Blessings to everyone. I don't know about you, but I am thrilled to be getting my CSA box again. I have become so reliant on receiving it every week; it was so strange going to the Farmer's Market to buy veggies. Have you been making a lot of soups and stews? This cold weather has me pulling out old and true recipes that are warming and comforting. I am noticing that I am wanting heavier meals as opposed to the light Summer delights I'd been eating. Bring on the potatoes - red, white, purple, sweet, yams - hooray, I am eating them all! And, all the root vegetables and squashes are just delicious now. Kale seems to be more tender, too... hm, time for dinner! Hope you had a peaceful and delicious holiday. I am looking forward to hearing from you; feel free to email me. Wishing you vibrant, healthy eating. Rebecca
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BRUSSELS SPROUTS and TWO CAULIFLOWERS with CAPER-MUSTARD BUTTERThe vegetables:
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 head of white cauliflower
1 head of Romanesco cauliflower
[can use all the same color cauliflower if you want; its just nice to have the contrasting colors]
sea salt and pepperThe caper-mustard butter:
2 cloves garlic
sea salt and pepper
6 tbsp. of unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 C capers, drained
zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp. fresh marjoram, parsley, or oreganoTo make caper butter
1. Pound the garlic with 1/2 the salt in a mortar and pestle until smooth, then combine with the softened butter, the mustard, capers, lemon zest, and fresh herbs. Season with pepper.To prepare the dish
1. Trim stem end of sprouts and peel off any discolored leaves, then cut sprouts in half (or in quarters if large). Cut all the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes, then add the two cauliflowers and cook until tender, about 5 minutes*. Drain well, shaking off any excess water, then toss with the caper butter. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
*[I think I'd cook them all at once, and only for 4 minutes total measured from the time the water returns to a boil; you don't want to over-cook the veggies! You can always cook them longer, but you can't un-cook them if overdone. - Debbie]This next recipe is one of Karen Haralson's - thanks Karen, for this amazing and delicious dish!CELEBRATION RICE
3/4 C short grain brown rice
1/4 C wild rice
2 1/4 C water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 leek, quartered and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 stalk celery, diced
2 small fennel bulbs, diced
8-10 crimini mushrooms, diced
1/2 C dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 to 3/4 C pecans, chopped
1/4 C chopped parsley
1/4 C chopped fennel fronds
1. Combine wild and short-grain rice with water or stock and cook on low heat, covered, for 45-50 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest for 10 minutes before adding to the other ingredients.
2. In a large saute pan, saute the fennel in olive oil over low heat for 7-10 minutes, until the fennel softens and starts to turn golden. Add the celery and leek and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for another 7-10 minutes, or until they are soft.
3. Stir in the parsley and fennel fronds and cook for an additional minute.
4. Fluff the rice with a fork then add it to the vegetables in the pan, stirring to combine well.
5. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cranberries and pecans. WARM ROMANESCO CAULIFLOWER and FENNEL SALAD with CARAMELIZED SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE
2 tbsp. butter
2 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar or any slightly sweet vinegar
1/2 C olive oil, plus more for cooking
2 small heads Romanesco cauliflower, cut vertically into florets or thick slices
1 bulb of fennel (two, if small), thinly sliced
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When it starts to foam, stir in the shallots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots soften and start to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar and 1/2 C olive oil until slightly emulsified. Stir in the caramelized shallots, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Blanch the cauliflower in a large pot of salted water for 2-3 minutes. Shock in ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and dry well.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil; when it begins to shimmer, add the blanched cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the sliced fennel to the cauliflower and stir and cook about 3-5 minutes, to wilt and heat through. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl.
6. Pour the dressing over all and toss to combine. Check for seasoning and serve warm.ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES with GREENS and DAIKON
1-2 small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 bunch beets, trimmed and cut into wedges [save the greens! see below - Debbie]
1-2 bulbs fennel, cut into chunks [wedges work well; leave a bit of the root end attached to hold the leaves together]
2-3 leeks, cut in half and sliced lengthwise
8 carrots, sliced on the diagonal into 2-inch segments
Brussels sprouts (as many as you want), trimmed and cut in half
cauliflower florets (optional)
Romanesco cauliflower florets (optional)
1-2 fresh poblano chilis
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt, or more (to taste)
2 sprigs rosemary
1 large onion, diced
2-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 medium daikon radish
1 bunch collard greens, kale or both [or wash and use the fresh beet greens!] stems removed and leaves cut into bite-sized pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Wash and scrub all the vegetables. Set aside.
3. Remove the stems and the seeds from the poblano pepper; cut into bite-sized pieces. Strip the rosemary off its stems and coarsely chop.
4. Combine all the vegetables (except the greens, onion and daikon radish) in a large bowl; stir in the olive oil, enough to coat generously. Add the sea salt and chopped rosemary and mix well. Transfer mixture to a baking pan. Roast for about 1 hour, until you can easily pierce the vegetables with a fork.
5. After the vegetables have roasted about 45 minutes, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the greens and cook, stirring, until they turn a deep green, about 8 minutes. Take care not to overcook. Remove from the heat.
6. When ready to serve, assemble the cooked greens on a large serving platter. Splash lightly with balsamic vinegar, then arrange the roasted vegetables on top.
7. Lastly, grate the daikon radish over all the vegetables and serve.MASSAGED KALE SALAD with RASPBERRY VINAIGRETTE (and OPTIONAL WILD RICE)
Serves 4 to 6
1/2 C very thinly sliced red onion
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 large bunch kale (you can add some arugula and collards if you like)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 C pomegranate seeds
1/4 C raspberry vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 C olive oil
sea salt and pepper
1/4 C pumpkin seeds
1 large fuyu persimmon, sliced or cut into bite-sized pieces (apples are a good substitute if you don't have or don't like persimmons)
Wild rice (see below; optional)
1. Macerate the onion in a small bowl by adding the apple cider vinegar and water to just cover. Let soak for 20 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out any excess moisture. This mellows the onion's sharpness and makes it a beautiful pink!
2. Prepare the kale. Wash leaves as needed, strip off stems, and tear into bite-sized pieces or stack, roll into a cigar and slice thinly (this is how you "chiffonade"). Add prepared kale to a large bowl and - now it's time to massage! Drizzle it with a little olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Massage with your hands, kneading and squeezing, until the kale begins to wilt and become soft. (Don't overdo it, otherwise the kale becomes limp; you just want it to soften and become a rich, dark green.) Add the macerated onion and toss, then set aside.
3. Whisk together the raspberry vinegar and the lemon juice. Add olive oil in a slow stream and whisk continuously until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Add some dressing to the salad, just enough to coat lightly (you don't want it swimming). Toss in the pumpkin and pomegranate seeds, and persimmons (or apples). Add the cooked, cooled wild rice here, if using, and toss to combine, adding more dressing if necessary.
You can add cooked wild rice to this salad for a heartier dish:WILD RICE
1 C wild rice, rinsed
3 C water with a pinch of sea salt.
1. Combine the rice and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook about 45-50 minutes, until tender to the bite, but not blown open. Drain off excess water if necessary then put rice in a bowl and set aside to cool.