Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mustard Salad

Red Mustards
If you have never had red mustard greens, I think the best description I can come up with is if arugula met horseradish and they had a giant red leafed baby. They have a great flavor raw or if they are just too spicy they lose some of the bitterness when cooked. They also, when cooked in water, make really cool bright green water.

 The newest issue of Bon Appetit has a whole section of what to do with all sorts of winter greens. I saw this recipe for Raw Mustard Green Salad and was intrigued. This is an easy fast salad, the most work I had to do was make the anchovy croutons, which were everything I love about croutons. Salty, crunchy and a little cheesy. The salad dressing is made from anchovies, lemon, olive oil and garlic. With a little sprinkling of Gruyere at the end, this salad was a hit, and something to make again, especially since most of the items I usually have at my disposal.
Salad of Red Mustard Greens with Anchovy Gruyere Croutons.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Potato Party

In the heart of winter, even in Southern California,  I find it easy to just stay inside and just want to eat warm foods, preferably some sort of starch. What better way to enjoy the quintessential starch, then the potato. My friends hosted a potato party, where everyone brings a dish using potatoes  in one of the many various forms that potatoes can be found. I knew I wanted to use something from the box in combination with the potatoes and it had to be something easy, that I could bring as is, because I would be coming from work.

Little French Radishes

My Little Roasted Radish Potato Salad
 Food52 comes through again, with a recipe for Roasted Radish and Potato Salad. Radishes have such a distinct flavor that I was a little weary of putting them with potatoes. Using little tiny Yukon gold potatoes I roasted them  with the radishes. This recipe is flavorful everything working together and having all sorts of earthy, spicy, sweet flavors. It's somewhat healthy using yogurt instead of mayonnaise and just for kicks I sauteed the radish leaves and added them as well.  My only complaint about the recipe is that it makes enough for two or three servings. For the potato party this was plenty because there was more than enough tubers to go around, but if I were to make this again it would need to be doubled or tripled.  To see what other people made for the potato party, check out my friend Jillana's blog.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Easy Side

A new box is here. The greens are still coming strong amidst a few root vegetables. That white thing that looks like a carrot is daikon. Which is a Japanese radish that I never know what to do with. I keep thinking about pickling it, but we will see how far I get. Under the daikon, if you can tell, is a head of cauliflower. That looks like this.

Cauliflower, like broccoli goes bad quickly, and this one had just a little bit of brown specks on it, so it needed to be used immediately.
Cauliflower in olive oil before they go in the oven.
I have recently become obsesesd with this food website called Food52. Everything that I have found  looks interesting to eat and all the recipes are submitted by home cooks. I found a recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Bread Crumbs. This recipe is easy, quick, and is a great side for a Monday night. I decided to include the cauliflower leaves in the roasting because it seemed like a waste to not use them. Which turned out to be a nice crunchy treat. A light crispness with a hint of the cauliflower. The breadcrumbs were good but I didn't mix them enough so they were a little uneven tasting. Not all of them came out tasting of lemon and or garlic. I would even maybe forgo them next time. I think roasting them is all that is really needed.

Roasted Cauliflower on the side of tilapia

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cooking In A Green Year

 A new year is upon us and I am excited to eat lots of leafy greens. I love Christmas and everything that it brings but, I am happy to have the time to cook again.  The above photo is the most recent box, all those greens are chasing away memories of cookies, bacon wrapped dates, and the never ending parade of cheeses paired with something cured or pickled.
It has been uncharacteristically cold and rainy here  lately, and as a result I've been on a soup kick. I first made Broccoli Soup from this amazing looking Broccoli.  I have learned that Broccoli is one of the first things I need to use from the box because it goes bad really fast. I combined two recipes to make the Broccoli Soup. Using the Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition - 2006 and a recipe from Food & Wine. I overcooked the broccoli and it didn't come out the prettiest of colors but it tasted good.

A week later I made kale soup testing out a new Christmas gift
Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The Time-Honored Ways are the Best - Over 700 Recipes Show You Why
I am completely obsessed with this book. I am already making a mental list of what I want to make. And if I feel like a challenge it has sections on preserving and how to build your own smoker, out of a metal trashcan. I wonder if smoking vegetables would work. The soup was easy, simple, and delicious. It has potato in it, which gives it a thicker consistency and I managed to not let the greens overcook.

We enjoyed both soups with a slice of bread, or my favorite popovers.
Red Kale

Overall I think both the soups, while using two different vegetables, were really similar. If the weather keeps up perhaps I will start turning other greens into soup. Or some other delicious dinner to be had. All I know is that I am glad to be cooking in this new year and await the surprises that come in the new vegetable box
Broccoli Soup
Kale soup