Fresh Picks (Nov 7)

This week I had the foresight to look online to see what was being delivered before it arrived. In the past I’ve gone out and bought, say, a huge thing of spinach, only to find more show up on my door that same afternoon.

The week I received sweet potatoes, groundhog radishes, cauliflower, kabocha squash, sugarloaf radicchio, tat soi and onions.

The first night I steamed up half the cauliflower and made a cheese sauce for the kids to dip them in. Just melted butter, whisked with flour, then added milk all while whisking, then dumping whatever shredded cheese I had in there. I happen to have a mexican blend left over from my taco bar. Added a dash of dijon, salt and pepper.

I also sauteed the tat soi with olive oil and garlic and a little bit of water. So good. I love Asian greens done this way. So simple, so yummy.

The next night I paired the sweet potato and sugarloaf radicchio with the spice rubbed skirt steak and turkey sausages I bought from whole foods. The sweet potatoes were roasted in the oven until soft. This take a ton of time, well over an hour in the oven. But it’s super easy and the kids love it. The Radicchio was sliced in half long ways, drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper and grilled along side the meats. Afterwards I topped it with some balsamic vinegarette, hoping to make it sweet, yet bitter, salty and smoky. I envisioned it tasting umami good. But once again all I tasted was bitter. I’m still struggling to find the best way to make all these bitter leafy greens that they send me.

As for the squash, these winter vegetables sure are giving my hands a work out!  I’m getting cramps in my hands from cutting all these heavy, hard vegetables. After some research online, I found out the easiest way to peel the Kabocha squash was to boil it in water for a few minutes. I still needed my Chinese meat cleaver, but it was a lot softer.

In my minestrone soup this week I replaced the red potatoes I normally use with the rest of the cauliflower and the cut Kabocha squash. So easy to make and sooo good for you. Just chopped up leeks, carrots, celery, zucchini, shredded fresh spinach leaves, cauliflower, squash and put in a big pot. Add a tin of diced tomatoes, a parmesan cheese rind, salt and water to cover (about 8 cups). Simmer uncovered for an hour. When it’s almost done cooking I add a tin of cannelloni beans and a couple spoonfuls of pesto. I normally whizz the soup up in the blender before the kids eat it, and they think it’s funny to drink it with a straw. I think it’s funny that they are sucking down pure icky veggies and how no idea. This time, after pureeing, I added some whole wheat elbow macaroni in the soup.

I wasn’t sure what to do with the ground hog radish. My first search on google let me know that this vegetable ‘is commonly referred to as a “tillage” radish and “forage” radish, due to their ability to provide forage to livestock and deer and its ability to form a long, wide root that “tillers” into the soil and naturally loosens compacted soils.’ Great, if it’s so unpalatable they use it for fodder, what hope did I have?

I decided the best way to combat this was to pickle. I sliced it thin, covered it in rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Turned out surprisingly good. Actually, they would make a great accoutrement to a spicy dish.

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