Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Butter Lettuce

Butter Lettuce and Radish Salad with Lemon-garlic Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup canola oil
Table salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 heads butter lettuce, outer leaves discarded, leaves torn
12 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
¼ cup mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chervil, basil, and chives, minced
1 (3-ounce) piece Parmesan cheese

1. In 1-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, and 2 tablespoons water. Using mortar and pestle or food processor, grind or crush garlic, lemon zest, and kosher salt into fine paste. Whisk paste into lemon juice mixture. Gradually whisk in oil. Whisk in table salt and pepper to taste.
2. In large bowl, toss together lettuce, radishes, minced herbs, and dressing. Divide mixture among 6 salad plates. Using vegetable peeler, shave curls of Parmesan atop each salad and serve.

I only had lettuce left from the CSA--and no fresh herbs and no parmesan. That said, the dressing was superior and it made a lovely salad. Ken doesn't like green salads and wasn't crazy about it, but it really was good!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25--Kohlrabi

Butter-Braised Sliced Kohlrabi

1 ½ lbs kohlrabies
4-6 T butter
onions, chopped

Peel and slice kohlrabies into 1/4 inch pieces. Heat 2 T. butter and sauté the onions until wilted, add the kohlrabies, and lightly brown for about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter and season with salt and pepper. Cover, and slowly cook until kohlrabies are tender, 20-25 minutes.

What an easy recipe! The only caveat is to not slice the kohlrabies too thin. The recipe says 1/4" and slices should not be any thinner than that. Any thinner, and you risk burning the slices. I learned that the hard way last summer! This time I was much more careful to slice them a little thicker and to watch as they cooked. I didn't need to cook them more than 15 or so minutes.

June 24--Lettuce

Wow--what a surprise! Who knew that plain old iceberg lettuce could almost taste like bok choy! One of the lettuces that we received this week was a gigantic head of iceberg lettuce. Look what I did with it last night--or at least half of it!

Stir-fried Garlic Lettuce

1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¾ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 lb. hearts of romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces
1 teaspoon sesame oil (see note)
1.Combine the rice wine or sherry, soy sauce, sugar, and salt in a small bowl.
2.Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the vegetable oil, add the garlic, and stir-fry for 5 seconds. Add the lettuce and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it is just limp. Stir the sauce, swirl it into the wok, and stir-fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute more, or until the lettuce is just tender and still bright green. Remove from the heat, drizzle on the sesame oil, and serve.

Changes to the recipe are as follows: I actually pureed the garlic and cut up the lettuce into inch wide ribbons--cross-grain.

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 23--Arugula & Summer Turnips

Onion and Arugula Frittata

This frittata from Puglia is flavored with onion and arugula. Substitute watercress or spinach leaves if you have no arugula.
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large bunch of arugula, tough stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
8 large eggs
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. 1. Place the onions in a bowl with cold water to cover. Let stand 1 hour, changing the water once or twice, until the onions taste sweet. Drain and pat dry.

2. 2. Pour the oil into a 9-inch nonstick skillet. Add the onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the arugula until wilted, about 1 minute.

3. 3. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the eggs over the vegetables in the skillet and lower the heat. Cover and cook until the eggs are just set but still moist in the center and the frittata is lightly browned on the bottom, about 5 to 10 minutes.

4. 4. Using a spatula to help, slide the frittata onto a plate. Invert the skillet over the plate and quickly flip both the plate and skillet so that the frittata is back in the pan with the cooked side up. Cook until just set in the center, about 5 minutes more. Or, if you prefer not to flip it, slide the skillet under the broiler 3 to 5 minutes or until the eggs are set to taste.

5. 5. Slide the frittata onto a serving dish and cut into wedges. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Grated White Turnips
2 lbs Turnips
4 T Butter
¾ C Heavy cream

1. Peel and grate turnps, then sprinkle with salt and set aside. AFter 30 minutes, squeeze the water out; you will ahve approximately 4 C of turnps.

2. Melt butter in a sauté pan and stir in turnips. Turn heat to los, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Uncover, turn heat to medium. season with salt and pepper, stir, add cream (if desired), and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until cream has heated through.

4. Add some favorite herbs, such as marjoram or basil, if you wish.

I didn't add any cream and actually did not cover them, but rather kept stirring. They were wonderful and we'd never had turnips cooked this way.

June 22--Radishes, Lettuce, Beets

Last summer we participated in a CSA from Kenney Farms in Concord. We are doing so again this summer and our first distribution was this past Tuesday. In an effort to share the recipes that I have found for all the wonderful veggies, I will be posting recipes that I use for dinner throughout the summer.

Roasted Radishes
2 bunches medium radishes (such as red, pink, and purple; about 20)
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of green radish tops; reserve trimmed tops and rinse them well, checking for grit. Coarsely chop radish tops and set aside. Cut radishes lengthwise in half and place in medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and toss thoroughly to coat. Place radishes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Roast until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Season to taste with more coarse kosher salt, if desired.

2. medium-high heat. Add pinch of coarse kosher salt to skillet and cook until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in fresh lemon juice.

3. Transfer roasted radishes to warmed shallow serving bowl and drizzle brown butter over. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve.

Lettuce and Peas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 spring onions or 3 scallions thinly sliced, or one quarter of an onion, finely chopped
About 20 large leaves of lettuce, washed well and sliced into 1-inch ribbons (stalks OK)
About one-half cup vegetable or chicken stock (low-sodium if packaged), or water
One-half teaspoon coarse kosher salt
One-half teaspoon sugar
1 generous cup fresh shelled peas (or frozen, but fresh are in now and they're so worth shelling)
1 tablespoon heavy cream or creme fraiche (optional)

1. 1. Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat and add onions. Cook until soft but not colored, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low.

2. 2. Add ribboned lettuce to pan with stock, salt and sugar and toss to combine.

3. 3. Add peas, cover pan and cook, just until lettuce and peas are tender, about 5 minutes, but might take longer for more sturdy varieties of lettuce.

4. 4. If using cream, stir in at end. Taste and add seasoning as desired. Serve immediately.

Spring Beet Salad
2 lbs. baby beets, scrubbed(assorted red and yellow)
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Salt, to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
⅓ cup small fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim the roots and stems off the beets to 1 inch.

Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and bake on a baking sheet until tender when tested with a toothpick, about 1 hour. Cool slightly, remove the foil and slip off the skins. Halve the beets lengthwise.

Combine the vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the oil and continue whisking until thickened. Toss with the beets.

Place the beets in a serving bowl and garnish with the mint.

The big surprise in this menu was the roasted radishes. Last summer I tried various recipes for the cooking radishes, but had not success! These were wonderful.