Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Feature: Eating seasonally in Phoenix -- ideas for this week's CSA box

I am going to try to do a weekly update on my Love Grows Farm CSA box , with ideas and recipes to use the weeks bounty.  Plus identify unusual items. I am hoping that other customers of Love Grows Farm and other Phoenix-area CSA participants will read, comment, and share their ideas as well.  Please don’t be shy!  I think we can all use some inspiration; it seems that most of the food magazines and web sites are talking about making stew, braised short ribs and bread, not how to use wonderful tomatoes and greens!  Not to mention what to do with the pile of citrus we seem to be getting from friends, family and our own tree.
Last week’s box included salad greens, spinach, arugula, green onions, kohlrabi, lemons and oranges, and of course, tomatoes.

New is the box this week was kohlrabi, something I had never had before.  Kohlrabi is German for “cabbage turnip”, and is a member of the cabbage family.   They can be eaten raw or cooked.  Most recipes I saw called just to use the bulb part (trimmed and peeled), but the leave can also be eaten.   I ate mine raw, in a salad (I didn’t use the leaves, it was mid week by the time I got too them and they were wilted.  It’s similar to very tender broccoli stems.   I’m hoping to get more, to try cooked as well.   I think the leaves would go good in soup.
My recipe for this week (and inspiration to try to do this weekly) was a salad I made on Sunday for friends.  It was quite wonderful..  I wish I had remembered a picture (so much for my New Year’s resolution to take more pictures).
I actually used 4 things from the box for this one simple salad – greens, scallions (green onions), lemons and oranges.  I served on my new stainless steel platter I got for Christmas, and it looked marvelous as well.

Orange Salad 

Serves 4

1/3 cup walnuts (slightly broken up)
Two oranges
Large bowl of greens (guess about 8 cups, or 1 bag of baby greens)
Lemon – oil dressing (see below)

Toast walnuts. (I use the toaster oven – place on a piece of foil on tray, and 1 cycle through toast, or you can do in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, will take just a few minutes… whichever way, keep an eye on them - you want a light toast, not too brown).

Prepare the oranges:  cut of the ends, then cut off the peel.  You can either cut out the segments, or for a faster prep, just slice.  Remove any seeds.

Assemble:  toss the greens with the dressing, it should only take a few tablespoons.  Place greens on a platter.  Arrange orange segments (or slices) over top, and sprinkle walnuts over top.  Serve immediately.

Lemon – Oil DressingI adopted this from a Julia Child recipe (from the Julia and Jacques cookbook, unfortunately, its out of print)

1 tablespoon minced scallion
Zest from 1 small orange (optional)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 - 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 to ½ cup excellent olive oil

Put scallions, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until blended (or use immersion blender).  Pour in the oil slowly, droplets at first, then in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the oil has been completely emulsified and the dressing has thickened.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Best used immediately,  store remainder in the refrigerator for a few days at most.

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