Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Click here to go to the recipe database.How did everyone enjoy their first tender fava-bean pods? They're going to start coming in regularly, and getting bigger, so soon you'll be graduating to using just the beans within! But I think not quite yet... maybe next week they'll be big enough for this? Meanwhile, let's look at what's new this week:Tatsoi/Mizuna mix
Tatsoi and Mizuna are both Asian greens and what some might call 'bitter greens' - 'bitter' being an actual flavor, not meaning "bad", as many have come to think the term. Tatsoi has little round leaves, and mizuna's are spikey and long, somewhat like arugula only spikier!
If the greens you get are young and tender, they will work great as salad greens; with this heat-wave we are having, however, I don't know how quickly they will mature, and if they are on the mature side, they're probably better as a cooking green, although nothing is set in stone. Sometimes I'll get a bag of greens such as these, and there will be some of each... if that's the case, I just pick out the tender/smaller leaves and throw them into my salad, then keep the bigger ones for cooking!As a salad green
, bitter greens go great with some sort of fruit or fruity dressing. Mix them together with some torn-up lettuce, and maybe some thinly sliced radish; slice up some strawberries or peel and section up some orange and toss them in, maybe with some toasted nuts, maybe with a little feta cheese, and toss with your favorite fruity-dressing! Like what? I can hear some of you saying... like:
Combine some balsamic or fig vinegar, a dab of Dijon mustard a little bit of salt, and a nice nut oil (I like roasted walnut), or olive oil is fine too. Optionally you can embellish this with a dab of honey, or some honey and a squeeze of lemon juice. Or if you're throwing chunks of orange into your salad (which would go well!), squeeze a little of the juice into your dressing. Sometimes just the juice left on your cutting board can be carefully poured into your dressing cup!
A really simple Asian-fruity-compatible dressing is simply seasoned rice vinegar (already has sweet and salty in it), and a little oil. You can embellish this by adding a little sesame oil and sprinkling on sesame seeds. You can put in a small jot of soy sauce. You could even put in a little chili-sauce for a zip!If you cook with them
, steam or sauté them much like you would other dark leafy greens. Here's what I wrote about using them two years ago:Mizuna or Tatsoi in Coconut oil with Soy and Garlic
Yes I made this one up! - Debbie
I discovered coconut oil for cooking; this healthy saturated tropical vegetable oil contains large quantities of lauric acid (which is also found in mother's milk; strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties) and is stable and can be kept at room temperature for many months without becoming rancid. [For more information about this, and lots of other good information, I recommend a book called "Nourishing Traditions - the cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats" by Sally Fallon.] Anyway, the other thing I like about it other than its healthy qualities, is the fragrance and flavor it adds to stir-fried veggies!
So, have your mizuna or tatsoi washed and standing by (a little water still clinging is good). Melt a spoonful of coconut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat (it smells great!); crush a clove of garlic into the fat and stir/sizzle a few moments [or this time of year, since we're getting it, slice up and use some of your green garlic!], then add the greens and stir-fry until they have mostly wilted. Splash in some soy sauce and stir-fry until wilted to your liking. Turn off heat and hold until you're ready to eat. This is so good!Here's another way to use the mizuna, along with arugula. This is courtesy of Molly and Taylor, our two farm interns this year:Molly and Taylor's Mizuna Arugula and Raw Beet saladsalad
grated raw beet [though we're not getting any more beets for awhile, you probably still have some in your fridge, don't you?]dressing
cider vinegar (or if you want to use balsamic, use a little less, as it is stronger)
dijon mustard (a good spoonful)
salt and pepperoptional
: grated parmesan or crumbled feta cheese
Take 2 good-sized handfuls each of mizuna and arugula and toss in a bowl. Scrub well or peel a beet, and grate it into the bowl on top of the greens. Combine dressing ingredients and toss everything together. Top with optional cheese.Arugula
I absolutely adore arugula! It is a wonderful peppery green which, like the tatsoi and mizuna, also goes great with fruity things. In the summer, I love it with our sweet, dry-farmed tomatoes or sun-gold cherry tomatoes... but we don't have them right now, so work with what you have: strawberries!! Arugula as a salad green goes great with strawberries too. So feel free to experiment with your arugula and Asian greens in various combinations or on their own. Meanwhile, here is a different way to use arugula, from long-time member and seasoned cook Farrell Podgorsek:Farrell's Arugula Pesto
Farrell says, "This would be great served on crackers, on pasta or pizza or on top of cooked fish for a nice dinner. The recipe is modified from the 'Hell's Backbone Grill cookbook'. The spinach tempers the sharpness of the arugula. Feel free to use only arugula if you prefer."
1/2 lb. arugula/spinach (I used one bag of each)
1 1/2 tbsp. salt - less if pumpkin seeds are salted
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 to 4 roasted red peppers
3/4 C toasted pine nuts
1/2 C unsalted toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 to 1 C olive oil
Blend everything in the food processor. If serving on pasta, add greater quantity of oil to thin it out. Freeze in ice cubes trays or flat in a plastic zipper bag until ready to use.This is one of my favorite ways to prepare broccoli these days (though wait until after the heat wave has passed, which is supposed to be soon!):Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Breadcrumbs
Broccoli cut into florets, stems peeled and cut into equivalent pieces
olive oil, salt and pepper for roasting
butter and olive oil
minced garlic [yes green garlic!] or onion
juice from lemon [remember to zest it first!]
Toss broccoli with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven, about 425 degrees, for 20 minutes or so, until lightly browned.
In a small skillet or saucepan, melt butter and olive oil together. Add garlic or onion and simmer a bit; add lemon zest and breadcrumbs and stir/cook until they begin to crisp and brown. Remove from heat.
Put roasted broccoli in a bowl and squeeze lemon juice over all. Add prepared breadcrumbs and toss together, then serve. Oh this is just so tasty!!
<> You can steam the broccoli instead of roasting it
<> Try adding chopped fresh mint to the breadcrumb mix
<> Try adding grated fresh parmesan to the 'toss' at the endLastly, here's a 'greens' recipe you can use with chard, green garlic and/or leeks. This recipe is courtesy of member Traci Townsend, yet another enthusiastic cook-eater amongst our membership! (Funny, we seem to attract lots of those!)Traci's Sesame Greens
Traci says, "I whipped this up last Sunday and it was *marvelous*. It can be used with any allium [i.e. garlic, onion, leek, shallot] and greens [i.e. chard, kale, collards, beet greens, etc.] combo."
Leeks/onion/green garlic/shallots (this week I used 1 leek and two shallots that I had on hand)
Bunch of greens - big enough to be held in both hands (this week I used chard, kale, & collards - I had a third of a bunch of each, as I split my small share with two other people)
Dry white wine or sherry
Toasted sesame oil
1. Slice up and chop leeks/onions/green garlic/shallots.
2. Coarsely chop the greens all together.
3. Heat the peanut oil in a large frying pan (1 tablespoon should do it).
4. Sauté your allium choice(s) until translucent.
5. Add another bit of oil, let it heat, and add greens. Sauté to almost-desired tenderness.
6. Deglaze the pan with the wine or sherry - about ¼ cup or so. (Smells so good!)
7. Once everything's done to your desired tenderness, finish with sesame oil to taste.
8. Serve over Japanese-style rice. You can also add leftover cooked meats to this.
This served 2. Proportions can be adjusted. Leftovers can be used for a frittata the next morning or as an exotic pizza topping with a very mild cheese (the greens and sesame oil will provide the flavor).