Monday, July 21, 2014

What To Do With Kohlrabi

One of my favourite CSA gems, kohlrabi, is an awesome vegetable I only came onto a few years ago. It's hard to find at grocery stores, and when you do, it's often past its prime. It comes in soft green, purple, and white. Buy it fresh at the market for optimal flavor, and you'll also score the ability to still use the greens. Grocery store kohlrabi greens are usually woody, bitter, or wilted. The bulbous bottom tastes like a cross between broccoli stem, radish, and apple. It can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked. The greens can be eaten raw if they're young and fresh, or sauteed similar to winter greens if they're older and tougher. Here are some ideas to use this funky vegetable:
  • Kohlrabi and apple matchstick salad with mustard-y dressing
  • Pureed into any cream of vegetable soup
  • Sauteed watercress and kohlrabi with garlic
  • Shredded and made into fritters (like potato hash-browns)
  • Roasted with root vegetables 
  • Cut into disk rounds and steamed until tender, served with butter and salt (on that note, radishes prepared the same way are fantastic)
  • Celery root and kohlrabi mash, as an alternative to mashed potatoes 
  • Corn, kohlrabi, and cherry tomato salad 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Corn, Avocado, and Greens Salad with Spicy Dressing

This is a great summer salad (or meal) that can be thrown together in minutes. The dressing tastes like more work than it actually is, thanks to the handiest appliance around. In a food processor, combine dressing ratios of: olive oil, lime juice and zest, rice vinegar, soy sauce, one small chili pepper with seeds, 2 raw garlic scapes chopped up, and stevia/sugar/or honey. There's no need for salt and pepper, as the soy and chili takes care of those desires. Giver' a whirl until the dressing emulsifies! Set aside. In a large nonstick pan, flash cook a few handfuls of asian greens, as well as fresh cut corn, until everything's softened, but still retains its bite. It's going in a salad after all... While the greens and corn are warm, toss in a big salad bowl with cubed avocado, and some type of contrasting-colour lettuce. The heat will slightly wilt the crisp lettuce (which I love, as no one ever expects to like it as much as they do) and make the avocado become silky and extra soft. Pour the dressing over and toss it all together, being careful not to mush everything. Serve with tongs for easiest platter to plate.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Heirloom Tomatoes

What to do with a pile of quickly-ripening heirloom tomatoes? Here's a few ideas:

  • A fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar 
  • Really good bruschetta
  • Fried tomato sandwich, or BLT 
  • A no-cook tomato sauce for ravioli (they're too good to cook!) 
  • Gazpacho, or other cold soups
  • A tomato tart 
  • Flash-grilled tomato halves served with nutty pesto
  • Tomato salad with mint and cucumbers 
  • Tomato and watermelon salad with feta and honey
  • Served thinly sliced over eggplant parmesan
  • Heirloom tomato pizza with ricotta 
  • Tomato and beet salad 
  • One hundred more ideas

Farmer's Market Haul

Stocking up at the local farmer's market is my favourite way to spend Saturday mornings. Last weekend, I was lucky to have two girlfriends in town who had the brilliant idea to make a picnic out of the experience. Although we were a little under-prepared with cutlery and blankets, and basically all other picnic materials, we ate like royalty. For $10 a person we were able to pool our money and feast on: fresh berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, shucking peas, various breads and focaccias from the local bakery, a block of damn good aged-cheddar, bell peppers, kale, lentil spread, and chickpea hummus.