Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Box! Week 2

It's Thursday, that means veggies! This week, we've got arugula, collards, lettuce, scallions, pea shoots, radishes, spinach, and turnips. You can see it's been hot here, with the little sunburned edges on the radish tops. But our skilled farmer has protected the other delicate greens.

Only two heads of lettuce and one has already been gobbled up with tonight's dinner. Half the radishes and turnips have already been turned into some quick sweet pickles (thanks to our farmer for the inspiration!). The turnips are something else: a Japanese variety called hakurei. You can pick one up and chomp into it like an apple -- it's sweet and crisp and very juicy inside. In the past I've grated them and tossed that with a vinaigrette. Here's what I did tonight instead.

Quick radish and turnip pickles

12 or so radishes and Japanese turnips
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 bay leaf

Quarter radishes and turnips through the poles. Place in a jar or glass bowl with a lid. In a non-reactive saucepan, heat remaining ingredients to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Let cool slightly. Pour mixture over radishes and turnips, making sure they're all covered. Let cool a little more, cover and refrigerate. They'll keep in the fridge for a week.

No specific plans for the collards yet. Probably the classic Italian kale (for that's what collards are)/sausage/white bean combination. Maybe with some whole wheat spaghetti.

The pea shoots are destined for pesto again. I think they're just too tough and stringy to eat any other way. It keeps its beautiful, bright green color and springy flavor.

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