Wednesday, December 16, 2020

December 17, 2020 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Beauty Heart Radishes!

Cooking With This Week's Box

Beauty Heart Radishes: Beauty Heart Radish Toast with Cream Cheese, Lemon and Honey (see below); Beauty Heart Radishes with Garlic, Brown Butter & Rosemary (see below)

Italian Garlic: Beauty Heart Radishes with Garlic, Brown Butter & Rosemary (see below); Cheesy Cabbage Gratin; Roasted Sunchokes with Hazelnut Gremolata

Red and/or Yellow Onions: Caramelized Onion Galette

Friends, welcome to the final Cooking With the Box article for the 2020 CSA season. We have made it to the final season, winter.  Your seasonal eating adventure is nearly complete.  Think about all the meals you’ve made, the new recipes you’ve tried and the vast array of plants you’ve consumed!  This week we’re featuring the gorgeous beauty heart radish and we’re keeping it very simple.  The first recipe is for Beauty Heart Radish Toast with Cream Cheese, Lemon and Honey (see below).  A piece of this toast is a good way to start your day, and of course you could serve it with a fried egg.  You could also enjoy this as a light lunch or make smaller portions and serve them more as an appetizer.  The other recipe is for Beauty Heart Radishes with Garlic, Brown Butter & Rosemary (see below).  This dish comes together on the stovetop and could be the focus of a vegetarian meal or a side dish.

Red Cabbage Slaw with Beets
photo from
Now that we are finished harvesting “greens” from the field we will rely on cabbage to be our “green” for the rest of the winter.  Some boxes this week may receive red cabbage.  If you do, use it to make this Red Cabbage Slaw with Beets.  This is a beautiful slaw featuring red cabbage along with red beets, apples and dried cranberries.  You could also make Asian Style Pork Nachos with Red Cabbage.  This is an interesting spin on nachos which uses wonton wrappers as the “nacho” that is topped with a flavorful ground pork mixture along with the cabbage.  If you receive the green savoy cabbage, use it to make this humble Stewed Cabbage, Apples & White Beans.  This dish is a one pan vegetarian main dish creation, but it could also be served as a side dish.  The other recipe I want to mention is for Cheesy Cabbage Gratin, in honor of Richard who thinks cabbage and cream are a natural pairing!

In the course of searching for beauty heart radish recipes this week I stumbled across an awesome vegetable focused blog, It’s a Veg World Afterall.  As I started poking around to see what was here, I kept discovering recipe after recipe for items in our box.  You really should go check out this site as there are a lot of great vegetable recipes such as these Oatmeal Raisin Sweet Potato Cookies.  These cookies are gluten free and have some extra added protein from peanut butter.  I think they are healthy enough to make it ok to eat them for breakfast!  I also found this recipe for BBQ Lentils with Shredded Carrots.  This is a vegetarian take on shredded barbeque pork, except it is all plant based with lentils and carrots as the main bulk.

Herbed Carrot and Swede (Rutabaga) Mash
photo from
I have a few more recipes from  If you haven’t used the rutabaga from your last box yet, use it to make Herbed Carrot and Swede (Rutabaga) Mash.  If you’re not sure what to do with kohlrabi, consider making these Sage Brown Butter Kohlrabi Noodles.  You can make the kohlrabi “noodles” using a spiralizer, or just make very long, thin sticks of kohlrabi.  If you don’t know how to cut and peel kohlrabi, check out this video: How to Peel Kohlrabi.

There are a few other kohlrabi recipes I want to mention.  Earlier this year we featured this recipe for Kohlrabi Custard which was shared with us by a member.  I also really like Andrea Bemis’s recipe for Kohlrabi & Chickpea Salad.  Both of these recipes are simple to make, but very delicious.  Of course, you could also shred the kohlrabi and use it to make Kohlrabi Hash Browns which may be served for breakfast or serve them for dinner alongside grilled or roasted meat.

If you are not familiar with sunchokes, I really encourage you to take a few minutes to read our past Sunchoke Vegetable Feature Article.  The key to a successful sunchoke experience is moderation!  I like to eat sunchokes in small portions, more as a condiment such as in this Chili and Lime Sunchoke Salsa which may be served as a topping for tacos or with grilled or sautéed fish or chicken.  Another popular recipe from one of our past newsletters is for Chili-Roasted Sunchokes.  You can make this using all sunchokes, or you could use half sunchokes and half potato or other root vegetable if you want to start small.  The same concept can be applied to this tasty recipe for Roasted Sunchokes with Hazelnut Gremolata.  The recipe calls for 2# sunchokes.  Your boxes only have about 1.25#, so I recommend using one pound sunchokes and one pound carrots for this recipe which should serve 4 to 6 people.

Roasted Sunchokes with Hazelnut Gremolata
photo from
Horseradish whips may be another less familiar vegetable for you.  If you’re not sure what to do with horseradish, I’d suggest starting with this recipe for Prepared Horseradish.  This is a way of preserving the horseradish in a vinegar mixture which stabilizes the flavor.  Once you have made prepared horseradish, you can add it to a lot of different things, such as stirring it into mayonnaise to spread on a sandwich or use it to make these Bacon Horseradish Deviled Eggs.  You could also use horseradish to make this tasty Horseradish Sour Cream Dip to serve with chips or crackers, other vegetables, or serve it with roast beef.  Horseradish could come in handy around New Year’s if you use it to make your own homemade Seafood Cocktail Sauce to serve with shrimp at your New Year’s Eve celebration!  If you’d like to read more about horseradish and ways to utilize it, check out Saveur magazine’s article “One Ingredient Many Ways”.

One-Pot Kabocha and Chickpea Curry
You don’t have to be in a hurry to use the Testsukaboto winter squash in this week’s box.  It will store for quite awhile.  When you are ready to use it, I’d recommend making this simple Winter Squash Soup with Ginger, Turmeric and Miso that we featured earlier this year.  This recipe for Kabocha Squash Bread with Toasted Walnut Cinnamon Swirl is one of my favorites for utilizing squash such as this variety.  You also can’t go wrong with this One-Pot Kabocha and Chickpea Curry.

Last month we made squash and pumpkin pies, this month I think we should make carrot pie!  I found two tasty recipe ideas for you including this Pecan Topped Carrot Pie and this simple Homemade Spiced Carrot Pie.  If you don’t want to use your carrots for these decadent desserts, you could use them to make this savory Gingery Carrot Stew with Peanuts and Cilantro or this Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Stew.

Sweet Potato Fried with
Maple Mustard Dipping Sauce
photo from
We’re nearly at the end of the box, but you might still have some sweet potatoes lingering on your counter.  If you have some of the long skinny sweet potatoes or some ‘baby bakers,’ use them to make these Sweet Potato Fries with Maple Mustard Dipping Sauce.  Serve them alongside a sandwich, or eat them more appetizer style for your next movie night!  Lastly, if you have a pile of onions and don’t know what to do with them, use them to make this Caramelized Onion Galette.

And with that I believe we’ve reached the bottom of another CSA box and the end of another CSA season.   I truly hope you’ve enjoyed your experience and we look forward to meeting you back here in this space again in 2021.  I wish you nothing less than a peaceful winter’s rest.  Happy Holidays!—Chef Andrea

Vegetable Feature: Beauty Heart Radishes

By Chef Andrea

Creamy white to green on the outside with brilliant hot pink flesh on the inside….stunning and vibrant are the words that come to mind when I consider the best way to describe this unique vegetable.  Beauty heart radishes are one of several winter storage radishes we rely on this time of the year.  Storage radishes differ from common fresh red radishes in several ways.  First, they are more durable and dense with a thicker outer skin, all qualities that improve their storage potential.  Storage radishes are intended to be stored through the winter months, so it makes sense that they would be grown for harvest in the fall.  Their flavor is more balanced and desirable after they’ve had some cold fall nights, yet another reason to grow them in this season.  While the green tops of storage radishes are edible, you seldom see these radishes with their tops as they are typically removed at the time of harvest.  In contrast, those little red radishes are usually sold with the green tops still attached which is an indicator of freshness.

Beauty Heart Radish &
Sesame Seed Salad
Radishes are an important part of many cultures in Asia including Chinese, Korean and Japanese.  It’s amazing to look at all the different shapes, colors and sizes of radishes grown in these countries.  Richard started growing beauty heart radishes back in his early farming days in the early 70’s.  He had never had this radish, but he was scanning any seed catalog he could find looking for the unique vegetables no one else was growing.  He has an interesting story to share about how this radish came to be called “Beauty Heart.”  “When we introduced this radish to the Midwest, it was called ‘green skin/red flesh,’ accurate, but not a particularly poetic name!  One of our farmer’s market customers from Korea recognized the radish and shared the Korean name with us, which translates to ‘beauty heart.’  We thought this name was much more fitting to the radish so we called them beauty heart radishes from then on.  At that time, beauty heart radishes really weren’t being grown commercially, but as their popularity started to grow and more producers started growing them commercially, we started to see ‘watermelon radishes’ coming out of California.  ‘Red Meat’ is another name used for this radish, amongst others.  But for us and much of the Midwest, this radish will hopefully always remain ‘Beauty Heart!’

Spicy Roasted Beauty Heart Radishes
with Carrots & Tahini
photo by Vicky for
Beauty heart radishes are more mild than many winter storage radishes and you’ll even notice a bit of sweetness in them as well.  They may be eaten both raw and cooked.  Their flavor is more pungent when raw and a lot of the radish bite is in the outer skin.  If you want to tame them down a bit, peel away a thin layer of the skin and/or salt them.  Beauty heart radishes are beautiful in salads, sliced thinly and added to sandwiches, pickled, or included on a vegetable platter.  We like to eat slices of beauty heart radishes with slices of cheese instead of a cracker.  But raw is not the only way to eat them.  You can add them to winter stir-fries, roast and sauté them, or add them to soups and stews.  When cooked, their flavor mellows even further.  So if you are not a radish lover, do yourself a favor and try preparing them with a cooked method.

Store beauty heart radishes in the refrigerator loosely wrapped in a plastic bag to keep them from dehydrating.  They will store for months, although they may not look so pretty after awhile.  Trust me, they’ll still be good on the inside.  Just give them a scrub and peel away the outer skin before using.

I didn’t really intend to create a list of recipes for beauty heart radishes this week, but I started poking around and I found a lot of tasty recipe ideas I had never seen before!  So, in addition to the simple recipes in this week’s newsletter, here are seven more to consider trying this winter!

Beauty Heart Radishes with Garlic, Brown Butter & Rosemary

Yield:  4 servings

4 cups diced beauty heart radish
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest, plus the juice of half a lemon
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant and just starting to turn golden.  The oil and butter mixture may be starting to change color slightly as well.  This is perfect, just make sure the garlic doesn’t get too brown or it will become bitter.  
  2. Once the garlic starts to turn golden, immediately add the beauty heart radishes and rosemary to the pan along with a few pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Stir or toss to combine and coat the beauty heart pieces with the oil.  Put a lid on the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The amount of cooking time will depend on how soft you prefer your vegetables.  
  3. Once the radishes are almost at the point where they are cooked to your liking, add the juice of about half a lemon.  Cook for just a few more minutes, then remove from the heat.  The lemon juice will combine with the oil/butter mixture to make a light glaze to coat the radishes.    
  4. Adjust seasoning to your liking with additional lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Serve immediately on their own, or with steamed rice.
Recipe inspired by a similar one sourced from

Beauty Heart Radish Toast with Cream Cheese, Lemon and Honey

Yield:  2 servings

⅔ cup cream cheese
One medium lemon*
2 slices really good bread 
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small to medium beauty heart radish, very thinly sliced
Honey, to drizzle
  1. Put cream cheese in a small bowl.  Wash the lemon and remove the zest using a grater, zester, or a vegetable peeler.  If the zest is not already finely grated, do so using a knife.  Add lemon zest to the cream cheese and stir to combine.  Cut two wedges from the lemon and set aside.
  2. Put bread in a toaster and toast to desired doneness.
  3. Immediately spread some of the cream cheese on each slice of toast.  Arrange slices of beauty heart radish on top of each toast.  Add a touch of freshly ground black pepper and drizzle each toast with honey.
  4. Serve the toast with a lemon wedge on the side.  These are best eaten immediately with just a little squeeze of the lemon juice.
*If Meyer lemons are in season and available, this is the variety of lemon I recommend.  If they are not available, use a “regular” lemon.
Recipe by Chef Andrea, Harmony Valley Farm

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