Food and Fitness, Uncategorized

Whats in the Basket 7/22/13

This week from Garden Of Eat’n

Beets, Radishes, Cabbage, Lettuce, Fryer Peppers (if weather cooperates), small onion, cucumbers, pickles, and yellow squash.

Beets: Love beets. There natural sweetness makes them a great accompaniment  on salads, or with grilled or roasted meats.

Don’t be afraid to use the whole plant! The greens can be prepared like spinach. They have a slight bitter taste, so preparing the greens with some caramelized onions will mellow it out. They make a great side dish, but like spinach, they will cook down quite a bit. As for the root itself, there are many options to consider. First thing I would suggest is wash them thoroughly  in cold water being carful not to tear the skin. Clip of the tops leaving about an inch or two on the root, and most of the bottom. In a steamer, cook the whole beets for about 10 – 15 minutes. This will make peeling them much easier.  You will know they are done when you can pierce the beet with a fork or tip of a knife. I like to keep them on the firm side because the crunch of these is fantastic. Once they are steamed, you can just rub off the skin with a paper towel. Now you’re ready to prepare them.

You can shred them at this point for a salad, but more traditional preparations include pickleing them or in Borscht (an Eastern European soup using the roots and greens). My preferred  method is grilling them. The natural sugars get caramelized on the grill and really bring out the flavor.

Once they are peeled, slice them to about 1/4 to 1/2 in slice. Toss with a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Once coated, place on a hot grill (or you can broil them in the oven) for about 3-4 minutes on each side. It will depend on how much crunch you want. I’ll eat them straight up like this or toss them with greens and a little goat cheese for a super refreshing salad. Even tossing them with shredded beet greens helps you experience all the flavors this veggie has to offer.

Oh yea…and about your hands getting stained, a little lemon juice on the hands will take care of that.

Cabbage: Super versatile veggie that you can enjoy either raw or cooked. In its raw state, the most common is in a slaw. This is a great opportunity to use some of the other veggies in the mix also. I love using radishes in my slaws for their peppery taste that it adds. I also like to use a vinaigrette based dressing for my slaws vs a mayo based. This is where you can really have some fun. You can use an infused vinegar for the dressing, possibly one with fruit infused into it. I make one using rice wine vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, ginger and wasabi paste. Combine in a blender with a touch of brown mustard and slowly drizzle in the oil until the dressing emulsifies. Then toss shredded cabbage with carrots and any other shredded veggie with the dressing. Makes a great side for seared salmon or on fish tacos.

Fryer Pepper: You will recognize these as “Italian Peppers” or “Banana Peppers”. This thin walled mildly spicy pepper is a great topping for grilled meats. Clean the peppers by removing the stem and seeds (unless you want a little more heat then leave the seeds).  Cut the peppers into strips. In a hot sauté pan, add a little olive oil and some fresh crushed garlic. Sauté until garlic starts to brown. Add the peppers and reduce the heat to medium. Toss the peppers in the pan to evenly coat with the garlic and oil. Season with salt and pepper. You can also add some fresh herbs like basil or oregano to them. (HINT: Think about how long the herbs are going to cook and if it’s more than 10 minutes used dried herbs instead. Remember, you only need 1/3 as much dried herb as fresh so if 3 tablespoons of fresh, chopped basil are called for, use 1 tablespoon of dried.) Serve them on top of your favorite grilled meats, It will really make the flavors pop!

Finally Dont forget to check out this weeks Technique Class at Williams Sonoma at Evergreen Walk. Our topic will be “Farmers Market Finds”

FARMERS’ MARKET FINDS
Sunday, July 28

Farmers’ market stalls are brimming with summer’s fresh fruits and vegetables, including those seasonal favorites: corn, tomatoes, bell peppers and squashes. But what to do with it all? We’ll teach you some new recipes to make the most of your garden-fresh finds. These healthy dishes are perfect for enjoying with family and friends.

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