It’s the season of experimentation here at the store. Lots of weird and wonderful produce is arriving, but it can be intimidating to pick up that fennel or purple kohlrabi when you’re not quite sure what to do with it. Now is the time to take the leap! We’ve gathered some tips and tricks to get you on your way to finding your new favorite dish. Try out one of our recipes, or share one of your own with us!
Bok Choy is classified as a cabbage and is a staple in Chinese cooking that can be found in soups, stir-fries, appetizers, and main fishes. Bok choy’s popularity comes from its light, sweet flavor, crisp texture and nutritional value. Not only is bok choy high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and calcium, but it is also low in calories! Another common name for bok choy is white cabbage.
Sautéed Bok Choy Recipe
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (from 1/2-inch piece)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds bok choy (about 2 medium bunches), cleaned, ends trimmed, and cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
In a large frying pan with a tightfitting lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds.
Add the bok choy and, using tongs, fold it into the garlic-ginger mixture until coated, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and water, cover, and cook until steam accumulates, about 1 minute. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just wilted, the stalks are just fork tender but still crisp, and most of the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and season with salt if desired.
“Garlic scapes, the curled flower from the top of a garlic plant, are abundant at farmers markets and CSAs (community supported agriculture shares) in spring and make an easy, fragrant pesto that can be spread on bread or crackers, put on pasta, used with fish, and as a substitute for garlic, onion, or scallions! Add to sandwiches, pasta, lamb, and fish dishes. Tastes great mixed with mayo.”
Garlic Scape Pesto
Original recipe makes 3 1/2 cups
1 pound garlic scapes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
Blend the garlic scapes, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper together in a food processor until smooth.
Oyster mushrooms really have nothing to do with oysters, except that they are usually grey (although there are also golden, pink, purple and giant varieties), soft and flat. Oyster mushrooms are delicate, tender and cook very quickly. This makes them a great option for quick meals, vibrant stir-frys and simple soups. When it comes to variety, usually the lighter the color of oyster mushroom, the more subtle the flavor.
Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Frittata
½ cup whole milk
3 Tb. vegetable oil
4 oz. sliced wild mushrooms, sliced (crimini, oyster, shitake…)
1 large shallot, quartered and sliced
1 small clove garlic,
6-8 drops of truffle oil (optional)
¾ chopped zucchini
3 oz. soft goat cheese
¼ cup chopped green onions
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Preheat a skillet to medium-high. Add 1 Tb. oil to the hot skillet, then add shallot. Sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and toss.
Add the sliced mushrooms. Carefully add the truffle oil, if desired. Sauté the mushrooms for 5-10 minutes, until deep brown, to render out the moisture. Finally, add the zucchini to the skillet and sauté another 2-3 minutes. *Truffle oil is POTENT—use it sparingly.
Transfer the veggies to a plate and wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
Put the skillet back over high heat with 2 Tb. oil. Mix eggs and milk with ½ tsp. salt and fresh pepper. Whisk until frothy.
Briskly swirl the skillet around as you pour the egg mixture in—this creates a crust on the outer edge. Then add the mushroom and zucchini mixture back to the skillet and crumble the goat cheese over the top.
Remove from heat and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Slide out of pan onto a cutting board and cut into wedges
These little sputnik-shaped vegetables come in green or purple, can be eaten raw or cooked, and taste a lot like broccoli stems. The word kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip (kohl as in cole-slaw, and rübe for turnip) though kohlrabi is more related to cabbage and cauliflower than to root vegetables.
KOHLRABI & APPLE SLAW with CREAMY COLESLAW DRESSING
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Makes 4 cups, easily adapted for less
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon good mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt & pepper to taste – go easy here
Fresh mint, chopped
1 pound fresh kohlrabi, trimmed, peeled, grated or cut into batons with a Benriner
2 apples, peeled, grated or cut into batons (try to keep equivalent volumes of kohlrabi:apple)
Whisk cream into light pillows – this takes a minute or so, no need to get out a mixer. Stir in remaining dressing ingredients, the kohlrabi and apple. Serve immediately.
Swiss chard is not only one of the most popular vegetables along the Mediterranean but it is one of the most nutritious vegetables around and ranks second only to spinach following analysis of the total nutrient-richness of the World’s Healthiest vegetables.
Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese
Original recipe makes 2 cups
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1/2 small red onion, diced
• 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
• 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• salt to taste (optional)
Directions: Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.
Fennel is a wonderful vegetable with a sweet, anise or licorice flavor that’s strongest when it’s raw but much more mellow when it’s cooked.Most fennel recipes call for just the white bulb, which is typically cored and sliced or chopped, depending on the preparation. When thinly sliced, the fennel bulb is great in salads — it’s crunchy and slightly sweet and subtly licorice-like, but not as pungent as licorice root or black licorice candy. The stalks can be used to make stock, or chopped and sauteed with other vegetables for a soup or stew.
TURKEY & FENNEL MEAT SAUCE
Serves: 4 • Prep Time: 15 minutes • Cook Time: 1.5 hour
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 tsp fennel seed
• 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
• 1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp dried parsley
• 1 lb. lean ground turkey
• 1/4 cup red wine
• 1 1/2 cups roasted garlic marinara
• 1 bay leaf
• pinch cinnamon
• 1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Add fennel and red chili flake and cook for 1 minute to infuse oil.
2. Add onion, parsley, oregano and cook for 3 minutes.
3. Add meat and brown.
4. Add red wine to deglaze and scrape brown bits off the bottom.
5. Add marinara, bay leaf and cinnamon. Stir to combine and bring to a gentle boil.
6. Lower heat and cover. Simmer for 1 hour.
7. Stir in basil after an hour and let simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve over pasta.
Sorrel is an herb that resembles spinach but has a slight sour, almost lemony taste. Look for it in the springtime at the farmer’s market or your local gourmet food store. Use this puree to top pizzas, eggs, or fish or use the leaves in a simple green salad.
Potato, Leek, and Ricotta Pizza with Sorrel Puree Recipe
Makes: 8 to 12 servings//Makes 1 cup puree | Total Time: 45 minute | Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
For the sorrel puree:
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 cups (about 2 ounces) packed sorrel leaves
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest from 1/2 medium lemon
For the pizza:
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium leek, ends trimmed
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
8 ounces baby red potatoes, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 pound fresh whole wheat pizza dough
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese
8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
For the sorrel puree:
1. Combine garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper in a mini food processor. Process until mixture is smooth and emulsified. Add sorrel leaves and lemon juice puree until smooth
2. If the mixture is thick, add a few tablespoons of water, and pulse until lighter in color and well mixed. Stir in lemon zest, taste and add more salt or pepper, as desired.
For the pizza:
1. Heat oven to 425°F and arrange and a rack in the middle. Drizzle the baking sheet with some olive oil and place it on the rack while oven heats up.
2. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and then slice them into 1/4-inch thick half moon shapes. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add leeks and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to coat in oil then add potato slices. Cook, stirring rarely, until potatoes are slightly softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
3. Meanwhile, place dough on lightly floured parchment paper, and, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll to an 12-by-10-inch rectangle. Pierce the dough in several places to prevent it from bubbling up unevenly
4. Scatter Pecorino evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Evenly distribute leek mixture then top with dollops of ricotta every few inches. Brush the border of the pizza crust with oil and drizzle the top with a few spoonfuls of olive oil. Using the parchment paper to help, carefully place the pizza (with the parchment paper) on the hot baking sheet in the oven
5. Bake until crust is crispy, cheese is melted and starting to brown, and underside of dough is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, slice into pieces, top each piece with a spoonful of the sorrel puree, drizzle with additional olive oil, top with a sprinkling of salt, and serve immediately.
VEGETARIAN TUSCAN KALE AND WHITE BEAN SOUP
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 cup diced yellow onion
• 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
• 1 (32-ounce) box low-sodium vegetable broth
• 4 cups packed chopped kale
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can sliced carrots, drained, or two large carrots, peeled and sliced
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add broth, kale and tomatoes (and fresh carrots, if using) and cover. Cook 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Add beans and canned carrots and heat thoroughly. Serve hot.
“Dill produces a leaf and a seed, both of which are valuable in cookery. Dill leaves are feathery and fern-like and, when chopped, have a rare affinity for sour cream and cucumbers. Chopped dill is enormously complementary to eggs, light cream cheeses, poached salmon and other fish. Sprigs of dill are a frequent garnish for open-faced sandwiches of the sort served in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
Dill seeds are best known as an ingredient for dill pickles, but there are few dishes from sauerkraut to apple pie to which the seed would not add interest.” (excerpt from An Herb and Spice Cook Book, by Craig Claiborne)