lightly brown. Do not burn or get overly dark because this will increase bitterness. All these methods yield sweet cooked spring turnips.

Kale Salad With Nuts, dried fruit and Parmesan (adapted from Dan Barber’s Kale Salad NY Times)

 

1 large bunch kale, stems removed and rinsed well, 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbs rice vinegar, 1/3 Tbs honey, or more to taste, 1-3 Tbs olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbs lightly toasted pine nuts OR Walnuts, 2 tablespoons currants, raisings or dried cranberries, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, ground pepper.

Arrange the kale leaves in small piles of 4 or 5 leaves; roll into a tight “cigar” shape and cut into 1/4-inch ribbons; repeat with remaining leaves. In a large bowl, toss kale with all ingredients except the Parmesan cheese; let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the salad.

Spring Slaw

3-4 cups Chinese cabbage washed well chopped finely into ribbons; 3-4 carrots grated; 2-4 salad turnips and/or radishes grated.  Combine vegetables in a large bowl tossing well. Add the following dressings or you own favorite.

 2 Ts Dijon Mustard, 2 Tbs red wine vinegar or lemon juice; 1 garlic scape minced finely; 1 Tbs minced chili pepper (optional); 1/ cup olive or peanut oil; and black pepper and salt to taste. Wisk together and incorporate well into vegetables. Let marinate if possible.

Flash Cooked Greens with Lemon Juice (From Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything – pg 308)

Flash Cooked Greens with Lemon Juice (From Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything – pg 308)

1 lbs greens washed and well dried (this weeks brazing mix, radish or turnip greens and pac choi are all great options); 3 Tbs. peanut or olive oil; salt and pepper; 1/3 cup lemon juice, wine vinegar.

Roll leave like a cigar and chop into thin strips/ribbons, put oil is a large skillet over high heat until oil smokes, add greens and stems (you can add stems of greens earlier if they are tougher – as in kale or collards); Cook until leaves begin to brown and wilt. Turn off heat and season with salt pepper and the lemon juice/vinegar.

Glazed Radishes/Turnips and Carrots

 

1 pound baby turnips (about 2 pounds with greens attached) and/or radishes; 3/4 pound small car rots (with green attached); 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter; 1/2 teaspoon sugar (also works well with maple syrup or honey)

Trim baby turnips and carrots, leaving about 1/2-inch stems if green were attached, and peel if desired. If using regular turnips, peel and cut into 1-inch pieces. In a steamer set over boiling water steam turnips and carrots separately, covered, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Vegetables may be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. In a large skillet cook vegetables in butter with sugar and salt and pepper to taste over low heat, stirring, until glazed, about 4 minutes.

Rhubarb ideas

Rhubarb Ideas: Rhubarb pie is a recipe most people can find in a cookbook - here are some other rhubarb suggestions.           

-Add rhubarb to bean dishes, lentils or stuffed inside a roasted chicken. It adds a lemon flavor and vitamin C to your meal.         

- Make a rhubarb sauce for dessert or on meats– for a sweet sauce good on ice cream or pancakes we heat 2-3 cups rhubarb, ½ cup maple syrup or sugar and ½-1 cups water and simmer until the rhubarb dissolves into a sauce. For meats we use a similar technique but add 3-4 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar, a few pinches of salt and pepper, and only 2 Tbs. of sweetener. Ramps or onions can be added to the savory sauce and served over pork, beef or tofu.                                                                                 

-Make Rhubarb-Aide/Rhubarb “ice tea” – Bring to a boil 3 cups chopped rhubarb, 4-5 cups water, 3 Tbs honey or maple syrup. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain out rhubarb and chill. You can also add a cinnamon stick or 2 regular tea bags of your choice for different flavors.

Sautéed Radishes or Kohlrabi and their greens (adapted from a Greenmarket NYC publication)

          

1 bunch fresh radishes and/or 2 bulbs kohlrabi, 1.5 Tbs Butter, 2 Tbs fresh or bottled lemon juice (you can substitute mild flavored vinegars here as well), salt and black pepper to taste – wash bulbs and greens well, half radishes or dice kohlrabi into ½ cubes, chop greens into thin ribbons.  In a skillet heat butter until melted and hot (over medium heat), add bulbs and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes, add greens and cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted bulbs  are cooked but crisp. Turn off heat, add lemon juice, pepper and salt to taste. Note: This recipe can be expanded or adapted by adding other fresh greens like beets etc.

Two Way Street Beets - adapted from Asaragus through Zucchini

Ingredients: 1 bunch beets, juice of 1 orange or 4 Tbs. Orange juice, 1 Tbs. Butter, pepper, 1 tsp. Peanut orvegetable oil, 1 tbs. Sesame soil, 1 tsp chili oil (optional), 1-2 Tbs. soy sauce.

Cut off beet stems. Scrub beets and wash greens. Cut stems into 3 inch pieces and coarsely chop greens, set aside greens and stems in separate piles. Steam beets until tender 20-30 minutes. Cool briefly, slip off beet skins and cut in wedges. Toss with OJ, butter, and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm. Meanwhile heat heavy skillet over medium heat. Add oils. Add stems and cook 2-3 minutes. Add green cook until limp. Toss in soysauce and pepper to taste. Arrange beets over greens. Makes 4 servings.