Our CSA half share for week six includes my favorite vegetable: sweet peas. I am going to eat these raw (and not share them with Scott). We also got: more spinach, curly kale and Hakurei turnips with greens attached, which are sweeter and more tender (MS Word wants me to change this to “tenderer,” but that sounds odd to me) than other varieties of turnips.
I’ve only eaten turnips a few times – and I’ve never cooked with them. Since Hakurei turnips are sweeter than other varieties of turnips, you can eat them raw. However, since these are older, bigger turnips, I wanted to cook them. I found a recipe for oven-roasted turnips with cayenne pepper and Parmesan cheese. I had some shaved, but not grated, Parmesan, so my turnips came out looking significantly different than Martha Stewart’s. And I forgot to turn the turnips – they look burned, but they are just caramelized.
Verdict: I’d make these with grated Parmesan cheese next time. And I’d remember to turn them. They’re good and not too spicy.
We’re lucky to also have the turnip greens to eat this week. However, finding a healthy recipe for the greens was difficult. Similar to recipes for mustard greens, most of the turnip green recipes include some form of salted pork. I was able to find one vegetarian recipe for “spicy” turnip greens. Since I didn’t have quite enough turnip greens, I added some of our spinach to the recipe and some extra brown sugar.
Verdict: I’d make this again – and keep the brown sugar amount the same.
And the kale. Remember when kale became trendy and, therefore, more available? When that happened, I began to make Italian soups with kale. But it’s summer now, so I don’t feel like eating a soup. And we don’t have a ton of kale, so I don’t want to use it as a salad. Kale chips seemed to be the easiest way to consume the kale. There are so many recipes for kale chips online. I chose this one, which includes vinegar. The Internet says that the kale must be completely dry in order for it to crisp well. I learned that vinegar takes a long time to dry off on the kale. I read that using a blow dryer on low can speed up the drying process, so I tried it:
But it was super-boring and slow, so I gave up and put the kale in slightly damp. You could tell.
Verdict: We ate the whole batch as a side with hamburgers over Memorial Day weekend. I think I would cook them slightly longer next time and try to plan far enough in advance to make sure the kale is drier than this time.
Last, but not least, we got more spinach to eat up. Since we’ve gotten spinach in every delivery, I’m getting a little tired of it. But, since I have left over bacon, some mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and a frozen piecrust in my freezer, I think I’ll make a quiche. I’ll probably use a modification of my favorite quiche recipe. As a side note, I’ve tried a few types of pre-made pie-crusts over the years (because I am way too lazy to go through all that work), and my favorite is the line of “wholly wholesome” pie-crusts, which I buy at Whole Foods. I’ve used the traditional crust for fruit pies (truthfully – only raspberry pies, since they are my favorite), and I use the whole-wheat crust for quiches. The whole-wheat crust is healthier and adds an additional savory taste to the quiche.