Week #48 (4/25 & 28)

This week your basket contains: potatoes, radishes, TURNIPS, salad mix (lettuce, spinach, and endive), cooking greens (tat soi, bok choi, and red mustard and green mustard) and ARUGULA

 We know that spring is truly here when we have turnips for the baskets for the first time.  These turnips are not your grandmother’s turnips.  This Japanese variety (hakurai) is smaller, all white, mild and sweet.  The recipe below is always the first one we think of and send along to you.  We have had people tell us that this recipe is the center of their family’s informal spring celebration.  We think you will love it, too.

MORROCAN TURNIP AND CHICKEN STEW

2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 small (2 1/2 lb) chickens

3 Tb butter

1 Tb oil

2 onions

5 cups chicken stock

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp powdered saffron

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 lb small  turnips

2 cups chopped turnip leaves and stems

1/4 cup lemon juice

salt and freshly ground pepper

Rinse chickpeas in water and rub lightly to remove skins; drain and set aside. Cut chickens into quarters, removing wing tips and backbones; put them aside for stock. Melt butter and oil in a casserole and lightly brown chicken on all sides, cooking in two batches if necessary. Slice onions and stir into butter and oil to color. Then add the chickpeas, stock, pepper, ginger, saffron, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add turnips and greens and simmer 20 minutes more. Remove chicken and turnips to a covered warm dish. Boil sauce to reduce, mashing some of the chickpeas against the side of the pan to thicken the sauce; it may take 10-15 minutes to produce a nice thick sauce. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Reheat the chicken and turnips in the sauce and serve.   Serves 6 to 8.  From The Victory Garden Cookbook.

At this time of year, it can be a challenge to serve greens in a new and interesting way.  This easy recipe should help (and be very tatsy, too!)

A VERSATILE RECIPE FOR THE HEARTY GREENS

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH

Hearty greens

Toasted sesame oil

Soy sauce

Furikake* or toasted sesame seeds

Tear the leaves from the tough stems (if any) and boil in water until tender (1 to 3 minutes).  Drain the greens in a colander and push on them to remove as much water as possible.  Roughly chop the cooked greens and place them on a serving platter.  Lightly sprinkle with soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with furikake or sesame seeds and serve as a side dish.  From The Farm to Table Cookbook by Ivy Manning

*Furikake is a mixture of sesame seeds, seaweed, and sea salt available in most Asian food stores.

This is an excellent use for arugula.

ARUGULA PESTO SAUCE

3 cups packed arugula, washed and spun dry

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, cooled

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large garlic clove, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup hot water plus additional if desired

In a food processor pulse together all ingredients except oil and water until arugula is chopped fine. With motor running add oil in a stream, blending mixture until smooth. Sauce may be made up to this point 1 week ahead and chilled, its surface covered with plastic wrap. Bring sauce to room temperature to continue. Stir in 1/4 cup hot water plus additional for thinner consistency if desired.

TIME TO PLANT YOUR GARDENS!  The best place to get your starts THIS WEEKEND is the BENEFIT PLANT SALE Polly is holding for the Birthingway College of Midwifery.  She will be at the BEN & JERRY’S at 36th & Hawthorne FROM 10 TO 3 Saturday and Sunday.  You can pick up all the plant starts we listed on the sheet in last week’s basket plus other ornamental and medicinal plants.  Stop by, help a great school, buy some plants and celebrate your good deed with great ice cream!

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