October recipes

Chard

Oh, chard. How beautiful thou art. Botanically the same plant as beets, these are grown just for their delicious greens.

  • Green curry with swiss chard– heck yeah! There are few things I love more than green curry. This one is generous with the coconut milk and lime and is topped with fresh mint and cilantro leaves at the end. I would add fresh Thai basil too if was available.
  • Lentils, chickpeas, & chard– this is solidly nutritious. The tang of the lemon and cherry tomatoes is perfect balanced with the earthiness of the chard and the saltiness of the parm.
  • Chard & cannellini bean soup with orzo– Chard and white beans are a classic pairing. I really like the addition of orzo and sage too, which helps to fully round out all of the flavors and textures.

Storage information:

  • make a fresh cut on the stems of your greens
  • put them in a cup of water in your fridge with a plastic bag over their greens, or in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer

Baby Kale

I can’t believe I’m about to say this. Ahem. Like Baby Groot, Baby Kale is everything you like about the adult version, but cooler.

  • Baby kale with lemon, parm, & chickpeas– I’m pretty much a purist (or a lazy cook) when it comes to baby kale. I like it unfettered, simply tossed with olive oil, garlic, salt, and lemon. But the crispy chickpeas are a good idea to add some texture and protein to this salad.
  • Slaw with lime, cilantro, avocado, & pecans– This farm looks beautiful and their cookbooks are top notch too. Scroll to the bottom to find the recipe. It calls for a foundation of cabbage, but if you only have the baby kale on hand, I would roll just with that.
  • Roasted beet, baby kale & brie, quiche– Beets, kale, and eggs just all go together in my mind. I might be missing the point with the brie, but if I already had everything else on hand, I’d substitute any mild and melty cheese that I have in my fridge.

Storage information: this should keep your Baby Kale at super maximum coolness for at least 10 days

  • lightly rinse your baby kale in a colander or a salad spinner
  • dry, either with a kitchen towel or in a salad spinner
  • put in a perforated ziplock with one paper towel (we have a ziplock that we have put a bunch of holes in with a thumbtack, once we are done with the item in the ziplock we just rinse that ziplock out and put it on the drying rack to use for the next round)
  • store in your crisper drawer

Head lettuce

Head lettuce is such a satisfying vegetable to grow and the variety of colors, shapes, and textures are well beyond what is available as cut leaf lettuce. We find that the flavor and mouth-feel of head lettuce is often better too AND it lasts longer. Also it cuts down on packaging. Win win win.

  • Grilled romaine– If you’ve got the fire burning why not?
  • Mediterranean chopped salad– A hearty salad with olives, chickpeas, cucumber, and tomato with a lemony dressing. I’ve never used vegetable broth in a dressing, but it seems like a good idea. I also usually just make my dressing in a jam jar with a lid and shake it to mix all of the ingredients
  • Korean mixed rice with sashimi– Cucumbers, daikon, lettuce are the vegetable stars here. If you’re not into fish or don’t have access to sushi-grade fish, I’d use an avocado. Gochujang is the other star here. It’s is a hot pepper paste and staple of Korean cooking. You can find it for about $5 at Saraga or make your own.

Storage information:

  • If it’s looking wilty when you get home, submerge in a bowl of cold ice water for a few minutes, then shake out excess water and let drip dry on a clean dish rack before storing in the fridge
  • Store in a plastic bag or large tupperware container in the crisper drawer in the fridge

Hon Tsai tai

Hello favorite vegetable of 2019! This Chinese flowering broccoli is outstanding in almost every way. It’s beautiful. It’s easy and quick to grow. And it tastes delicious both raw and cooked. I spent most of the Fall just standing in the field and eating it. And humbly, I think that is it’s best form. From stem to bud, it is sweet, crunchy, mild, and feels good to eat!

Storage information:

  • make a fresh cut on the stems of your greens
  • put them in a cup of water in your fridge with a plastic bag over their greens, or in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer

Turnips

There’s no doubt that the local food movement has the potential to turnip the reputation of some overlooked vegetables. And these versatile roots are an excellent place to start! Japanese salad turnips like the variety “hakurei” can be so sweet they make you want to cry (it’s true, I’ve witnessed it). Larger storage turnips like “purple top” are half sweet, half peppery. And that sweetness gets cranked up if they are roasted. They are filling, energizing, and nutritious. Turnips greens are high in potassium and folate and the roots have a suite of B vitamins and manganese.

As a farmer, I also appreciate this. From the 1881 Household Cyclopedia cited on Wikipedia: The benefits derived from turnip husbandry are of great magnitude; light soils are cultivated with profit and facility; abundance of food is provided for man and beast; the earth is turned to the uses for which it is physically calculated, and by being suitably cleaned with this preparatory crop, a bed is provided for grass seeds, wherein they flourish and prosper with greater vigor than after any other preparation.

  • Roasted turnips– just a simple instructional for roasting turnips. I can’t exercise any restraint and always end up adding every other roast-worthy vegetable I have on hand (beets, potatoes, carrots, winter squash, rutabaga, kohlrabi) to the baking sheet too.
  • Hakurei turnips in salad– Hakurei turnips are so sweet, they’re a joy to eat raw in a salad. They are especially good with the fatty richness of pecans or walnuts and add a supremely satisfying crunch.
  • Hakurei turnip & bok choy couscous– This makes for a really satisfying and energizing lunch. We make ours without the tomato or onion, but like to throw in some hot peppers instead. This is also a good recipe to wilt the turnip greens just at the last stage of sauteeing.
  • Parmesan crusted crushed turnips– this is a novel and easy way to have turnips, especially if you get tired of roasting them or snacking on them raw

Storage information:

  • Cut the leaves from the roots (the leaves continue to draw moisture from the root and can result in a sad, soft turnip)
  • Store the roots in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer in the fridge
  • Store the greens in a cup of water in your fridge with a plastic bag over the greens, or in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer