I got turnips and rutabagas in my CSA box. At first, I did not know what I was going to do with them. Turnips, rutabagas, and potatoes are kind of similar and I thought they would probably taste great together. I took the idea further with the addition of other root vegetables like carrots and onions. I was super happy with the way this soup/chowder turned out…so good. Seriously, so good. Hoping for more turnips and rutabagas in next week’s box.
Root Down Chowder
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, cut in half and sliced
2 tablespoons butter (or oil)
2 tablespoons flour
1 large turnip, peeled, ends trimmed, and diced
1 large rutabaga, peeled, ends trimmed, and diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup cream (or half and half)
salt and pepper, to taste
dill, fresh or dried, to garnish (optional)
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and sliced carrot, and cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Add the diced turnip, rutabaga, and potato. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer until the root vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cream and heat through. At this point, I like to take a potato masher and break up some of the root vegetables. You could puree the soup if you like it that way. Serve the soup in bowls. The soup is delicious topped with a sprinkle of dill.
My fridge was overflowing with a variety of greens from my CSA boxes. It was a little overwhelming. What the heck am I going to do with all of these greens (especially rutabaga greens)? Luckily, I remembered reading about a Cajun dish using different greens. I scoured the internets looking at dozens of recipes, each one different from the last. Gumbo z’Herbes, also known as Green Gumbo, is basically a roux, Cajun mirepoix, and a medley of greens cooked until super tender. Easy enough.
Making the roux is an important step in this dish. The darker the roux, the better. You have to stir it constantly because it will burn right fast. I aim to get my roux to be the same color as a penny. This takes some time, about 30 minutes. The effort is worth it.
Traditionally, gumbo z’herbes is made with an odd number of greens. I used 5 different types of greens in my gumbo z’herbes: rutabaga greens, collards, spinach, mustard greens, and cabbage. If you can’t find 5 different types of fresh greens, it is fine to use some frozen greens.
Initially, I set out to make this a vegan dish. Traditionally, this is a vegetarian dish eaten during Lent. I had some smoked sausage in the freezer and decided to go with it. It gave the dish a great smoky flavor. If you wanted to make the dish without meat, a dash of liquid smoke would give the dish a similar smokiness.
Gumbo z’Herbes (Green Gumbo)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups water
1 bunch each of at least 5 different greens (such as mustard greens, collards, spinach, kale, cabbage, beet tops, turnip greens, rhutabaga greens, swiss chard, sorrel, chicory, radish leaves, carrot tops, dandelion greens, lettuce [romaine, red leaf, green leaf, etc... do not use iceburg], parsley, watercress, arugula, etc….)
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon thyme
3 bay leaves
salt and black pepper, to taste
12 ounces smoked sausage (preferably Andouille), sliced
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until dark golden brown, 15 – 30 minutes. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft, 8-10 minutes.
Add the 8 cups of water to pot. Increase the heat to high and bring to boil. Add the greens, cayenne, Tabasco, thyme, and bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until greens are very soft, about 1 hour. Add the sliced sausage and simmer 30 more minutes.
Remove the bay leaves before serving. Serve gumbo over cooked white rice.
I tried making kale chips several years ago and they turned out terribly. They were so bad that I haven’t bothered trying to make them again until recently. My oldest son has been taking a cooking class and a few weeks ago they made kale chips. They were wonderful. I decided to try making them again, this time using the recipe from his cooking class. They turned out perfectly. Yay!
Last week I got a huge bunch of mustard greens in my CSA box. I made mustard greens chips using the kale chips recipe. They turned out well too. I also tried making chips with collard greens. They were fantastic. I liked them better than the mustard greens chips.
1 bunch of kale (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350° F. Make sure the oven rack is positioned in the middle of the oven.
Wash the kale and remove the stems. Tear into bite-size pieces. Spin dry in a salad spinner. Blot any remaining moisture away with paper towels.
In a large bowl, toss the kale with olive oil until thoroughly coated. You may need to use your hands to make sure every piece is coated. Sprinkle kale with salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake until the chips are crispy, about 15 – 20 minutes (mine were perfect at 18 minutes). Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Stir the kale chips about halfway through cooking to make sure they bake evenly. Remove chips from the oven and let cool a few minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an air-tight container.
Here are the mustard greens chips:
In this week’s CSA box I got spring onions, diakon radishes, mustard greens, collard greens, mesclun salad mix, red fire leaf lettuce, broccoli, and buttercrunch lettuce. The average temperatures in South Carolina this year have been slightly below the norm, so the cool weather vegetables continue to roll in.
One of the things I like best about getting CSA boxes is that they often contain vegetables that I normally do not buy. I rarely buy mustard greens. I am not sure why, because I actually like them a lot. They are just a vegetable I do not think to use often. I got such a large bunch of mustard greens this week that I will be able to make 2 or 3 different recipes with them. I have never pickled greens before, but I know it is often done in Asian countries. Pickled greens are often accompaniments to spicy dishes, especially grilled meats. In Thailand, pickled mustard greens are often served with Khao Soi. I love Khao Soi and have two versions on this blog. Find a beef version here and a chicken version here.
Pickled Mustard Greens
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/8 cup white vinegar
serrano chile, stem removed and split lengthwise
In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir to make sure the sugar and salt are dissolved, then remove from heat. Cool slightly.
Trim stems off of washed mustard greens. Coarsely chop enough greens to fill a 1-pint Mason jar.
Pack the greens and serrano chile into a clean glass 1-pint Mason jar. Pour the hot liquid over the greens, making sure that they are completely submerged. Screw on the lid and refrigerate for at least 3 days before serving.
This past week I got a bunch of baby turnips (with the greens) in my CSA box. In the past I have pickled turnips and have used them in soups. This time, I wanted to try something new. I prepared the glazed baby turnips and the greens seperately and then served them together. I loved the sweetness of the glazed baby turnips contrasted with the salty and slightly bitter taste of the greens. Oh, I will be doing this again!
Glazed Baby Turnips on a Bed of Turnip Greens
1 pound baby turnips with greens
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
Cut green tops off of the turnips. Trim ends of the turnips and rinse well. Remove stems from the greens and rinse well.
Cut cleaned greens into 1-inch lengths and place in a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes. Just before serving, drain the tender turnip greens in a colander, place on a serving plate, and place the glazed baby turnips on top.
Meanwhile, cut trimmed baby turnips into fourths. Place in an even layer in a skillet and add enough water to reach halfway up the layer of turnips. Next, add the sugar, salt and butter. Bring the turnips to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the turnips are tender and the water has evaporated, about 10 – 15 minutes. Once the water is evaporated, continue to saute the turnips until they become golden brown. This will take a few more minutes. Once golden, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to the pan to create a glaze. Serve the glazed turnips over the turnip greens.
I created this stir-fry to use the bok choy and broccoli I got in my Pinckney’s Produce CSA box. I could not be happier with the way this dish turned out. So good!!
Stir-fried Bok Choy and Broccoli with Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 large onion, slivered
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 head bok choy, end removed, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 small head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets, stems peeled and sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used baby portobellos)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice (cooking) wine
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Prepare the ingredients before starting to cook. Once everything is ready, this stir-fry comes together fairly quickly.
In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Set sauce aside.
Heat a wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and then add the sliced chicken breast. Stir-fry until the chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the wok and then add the onions, garlic, bok choy, and broccoli. Stir-fry until onions start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook another minute. Add the prepared sauce and chicken and let cook on high, stiring often, until the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with enough water to make a slurry. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook until sauce is thickened. Serve with hot brown rice.