Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Underrated Vegetables...

In celebration of my CSA share starting next week, I thought I would take a minute to talk about some locally grown and completely underrated vegetables.

To rewind a little bit, as I mentioned in previous blog posts, I signed up for a summer fruit and summer vegetable CSA. Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is kind of like a produce subscription to a farm of your choice. Basically how it works is you pay an upfront cost and every week through your chosen season, you receive a supply of veggies, fruits, fresh herbs, and sometimes even eggs and meats. The perks of a CSA are that you know the foods are fresh, you can go visit the farmers and see where your food is coming from and of course, you are supporting our local farmer friends!

Ok, so back to the underrated vegetables…When I say underrated, I mean those vegetables that we see in the supermarket or at the farm stands every time we do our shopping and always walk by and say...what the heck would I do with that?

You have turnips and rutabaga, you have parsnips and fennel, there’s those weird looking fiddleheads and okra, and the list goes on and on... I decided to put together recipes using these underrated and underused veggies that are simple, using easy ingredients and of course are delicious!

Fennel and Grapefruit Salad
2 cups greens (spinach, arugula, baby romaine, your choice!)
2 large fennel bulbs, sliced thin
1 pink grapefruit, sectioned
¼ cup left over grapefruit juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tbsp honey
juice of one lime.

Cutting off the bottom and the top, slice the fennel bulb into thin slices and add to bowl of greens. With a sharp knife, cut off both ends of the grapefruit, place the fruit on the flat end and cut away the peel from top to bottom along the curvature of the fruit (removing skin and white pulp). Next, cut in between the pulps removing only the fruit sections turning the knife to loosen the sections. *Do over a bowl to collect juices. Remove sections and add to greens and fennel slices. Add oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, honey and limejuice to grapefruit juice and whisk together to make dressing. Pour dressing over greens, fennel and grapefruit sections and serve cold.

Fennel (also called Anise)

Roasted Parsnips (Same Recipe can be done with Red Beets)8 Parsnips, cut into sticks
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp course sea salt

Preheat oven to 375oF. Wash parsnips with cold water, removing dirt or sand. Cut into sticks and lay onto a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until all are coated. Sprinkle with salt and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and tender. 
Red Beets

Chili-Lime Radish Salad
1 lb small radishes
1 tbsp Tajin chili lime seasoning (can find at supermarket)
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Clean and cut of ends of each radish, slice radishes thin and add to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with seasoning and cilantro and mix well until coated. Allow to sit in the refridgerator for at least 30 minutes (this allows that radishes to pickle and let out some juices). Serve cold.

 Red Radish

Turnip Mashed
4 large turnips
1/2 cup low fat milk
2 tbsp butter
1 strip cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Wash, peel and dice turnips into 1-2 inch cubes. Boil until fork tender, drain and add to a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash turnips until smooth. Add butter, milk, salt and pepper and continue to mash until well combined. Crumble bacon on top and serve.


Fiddlehead Sauté

1 lb of fresh fiddleheads
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan heated to high add oil, onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes and onions are starting to caramelize.  Reduce heat to medium and add fiddleheads, mixing so they are covered with onion and garlic and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until fiddleheads are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.
****same recipe can be used for okra (cut into small cubes), at the end, add a tiny dash of hot pepper sauce to give them a nice kick.

Fresh Okra

Jicama Slaw (Recipe from Bobby Flay-Food Network Chef)

1 large jicama, peeled and finely shredded
1/2 green cabbage, finely shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves

Place jicama, cabbage, and carrots in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, chili powder, honey, and oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the dressing over the jicama mixture and toss to coat well. Fold in the cilantro. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.


1 comment:

  1. For more information on underrated veggies, contact me....If you have a veggie or a fruit that you need a recipe for, let me know, ill do my best to come up with something for you!!