Thursday, June 24, 2010

RECIPE: Asian Kohlrabi Slaw

What in the world is Kohlrabi you ask?  Good question.  It is week three of our CSA basket, and as a food nerd, the most exciting.  The last two weeks have been delicious, but rather boring: kale, swiss chard, more bok choy than I ever want to see in my lifetime.  So, I was pleased to find kohlrabi in this week's share...and saw it as my first official CSA challenge.  I didn't even know what it was until I looked at the content list of the share and used the powers of deduction (I could safely say these alien heads did not look like cucumber, cilantro, spring onion or bok choy).

I had to take a picture:

Stop me now if you've seen this strange vegetable and think it's common.  I had no idea what it was until about 3 hours ago.

I went into the challenge blind.  My first thought was to turn to the internet for advice.  How do I cook this thing?  Should it be peeled?  Should it be sliced and cooked like a turnip?   I wanted to make this a true challenge, I chose not to consult the internet.

I would prepare a dish of kohlrabi using just my culinary instincts.

Feeling the rough outer skin, it had the waxy texture of cabbage.  It wasn't until I cut it open when I realized that the skin should be peeled.  That, and the creepy roots sticking out of the bulb did not look appetizing.  I cut off the bottom root, placed it flat on the cutting board and carved away starting from the top to bottom to remove the skin.  The kohlrabi has a texture similar to a radish, or turnip.  I removed a small piece to sample.  It had a peppery bite to it that was reminiscent of a cross between cabbage and a radish.  The consistency was radishy...a nice crunch.  I knew I had to do some sort of slaw at that point.  But not any slaw, but something with a Korean influence.

I cut up the rest of the kohlrabi into coins, then small matchsticks.  I then added from our share diced cucumber, chopped cilantro, and chopped spring onion.  Then, right on top of the slaw I threw in about 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of kochugaroo (Korean red pepper flakes), 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds, and a dash of sugar to round it out.  I mixed well with my impeccably clean hands.  First CSA challenge, done.


(Serving suggestion: Top a fish taco with the slaw for an Asian influenced taco.  Don't be scared.  Serve with a side of veggie fried rice)

Monday, June 7, 2010

RECIPE: Honey-Ginger Green Beans

I catered a lovely book club this evening.  I roasted the green beans in hopes to make the recipe healthier, but I admit, I should have kept them crispy and stir fried them.  You live and you learn.  The beans pictured below were stir fried, however, served with a side of grilled salmon.


Honey-Ginger Green Beans
Serves 4

1lb string beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of minced ginger
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons of grape seed oil

Preheat a large skillet until it's nice and hot.  Add oil and allow to heat up.  Toss in beans.  Stir fry until beans are brown in spots and caramelized.  Add ginger, garlic, and pepper flakes.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  In a small bowl whisk together rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and honey.  Pour into skillet with beans.  Toss until mixture is heated through and evenly distributed.

The menu: