Monday, December 28, 2009

Slow-Cooked Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe isn't actually broccoli at all, but a leafy relative of the turnip. If you don't have access to broccoli rabe, substitute mustard or turnip greens. In the past, we've always sauteed our broccoli rabe. But after spending some quality time in North Carolina last month and learning the aforementioned turnip trivia, we decided to treat broccoli rabe like turnip greens are treated in the South: cooked slowly with a smoky flavor. You won't taste tomato paste in the final product, but it does contribute to the satisfying, meaty umami flavor.

6 cups greens
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, skinned but left whole
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

Wash the broccoli rabe and cut off the tough bottom parts of the stem. Chop the tender parts of the stems and the leaves roughly.

Heat the butter over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic and greens for a few minutes. Add the tomato paste, paprika and 1/2 cup water. Simmer on low heat, covered, for three hours. Salt to taste.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Persimmon, Pomegranate and Pistachio Parfait

This is our version of an Indian dessert called shrikhand, a fruit parfait with cardamom-spiced yogurt. This is frequently done with mangoes, but persimmons and pomegranates are abundant in California this time of year and go very well together. The tart, crunchy pomegranate seeds are a lovely contrast to the simple sweetness of the persimmon. Try this as a light dessert or a twist on your usual morning yogurt.

This is traditionally made with strained yogurt, but if you're using cream top yogurt or Greek yogurt there's no need to strain it.

1 cup yogurt
2 teaspoons agave nectar (or other sweetener)
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 Fuyu persimmons, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 pomegranate, seeded
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped

Mix together the yogurt, agave and cardamom. Divide the ingredients into 4 eight-ounce glasses or bowls in the following order: persimmons on the bottom, then the pomegranate seeds, then the yogurt mixture, and finish by sprinkling pistachios on top.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Golden Beet Soup with Cinnamon

A colorful, warming soup for cold winter evenings, this recipe is decadently creamy without the presence of actual cream (thanks, coconut milk!). Try to use small, fresh beets that are still juicy. The tablespoon of applesauce at the end really brings the warm spiced forward, but you can skip it if you don't want to crack open a whole jar just for this one recipe.

6 yellow beets (4 cups)
1 sweet potato (2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
olive oil
pinch of allspice
pinch of nutmeg
1 clove
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon plain applesauce

Chop the sweet potatoes and beets into 1/2 inch cubes. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan, then add yams and beets. Cover and saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. (There should be enough liquid to keep the vegetables from sticking and burning. If your beets and yams don't give off enough liquid, add a few tablespoons of water.)

Stir in a little olive oil, turn the heat up to medium-high, and stir frequently, until the beets and yams are browned. Sprinkle in the spices and stir for a minute. Add the coconut milk, salt, applesauce and enough water to cover the vegetables. Simmer for 5 minutes, then puree well, adding more water as needed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Roasted Potatoes and Tokyo Turnips with Crispy Rosemary

These roasted root vegetables have a rich, juicy sauce, which makes them a nice change from the usual browned, crispy texture of roasted root vegetables. (We suspect you CSA subscribers might be starting to tire of the same old root vegetable treatments!) Tokyo turnips are everywhere here now, and while they're much-loved for their unique turnip ability to be eaten raw or lightly cooked, roasting always makes everything more delicious.

4 cups diced Yukon gold potatoes (about 4 potatoes)
1 and 1/2 cups diced Tokyo turnips (about 10 turnips)
10 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh thyme (stems removed)
3/4 cup stock
2/3 cup red wine

Preheat oven to 375. Chop the Tokyo turnips and potatoes into 3/4 inch chunks. Combine potatoes, turnips, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a 9" x 13" casserole dish. Roast for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Add stock and red wine. Stir to coat, then return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by two thirds.