In this week’s box:
Oak leaf Lettuce Carrot Garlic Jalapeno Peppers Spinach French Red Fingerling Potato Red+Yellow Onion
Daikon Radish Slicing Cucumber Bell Peppers Red Cabbage Cilantro Carrots
Wow, the weather has really taken a turn in the direction of Fall these last couple of days. High winds and heavy rain have taken our late Summer-ish boxes and turned them into Fall-ish boxes! The beloved Heirloom Tomatoes tend to crack and get spotty when subjected to such abuse, and it does absolutely nothing for the eggplants and peppers. So we move on to Daikon Radishes, Spinach, and Red Cabbage! No crying over spilt milk here. I’m sure they will be back before our season in is over.
Yesterday was a wet and muddy affair in the fields for our dedicated and hard-working crew. So sorry if some of the produce isn’t looking as pristine as usual. Super wet conditions can cause some difficulty in getting all the soil off certain crops. Everyone worked really hard, and I hope your boxes reflect that. If not, just know mother -nature was having her way with us!
There are some new crops to explain this week. Daikon Radish and Spinach. Spinach is really a fall crop for us. We have trouble with our variety bolting in the Spring around here. It does just great for us in the Fall. It is very tender, sweet and delicious, great in a salad, steamed, juiced, sautéed, or cooked into a curry. This is one crop that tends to hang on to sediment, so be thorough about washing before use, especially this week. Swooshing the plants in a bowl full of water vigorously should rid it of the dirt. Store spinach already washed and spun dry in a salad spinner, wrapped in a clean kitchen towel in the vegetable bin of your fridge for up to 3 days.
Daikon Radish is a long white carrot shaped radish that has been long prized in Japan. Raw daikon is said to aid in the digestion of oils. I think it tastes best raw and has a delicious radish-like bite. Grated onto a salad, sliced and served in place of crackers, there are many possibilities. Cooked it becomes mild in flavor and is great in Indian and Nepali cooking where it is known as “moola”. Daikon greens can be substituted for Kale of Collards in soups or sauté’s, or Indian style Saags. Though they are more perishable than kales and should be used with in a day or two. The roots can be lightly scrubbed and stored in a plastic bag in the fridge where they will last a week or more.
Asha, Joe and the Crew
Oriental Cilantro Slaw: Quarter 1 medium red cabbage; remove and discard the tough central core. Shred the cabbage very thin. You should come up with about 6 cups. Place the shredded cabbage in a large serving bowl. Mix in 1 large shredded carrot, 1 cup tightly packed minced cilantro, and ¼ cup thinly sliced scallion greens. In a jar combine 3 Tbsp peanut oil, 3 Tbsp canola oil, 3 to 4 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice, 2 to 3 Tbsp tamari soy sauce, 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped, and sea salt to taste. Shake well to blend. Taste and add a few drops of hot chili oil if more heat is desired. Pour dressing over the slaw and toss well. Add more lime juice and tamari as needed. Garnish with ½ cup coarsely chopped peanuts before serving. (From Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass).
Risotto with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a 3-quart saucepan. Sauté 1 cup chopped onion, 2 large cloves of minced garlic until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 ½ cups Arborio Rice, making sure to coat it with the oil. Stir in 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried rosemary, and 1 tsp sea salt. Reduce heat to medium and immediately begin adding 3 ½ to 4 cups of vegetable stock, about 1/3 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Just as the rice absorbs each batch of liquid and you can create an empty strip by drawing your spoon along the bottom of the pot, add an additional 1/3 cup of stock. Continue in this fashion until the rice is almost done, about 30 minutes. Stir in ½ cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and coarsely chopped, 1 to 1 ½ cups tightly packed chopped spinach, 1 cup cooked chick peas and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately. (Also from Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass).
Daikon Radish Pickle ( Moola Thepe Achar): Grate enough Daikon root to get 1 cup. Squeeze all the juice from the grated radish and combine with 1 or 2 green chili peppers, thinly sliced, 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, ¼ tsp Szechwan pepper, ¼ tsp turmeric, salt to taste, and 2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro. Mix well and then let stand for 15 minutes. In a small saucepan heat 2 Tbsp mustard oil (or canola), until smoking and then add ¼ tsp fenugreek or cumin seeds, and 1 or 2 dried red chili peppers broken in half, cook until they become dark. Immediately pour this over the radish mixture and mix thoroughly. Garnish with 2 more Tbsp chopped cilantro and serve.
Mixed Vegetable Curry: Combine 1 cup chopped cabbage, 1 cup green beans, 1 cup cauliflower, chopped, 1 cup green peas, and 2 medium potatoes peeled and diced into cubes. Add just enough water to cook without burning and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain. In another pot, heat 3 Tbsp vegetable oil and fry 1 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, and 2 tsp green chili, fry until golden brown. Add 1 tbsp ground coriander, ½ Tbsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cardamom, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, ½ tsp ground red chili, ½ tsp fresh grated ginger. Add in the cooked vegetables and salt to taste. Cook for several minutes, stirring frequently. Add in 1 ½ cups thick coconut milk. Simmer gently until vegetables are tender, watching to prevent burning. Remove from heat and add juice of ½ lemon. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with Rice, Spinach Raita and Daikon Radish Pickle.
Spinach Raita: Wash and chop 1 bunch Spinach. Steam. Squeeze out any excess moisture. Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil and fry 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp mustard seeds, and 1 tsp fenugreek seeds until they crackle. Add this to 1 ½ cups yogurt along with the spinach, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly.
Cucumber Cuchumber: Combine all ingredients and mix well. 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced. I small onion finely chopped, 1 fresh green chili seeded and finely chopped, 1 tsp salt, juice of 1 lime, and 1 ½ Tbsp chopped Cilantro.