Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May 3, 2018 - This Week's Box Contents

Cooking with this Week’s Box

Black Spanish Radishes:  Black Radish Salad or Roasted Black Radishes with Brown Butter, Chives & Rice (See Below)

Overwintered Sunchokes:  Chili Roasted Sunchokes (See Below) or Chile and Lime Sunchoke Salsa

I don’t know about you, but I know I’m ready to start cooking with fresh food again!  I hope you had an enjoyable winter and are ready to jump back into some seasonal CSA cooking.  If you aren’t familiar with the items in this week’s box, please take a little time to read this week’s main article.  I also want to mention that we have an awesome Facebook Group that all CSA members are welcome to join.  This is a great place to share recipes with other members as well as learn from and encourage each other.  We also have all of our previous years’ newsletters archived on our website and have a searchable recipe database as well.  Please use these resources to learn more about your food and find tasty recipes.

Lets get cooking.  Black Spanish radishes may be a bit intimidating at first, but they are really quite manageable.  If you like the crisp radish flavor, I’d recommend trying the Black Radish Salad  featured back in one of our early 2007 newsletters.  This is one of my original recipes and calls for mint and basil.  If you don’t have these herbs available right now, you could also use some chives or any other fresh herbs of your choosing.  If you are not much of a radish eater, try cooking them.  You’ll likely be surprised by their sweet, mellow flavor.  Try the recipe featured in this week’s newsletter for Roasted Black Radishes with Brown Butter, Chives & Rice.  (See Below)

This week is Richard’s birthday week, so perhaps we should include some of his favorite recipes.  For starters, he is a good Midwestern man who loves ranch dressing.  One of his favorite ramp recipes is for Spring Spinach Chop Salad with Creamy Buttermilk Ramp Dressing.   It’s reminiscent of ranch dressing, but much better!  He’s also a fan of Creamed Spinach and Ramps and if there are any ramps left over, a batch of Chef Bonnie’s Ramp Deviled Eggs are always a hit with Richard!  We’ll finish off the week with a German Chocolate Cake as we celebrate another year of Richard’s life!

We always enjoy overwintered parsnips and usually eat them several times as simple oven-roasted parsnips that are sweet as candy.  This is also a good time of year to turn them into a baked good such as Parsnip Muffins or Parsnip Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting.

Just in case you didn’t have a chance to read the newsletter, I’m going to mention here that some people do have some abdominal discomfort when they eat sunchokes while others are unaffected.  If you are eating them for the first time, try a small serving to start with.  You may find a small quantity is well-tolerated.  Roasted sunchokes are my favorite way to eat this vegetable because they get crispy on the exterior and are moist and fluffy inside.  This week’s newsletter features my recipe for Chili Roasted Sunchokes (See Below).  You can eat them on their own or make a combination of roasted sunchokes and black radishes.  I also like to make sunchoke croutons to eat on top of a spinach salad.  It’s a great way to eat a small portion where you can enjoy their flavor and crunch.  I also like to make this Chile and Lime Sunchoke Salsa that is great on top of a piece of salmon or chicken tacos.  Yes, I think chili and lime are great flavor complements for sunchokes! 

Last but not least, we need to find a use for the pretty little bunch of chives.  Andrea Beming has a great recipe for a Spring Parsnip Mash that includes fresh chives or check out Heidi Swanson’s recipe for Curried Egg Salad.  Her version includes bits of apples & fresh chives to complement the curry seasonings. 

Enjoy cooking out of the first box of the season and I look forward to meeting you back here next week with more delicious spring recipe ideas!—Chef Andrea

Roasted Black Radishes with Brown Butter, Chives & Rice

Yield:  4 servings as a side or 2 servings as a main

1-1¼ pound black radishes
2-3 tsp olive oil
Salt & black pepper, to taste
1 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter
¼ tsp red chile flakes
3 cups cooked rice
2 Tbsp minced chives
1 ½ tsp honey
1 tsp white wine vinegar

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Cut the black radishes into medium dice.  Put the black radishes in a bowl and drizzle with 2-3 tsp olive oil.  You will need just enough oil to thoroughly coat all the pieces.  Season the radishes with salt and pepper and toss to evenly distribute the oil and seasonings.  Place the radishes in a skillet or pan with an ovenproof handle.
  2. Roast the black radish in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the pieces are starting to brown and are tender.  You may have to turn the radishes once or twice during the cooking time.  Remove the pan from the oven and put on the stovetop.  Turn the burner on to medium heat.  Add the butter and red chile flakes to the pan.  Once the butter is melted, cook until it starts to turn golden brown and nutty smelling, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the rice and stir to combine.  Continue to cook the rice, stirring it frequently, until the rice is heated through.  
  3. Remove the pan from heat and add the chives, vinegar and honey.  Stir to combine, then adjust seasoning to your tastes by adding more salt, pepper, honey and/or vinegar as needed.  Serve hot as a side dish or as a main item.  If you have leftovers, consider reheating and serving with a fried egg on top!

Recipe developed by Chef Andrea Yoder

Chili-Roasted Sunchokes (with a Crouton Variation)

By Chef Andrea Yoder
This is one of my original HVF recipes that I developed back in 2007!  It’s still a favorite, so I thought I’d share it again along with a few variations you might want to consider.

Serves 3-4

1# sunchokes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp lime juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Cut sunchokes into 1” pieces and put in a medium bowl.
  2. Combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and pour over the sunchokes.  Toss sunchokes in oil mixture until well coated.
  3. Transfer the sunchokes to a baking dish or sheet tray and roast until tender, about 30-35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and toss with the lime juice just before serving.

  • Croutons:  If you cut the sunchoke pieces into a small dice size and roast them until they are crispy, you can use them as a “crouton” to garnish a spinach salad or a warm bowl of soup.
  • Roasted sunchokes & black Spanish radishes.  Consider using using ½ pound sunchokes and ½ pound black radishes.  This is a good option for individuals who prefer to eat smaller quantities of sunchokes at a time.
  • If you aren’t a fan of the chili and lime combination, make up your own spice blend or use something that is already blended such as Madras curry powder.

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