Swedish Potato and Kohlrabi Salad

Swedish Potato and Kohlrabi Salad (640x439)

I made this salad last night using kohlrabi from my Pinckney’s Produce CSA box. I thought it was great. It’s my favorite way I have used kohlrabi so far. It’s hard to go wrong with potatoes and butter. I adapted the recipe from one I found in June/July 2014 issue of Saveur magazine.

Swedish Potato and Kohlrabi Salad

1 pound potatoes, peeled, cut into bite-sized chunks (or use baby potatoes – whole or cut in half – and leave the skin on)
4 – 6 tablespoons butter
1 kohlrabi with leaves, ends trimmed, peeled, cut into chunks, and leaves chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill (or about 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped)
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 10 minutes (check for doneness with a fork). Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the kohlrabi. Cook, stirring often, until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped kohlrabi leaves and continue to cook until they wilt. Add the potatoes, dill, and season with salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine. Serve salad warm or at room temperature.

Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita

Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita 2  (640x639)

My husband is at an academic conference in San Antonio. Last night he posted a picture on Facebook of a margarita he was drinking at a restaurant named Rosario’s. It was called Pica Pica and it was made of cucumber and jalapeno-infused reposado tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, and agave. He said it was the best margarita he has ever had. It looked really good. It just so happened that I got cucumbers in my CSA box this week. I had to try to recreate his drink. Why should he be the only one to enjoy such a libation? I think I did a good job. This margarita is amazing!

When making this drink, don’t use those waxed cucumbers you find at the grocery store. Yuck. If those are the only cucumbers you can find, peel them before using in the margarita. The spice level of the margarita will vary depending on the jalapeno you get.

Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita (599x640)

Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita

Makes 1 strong margarita

4 slices fresh jalapeno
4 slices cucumber
1 – 2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
2 1/2 ounces tequila (blanco if you have it, but I used Jose Cuervo Gold and it was fine)
1 1/2 ounces triple sec (or Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
juice from 1 lime

kosher salt

Prepare your glass by rubbing the rim with the cut side of a lime. Pour a little kosher salt onto a small plate or into a container. Dip the rim into the salt. Alternatively, use a margarita rimmer. Set aside until ready for use.

In a cocktail shaker, muddle (press and break-up) the jalapeno and cucumber slices. I used the handle-end of a large wooden spoon.

Muddle Cucumber and Jalapeno (640x626)

Add the sugar, tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. Add ice. Place the lid on the shaker and shake well. Strain into a prepared glass. Add ice and serve. I actually don’t strain my margaritas and think the chunks of cucumber and jalapeno give the drink more flavor. The drink does tend to get spicier as you get closer to the bottom. : )

Hot Collards and Artichoke Dip

Hot Collards and Artichoke Dip

This is a delicious spin on a classic spinach and artichoke dip. I may even like the collards version better. Collards and artichokes are both nutrient dense foods, so I feel less guilty about indulging in this rich dip. I don’t think that using low-fat cream cheese, mayo, and sour cream would alter the taste much.

This dip is also wonderful as a sandwich spread. I smeared some leftover dip on a piece of baguette and sprinkled shredded carrots (pulled from my garden) on top. Yum.

Hot Collards and Artichoke Dip

1 smallish bunch of collards, washed well
1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Remove the stems and tough ribs from the collards and slice thin. In a pot of salted water, cook the thinly sliced collards until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander. Squeeze the remaining liquid from the collards and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt, and garlic powder together. Mix in the prepared collards and chopped artichoke hearts. Pour mixture into a small baking dish that has been lightly coasted with cooking spray.

Bake at 375° F. for 20 minutes, or until heated through and slightly browned around the edges. Serve with toasted sliced baguette, toasted pita bread, or crackers.

You can prepare this dip up to a day in advance. Cover the dish with foil and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Squash Ribbons

Squash Ribbons 2

This is a quick, simple, and colorful side dish. It’s a great way to use all that squash you have from your garden or CSA. This dish can easily be made vegan by using olive oil.

Squash Ribbons

2 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Trim the ends off the zucchini and yellow squash. Using a vegetable peeler, make thin slices lengthwise down the squash until you reach the seeds. Turn the squash and make more slices until you reach the seedy center. Repeat until only the core of the squash is left. You can discard the center portion or save it for another use (cut up and throw into a vegetable soup).

Heat the butter or olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the squash ribbons and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve

Squash Ribbons


Mixed Greens Enchiladas

Mixed Greens Enchiladas

I’ve been trying to think of interesting ways to use the variety of greens I’ve been getting in my CSA boxes lately. I woke up this morning with the idea to make enchiladas. Originally, I was just going to use collards, but I had a little bit of rutabaga greens left from last week and decided to use those in the enchilada filling as well. The enchiladas turned out better than expected. So good. I’m thinking any type of greens (collards, turnip, mustard, Swiss chard, rutabaga, spinach, etc…) could work in these. I can’t wait to make them again.

Mixed Greens Enchiladas  2 (640x382)

Mixed Greens Enchiladas

6 cups fresh greens, washed well, stems and ribs removed, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 zucchini, diced small
1 cup frozen corn
1 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
corn tortillas
shredded cheese (Monterey jack, cheddar, or mozzarella)

3 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 cups water
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the thinly sliced greens and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the greens well in a colander and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until tender. Add the minced garlic and jalapeno and sauté another minute. Add the zucchini and cook until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and black bean and cook until heated through. Add the reserved drained greens and stir to combine. If there is liquid in the pan, continue to cook until the liquid is gone, otherwise, reduce heat to low and keep filling warm until ready to use.

To make the enchilada sauce, heat 3 tablespoons of canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and chili powder and whisk to form a paste. Mix in the cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Gradually whisk in the 2 cups of water. Let the mixture come to a boil, whisking often. It will thicken slightly. Add the can of tomato sauce and check for seasonings. Reduce the heat to low and keep the enchilada sauce warm until ready for use.

To assemble enchiladas, start by putting a little of the sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish (I  use two smaller casserole dishes, but you can use a large Pyrex baking dish). Working with 3 or 4 corn tortillas at a time, wrap them in damp paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Place a little of the filling (about 3 tablespoons) on the tortilla and top with cheese (about 1 tablespoon). Roll the tortilla around the filling and place in the prepared casserole dish, seam side down. Repeat process until all the filling is used. I got a total of 16 enchiladas, but the amount may vary depending on how much filling there is and how much is used in each enchilada. Once all the enchiladas are filled and placed in their baking dish, pour the warm enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese and bake, uncovered for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Mixed Greens Enchilada (640x411)

Spicy Black Bean and Hominy Soup with Kale

Spicy Black Bean and Hominy Soup with Kale (640x400)

I planted 9 Lacinato kale plants in my flowerbeds and garden earlier this year. Despite deer munching on some of the plants, there is quite of bit of kale ready to be harvested. The kale is a tad bit bitter, so I wanted to cook it rather than use it raw in a salad. I’m a fan of soups made with beans and greens. I had not paired black beans and kale together before, but I thought they went well together. This soup is wonderful. I’m sure using collard greens instead of kale would be equally delicious.

Several times a year, I roast and chop poblano peppers, and freeze them in 1/2 cup portions. I use the frozen chiles in soups, enchiladas, sauces, and egg dishes. Poblanos can vary in heat. The ones I used for this soup were on the spicier side, but the diced avocado I added to my soup bowl helped calm my taste buds.

Spicy Black Bean and Hominy Soup with Kale 2 (640x480)

Spicy Black Bean and Hominy Soup with Kale

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped (optional)
1 7 ounce can salsa verde (I use Herdez brand)
6 cups vegetable broth
1 small bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped (I prefer Lacinato kale)
1 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained
2 poblano chiles, roasted, skin and seeds removed, and chopped (or a small can of chopped green chiles) – see instructions on roasting chiles below
1 15.5 ounce can hominy, drained
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 a cup and extra for garnish)

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the onions and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and jalapeno; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the salsa verde, vegetable broth, and kale. Cook until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the black beans, roasted poblano chiles, and hominy. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the freshly chopped cilantro and serve with diced fresh avocado.

To roast poblano chiles:
Preheat broiler to high. Place poblano chiles on a baking sheet and broil, turning every 5 miutes until each side is blackened and charred. Place in a large bowl and cover with foil. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chiles, cut in half lengthwise, discard seeds and membranes, and coarsely chop. Set aside.

Creamed Rutabagas

Creamed Rutabagas

I got a bunch of rutabagas in my CSA box today. Rutabagas remind me of my great-grandmother on my dad’s side. I remember eating a meal at her house when I was a little girl and she served mashed rutabagas. I don’t remember anything else about that meal. It’s funny, the things that stay with you. Until I joined my CSA, I hadn’t had rutabaga since the meal at my great-grandmother’s.

I never see rutabagas for sale at grocery stores. One of the many reasons I love being a part of a CSA (community supported agriculture) is getting produce that I can’t or don’t buy otherwise. In this week’s box, there were rutabagas and their greens, bok choy, Bibb lettuce, romaine lettuce, spring onions, collards, kohlrabi, and strawberries.

CSA Box Spring 2014 Week 3 (640x428)

Tonight I made a salad with the Bibb and romaine lettuces, spring onions, and strawberries. I also made a little more gussied up version of mashed rutabagas. Topping with breadcrumbs and baking them in the oven gives them a little texture and crunch. This recipe is not photogenic, but I thought it tasted great.

Creamed Rutabagas

2 pound rutabagas, peeled and diced
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons cream (or half and half)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a small casserole/baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the diced rutabagas and cook 15 or until tender. Drain the rutabagas in a colander and return to the pot. Add the butter and cream and puree with an immersion blender. Alternatively, puree the rutabagas (along with the butter and cream) in a blender or food processor. Season the rutabagas to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the creamed rutabagas to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the rutabagas and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

This recipe doesn’t make a lot (maybe 4 small portions). Double it (except maybe for the amount of bread crumbs) if need be.