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Archive for the 'Vegetable Info' Category

Tatsoi

Tatsoi is an Asian mustard green. It can be treated like any Asian green–chopped and stir fried with oil and garlic. Throw in some ginger and soy sauce if you like. You could stir fry this with some of the bok choy and garlic scapes. Don’t forget to cook the stems.

I like Asian greens quickly wilted in some oil with garlic and ginger. I throw them in a bowl and top with some dumplings, a splash of dumpling sauce and a sprinkling of flax seeds.

tatsoi

You can get a large assortment of frozen Chinese and Japanese dumplings at East West Market on Bellville Ave. in Bloomfield. I like the pork and leek, but the have vegetable, shrimp, chicken, etc. Head to the sauce ailse and pick up the handy dumpling sauce. Easy peasy and really good.

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Snap Peas

Also called Sugar Snap Peas, these are one of the pea varieties with an edible shell. They make a good snack and are tasty with a dip. Chop them and add to salads. I put them into a potato salad once and it was really good.

They can also be cooked. Snap off the stem and pull the string to the end. Cook with a little water and butter until bright green and tender, 2-3 minutes.

snap peas

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English Peas

English peas, or shelling peas, are one of the harbingers of spring. Nothing quite matches the sweet crunch of a freshly picked pea. Timing is everything with peas. Pick it too soon and the peas are too small, wait too long and their sugars turn starchy. Heaven forbid you eat a pea several days past its prime–it is hard and bitter. They are also much better shortly after harvesting, so I urge you to eat them up!

english peas

To shell, simply open along the seam and scrape the peas out with your thumb. Collect in a beautiful bowl. Steam ever so slightly–no need to over cook– or shake in a shallow pan of boiling water. A couple of minutes should do it. They will turn bright green. The peas are great as is, but a bit of butter doesn’t hurt.

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Arugula

Arugula is a spicy salad green. Wash and spin and use in salads. Its nice in a mix of salad greens, but makes a lovely salad by itself. Arugula’s peppery taste can stand up to lots of other bold flavors–intense vinegars, lemon, olives, salt, shaved parmesan, nuts, avocado.

Arugula can also be cooked. Chop it and fold it into sauces or cook with other greens.

Arugla

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Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is in the bassica family that includes broccoli, turnips, cabbages, etc. They can be prepared like a turnip. Kohlrabi can be sliced thin in salads or grated into slaws. They can also be sliced, chopped, grated and steamed, boiled or sauted. If the skin seems tough, peel before cutting and cooking.

A member sent this recipe to me from recipezaar.com

Kohlrabi Slaw Recipe
A nice salad that would go well with fish. Adapted from a recipe found at epicurious.com. Cook time is chill time.

2 small kohlrabi
1 cup radishes
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Peel two small kohlrabi. 2.Shred the kohlrabi and radishes. You may use a food processor for this. I hand grate using a cheese grater. 3. Mix 1 Tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley in a glass bowl. Whisk in 2 Tablespoons olive oil. 4. Add shredded veggies and toss. 5. Chill for 30 minutes or more.

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Salad Turnips

I love these turnips and I owe my membership in a CSA for introducing me to this wonderful vegetable. A far cry from the over-wintered, waxy-skinned, grape-fruit sized turnip that your great-aunt used to boil and mash and serve with cabbage. No, no. This is the jaunty, crisp and versatile salad turnip.

Eaten raw, they are similiar in texture to a radish, but not so hot. Just a mild peppery sweet flavor. They could also be grated into a slaw (see kohlrabi post). Slice, dice, or quarter them and saute with butter or oil. Cook until just tender and still a little crisp. Just a little salt or maybe a teeny bit of vinegar is all they need. Cooked with butter and given a slight drizzle of honey and they are bona fide kids fare.

Don’t forget the greens! Turnip greens are tender and flavorful. Chop and saute with the turnips for a side dish, or cook up with other greens, or by themselves. I like them chopped and used in pasta sauces. Wilted with some olive oil, garlic, bacon, a red pepper if you have it, tossed with some pasta and grated cheese. Very good.

salad-turnips.jpg

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Fava Beans

Fava Beans

These are crazy looking and not very appetizing in their shells which can get all spotted and black. But inside, cushioned in the soft fuzz of the pod are these wonderfully smooth, pale green fava beans. Fava beans are one of the vegetables on the CSA roster that you will rarely find at the supermarket or area farmer’s markets. Their season is brief. They are not for the convenience minded, favas require a little work before you can enjoy them. But once they have been properly prepared, there is little that can compare. A little like a large edamame, but softer and more mellow. Say, the difference between the Japanese and the Italians.

Shell the beans by running a nail along the seam and pulling it open. Remove the beans. The beans have a thick skin covering them. To remove, boil the beans for a minute or so. Drain and rinse. Now you can pop the bean out by pinching a hole in one end. One lb may not yield enough for a full side dish, but put your beans in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and some coarse salt and enjoy them as a before dinner treat.

The beans can be added to pasta dishes, or a mix of vegetables like a succotash.

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Kale & Chard

Kale is the soft green fluted leaf with the purple veins. The chard is the green spinachy leaf with the yellow stem.

Kale: A hearty green that can stand a lot of cooking, so its often found paired with beans and in soups. The stem can be tough, so cut the greens away from the stem, pull apart or coarsly chop and saute with oil and garlic, adding a little water to soften. Good as is, with a little lemon or vinegar. Or chop and add to pasta sauces, soups, etc.

Chard: Use like spinach. Rinse well. You can eat the stem. Wilt the greens is water or oil. They will cook quickly. Chard is wonderful in fritattas.

kale swiss chard

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