Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Box Deconstructed- 6/1/2017

(Lettuce Not Pictured)
Cooking with This Week’s Box!

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." 
 Virginia Woolf

Before we dive into this week’s box, I’d like to highlight the cooking and recipe resources available at NY Times Cooking,  This is an online culinary resource I’ve started using more recently and would encourage you to check it out.  They have a weekly email newsletter called “Cooking” that you can sign up for in addition to utilizing their extensive collection of recipes online.  You can set up your own “recipe box” and when you come across a recipe that looks interesting just click “save” and it will be filed in your virtual recipe box so you can easily find it.  They also have cooking guides about different topics, such as How To Make Salad,  which often include videos demonstrating techniques and recipe preparation. I’ve found this resource to be very helpful and hope you do too!
Ok, lets get cooking.  

As June rolls in, I think it’s time to fire up the grill!  Use the asparagus in this week’s box to prepare Charred Asparagus with Green Garlic Chimichurri, a recipe featured on NY Times CookingThis makes a nice accompaniment to grilled chicken and is a great way to utilize the last of the green garlic this week!  Throw some extra chicken on the grill so you’ll have some available later in the week to make the Sesame-Soy Hon Tsai Tai & Chicken Salad, a recipe we featured in a newsletter back in 2014.  This salad uses Hon Tsai Tai as the salad green base alongside sliced radishes & a few turnips if you like. 

I’ve had my eye on a recipe for Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze  featured at NY Times Cooking.  This recipe will utilize the potato onions and cilantro in the box.  It calls for ground turkey, but you could substitute ground pork if you prefer.  It’s described more as an appetizer meatball dish, but makes enough to serve 4 if you eat them as a main dish.  Serve these with steamed rice and some sautéed greens to make a full meal.  This is a great place to put the radish tops to use.  Remove the greens from the radishes, wash well, dry and then chop into bite-sized pieces.  Lightly saute the radish greens along with some baby kale mix, turnip greens, hon tsai tai, or any other greens that might be hanging out in your refrigerator from a previous week’s deliveries.

The Turnip Salad with Yogurt, Herbs & Poppy Seeds (below) is on the menu this week served alongside broiled or grilled salmon which pairs nicely with the light flavors in this salad.  This is just one of many salad options you have this week!  This recipe is also featured on Dishing Up The Dirt.  Salads are a good option to take for lunches or can become a quick and easy dinner option if you don’t have much time to cook.  If you’re looking for some new inspiration to throw into your salads this week, check out the recipe collection at NY Times Cooking entitled: 9 Dressings and Vinaigrettes That Will Make You Fall in Love With Salad If you want to keep things super-simple, just make a jar of Mark Bittman’s Jar Vinaigrette.  It doesn’t get much easier than this!  Keep this jar of simple vinaigrette in the refrigerator so it’s easy to reach for when you want to toss it with a handful of salad mix or baby kale mix. 

That does it for this week’s box.  Enjoy your cooking adventures and start thinking about what you’d like to make with the strawberries coming up next week!—Chef Andrea   


Pancetta Wrapped Baby Turnips

Yield:  6 appetizer portions

1 bunch baby White Turnips
6-12 paper-thin slices pancetta

1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Place a flat wire roasting rack in a large rimmed baking sheet.

2. If the greens are still attached to the turnips, trim them off, leaving at least ½-inch of the stem intact. Reserve the greens for another use. Trim the root ends of the turnips flat so they will stand upright. If the turnips are not all the same size, cut the larger ones in half. Gently scrub the turnips under cool running water to remove any dirt from the skins and between the stems and then pat dry.

3. Wrap each piece of turnip with a slice of pancetta (or a portion of a slice if the turnips are smaller), covering the turnip and leaving the stem exposed. The pancetta should cling tightly to the turnip skins. If not, use toothpicks to secure. Arrange the turnip on the rack in the pan, spacing them at least 1 inch apart.

Photo: Shutterstock
4. Roast until the turnips are tender when pierced with a paring knife and the pancetta is crisp and golden, 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the size of the turnips.  Remove the toothpicks if used.  Serve immediately, or let cool and serve at room temperature.

Photo Credit Roots by Diane Morgan
Recipe adapted from Roots by Diane Morgan.

Turnip Salad with Yogurt, Herbs & Poppy Seeds

Yield:  4 servings

1 bunch baby white turnips
4 green onions, trimmed (including ½ inch of the green tops), sliced on a sharp angle
½ cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek yogurt)
1 lemon, juiced
½ tsp dried red chili flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
About 1 cup lightly packed mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped (may include mint, parsley, chives or any other fresh herbs you have available)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup poppy seeds

1.       Slice the turnips lengthwise as thin as you can.  If you have a mandolin, use it;  otherwise a sharp knife and steady hand will do just fine.  Soak the sliced turnips in ice water for 15 minutes then drain them very well. (Note:  Soaking the turnips will make them very crisp.  This is a nice step to follow, but it isn’t essential if you’d prefer to skip it.)

2.       Rinse, dry and roughly chop the turnip greens.  Put them in a large bowl along with the sliced turnips and the green onions.
3.       Prepare the dressing.  In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, red chili flakes, ½ tsp salt, a bit of freshly ground black pepper and olive oil.  Stir well to combine, then add the herbs and poppy seeds.  Stir well.

4.       Just before serving, toss the vegetables with the dressing.  You may not need all of the yogurt dressing, so add some to the vegetables and toss first before adding more.  Adjust the seasoning with additional lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed.  Once the greens have been tossed with the yogurt dressing, they will not store if you have leftovers.  If you don’t think you’ll eat all of this salad at once, only dress the portion you need and save the extra vegetables and dressing for another meal.

      Note from Chef Andrea:  The method above is my adaptation of the original recipe featured on the Dishing Up the Dirt blog.  The original recipe comes from Joshua McFadden’s new book, Six Seasons of Vegetables.  The ingredients remained the same, I just simplified the method to make it easier to prepare in a home kitchen. 

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