In This Week’s Box: Potatoes, Onion, Napa Cabbage, Dragon Carrots, Beets, Acorn and/or Delicata Squash, Castel Franco Raddiccio and Watermelon Radish
As you may have gathered from some things I’ve written here, I take full advantage of our wonderful public library’s excellent cookbook collection. Any time I read about a new one that sounds interesting, I immediately see if it is available to check out. Over the years I have discovered many good titles, a few that I have purchased, but mostly a good recipe here or there that I have photo copied and pasted into a notebook I keep in my kitchen and reference again and again. Most of this cookbook perusal happens in the winter when the pace of our work slows slightly and gives me a little more time for such things. I can’t tell you how many winters I have seen glorious and complicated eggplant dishes that I vowed to try the following summer. Of course, come summer I don’t have an extra minute to cook a complicated eggplant dish and instead just do what I’ve always done with it, throw it on a pizza or sauté it and toss it with pasta. The winter vegetables, on the other hand, get my full attention. I have more time to try new things and this is good because while produce is a bit limited in terms of variety, many of these vegetables are extremely versatile. In the summer there is so much variety on the farm that even our family, who live here, will sometimes only remember to eat a certain crop a couple of times, whereas, in the past week alone we have eaten carrots raw, steamed and roasted, in tomato sauce and soup and on their own as an afternoon snack. I know I’m choosing the most versatile of vegetables as an example here, but I think you also get my point, the more you work with something, the more ideas you will have for how to use it.
If watermelon radishes are new to you, I recommend using a mandoline, if you have one, or a very sharp knife if you don’t, to slice them as thinly as possible and add them to your salad. I think you will agree that their beauty is just what we all need on our table in the heart of winter. Below is a photo of what I brought to the valentine’s day potluck at my son’s school last year. I sliced them and then used a heart cookie cutter, in case you want to do it too. A good way to get preschoolers to eat radishes!
The Calliope Crew