Still trying to figure out bok choy? The World’s Healthiest Foods has some great suggestions! Follow the link for more information on bok choy’s nutritional qualities and health benefits. Storing Bok Choy To store, place bok choy in a plastic storage bag removing as much of the air from the bag as possible. Keeping bok choy cold will keep it fresh and help it retain its vitamin C content. Put the whole head in a plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator. Bok choy will keep for about 1 week if properly stored. Tips for Preparing Bok Choy Unlike some of the other cruciferous vegetables, you can consume virtually all parts of bok choy without much trimming or worrying about problematic textures or cooking times. Chop leaf portion into 1/8″ slices and the stems into 1/2″ lengths for quick and even cooking. To get the most health benefits from bok choy, let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes before cooking. Sprinkling with lemon juice before letting them sit can further enhance its beneficial phytonutrient concentration.
Ah, kohlrabi! So bulb-like and mysterious…Also known as German turnip or turnip cabbage, this intriguing veggie has a taste and texture similar to a broccoli stem but is milder, sweeter, and juicier and can be eaten cooked or raw. This summer season, CSA member Joseph Picalila, has generously contributed his family’s favorite kohlrabi preparation, and it is delicious! Kohlrabi Hashbrowns by Joseph Picalila, CSA Member Makes 3-4 servings. Ingredients: 4 medium Kohlrabi bulbs washed and peeled 1 small Onion, chopped 2 Eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons dried Bread Crumbs 1 teaspoon Salt ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes ¼ cup Olive Oil Plain Yogurt (optional) Instructions: Shred Kohlrabi, and squeeze out excess moisture. Combine all ingredients except oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir until well blended. Heat Oil in a large skillet. Sprinkle Kohlrabi with additional Bread Crumbs on each side before putting in skillet. Fry Kohlrabi mixture in batches, sautéing until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with bowl of Plain Yogurt as condiment. Additional Suggestions: Really, really squeeze the Kohlrabi after shredding. It has a lot of moisture. Use ¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger if using any less than 4 Kohlrabi bulbs. Substitute Onion Powder for onions (or really finely mince Onion). Substitute Sour Cream for yogurt.
Looking for a recipe that uses just about all your CSA share ingredients at once? Guest Chef DeAnna Germano has just meal for you – a delicious skillet bake that is a medley of so many delicious vegetables in one dish that it makes our eyes twinkle and our stomachs rumble. Enjoy! Black Eyed Pea and Kale Skillet with Hot Tomato Oil by DeAnna Germano, Owner and Chef at Chef4Rent Makes 3-4 servings. Ingredients: 1 can Black Eyed Peas, rinsed 1 bunch Kale Leaves, rinsed and torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces 1 Zucchini or Squash, diced 1 Tomato, diced 1/4 cup Onion, diced 2 cloves Garlic 1 Japanese Turnip, finely diced 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (or more, to taste) 2 tbsp. Olive Oil Pinch of fresh Parsley Pinch of fresh Sage Pinch of fresh Thyme 1/2 cup fresh Mozzarella, diced 1/2 cup Tomato Soup Instructions: Sauté onion in oil over medium-low heat until caramelized. Add garlic and sauté approximately 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add remaining veggies and sauté until tender. Add tomato soup, herbs and spices, and black eyed peas, and cook down – approximately 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Sprinkle diced mozzarella evenly over top, and broil for 10 minutes in oven, until cheese is melted and browned. *DEANNA GERMANO, is the owner and chef at Chef4Rent, a local caterer specializing in cakes, home meal deliveries, and special events. *Image Courtesy of: http://cdn-img.health.com/sites/default/files/migration/img/web/2013/02/slides/easy-kale-recipes-400×400.jpg
‘Tis the season when zucchini grows giant overnight. This recipe is quick and easy, perfect for a family or easily increased for a large group gathering. Grilled Zuke & Herby Quinoa by Abigail Henson, Founder of LoFo* Makes 6 servings. Ingredients: 1 large Zucchini 6 Rainbow Chard Stems 1 cup Quinoa, uncooked 1/4 cup White Vinegar 2 tbsp. Sugar 1 tbsp. Kosher Salt 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta (Omit this step for a 100% vegan recipe!) 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped 1 handful of your choice of Fresh Herbs (I like mine chock-full of Basil, Mint, Parsley, Dill, & Sage.) Salt and Pepper to taste 1 Lemon, juiced Instructions: STEP ONE: Quick-pickle your Chard stems. It is absolutely tragic when I see someone toss the stems of a rainbow chard- they are so crisp and delicious, and the splash of color they add to any dish is worth keeping them around. This is an easy way to jazz them up. They will start to take the brine in within 30 minutes, for a quick-pickle fix. Chop at the nape of the leaf of 6 Rainbow Chard leaves, trimming the ragged edges where they were connected to the main plant. Slice each stem 2-3 times length-wise, and then cut across the width by the ¼ inch to make tiny cubes. In a small bowl, mix Vinegar, Salt, and Sugar and stir. Place Chard cubes in the brine and let rest. STEP TWO: Cook your Quinoa. I like to cook a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week so that I can speckle it into my meals throughout the weekdays without much hassle. Place Quinoa in a large bowl and submerge it in water, gently swirling it around. Strain in a fine mesh strainer and add to a medium pot. Add 2 cups of Water and a teaspoon of Salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let let rest for 5 minutes before removing the cover to fluff. STEP THREE: Grill your Zuke. While your Quinoa is cooking, slice your Zucchini into 4 sections, then cut each section in half. Each section will act as one serving. Rub Zucchini with Olive Oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put seed side down on grill. Cover grill and let cook for 10-15 minutes, until char lines have appear and pieces are fork-tender. Remove from grill and allow to cool slightly. STEP FOUR: Fill your Zuke. Taking the spoon down the center of the Zucchini gently remove the seeds and transfer them into a sauté pan. Combine cooked Quinoa and chopped Herbs. Add a drizzle of Olive Oil and Lemon Juice to the quinoa mixture. On medium heat, lightly toss all ingredients in pan. Transfer filling from pan into Zucchini boats. Top with chopped Kalamata Olives and crumbled Feta Cheese. Strain Rainbow Chard stems from the pickling liquid and sprinkle over Zucchini boats like it’s party time! Give thanks to the beautiful bounty you are about to receive, go forth, and eat local! *ABIGAIL HENSON is the Founder of LoFo, a company that specializes in conscious cuisine and provides catering, events, and education.
Lest you think arugula and kale can be only tossed in salads or sautéed and wilted, guest Chef DeAnna Germano, shares a creative way to incorporate these fresh veggies into a delicious party condiment! Arugala and Kale Parmesan Dip by DeAnna Germano, Owner and Chef at Chef4Rent Ingredients: 1 tbsp. Olive Oil 5 oz Arugula 5 oz. Kale 1 tbsp. Sugar 3 Garlic Cloves, sliced thin 1/4 cup Sage leaves, tightly packed 1/3 cup Plain Yogurt 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 1/4 tsp. Salt 1/4 tsp. Pepper Instructions: Heat Olive Oil in large pan. Add sliced Garlic. Cook about two minutes, until Garlic begins to brown and become aromatic. Add Arugula and Kale. Allow to wilt and cook down. Add Sage, and cook for 1 more minute. In blender, blend Greens, Cream Cheese, Sugar, Parmesan, Salt, and Pepper. Fold Yogurt into blended mixture. Serve dip cold (like hummus) with crackers, chips, or sliced veggies. *DEANNA GERMANO, is the owner and chef at Chef4Rent, a local caterer specializing in cakes, home meal deliveries, and special events. *Image Courtesy of http://joylovefood.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Kale-and-Artichoke-Greek-Yogurt-Dip-3.jpg
When I was a child, I used to play in my mom’s herb garden in the backyard, pinching the leaves and rubbing them between my fingers, sniffing them gleefully. Even though I had no idea how to use them, the smells were heavenly. I loved them all, but sage was always my favorite, with its soft green hue and big velvety leaves concealing a powerful aroma. Sage is from the mint family, but in flavor, it’s more like rosemary, with a hint of pepper. It pairs wonderfully with rich foods, which is why we use it liberally in all our Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing dinners. But sage isn’t only for special occasions. Chop it up and sprinkle it over potatoes roasted in the oven. Season grilled chicken or pan-seared pork chops with it. Toss it in with freshly cooked pasta. The trick is to use just enough of the herb to complement your dish. Too much and it will hog the spotlight. In a great little article called “Sage – Off the Beaten Aisle,” J.M. Hirsch, food editor at the Associated Press, offers a variety of ways to incorporate sage into meals, based on common cuisines throughout Europe. Hopefully, his ideas will inspire you to be more adventurous with sage! *Photo courtesy of: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266480.php
Last weekend, I visited Lockwood Lavender Farm during the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival and left with several fresh bouquets to dry at home. I arranged them into bundles, rubber-banded the stems, hooked jumbo paperclips through the rubber bands, and hung them off the utility shelf in my kitchen closet. Who knew you could do so much with a paperclip and a rubber band? Don’t fret! Such fun isn’t only reserved for lavender. Below are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way to stretch as much use as possible out of those big, beautiful bunches of herbs that come home with us from the farm. Treat fresh herbs like flowers. No, this is not a joke. You will routinely find vases of herbs around my little home in the summertime, and they make quite a fine substitution. All you need to do is collect the herbs into a little bundle, removing any leaves that would rest beneath the water. Trim the stems, and place your lovely arrangement in a vase. Place in a well-lit area at room temperature, and enjoy the lovely scents. Change the water regularly, continuing to trim the ends as needed and removing any soggy leaves that have crept under the water line. I’ve kept bunches of oregano fresh for cooking this way for three weeks! Wrap herbs in paper towels inside a sealed zip-lock bag, and store in the fridge. This approach is pretty straightforward. As long as the herbs are in a nice, moist, cool environment, they have quite a bit of longevity – up to 2 weeks! If you’re not a fan of herbal bouquets, this might be a better approach for you. Dry herbs for use all year long. It’s amazing how much money we spend on those little bottles of dried herbs when home-preserving is so remarkably easy. If you purchase a bundle of herbs so big that you couldn’t possibly consume it in a few weeks’ time, separate a portion. Rinse the leaves and allow them to air-dry on a clean towel. Collect all the stems into a bunch. For herbs with woodier stems, secure them with a rubber band. For more delicate stems, secure with string or dental floss. Then, hang that little bundle upside down in a dark area, like a closet, that isn’t too humid. (No basements for this kitchen experiment.) Herbs usually take approximately 2 weeks to dry, sometimes longer. You’ll know they’re done when they crumble at the touch. At this point, you can either crumble the leaves off the stems and store them in an airtight jar as is or use a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle for smaller, more even pieces.
Because of its spicy, bitter flavor, arugula packs a bite that people seem to either love or hate. As with many other vegetables, though, a little heat cuts that bitterness right down, leaving a tender, more mellow green in its place. The recipe below can be spiced up by adding any number of extras – tomatoes, bacon, white beans, to name a few – to give it a little more substance. Arugula & Goat Cheese Pasta by Holly Rodricks Makes 3-4 servings. Ingredients: 3/4 lb. medium-sized, textured Pasta (such as fusilli) 2 cups Arugula, washed and shredded 1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled Goat Cheese (Again, we highly recommend 2 Kids Goat Farm.) 1/2 small Red Onion (or 1 Shallot), finely diced 2 cloves Garlic, minced 2 tbsp. Olive Oil 1/2 tsp. Salt 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper Optional: pinch of Red Pepper Flakes Instructions: Cook Pasta according to package instructions until al dente. While Pasta is cooking, sauté Onion in oil over medium heat, until translucent. Add Garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute. Set aside. When Pasta is cooked, reserve 1/4 cup of water. Strain Pasta and pour into large bowl. Add Pasta Water, Arugula and all remaining ingredients to bowl of hot Pasta and toss until evenly mixed. *In season, roast 2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes and toss in with remaining ingredients, for a tangy twist. Alternatively, add white beans or bacon/pancetta (or both) to add a little more protein to the mix. *Image courtesy of: http://sustainabledad.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/pasta_arugula.jpg
If you ever find yourself looking for a quick, healthy snack, these “chips” are just the thing! With minimal prep and some creative seasonings, you’ll have a crunchy veggie treat to munch on in no time. Kale Chips by Holly Rodricks Makes 3-4 servings. Ingredients: 1 bunch of Kale 2-3 tbsp. Olive Oil or Coconut Oil Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: Preheat oven to 350º. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Remove stems from Kale and chop or tear leaves into large bite-sized pieces. Wash leaves thoroughly. Pat dry or use salad spinner. Place Kale in large bowl and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle generously with Salt and Pepper and toss to coat. Lay chopped Kale out evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until Kale is crisp and edges are brown but not burned. Cool and enjoy! For additional kale chip seasoning inspiration, visit: bembu.com/kale-chip-recipes. *Image courtesy of: http://www.sofeminine.co.uk/cooking-food/kale-cooking-kale-kale-recipes-s1297407.html
Just in case you’re still struggling with those pesky Garlic Scapes, here’s another easy way to capitalize on their spicy flavor and scallion-like consistency! Garlic Scape Butter by Briel Driscoll Makes approximately 12 oz. Ingredients: 2 sticks of Salted Butter (If butter is unsalted add 1/8 tsp salt.) 6-8 Garlic Scapes (Adjust based on desired strength of garlic flavor.) Freshly ground Black pepper to taste Instructions: Put all ingredients the food processor and blend until smooth. Enjoy as a spread or condiment.