Cooking With This Week's Box
Green Top Red & Diana Radishes:
|Radish "Mock-Potato" Salad|
photo from itsavegworldafterall.com
Welcome to Week 2 of Cooking Out of the Box! For those of you who are just joining us for the first week, I’m Chef Andrea and you’ll find me here every week! The purpose of this article is to provide you with a few ideas for how you might use each item in your CSA box each week. This week we’re featuring Sorrel, a tangy spring green that we grow as a perennial crop. In this week’s newsletter I shared two of our most popular recipes for sorrel that we have published in past newsletters, Frosty Sorrel & Banana Smoothie as well as Sorrel Hummus. If you don’t look any further than these recipes this week and make one or both of these, I guarantee you will not be disappointed! I also shared a new recipe I found for Sorrel and Blue Cheese Smørbrød (Engsyresmørbrød med Blåmuggost) which is super easy to make. All you need is good bread, good butter, good cheese and some good honey paired with this week’s sorrel. Assemble and enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
This week’s collection of recipes also includes several ideas for how to use the generous bunch of chives! Don’t let them go to waste when you can easily turn them into preparations that can be frozen or are shelf stable so you can use them later! We’re happy to be sharing baby arugula and the first of our fresh green top radishes with you this week! If you were planning to cut the radishes off the tops and throw the tops away, DON’T! The tops are edible and packed with valuable nutrients! Turn them into a tasty Radish Top Pesto and toss it with pasta!
|Nettle & Honey Cake|
photo from northwildkitchen.com
This will be our final week for nettles. I stumbled across a few new recipes including nettles including a tasty risotto as well as nettle cake. That’s right, bake those greens right into a cake! Part of the fun with cooking out of a CSA box is trying new ways of preparing vegetables. I wasn’t so sure about putting greens into baked goods, but it works and is a great way for those who don’t typically like green vegetables to enjoy them!
I hope you have fun with this week’s box and don’t forget to share your cooking adventures in our Facebook group! Looking ahead to next week, we’re hoping the Baby White Turnips will be ready and we’re planning to include the beautiful Hon Tsai Tai as the cooking green! Have a great week!---Chef Andrea
Vegetable Feature: Sorrel
By: Chef Andrea Yoder
Description: Sorrel is a unique perennial plant we look forward to every spring and is amongst the first greens of the season. It belongs to the Knotweed family of plants, which also includes such plants as rhubarb and buckwheat. Sorrel leaves have a pointy, arrow shape and are thick in texture and bright green in color with pinkish stems. You’ll recognize sorrel by its tart and citrus-like flavor if you nibble on a raw leaf. It has a bright flavor that will call your taste buds to attention!
Preparation & Use: Sorrel may be used in a wide variety of preparations and may be eaten either raw or cooked. Raw sorrel can be tannic and leave your mouth with a dry feeling, similar to drinking a tannic full-bodied red wine. Therefore, sorrel in its raw form is often used more as a seasoning or to compliment other ingredients. Raw sorrel can brighten any salad and is excellent when blended into cold sauces, vinaigrettes, dressings or dips. When cooked, sorrel behaves in a very interesting way. First, its color changes from bright green to a drab olive green almost immediately. Don’t worry, this happens to everyone and it’s just the way it is with sorrel! The other unusual thing about sorrel is how it “melts” when added to hot liquids. The leaves will almost immediately change color and then start to soften. The longer it’s cooked, the more the leaves break apart and you can stir it into a coarse sauce. This is one of the reasons it’s often used in soups and sauces.
|Pasta with Sorrel Butter & Nettles|
The tart, citrus-like flavor of sorrel pairs well with many other spring vegetables such as ramps, asparagus, spinach, sunchokes, and parsnips. The acidity of sorrel makes it a natural companion to more rich foods such as cream, butter, sour cream, yogurt, duck, and fatty fish (salmon & mackerel). Additionally, it pairs well with more “earthy” foods such as lentils, rice, buckwheat, mushrooms and potatoes. As with many other spring vegetables, sorrel pairs well with eggs and is often used in quiche, scrambled eggs, custard, etc. Don’t be afraid to think “outside of the box” and incorporate this green into beverages too!
Storage: Store sorrel in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Wash well in cold water and dry it well before using it.
Frosty Sorrel & Banana Smoothie
¾ cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk
1 frozen banana, peeled and cut into chunks
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
7-8 ice cubes
½ bunch sorrel (approximately 3 oz), leaves and stems roughly chopped
- Put all ingredients in a blender in the order listed above. Put the cover on the blender and, with the blender on low speed, turn it on. Gradually increase the speed of the blender and blend until the mixture is smooth and bright green.
- Serve immediately in a chilled glass.
Note: While this smoothie is best served immediately while it’s frosty, you can store it in the refrigerator for a day or so and it will still be delicious. It may separate a little bit, but it will come together again if you just give it a good shake before you drink it.
Recipe by: Chef Andrea Yoder, Harmony Valley Farm. This recipe was previously published, however it is one of the most popular sorrel recipes so we’re sharing it again!
2 garlic cloves
1 ½ oz sorrel leaves, roughly chopped (approximately 1 cup)
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (one-15 oz can)
¼ cup tahini
Grated zest of 1 organic lemon
1 ½ Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt, plus more if desired
1 ½ tsp raw honey or pure maple syrup
¼ cup water
Cold-pressed olive oil, for serving*
- Put the garlic in a food processor and pulse to mince. Add the sorrel, chickpeas, tahini, lemon zest and juice, salt, honey, and ¼ cup water, and blend on the highest setting until smooth. Season with more salt if needed.
- Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl, drizzle olive oil over the top, and serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Note: If you are using the hummus as a spread, add 1 ½ tsp olive oil to the food processor and blend it into the hummus.
Serving Suggestions: This sorrel hummus is delicious served with pita bread, corn chips or fresh vegetables as an appetizer or snack. You can also use it as a spread for sandwiches, flat bread or wraps. When we tested this recipe, we chose to spread the sorrel hummus on a tortilla and stuffed it with fresh spinach and diced raw asparagus tossed with a little drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. The hummus is bright and lemony and in Farmer Richard’s words.... “also rich & creamy. I like the contrast of the crispy asparagus with the creamy hummus.” This spread goes well with any spring vegetable including radishes, green onions, blanched nettles, baby white turnips and more!
Recipe Source: This recipe was borrowed from Sarah Britton’s beautiful cookbook, My New Roots. This book was just released 10 2015 and it’s packed full of nourishing plant-based recipes organized by the season. Sarah also has a blog by the same name, My New Roots ( www.mynewroots.org). Her recipes are vegetarian and often vegan friendly, although they are also adaptable to include in meals for meat-eaters as well. Another bonus of both her book and her blog…..the gorgeous pictures!
This recipe was previously published, however it is one of the most popular sorrel recipes so we’re sharing it again!
Sorrel & Blue Cheese Smørbrød (Engsyresmørbrød med Blåmuggost)
A handful of sorrel leaves, rinsed
Firm blue cheese
Handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
Butter, for spreading
Slice the bread. Spread each slice with butter, then top with a couple of sorrel leaves, some blue cheese, a couple of walnuts and then drizzle the top with a good honey. You can also serve these as appetizers.
Recipe from www.northwildkitchen.com