Cooking With This Week's Box
Purple Daikon Radish: Soy-Pickled Daikon (see below); Daikon Apple Slaw (see below)
Yellow Onions: Caramelized Onion Dip; (Freezable) Stuffing with Caramelized Onions & Kale; Sweet N’ Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Cider Caramelized Onions & Bacon
Orange Carrots: Carrot Fries with Curry Dipping Sauce
Brulee or Butterscotch Butternut Squash: Vegan Butternut Black Bean Nachos; Sweet N’ Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Cider Caramelized Onions & Bacon
Baby Bok Choi: Congee with Chicken and Greens (see below); Congee in an Instant Pot; Vegan One-Pot Ginger-Scallion Ramen Noodles
Red Mustard: Congee with Chicken and Greens (see below); 10 Ways to Use Mustard Greens; Vegan One-Pot Ginger-Scallion Ramen Noodles
Cilantro: Vegan Butternut Black Bean Nachos; Cilantro Lime Rice; Congee with Chicken and Greens (see below)
|Congee in an Instant Pot, photo from smithsonianapa.org|
I love learning about new vegetables, and this week we have another purple beauty to share with you! In this week’s box you’ll find beautiful bright purple daikon radish. Some people love radishes and others are still learning to like them. If you’re in the latter group, I hope you’ll stick with me and hear me out. This is a delicious and beautiful radish to eat! Daikon radishes originated in Asia, so it’s fitting to go to Asian cultures to figure out what to do with them. One of this week’s featured recipes is for Soy-Pickled Daikon (see below). These are so very easy to make, so if you don’t do anything else with the daikon, at least make this recipe. These pickles can hang out in your refrigerator and you can eat them in small quantities as a condiment with vegetables, meat or grains. While there is some vinegar in the brine, they are more sweet and salty as opposed to sour or overly acidic. In traditional Chinese cuisine pickled vegetables such as these are often served with rice porridge, which leads me to the next featured recipe, Congee with Chicken and Greens (see below). I thought this was a fitting recipe to go along with the Soy-Pickled Daikon since Congee is rice porridge! There is no one single recipe for Congee as it is one of those common household recipes that everyone puts their own spin on. This version includes chicken and greens, which could be bok choi, red mustard or kale from this week’s box. Feel free to make it your own and garnish it with whatever toppings you like, such as cilantro which is also in this week’s box. Serve it with some of these pretty Soy-Pickled Daikon on the side. Congee is simple to make but has a long cooking time. If you want something that is more “set it and forget it,” check out this recipe for Congee in an Instant Pot. I’ve also included a simple recipe for Daikon Apple Slaw (see below). This is a crunchy, fresh salad with a light vinaigrette. The tartness of this salad would make it a good accompaniment to fatty, rich foods such as short ribs or grilled chicken thighs.
|Brussels Sprouts Ceasar Salad, photo by Alpha Smoot for food52.com|
We’re excited to be sending the first Brussels sprouts this week! Use them to make Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts, or use them raw and turn them into this Brussels Sprouts Casear Salad! Make sure you cut this recipe in half because it calls for 2 pounds of Brussels Sprouts and you only have 1 pound in your box. This will then serve 3 to 4.
Now that we’ve seen the first snowfall, soups are going to become more of a regular part of our weekly meals, starting with this Silky Ginger Sweet Potato Soup. This is a good recipe to hang on to and make throughout the winter as it will warm you both by its temperature as well as the warming ginger. If you want something a little more hearty, use sweet potatoes to make Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili.
|Vegan Butternut Black Bean Nachos|
photo from thefullhelping.com
Did you see the cute little butternut squash we have this week!? These cuties are delicious just simply baked, but if you want to do something more with them, turn them into Vegan Butternut Black Bean Nachos. The nachos are topped with chunks of roasted butternut and there is a sauce, reminiscent of nacho cheese sauce, made from pureed butternut squash. If nachos aren’t your thing this week, maybe pizza is? If so, here’s a knock-your-socks-off recipe for Sweet N’ Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Cider Caramelized Onions & Bacon. There’s a lot happening on this pizza, but all of it will be well worth your time!
Every now and again you just need a simple meal of a good, homemade burger. What goes with burgers? Fries! Jazz up burger night with Carrot Fries with Curry Dipping Sauce! Life is about balance though, so now that we’ve had our fill of (healthy) nachos, pizza and burgers, lets make sure we eat our greens too! We are nearing the end of greens season, so lets make the most of these last fresh ones. Not sure what to do with red mustard? Check out this article and find “10 ways to Use Mustard Greens”. If you don’t use them to make congee, you could also use either red mustard or this week’s baby bok choi to make this recipe for Vegan One-Pot Ginger-Scallion Ramen Noodles. This is simple, warming, nourishing, and who doesn’t love noodles!
|(Freezable) Stuffing with Caramelized Onions & Kale|
photo by Rocky Luten for food52.com
Don’t forget the lacinato kale! Have a spaghetti squash hanging around, use it to make Spaghetti Squash with Kale Pesto. Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, so you could also get a jump start on cooking for the big day and use the kale to make (Freezable) Stuffing with Caramelized Onions & Kale. While you’re caramelizing onions, you might as well do some extra and turn them into Caramelized Onion Dip. You could pre-caramelize the onions, freeze them, and then make the dip the day before Thanksgiving. You have to have snacks to munch on while watching football, right!?
That’s a wrap for this week. I’ll see you back next week with one more fresh from the field green and we’ll get started on planning for Thanksgiving! Have a good week—Chef Andrea
Vegetable Feature: Purple Daikon
by Andrea Yoder
It’s been several years since we included daikon radish in CSA boxes, but you know we have an obsession with gorgeous purple vegetables and couldn’t resist trying this purple daikon! This is our first year growing this variety, called bora king. Its beautiful purple color, which extends through to the center, is what first caught our attention, but it has some other great qualities as well. First of all, it’s much smaller than traditional white daikon radish that can grow to be more than 12 inches long! It’s hard for a small family to eat that much radish and white daikon is one vegetable I don’t like to have remnants of hanging out in my refrigerator due to its pungent aroma. This purple daikon, however, is much smaller which makes it more manageable to use. It also has a delicious, slightly sweet, balanced radish flavor. It does still taste like daikon, but I think it’s a little more balanced flavor than some white daikon that can be pretty pungent.
Daikon radishes are classified as a winter storage radish and are an important part of many traditional cultures throughout Asia. Because of its ability to be stored, it’s an important winter food both because it’s available but also because it is high in nutrients including vitamin C which can help keep us strong and healthy throughout the cold winter. Radishes are actually one of the oldest cultivated food crops and there are literally thousands of different varieties. In the book, Roots, by Diane Morgan, she cites the following history: “Radishes are likely indigenous to Europe and Asia and are believed to have been first cultivated in the eastern Mediterranean before 2000 B.C., probably in Egypt, where they were reportedly included in the daily rations, along with onions and garlic, given to the workers who built the pyramids.”
Now that we’ve talked about congee, lets get back to daikon! Daikon radish may also be used in salads and other fresh condiments, often paired with other vegetables and dressed with a light sauce or vinaigrette. Daikon radishes are also used in stir-fries and braised dishes. It was interesting to learn that in some areas of China daikon is used in braised stews and soups, such as what would be equivalent to our beef stew. Whereas we would use potatoes, they often use chunks of daikon radish. Of course, remember daikon has a lot of nutritive value, so adding it to hearty broths and stews is a great way to fortify the soup. Daikon radishes are also traditionally used in Korean kim chi, which is once again an important food to eat both for nourishment and health throughout the winter.
Store daikon radish in the refrigerator, loosely wrapped in plastic to keep it from dehydrating. It will store for at least 4-6 weeks if not longer.
Soy-Pickled Daikon Radish
“Pickling in soy brine is one of China’s ancient methods of preserving vegetables. Any firm vegetable can be used for pickling once its moisture is leached out using salt and sugar.”
1 medium or 2 small purple daikon radish (12 oz)
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
Soy Pickling Brine
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp white rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
- Peel the daikon radish (just remove a thin outer layer) and slice it very thin (for the best results, use a mandoline to slice them). Put the daikon slices in a medium bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Stir the daikon well to make sure the salt is applied evenly and let it marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature. At this point the moisture will have bled out of the daikon and collected in the bottom of the bowl. Squeeze as much of the liquid out of the daikon as possible and discard all the liquid.
- Sprinkle the sugar over the daikon and mix well. Let the daikon marinate for another 30 minutes at room temperature. As with the salt, a pool of liquid will form at the bottom of the bowl. Once again squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible and discard all the liquid.
- Add the ingredients for the soy pickling brine to the daikon and mix well. Transfer the daikon and brine to a storage container, cover, and refrigerate at least overnight or for up to a month.
- Serve the pickled radish in a small bowl with some of the soy brine.
Recipe borrowed from Phoenix Claw and Jade Trees, by Kian Lam Kho.
Congee with Chicken and Greens
“Congee is a smooth rice porridge, and it’s really all about the toppings. Even in its plainest form, however, it’s wonderful. Top with hot sesame oil, Kimchi, scallions, soy sauce, sesame seeds, cilantro, or anything else that calls to you.”
|photo from eatingfromthegroundup.com|
1 cup white rice
10 cups water, stock, or whey
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 boneless, skinless single chicken breasts (4 to 6 oz each)
1 ½ cups tender greens, cut into thin ribbons (spinach, tatsoi, bok choi, mustard greens, or any other green you have on hand)
- Combine the rice and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium low, and cover. Cook for 1 ½ hours, stirring every so often. It will seem like there is too much liquid and not enough rice, but it will thicken. When it does, add 2 tsp of the salt.
- Rub the remaining tsp of salt over the chicken breasts. Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken into thin slices, about ½ inch. Add them to the pot, stirring the chicken into the hot rice. Stir in the greens. Continue to cook until the chicken turns white and the greens are soft, about 5 minutes.
Note from Chef Andrea: As indicated in the introduction, you can garnish congee with any additional ingredients you’d like. I’d recommend some chopped cilantro on top and serve it with the Soy-Pickled Purple Daikon Radishes on the side!
- For a coconut congee, replace 2 cups of the liquid with a can of coconut milk.
- Replace the chicken with sliced pork tenderloin or tofu.
Recipe borrowed from The Homemade Kitchen, by Alana Chernila.
Daikon and Apple Slaw
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Sesame Seed Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
3 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp sambal oelek (or any other chili-garlic sauce)
1 tsp sea salt
2 green onions, including green tops, thinly sliced (or substitute thinly sliced red onion)
1 large crisp apple such as Granny Smith
12 oz daikon radish, peeled (2 small or 1 medium)
- To make the vinaigrette, using a mortar and a pestle or a spice grinder, grind the sesame seeds to a powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground sesame, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, oil, sesame oil, sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce, and salt. Add the onions and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Peel, half, and core the apple and cut into sticks about 3 inches long and ¼ inch thick and wide. As the apple sticks are cut, add them to the dressing and stir to coat to prevent browning. Peel the daikon and cut into sticks the same size. Stir to combine the apples and daikon with the vinaigrette. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover and refrigerate until chilled before serving, about 30 minutes. (The salad will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.)
Recipe adapted from Roots, by Diane Morgan.