Fall CSA Box #3 11-9-10
In this week’s box:
Carrots Daikon Radish
Kabocha Squash Dry Beans
Potatoes Mustard Greens
This box is full of new and interesting vegetables! I’m going to forgo dialogue and just go straight to explanations and recipes.
Burdock: This long brown root vegetable is much favored in Japanese cuisine. The root has a crisp flavor that is also sweet, mild, pungent and sometimes slightly bitter. It is high in fiber, calcium, potassium, amino acids, and EFA’s. Burdock also is known to be a medicinal and is often used to detoxify the blood. To eat it, scrub well, and peel if desired. Then slice into chips or match-sticks and soak for an hour or so, changing the water often, to mellow the flavor. Burdock can be cooked by sautéing or roasting in a pan with other vegetables and a little sesame oil. (See the recipe page)
Daikon Radish: This large white carrot shaped radish is also prized in Japan. Raw daikon is said to aid in the digestion of oils. To serve, scrub the daikon gently and then grate it. Tosss it into a salad or serve mixed with flavorful vinegar, lemon juice or soy sauce. Alternatively, slice the daikon into ½ inch rounds to use as a “cracker” base for interesting spreads. Daikon cubes cook quickly and lose their bite: add them to a stir- fry during the last 1 to 2 minutes of cooking. Daikon leaves can also be used like Kale, though they may take slightly longer to cook.
Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichoke): A brown-skinned, iron-rich tuber that looks a bit like fresh ginger. They can be sliced and eaten raw in a salad or quickly stir-fried with other vegetables. They have a nutty sweet flavor that becomes apparent when they are baked with a little butter or olive oil. I find them excellent when peeled and pureed in a creamy soup.
Mustard Greens: These curly edged leaves have a spicy bite that makes them a delicious addition to soups and stir-fries. Like all greens, they are a fine source of calcium; they also have a lot of iron and vitamins A and C. young greens can be used raw in salads, but most will need to be cooked to become tender. Store them in your fridge for a few days wrapped in a plastic bag.
Dry Beans: David has been saving seed and growing out this dry bean variety for a few years at Wobbly Cart. Before cooking, rinse the beans and pour off the water. Cover them with 2 to 3 times their volume in water and soak them overnight or for at least 12 hours. Pour off this water and rinse the beans again. To cook, bring the beans to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer them, checking to be sure they are not drying out, until the beans are tender 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then season as desired.
Hope you have fun! Next week, a Thanksgiving focused box!
Fall CSA Recipe Page #3 11-9-10
Kinpura Gobo (Spicy Burdock Root Saute)
Wash 3 medium burdock roots under running water to remove sand and dirt. Scrape off the skin with a stiff brush or a knife. Because burdock can turn black as soon as the skin is removed have a bowl of cold water handy to immerse the burdock in as soon as it is peeled. Cut the peeled burdock into 2 -inch matchsticks and soak it in cold water for one hour, changing the water every 20 minutes. This process helps remove bitterness from the roots. While burdock is soaking, peel one carrot and cut into 2- inch long matchsticks. In a small bowl stir together 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce, 1 tsp sake, and 1 1 /2 tsp of honey. Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a wok or large heavy skillet. Stir-fry the match- sticks of carrot and burdock for 2 or 3 minutes, until the burdock is no longer raw, but still crunchy. Sprinkle in ¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes and continue tossing for another 30 seconds. Add the sauce and stir-fry until the liquid is gone, about 1 minute. Serve hot or cold and garnished with toasted sesame seeds.
Peel 6 inches worth of Daikon root and cut into ¼ inch slices. Place it in a deep. Flat bottomed bowl or pan. Sprinkle ¾ tsp of salt evenly over the daikon and then squeeze the daikon pieces with your hands. Add ½ cup water. Place a flat -bottomed dish or pan, such as a cake pan that can be set on top of the daikon within the rim of the bowl. Put a weight on top of the cover and let it stand for 3 hours. In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup finely chopped peeled fresh ginger root. 21/2 tbsp soy sauce, and 2 tbsp mirin and bring to a boil on medium heat. Remove from heat and let cool. Drain the daikon and rinse, and rinse out the bowl. Return the daikon to the clean bowl and mix in ¼ tsp red pepper flakes. Pour the ginger sauce over the daikon, replace the pan and weight and let it stand in a cool place for 6 to 24 hours. Taste the pickles when you like to see if they taste spicy and flavorful. Then, rinse to remove the ginger and red pepper flakes. Enjoy as a side dish with a Japanese inspired meal. Keeps one week in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.
Carefully clean 3 lbs of fresh mustard greens (or a blend of mustard, kale, collards etc.) by soaking and rising well. Make sure that any sand or grit is removed. Remove any yellowed leaves or tough stems. Coarsely chop the greens. Place them in a large pot and cover them with cool water. Simmer for 10 to 30 minutes, until the greens are as tender as you would like. Drain the greens. Save the cooking liquid if you wish, some people serve this as a broth. Place the greens in a bowl and season with salt, black pepper, cider vinegar, and hot sauce to taste. Top with a pat of butter if desired.
Oven Roasted Kabocha Squash
Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut up one Kabocha squash into ¼ inch thick slices. Removing the skin is optional, once baked is it soft and quite edible, and adds vitamins and pretty color. Layer in a single layer in a baking pan, drizzle with 2 tbsp of flavorful oil such as extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Toss. Roast the squash until tender about 20 min.
Bean and Kale Minestra
Remove the stems from 1 bunch of kale and coarsely chop the leaves. Soak the leaves in a bowl of cold water while you prepare the soup. In a soup pot, sauté 4 large cloves of chopped garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil for 30 seconds. Add 3 cups of cooked dry beans and 2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock to the pot. Puree 3 more cups of cooked beans ( a total of 6 cups of cooked beans) with 2 cups more of stock in a blender with 2 tbsp tomato paste and 6 fresh sage leaves. Stir the pureed beans in to the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain the kale. Mix it into the soup and simmer for at least a half an hour, until tender. Optional step: mix ½ cup cornmeal with 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice and enough water to make one cup. Pour this paste slowly into the simmering soup for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use a heat diffuser, if necessary, to prevent scorching. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust the seasonings. Serve the soup immediately, topped with freshly grated Parmesan. You can also add chopped fresh tomatoes and olives and serve with a glass of wine.