Week 3 – fun with kohlrabi & pac choi

My apologies this didn’t get posted sooner – I wrote it Monday night, and thought I posted it, but apparently that didn’t happen…

In your shares: 20140602-222201-80521405.jpg The kohlrabi may be a new treat for some of you.  First try it raw by peeling off the tough outer layer of the bulb and slicing it into thin rounds.  It can be used this way as a good veggie for dips.  Here’s a little on cooking it from this excellent website – http://gracelinks.org/485/real-food-right-now-and-how-to-cook-it-kohlrabi

A versatile veggie, both the bulb and the leaves are edible. The bulb can be quartered and roasted like potatoes (toss with olive oil and salt and pepper first), pureed (especially nice mixed with potatoes), gratinéed with cheese, steamed, grilled or simply thinly sliced raw and tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Kohlrabi also makes a delicious slaw, grated or cut into thin matchsticks. Cook kohlrabi leaves like you would other leafy greens, by either boiling for a few minutes in salted water, or by sautéing with olive oil and garlic until tender. The leaves can be eaten raw, tossed into a salad and are also delicious thrown into a stir-fry.

First snap peas of the season today!  Be on the lookout for snow peas next week.  The green garlic has begun to develop its bulbs and the outer layers of the bulb and the stalk are a bit fibrous now.  I recommend peeling back a few layers until you reach the more tender parts inside.  It has a such delicate flavor that is easy to accidentally overcook until it doesn’t taste like much… – just a word to the wise. Today is probably the last you’ll see of the french breakfast radish.  I planted them a bit too close together so their shapes are a bit funny right now.  There will be some other kinds of radishes a bit further on in the season.  Another first today: bok choi (aka pac choi) – an asian green with thick white succulent stems.  These are common in stir fries and as a veggie in curry dishes.  If you haven’t used your napa cabbage yet from last week you could consider making kimchi with the pac choi and napa together.  Here’s one potential kimchi recipe (from http://www.culturesforhealth.com/simple-kimchi-recipe): Ingredients

  • 2 large heads of Napa cabbage, sliced thin (here you could add the bok choi in place of the second napa head.  You could even toss a few thinly sliced chard stems in for color.)
  • 2 large bunches of green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (to taste)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes or 1/4 lb fresh chilies minced (to taste)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons sea salt or to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a very large bowl. Massage salt into vegetables and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes to give the salt an opportunity to draw out the juices. Pound with a wooden spoon or a clean mallet until the juices are released.
  2. Move to fermentation vessel (e.g. a clay crock with a lid that fits down inside it) and pack down until vegetables are covered in brine. Allow to ferment for 3 to 5 days at room temperature, longer if you can find a cooler location. Transfer to cold storage where it should keep for months.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures.  Here’s the new farm outpost a few blocks away from the original site.  Photo taken yesterday when I had just tilled in one bed of buckwheat cover crop in preparation for planting the second round of kohlrabi and pac choi.  The rest of the buckwheat to the left is now mowed and tilled in as well in preparation for fall brassica crops such as cabbage and collard greens. 20140602-222202-80522946.jpg A happy CSA member…20140602-222159-80519676.jpg

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