Sunday, June 17, 2018

TIP: Flowering Hon Tsai Tai

Every so often we get a veggie that confuses us all. Last week it was Flowering Hon Tsai Tai.

From google searching, members attempted to prepare this uncommon green but still had some issues.  I decided to reach out to our farmer as I thought perhaps it was meant to be placed in a pretty vase and admired from afar! :) 

Not so. Here is how Gerry, from Hepworth Farms, prepares it:

Cut up, flowers and all, into small pieces but do not include the hard stems at the bottom. Saute' in olive oil with tamarind sauce. Be sure to cook it enough until you can easily poke a fork in to. The flowers are a sweet addition to the dish. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

TIP: Cilantro

Cilantro. Some people love it.... and some people don't. Either way you are bound to see it several times this season so let's see if I can convert any naysayers with a few recipes and tips! Cilantro like other fresh herbs won't last too long in the refrigerator so I'll try to plan on making a simple guacamole and add some to my salads for a little kick.

I also love making pesto with cilantro, or in combination with spinach, parsley and/or arugula. If you haven't tried making pesto without cheese, you would be surprised how much you won't miss it.....and the extra calories. I also try and change it up by using walnuts every now and again instead of the typical pine nuts. and change it up by using walnuts every now and again instead of the typical pine nuts. I'll put the finished pesto in ice cube trays and after they have "frozen" I'll pop out and keep in zip lock bags until future use in pasta (obviously) eggs, steamed veggies or as a pizza topping!

Do you have any great cilantro uses? If so please forward to!

Monday, June 11, 2018

How to Store Fresh Herbs

There are two popular methods to store fresh herbs: the paper towel method and the mason jar/plastic bag method. Both work, but you have to know which herbs work best for which method. Fresh herbs can last up to two weeks depending on the variety and method! See what works in your home environment, as well. If your home is too warm, perhaps don’t leave the herbs out on the counter or a windowsill and use the refrigerator method.

Soft herbs include parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, tarragon, and mint. Basil and/or mint can be left out at room temperature (I’ve put mint in the fridge and it survived just fine). All other herbs should be refrigerated. This method helps the herbs retain moisture and keeps oxygen from browning the leaves.

Directions for soft herbs:
1. Cut bottom of the stems
2. Make sure your herbs are completely dry. Avoid rinsing until you are about to use them, to avoid mold or wilting.
3. Fill a jar or glass with about one inch of water, or enough to submerge the base of stems. “Plant” stem ends into water in jar.
4. Cover loosely with with plastic or ziplock bag, bound at the base with a rubber band.
5. Place in fridge. Change water every few days if water becomes discolored.

Hard herbs include rosemary, thyme, chives, oregano, and sage. The paper towel method keeps the herbs moist to avoid drying out and again keeps oxygen from getting in.

Directions for hard herbs:
1. Wrap herbs loosely in a damp paper towel
2. Store in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag in your crisper.

Monday, November 13, 2017

RECIPE: Roasted Fennel with Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly oil the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange the fennel in the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with the Parmesan. Drizzle with the oil. Bake until the fennel is fork-tender and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to equal 2 teaspoons, then sprinkle over the roasted fennel and serve.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

RECIPE: Kohlrabi and Hearts of Palm Salad

2 Kohlrabis peeled
1 can hearts of palm pieces or whole hearts of palm chopped
1 green onion, chopped
½ tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. canola oil
one squeeze of a lemon
Cut peeled kohlrabis into matchstick or smaller pieces. Mix with remaining ingredients. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

RECIPE: Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash

1 (2 pound) acorn squash - halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 3/4 inch slices
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Toss squash slices, Parmesan cheese, thyme, olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a bowl until the squash is evenly coated; spread into a jelly roll pan.
  3. Roast in preheated oven until golden brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

RECIPE: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

·       Prep time: 15 minutes
·       Cook time: 50 minutes
·       Yield: Serves 4.

·       2 Tbsp unsalted butter
·       1 cup chopped onion
·       2 celery stalks, chopped
·       2 large garlic cloves, chopped
·       2 pounds jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into chunks
·       1 quart chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option, and gluten-free stock if cooking gluten-free)
·       Salt and black pepper to taste

1 Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat and cook the onions and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Do not brown them. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt.

2 Add the jerusalem artichokes and the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, until the jerusalem artichokes begin to break down, 45 minutes to an hour.

3 Using an immersion blender or upright blender, purée the soup. If using an upright blender, fill the blender bowl up only to a third of capacity at a time, if the soup is hot, and hold down the lid while blending. Alternately, you can push the soup through the finest grate on a food mill, or push it through a sturdy sieve. Add salt to taste.
Sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper to serve.