Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Box Deconstructed- 5/24/2017

Cooking with This Week’s Box!
“Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.” 
 Craig Claiborne

Even though we’re only about a week away from the first day of June, it has been very chilly which makes me want to revert back to warm, comforting soup!  With this week’s box, I’ll start off by using the hon tsai tai to make a warm pot of the Asian Soup with Rice Noodles (recipe below) that is featured in this week’s newsletter.  It doesn’t take long to make and will utilize some of the potato onions and green garlic in this week’s box.  You could also make this soup using other greens such as this week’s saute mix or pea vine.  I don’t usually make two soups in one week, but this week might be the exception.  In our Facebook Group, Paul and Carol recommended a recipe for Cream of Asparagus Soup with Pea Vine that was published in an HVF newsletter back in 2004.  It calls for about 4 ounces of pea vine which is the size of the pea vine bunches this week. Thanks for reminding us to keep looking back to the oldies but goodies!

When you choose to eat seasonally and locally, that means eating a lot of greens in the spring!  Greens can be nature’s fast food since you can quickly turn them into a salad for dinner or wilt them in just a few minutes to eat alongside a piece of fish, chicken or eggs (my favorite).  My next suggestion is a Non-Recipe for a quick and easy dinner idea that I’ll call Wilted Greens with Black Beans, Eggs and all the fixins’.  There is no written recipe but I’ll tell you how to make a quick dinner that has proven to be my favorite this week.  Gently wilt the tops from your radishes along with a few handfuls of saute mix greens in a little butter and a bit of water if you need to.  Serve them with black beans, a couple fried eggs, hot sauce, sour cream and a few corn tortillas.  If you have some green onion or green garlic tops, chop them up and add them as a garnish.  If the beans are already cooked, you can have dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes!

This week Andrea Bemis from Dishing Up the Dirt sent another tasty seasonal favorite our way.  Her recipe for Green Garlic Risotto  is a great way to use the remainder of your green garlic and it also calls for a handful of mizuna or arugula.  You could use either the baby arugula or saute mix in this recipe.

Lastly, I’m going to steer you towards one of my favorite “go-to” salad dressings that I discovered last summer.  It’s featured in a blog post about CSA recipes on Alexandra Cooks.   You’ll find a lot of other tasty CSA-centric recipes as you scroll to the bottom of the blog…which is where you’ll find a recipe for a Creamy ButtermilkDressing that is part of her Simple Cabbage Slaw Recipe.  I know we don’t have cabbage this week, but I recommend you hijack the dressing part of this recipe and just follow step 1 in the directions.  I usually make a double batch and keep a jar in the refrigerator for quick and easy access.  You can add some fresh herbs if you’d like, but it’s also good in all its simplicity.  This week we can enjoy delicious salads made with the beautiful head lettuce in the box.  Top it with thin slices of crunchy radishes, maybe some grilled chicken, salmon or chickpeas for a little protein and a few slices of hard-boiled egg.  Dinner Salad…Done! If you have extra lettuce, dressings and some of the other components left over, put it all together in a wrap and call it lunch the next day!   

Eat well, be well, and have a great week! –Chef Andrea

Asian Soup with Rice Noodles
Yield:  4-6 servings

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced
¼ cup minced fresh ginger
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 cloves garlic or ¼ cup minced green garlic
4 oz thin rice noodles, broken in half
10 oz firm tofu, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 bunch hon tsai tai, finely chopped (stem, leaves and flowers)
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 tsp rice vinegar
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste (optional)
Salt, to taste

1.       In a large saucepan, combine the broth, mushrooms, ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and garlic.  Bring to a boil over medium heat. 

2.       Add the noodles and cook until almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
3.       Add the tofu and hon tsai tai.  Cook until the greens are tender, about 2 minutes

4.       Stir in the sesame oil and vinegar.  Adjust seasoning to your liking with a touch of white pepper, additional soy sauce and/or salt as needed.  Serve hot.

Recipe adapted from The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook (2009).

Hon Tsai Tai Salad with Spicy Tahini Ginger Sauce

Yield 2-3 servings

Spicy Tahini Ginger Sauce (makes 1 ½ cups)
½ cup tahini
2 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2-3 tsp maple syrup or honey
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Salad Components
1 bunch hon tsai tai, finely chopped
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
9-12 radishes, thinly sliced
5-6 stalks asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Avocado, 1-2 each, cut into bite-sized chunks
Toasted almonds

1.       Make the sauce:  Place the tahini, ginger, tamari, maple syrup, lime juice, and ½ cup of water in a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.  Set aside.

Photo Credit: Amy Pruess
2.       Prepare all of the salad components.  When you are ready to eat, build your salad by putting some of the hon tsai tai and a bit of the cilantro in a bowl along with the sliced green onions, radishes and asparagus.  Add enough sauce lightly coat the vegetables and toss to combine.  Garnish the salad with chunks of avocado and toasted almonds.

The sauce portion of this recipe was borrowed from Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton.  It pairs well with the hon tsai tai and cilantro.

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