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Archive for December, 2008

Vegetables in the Kitchen

The harvest has been well underway and we have been providing lots of greens and roots in the CSA boxes.  Following are a few good recipes to use up quickly the medley received each week.

Roasted Roots (Fruits and Flowers too!)

Any combination of the following will do:

Bunch of Carrots, Beets, Kohlrabi, Turnips, Radishes, Fennel, Potatoes, Winter Squash, Cauliflower, Onions, Garlic

Peel most of these veggies and cut into 1/2″ pieces for quick cooking time.  Coat with olive oil, and any fresh or dried herbs of your choice- Rosemary, Dill, Basil, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Cayenne Pepper, etc.

Add Pepper and roast uncovered in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Add sea salt when finished cooking.

pc120422

(my rendition the other evening with all of the veggies, parsley and dill)

Greens Gumbo or Gumbo z’herbes

(submitted by CSA member Anton DuMars.  He says no matter how he makes it, the gumbo tastes great every time.  I bet white beans and sage would be a yummy alternative for vegetarians too.)

Recipe from: The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima and Richard Collin.
“Gumbo z’herbes breaks all the rules of gumbo It uses nether okra nor file’, it is the only gumbo in which the roux is not prepared first, originally it contained no meat, seafood, or game.
A Lenten dish, it was traditionally served on Good Friday. Legend had it that you would make as many friends as the number of different greens you put in the gumbo. Seven greens, seven new friends. The flavor that comes from combining many different greens is what makes this gumbo so delicious- the number is unimportant. No longer exclusively a Lenten dish, gumbo z’herbes is often prepared with meat, as in the recipe given here.”

Greens: use as many as available, a minimum of 5 is adequate and 7-8 is perfect.

1 bunch collards             1 bunch spinach                                                                           1 bunch mustard greens                   1 bunch beet tops
1 bunch turnip greens            1 bunch radish tops
1 bunch shallots (scallions)            1 small head cabbage
1 bunch parsley                1 bunch chicory
1 bunch watercress               1 bunch carrot tops

Gumbo base:
1c chopped onion                  ½ lb ham, cut into cubes
½ large ham bone                ½ lb smoked sausage, cut into cubes

The roux:
½ cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup flour

Liquid and seasonings:
2 qts plus water               ½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt                 ½ tsp dried marjoram
¼ tsp ground black pepper                  2 whole cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne, or to taste              6 whole allspice
2 whole bay leaves, crushed

Wash all the greens thoroughly, taking car to remove all sand and to trim off any tough stem ends or discolored outer leaves. Place the washed greens in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Let the excess water drain of, then shake the colander lightly.
Place the damp greens in a heavy 3 to 4 qt saucepan, add the 1/3 cup cold water and turn the heat to high. When the liquid at the bottom of the pan begins to boil, cover the pan tightly, reduce the heat to medium and cook the greens for 10-12 minutes, or until just tender. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the greens by dumping them over a colander placed over a large bowl to catch the liquid formed during cooking. Reserve the liquid. Chop the cooked greens fine and set them aside.
In a large 7-8 qt heavy pot or kettle, heat the oil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the flour, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat, always stirring, until a golden brown roux (peanut butter color) is formed. Quickly add the chopped onions, stir thoroughly, and continue browning for 5 minutes longer, still stirring. Add the ham, sausage, and the liquid reserved from cooking the greens; mix well, then gradually stir in the chopped cooked greens. Add the ham bone and the seasonings. Keeping the heat low, gradually add the 2 qts water, stirring to mix thoroughly. Raise the heat to high, bring the gumbo to a boil, and then lower the heat again to low and simmer for 1 ¼ hours.
Serve over boiled rice.

Insalata Mista Agli Agrumi (mixed citrus salad)

this recipe is perfect for the citrus season which is NOW!  You should have plenty of  Local Grapefruit, Fennel, Radish, Kohlrabi and Greens to make this happen.  from the magazine La Cucina Italiana

1 grapefruit

1 orange

1 lime

1 head lettuce (you could use any raw green- spinach, arugula, kale, etc.)

1 small bunch radishes, thinly sliced

2 small kohlrabi, peeled and sliced into thin half circles

1 small fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced.  the fronds are used as a garnish

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn- cilantro could be used too and it is in season!

2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes and then rinsed again.

Extra virgin olive oil,      salt,       fresh ground pepper

Using a sharp knife, cut peel from grapefruit, orange and lime:  cut between membranes of friut to release segments.  Combine fruit in large bowl.  Add greens, radish, kohlrabi, fennel, parsley, herbs and capers.  Gently toss to combine.

Divide among 4 salad plates, drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. 

citrus-salad

I sure hope these are helpful to use your seasonal, local produce!!!

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