Week Four – Trying new vegetables

The first couple of years we were members of Groundswell, I felt like there was always a new vegetable to conquer.  When most of us purchase vegetables at the store or farmers market or even pick them out for our backyard garden, we tend to choose our tried and true favorites.  For that reason, joining Groundswell was great for our family.  There were always new things to try and hopefully to like.  Swiss chard was one that was out of our repertoire and I needed to learn what to do with.  I usually go to epicurious.com when I am looking for a new recipe.  I like this site for its reviews and most recipes aren’t ridiculously crazy with ingredients.  Here is the recipe that both conquered Swiss Chard for us and even made me like garbanzo beans (previously I thought they were those cold, not so tasty things you only saw on salad bars. )  The garlic probably helped our family love this.  The garlic in this dish is particularly tasty on fresh bread.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans with Garlic and Swiss Chard – from Bon Appetit  (Sometimes I amend this by throwing in a cup and a half of cooked barley if I want this to be a main dish)

Garbanzo Beans:
3 cups soaked and prepared dried garbanzo beans or 2 15.5-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 large shallots
3 small bay leaves, preferably fresh
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

Chard:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
3 small bay leaves, preferably fresh
2 shallots, sliced
2 bunches Swiss chard, center stems cut out, leaves coarsely torn
2 cups low-salt chicken broth

Preparation:  Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first 5 ingredients in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour oil over; cover dish with foil. Roast until garlic is tender, about 45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and chill.

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, bay leaves, and shallots. Cover; cook until shallots are tender, about 2 minutes. Uncover; add half of chard. Toss until chard wilts and volume is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add remaining chard. Toss until chard wilts, about 2 minutes. Add broth. Cover and cook until chard is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season chard with salt and pepper. Transfer chard mixture to large sieve set over bowl and drain. DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Drain garbanzos and reserve oil; discard bay leaves. Combine garbanzos and chard in large skillet. Add 2 tablespoons oil reserved from garbanzos. Toss over medium heat until warmed through, moistening with more oil by tablespoonfuls if needed, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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Another vegetable we weren’t all that familiar with is Bok Choy.  I quickly learned that cooking things with Asian flavoring was a big hit with both of my kids.  A quick and easy Bok Choy recipe that we enjoy is

Bok Choy with Ginger and Garlic
1 large bunch of Bok Choy, stems removed and discarded
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 garlic clove thinly sliced
½ Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Cook the bok choy leaves in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander.  Make sure you press any excess water out or the sauce gets too runny.
Meanwhile pour the sesame oil in a skillet and turn the heat to medium low.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 8 minutes.  Pour in the oyster sauce and cook for another 30 seconds.  Pour the sauce over the bok choy and serve.


One of my current favorite recipes for many of the spring vegetables that we get at Groundswell and you find at the market right now is below.  I like to serve it over brown rice.  You can make it a meal by adding a protein of choice.

Asian Greens and Spring Vegetables – from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
6 ounces snow or sugar snap peas or 8 asparagus spears
4 cups sliced bok choy or 6 cups rinsed and stemmed fresh spinach
1 cup carrot matchsticks
½ cup daikon matchsticks

Dressing:
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1.5 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons grated ginger

½ cup scallions, sliced on the diagonal
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Bring 1 quart water to a boil.  Remove the strings from the snow or snap peas if using and blanch for 1-2 minutes.  Or is using asparagus, snap off the tough end, cut in half on the diagonal and simmer about 7 minutes or until tender.  Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Blanch the bok choy in the same water for 2-3 minutes(spinach would be 1 minute), then drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, whisk sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar and ginger.
Toss the bok choy or spinach with half of the dressing on a serving platter.  Toss the rest of the vegetable with the remaining dressing and arrange them on top of the greens.  Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds.

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An absolute favorite salmon recipe of ours I got years ago from D&W when they were giving away free samples.  It is absolutely delicious.  It isn’t a last minute dish since there are a lot of steps but if I prep ahead of time, it throws together fairly quickly when you are ready to eat and it is worth the effort.

Seared Salmon with Thai vegetables
Salmon
1 tsp chili pwdr
1 tsp curry pwdr
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard pwdr
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 6 to 7 oz salmon fillets with skin

Dressing
6 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp oriental sesame oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp sugar

Rice
1 Tbsp butter
1 C basmati rice
1 C water
2/3 C canned unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp veg. oil

Thai Vegetables (See recipe below)
For salmon: Mix first 7 ingredients in small bowl.  Place salmon fillets skin side down on baking sheet.  Sprinkle 1.5 tsp spice mixture over fillets.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate 3+ hrs.(You can do this the night before)
For dressing: Whisk vinegar and next 5 ingredients in small bowl.
For rice:  Melt butter in lg saucepan over med.  Add rice and saute until rice turns opaque ~2 min.  Stir in 1 cup water and coconut milk and bring to boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook until rice is cooked through and liquid is absorbed ~18 min.  Season with S&P.
Meanwhile heat oil in skillet over med-high.  Add salmon flesh side down to skillet.  Sear until brown and crisp ~3 min.  Turn and sear skin side until just cooked trough ~3 min.
Spoon rice on plates.  Top with seared salmon, thai veggies and drizzle with dressing.  Pass extra dressing.

 Thai Veggies
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tsp minced fresh ginger
1 lg garlic clove minced
1 red pepper cut into thin strips
6 oz shittakes stemmed an thinly sliced
3 lg green onions thinly sliced on diag.
3 C thinly sliced bok choy (green tops only)

Heat oil in skillet over high.  Add ginger and garlic, saute 20 sec.  Add pepper and mushrooms and saute till crisp tender ~3 min.  Add green onions and bok choy and saute til wilted ~2 min.  Season with S&P.
Something that I had never heard of before we joined Groundswell but that I now look forward to every year are garlic scapes.  Garlic scapes are the curling tops of garlic plants.  My son loves to saute them and then scramble some eggs in the pan along with.  My husband and I also love the garlic scapes made into a pesto.  It is delicious on crackers or tossed with pasta.  If you aren’t planning to use it within a week or two, you can freeze it.

Garlic Scape Pesto
10 large garlic scapes
1/3 cup unsalted almonds, pistachios or walnuts (your choice)
1/4 cup finely grated parmigiano
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
Process the scapes, nuts and parmigiano in a food processor until finely chopped.  Slowly add olive oil and continue to process.  Season with salt and pepper.

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This entry was posted in asparagus, bok choy, carrots, chard, cilantro, daikon, garlic, green onion, scapes, spinach. Bookmark the permalink.

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