Wednesday, June 6, 2018

June 7, 2018 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Baby White Turnip

Cooking With This Week’s Box: 

This Week’s Summary of Recipes and the Vegetables They Utilize:

Asparagus:  Asparagus Panzanella;  Spring Celebration Bowl (see below)

Red Radishes:  Spring Celebration Bowl (see below);  Easy Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad Lettuce CupsFried Greens Meatless Balls

Red Oak LettuceMaple Mustard Balsamic

Green Garlic:  Green Goddess Detox Salad

Baby White Turnips:  Turnip Greens Pesto Pizza (See Below) OR Spring Celebration Bowl (See below)

Welcome to the first week of June!  In our world, June means picking strawberries, sugar snap peas, and zucchini while still trying to stay ahead of the weeds.  It’s going to be a very busy month!

Asparagus Panzanella, picture by 101 Cookbooks
This week we will be saying good-bye to asparagus, rhubarb and pea vine.  If there is something you’ve been thinking about making with any of these three things, this is the week to do so!  I’m going to use the asparagus to make Heidi Swanson’s Asparagus Panzanella.  Panzanella is traditionally an Italian tomato and bread salad.  This Asparagus Panzanella is a seasonal adaptation of this concept.

I want to try something new with the rhubarb this week.  I stumbled across two delicious and interesting recipes this week.  I haven’t decided yet which one I’m going to make, but the choices are Bourbon Roasted Rhubarb with Crème Anglaise or Strawberry Rhubarb Jalapeño SpreadI’m leaning towards cutting up the rhubarb and freezing it so I can make the Strawberry Rhubarb Jalapeño Spread once I have strawberries and a fresh jalapeño.  The author of this recipe gives suggestions for using this spread including serving it on bread or crackers with cream cheese.

Fried Greens Meatless Balls, picture by Food52
There was some nice action last week in our Facebook Group.  Several people decided to use the pea vine to make this Pea Vine Quesadilla recipe from our archives.  Another member suggested this Green Goddess Detox Salad which uses spinach & pea vine to form the greens base of a simple, delicious salad that has a lot of green in it!  In addition to the spinach and pea vine, this recipe also uses green onions and calls for garlic (substitute green garlic or garlic scapes).  Another great suggestion from the Facebook group last week is these Fried Greens Meatless Balls.  This recipe is a great way to use a variety of greens.  Some members chose to use the hon tsai tai and pea vine to make this recipe, but you could also include your radish tops, turnip tops and/or spinach.  If you want to take it a step further, serve these meatless balls in a baguette and turn them into a vegetarian Bahn Mi sandwich.  What a great idea!  You can use sliced radishes and chopped green onions as toppings for the sandwich. 

This is one of those weeks when you will definitely “Eat your greens every day!”  If you missed last week’s newsletter article about the value and vitality we get from eating greens in our diet, take a few minutes to read it here on our blog.  Make a jar of this Maple
Maple Mustard Balsamic Dressing,
picture by Green Healthy Cooking
Mustard Balsamic Dressing
 and keep it in the refrigerator so you can make quick salads throughout the week.  Just toss it with some of the salad mix or red oak lettuce and top off your salad with either hemp seeds or toasted pumpkin seeds.  Sometimes I’ll add a hard boiled egg to the salad as well.  This would be an excellent salad to serve along with Turnip Greens Pesto Pizza.  What?  Turnips on a pizza?  I know it sounds odd, but I tried it and it is really good!  You take the turnip greens and make them into a pesto to spread on a pizza crust in place of tomato sauce.  The turnips get sliced thinly and cooked briefly before layering them on the pizza along with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.  I also added some crumbled bacon which was a nice complement to the turnips.  This is definitely a recipe worth trying and I’m sure I’ll be making it again!

The other recipe I’ve included this week featuring baby white turnips is Andrea Bemis’s Spring Celebration Bowl (See below).  While written as a recipe, it’s more of a concept and launching pad that you can use to create your own version of a “Spring Celebration Bowl.”  You form the base of the bowl with a cooked grain. She used quinoa, I used short grain brown rice.  Then you roast asparagus and baby white turnips and add those to the bowl along with chopped cilantro, sliced radishes and drizzle the whole thing with a tahini miso sauce and sesame seeds.  Top it off with a fried egg and you just created a delicious bowl of nourishing food that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  The whole idea is that you can make all of the components in advance and then just heat and assemble the bowls when you’re ready to eat.  It’s pretty simple food, but it’s really good and nourishing!

Lastly, we need to find a use for the gorgeous green Boston lettuce.  I’m going to use it to make these  Easy Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups.  While the recipe calls for diced tomatoes, tomatoes are not in season, so I’m going to substitute diced Red Radishes.

Ok, that brings us to the bottom of another CSA box.  I hope you have an awesome week of cooking and I look forward to sharing next week’s box with you! –Chef Andrea

Vegetable Feature:  Baby White Turnips 

Baby white turnips are a classy little vegetable we often describe as being “pristine.”  They are classified as a salad turnip and are tender with a sweet, mild flavor.  Both the roots and the green tops are edible and may be eaten raw or lightly cooked.

We plant baby white turnips for harvest early in the season and again in the fall when the growing conditions are cooler.  We harvest them while they are still small and tender, when the sweet flavor matches its delicate appearance.  Compared to the common purple top turnip, or other storage turnips, salad turnips are much more mild and subtle in both flavor and texture.  The turnips we grow in the fall are meant for storage purposes and have a thicker skin compared to the thin skin of a salad turnip.  Baby white turnips also mature much faster than beets, carrots and fennel, etc so they are a very important part of our spring menus until other root vegetables are ready for harvest.  To prolong the shelf life, separate the greens from the roots with a knife and store separately in plastic bags in your refrigerator.

To prepare the turnips for use, separate the roots from the greens and wash both well to remove any dirt.  Salad turnips have such a thin exterior layer, they do not need to be peeled.  They are delicious eaten raw in a salad, or just munch on them with dip or hummus.  You can also cook these turnips, but remember to keep the cooking time short as it doesn’t take much to cook them to fork tender.  You can simply sautè them in butter, stir-fry or roast them.  The greens may be added to raw salads, or lightly sautè or wilt them in a little butter.  When cooking baby white turnips, remember to keep the cooking time short and the preparation simple.  Cook them just until they are fork tender. You can also stir-fry or roast them and they are a nice addition to light and simple spring soups.  

Spring Celebration Bowl 

Yield: 4 servings

This recipe is from Andrea Bemis’s book, Dishing Up the Dirt.  Andrea is a farmer on the west coast and here’s her intro to this recipe:  “I like to cook up big batches of grains along with a few sauces or salad dressings on Sundays.  This makes weekday mealtime (specifically lunch) really easy for us.  Lunch is the toughest meal of the day because I have no prep time—but a simple bowl of grains, some veggies, fried egg, and a sauce makes for a stress-free and energizing midday meal.  This soul-soothing bowl truly celebrates the bounty of spring.”

Tahini Miso Dressing
¼ cup tahini
1 Tbsp white miso
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup warm water, plus more to thin if necessary
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Celebration Bowl
1 cup dry quinoa
¾ to 1 pound asparagus
2 cups sugar snap peas*
Turnips from one bunch of baby white turnips, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus additional for frying eggs
4 eggs
3 to 4 red radishes, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, minced
¼ cup sesame seeds

1.     Prepare the dressing.  Whisk together tahini, miso, and lemon juice with an immersion blender or hand whisk.  Slowly add ¼ cup warm water, adding more, if necessary, until you reach your desired consistency.  I like this dressing on the thicker side but feel free to add more water for a thinner sauce.  Season with pepper and set it aside.
2.    Prepare the quinoa according to the package instructions.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Toss the asparagus, sugar snap peas, and turnips with the oil.  Place them on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until they are lightly browned and tender, 18 to 20 minutes.  Toss veggies halfway through cooking.
3.    When you’re almost ready to serve, fry your eggs.  Heat a little olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium.  When the oil is hot, crack in the eggs.  Cook until the whites are set and the yolks are still slightly runny, about 5 minutes.
4.    To assemble, spoon quinoa into the bowls.  Top each serving with roasted veggies, radishes, cilantro, and sesame seeds.  Drizzle with the dressing and place a fried egg on top.

*Note From Chef Andrea:  This recipe is very easy to adapt.  I didn’t have quinoa, so I used short grain brown rice instead.  We don’t have sugar snap peas yet, so in place of those I added steamed turnip greens.  Use what you have in season and adapt this recipe as needed to match what’s seasonal and available!

Turnip Greens Pesto Pizza

Yield: 4 Servings (One 12 to 14 inch pizza)

Turnip Green Pesto
Turnip greens from one bunch baby white turnips, roughly chopped
1 garlic scape or 1 stalk green garlic, chopped
¼ cup pine nuts or pumpkin seeds, toasted
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp lemon juice
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to thin if necessary
Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil
Turnips from one bunch baby white turnips, thinly sliced
1 ball of pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
½ cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
4 oz cooked bacon or sautèed mushrooms (optional)

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add all of the ingredients for the pesto (except the oil).  Process until a paste is formed.  With the motor running slowly add the oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 475° F.  Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced turnips and cook for about 1 minute per side (you may need to do this in batches).
  3. Roll out your pizza dough onto a pizza stone or pizza pan.  Spread the pesto on top of the crust and layer on the sliced turnips, bacon or mushrooms if using either, both cheeses, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.  Bake in the oven until the crust is golden and crisp and the cheese is bubbling.  About 13-15 minutes.
  4. Remove the pizza from the oven.  Slice and serve.
Recipe adapted from Andrea Bemis's Blog, Dishing Up the Dirt.

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