Roasted Kohlrabi with Garlic and Rosemary From the Kitchen of Blackwell Smith

The other day my aunt said “I don’t know what to do with kohlrabi”. My son thinks it’s toy. Really it’s more like tuber that grows above the ground. Eaten fresh it’s crisp and crunchy with notes of broccoli. Roasted with garlic and rosemary it becomes sweet and tender. It does have leaves, but we always talk about leaves. You can use them in many of the cooked applications shared here.

This recipe is very easy and quick.

Ingredients
2 bunches of kohlrabi
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
6 inch rosemary sprig
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and fresh black pepper

Directions
-preheat oven to 400 degrees
-wash kohlrabi of any dirt
-peel if your kohlrabi are close to baseball size mine were smaller so I left skin on
-cut kohlrabi in half for top to bottom
-lay kohlrabi on flat side and cut 1/4 inch thick half moons
-peel and mince garlic (very finely chopped)
-pull leave off of rosemary and chop
-place all ingredients in medium size mixing bowl
-add olive oil, sea salt and 6 to 7 twists of the pepper mill and now well(pepper and kohlrabi seem to like each other)
-lay out kohlrabi evenly on a large sheet pan do not over lap any pieces
-place pan on top shelf of oven check in 10 minutes
-if they aren’t tender give them another 3 or 4 minutes (cook till tender or leave a little crunch)

This is a great side for a meal. You can roast them whole or halved with other vegetables. Put them in soups or beans.

You could just eat a big plate of roasted kohlrabi! I did. Fresh food is the best food!

Salmon Tacos with Radishes From the Kitchen of Blackwell Smith

I love tacos and salmon. We added some avocado for creamy richness. The
mint and lemon are light and fresh. Radish with greens add a peppery crunch and the chipoltes provide that smokey heat.
Ingredients
Taco size tortillas flour or corn
1 salmon burger (I’d get mine from the trailer next to the Tant’s stand)
1 avocado (not too hard, not too soft)
Tant Hill radishes with tops
Fresh mint leaves, about 36
Green onion
1 lemon
2 or 3 chipotle peppers in adobo
Cajun spice
Sea salt
Instructions
-clean radishes of dirt cut into quarters pull stems off of leaves
-clean and cut green onions into 1/8 inch slices
-cut avocado into slices and cut lemon wedges
 -season salmon with 2 tsp of Cajun spice, 1 tsp sea salt and chopped chipotle pepper
-I heat my tortillas on a cast iron grill pan. You could wrap them in foil and place in oven or just warm them in a hot pan.
-heat large saute pan on medium-high heat add couple of drops oil if it starts to smoke add salmon it should cook we quickly then remove from heat
It doesn’t matter how you build your taco. I will give you one rule— don’t pack it full. It should only be 4 or 5 bites. Fresh food is the best food.
Viva La Radish!!!

Radish Leaf Pesto

image4-1.jpg

“The skins of onions, green tops from leeks, stems from herbs must all be swept directly into a pot instead of the garbage. …It’s easy to forget, leaves and stalks are parts of a vegetable, not obstacles to it,” ― Tamar Adler, An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace

I’ve always hated to waste food, but even more so after I signed up for a CSA. When you know people whose hands worked the soil and picked the vegetables, you feel closer to them and to your food. It makes it harder to say goodbye to even the scrips and scraps leftover from preparing a meal. It makes me want to find a purpose for every stem and leaf.

image1 (2)

Tamar Adler’s book The Everlasting Meal inspired me to get creative about using every part of the plant, getting the marrow from every meat bone, and rewarding every cheese rind with a last job to do. I forget where exactly the impulse to turn radish leaves into pesto came from. At first it seems unintuitive—after all, the radishes of my childhood came in plastic bags at the supermarket, already de-leafed. And the spicy, peppery flavor of radish leaves is so different from the bright, herbaceous parsley typically used to make pesto. But somehow or another, there was a day in my kitchen when my radish leaves ended up in the blender with glug of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkling of salt.

The nice thing about making radish leaf pesto is that you can do it a little different every time. Without parmesan or another hard cheese on hand, a handful of walnuts, pecans, or almonds add a creamy, umami balance to the vegetal, salt, and acid flavors. With some fresh herbs or spring onions, turnip tops, or even kale in the fridge, the radish leaves might find they have companionship. When I find myself without a lemon, I try white wine vinegar or lime. This is a recipe that doesn’t require measurement. Pesto invites you to play with whatever is in your pantry.

image2 (1)

There are a few potential pitfalls to be aware of. Radish and turnip tops can be a little bitter as well as peppery, and sometimes olive oil can become bitter when thrown into the blender. If bitter isn’t your favorite flavor, you’ll either want to process your leaves with a little water separately and then hand-whisk the olive oil in or be careful to run the blender for the least amount of time needed to emulsify your pesto. Walnuts can also sometimes have a bitter edge. You can embrace this aspect of radish leaf pesto and balance it out with extra cheese, salt, or lemon, or add in basil, parsley, or even cilantro to contrast.

As for what to enjoy your pesto on, the possibilities are endless. I like to think beyond the pasta bowl, and spread mine on pizza, serve with cheese, crackers, and charcuterie when guests come over, spread on tortillas or lavash for lunchtime wraps, swirl into grain, vegetables and a protein for a health grain bowl, or stir it into sunny side up eggs as they cook in the pan. You can marinade almost any protein, animal or non, or spread it over fries made from potatoes or even the turnip roots themselves.

image1 (3)

 

One of my favorite ideas is to freeze pesto, either in ice cube trays or in a small jar or plastic container, to enjoy when springtime has passed and radishes are no longer in season. One of the great joys of “putting up” produce is getting to enjoy fresh flavors throughout the year, or having a treat on hand for a special occasion or when you need a little pick-me-up.


Farm Notes April 12

There are some exciting new additions on offer this week. As per usual you can find us at:

17236905_10101327143201748_1706845639_o

We are at Nutrition World Farmers Market every Saturday from 11:30am-1pm.

See you at Main Street Farmers Market on Wednesday from 4-6pm.

CSA:
Green leaf lettuce
Hakueri Japanese salad turnips
Colorful Spring Radish
Red Russian Kale
Rainbow and Giant Ford Hook Swiss Chard
Collard Greens
Tarragon

Market:
Baby Red Leaf Lettuce
Young Green Butter lettuce
Salad mix with Red Kitten Spinach, variety of colorful lettuce, kale, spicy Asian mustard and edible flowers
Toscano, Red Russian and Siberian Kale
Spicy Asian Mustard (horseradish bite)
Giant Ford Hook and Rainbow Swiss Chard
Dense, tender Red Kitten Spinach
Easter Egg, Crunchy Royal and D’Avignon Radish
Hakueri Japanese Salad Turnips
Toscano, Collard and Spicy Asian Raab-delicious sautéed or roasted
Variety of herbs.


How to Preserve and Store Fresh Herbs

Spring and summer are resplendent with fresh herbs that are a joy in any kitchen. But sometimes they can seem like the shortest-lived flavors of the season, gone before you know it.

image2

 

We’ve all been there—paying too much on fresh herbs at the supermarket for just one special recipe, or getting a beautiful little bouquet at the farmers market only to find that those little green leaves brown and spoil before you have a chance to fully enjoy them. I can’t count the number of times I’ve found once-green basil blackened and limp in the crisper drawer of my fridge, or once bright cilantro reduced to slimy mush.

Losing herbs is often feels more disappointing to me than when other food spoils because herbs can be so expensive at the store and their shelf life seems mysteriously short. If you’re as excited as I am about the parsley and oregano appearing at the market the past couple weeks, you won’t want to waste one flavorful sprig. Fortunately, there’s a few different ways you can enjoy your soft and hard herbs for as long as possible.

Soft herbs are any like parsley, mint, and cilantro, with a soft stem and leaves. Hard herbs are any with a more twig like structure, such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano. The key to keeping herbs fresh is knowing what type you’re dealing with and treating them accordingly.

image2

Parsley yellowed from improper storage.

There are several methods for preserving soft herbs. They’ll last for a few days in the bag they come in at the farmers market— but to keep them fresh longer than that you’ll ultimately you want to find the right balance of moisture, oxygen, and light. Soft herbs already hold a lot of moisture, so it’s easy for them to rot quickly. Too much light, and they’ll become limp and yellow. But unless you want to dry them purposefully, you don’t want to avoid moisture entirely.

One method, if you have room in the door of your fridge, is to put the herbs stem down and leaves up in a jar or glass with just enough water to cover the base of the stem, like you would for a bouquet of flowers. Put a plastic bag over the leaves of the herbs, careful not to crush them, and secure with a rubber band. This will help the herbs continue to “live” even though they’ve been harvested and absorb moisture as needed.

Another method for longer term storage is to freeze your herbs in water or oil. Some experts suggest oil better maintains the fresh flavor of soft herbs, but you’ll want to choose depending on the kinds of recipes you often cook and what you’ll be using the herbs for.

image3

Oil preserved parsley or basil can quickly be thrown in with fresh, warm pasta or into the blender to be finished into pesto with some kale, radish tops, walnuts, cheese, etc. Or mint and cilantro frozen in oil can be thrown in at the end of fixing a quick weeknight curry, chimichuri, or marinade. Water preserved herbs might be better for something like spaghetti or pizza sauce.

To preserve your herbs in oil or water, simply wash them, gently dry them in a salad spinner or by blotting with paper towels, chop them, and fill the compartments of an ice cube tray with your herbs. Add just enough water or oil to surround the herbs. Freeze and pop a cube or two our when you need it for up to three months (though even frozen herbs are best used sooner rather than later).

image1

For hard herbs like rosemary and oregano, you can store them in the short to mid-term by rolling them up in damp paper towels and putting them in an airtight container or plastic bag, being careful to squeeze the air out. For the longer term, you’ll want to dry your herbs to preserve them, rather than freezing them. Simply hang upside down with a string around their stems in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

Basil and mint can be tricky because they are soft herbs that are sensitive to the cold. These often do best left to dry on the countertop out of direct sunlight.


Farm Notes April 5

There are some exciting new additions on offer this week. As per usual you can find us at:

We are at Nutrition World Farmers Market every Saturday from 11:30am-1pm.

See you at Main Street Farmers Market on Wednesday from 4-6pm.

17475405_10101327142962228_1638156108_o

If you are worried about the weather on Wednesday, April 5th we can bring your share to the car if you pull up by our truck at the far end of the market. You can also arrange pickup on Saturday at @nutritionworldchattanooga instead! Just let us know what you need!

CSA:
1. Green leaf lettuce
2. Hakueri Japanese salad turnips
3. Colorful Spring Radish
4. Siberian Kale
5. Rainbow Swiss Chard
6. Oregano
7. Green Onion

Market:
Green leaf lettuce
Toscano, Red Russian and Siberian Kale
Tender Collard Greens
Giant Red Mustard
Spicy Asian Mustard (horseradish bite)
Ford Hook and Rainbow Swiss Chard
Dense, tender Red Kitten Spinach
Colorful Spring Radish
Hakueri Japanese Salad Turnips
Nutrient Dense and Medicinal Chickweed for salads, smoothies, teas and tincture
Variety of herbs.

Next week we will have Easter Egg Radish for the up coming holiday.

Coming soon will be kohlrabi, pak choi, and daikon radish!


Spring Radish Tartines

image5

I first learned about the simple pleasures of spring radishes on toasted bread with good butter from a friend who married a Frenchman.

It was such an easy, minimalist concept, such a pleasurable morning ritual. The slicing of the bread off the loaf. The transformation of the round, red and long, pale radishes into slivers so thin the light passes through them. A thick smear of bright butter. A sprinkling of salt. It was like a little poem.

And then there was the poetry of the eating itself. The crunch of the crust and forgiveness of the crumb, the peppery flavor of the radishes hovering over the sweetness of the butter and the sparkle of the fleur de sel.

image1

 

We took breakfast very seriously back then. It was an all morning affair, with everyone contributing something— a pot of black, rich coffee, a bunch of grapes, hardboiled eggs and asparagus left over from last night’s dinner, yogurt with honey and nuts. And of course, the radish tartines. My favorite out of everything lovely on the table.

I still make these on the regular, especially when the first spring radishes come in. I like to play around with the concept—after all, tartine means nothing more complex than an open-faced sandwich with quality, special ingredients. There’s a whole restaurant named for and devoted to the concept in San Francisco, and while I did have the best croissant of my life there, I still like the home-made version best, because I can play with my food.

image4

If you want to make your morning ritual extra enjoyable all week long, it doesn’t take much pre-planning. All you need to start is a good loaf of bread. I make mine from scratch these days with my sourdough starter, and a loaf will last me a week. You can also buy a lovely loaf from a number of Chattanooga bakers, including Bread and Butter, Niedlov’s, The Bread Basket, or Bluff View.

Next, you’ll wand some kind of spread to add moisture and flavor to your tartine. Think good butter, pesto, jam or savory preserves, nut butters, hummus, soft cheeses like ricotta or boursin, mashed fava beans, or even avocado.

image2

After that, the world is your oyster. Top your tartine with avocado, feta, eggs, and sprouts for a green breakfast packed with protein and healthy fats. You could do classic bread and jam. Or you could try pesto, radishes, and asparagus tops. Slick butter over the bread and pile on greens from your share like the Red Kitten Spinach or Spicy Asian Mustard Greens, and top with a fried egg to get a jumpstart on your veggies for the day.

A thick spread of tahini and hummus with herbs, radishes, an egg, and a sprinkle of exotic spices like z’atar or berebere seasoning can sweep you away to Morocco before your coffee has even kicked in. Miso-pickled mushrooms could add an umami Asian flare to your pairings. A little mayonnaise or aioli and left over roast chicken or seitan is a great way to use up leftovers besides brown bagging your lunch.

There are endless ideas for how to top your toast. My favorite is still the simplest—radishes, butter, and a little salt. What will your new favorite be?
image3