Week #49 (5/2 & 5)

This week your basket contains: potatoes, turnips, salad mix (lettuce, spinach, and arugula), BOK CHOI, GREEN ELEPHANT GARLIC, and cauliflower OR Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Green garlic (regular or elephant garlic) is a lovely spring treat.  Used like leeks, green garlic imparts a mild garlic flavor to any dish.  One of my favorite ways to use it is to make potato leek soup with green garlic instead of leeks (see our web site for a good recipe).  This recipe can be made with any greens you may have on hand and would be particularly good with bok choy.  It was written for regular garlic, which is smaller.  You can use just one or two green elephant garlics.

GREEN GARLIC AND GREENS

1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil or other cooking oil

3 green garlics, chopped

1/8 tsp. salt plus more to taste

2 slices prosciutto, sliced (optional)

1 bunch collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard thinly sliced or chopped

Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add oil. Swirl and add green garlic and salt. Cook, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute. Add prosciutto, if using, and cook, stirring, until it loses its bright pink tone, about 1 minute. Add greens, stir to combine, add 1/4 cup water. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook until greens are well wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir, cover, and cook until tender. Depending on the greens used (chard will take a shorter time than the others) and your taste, this will take anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste, as you like.

Bok choy is another spring treat.  It is the traditional green that provides a bit of crunch in spring rolls.  This recipe is well worth the effort.

SPRING ROLLS WITH BOK CHOY AND TOFU

2 Tbs. dry mustard

2 slices ginger plus 1 Tbs. minced

Salt

4 c. thinly sliced bok choy

1 bunch scallions, including greens

1 c. broccoli florets, cut into small pieces

1 10-ounce package extra-firm tofu, diced

1 Tbs. minced garlic

2 tsp. dark sesame oil

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. rice wine vinegar

12 egg roll wrappers

12 cilantro sprigs

Peanut oil for frying

Mix the mustard with 3 Tbs. water and set aside.  Heat 2 quarts of water with the sliced ginger and one Tbs. salt.  When it boils, add the bok choy, scallions and broccoli and cook for 1-½ minutes.  The water will not return to a boil.  Drain the vegetables, rinse them with cold water, wrap in a clean towel, and squeeze several times until dry.  Combine them with the tofu, minced ginger and garlic.  Sprinkle with sesame oil, sugar, vinegar and ¾ tsp. salt.  Toss well, and taste the mixture to be sure it’s seasoned sufficiently.

Lay one egg roll wrapper on the counter at a diagonal with a corner facing you.  Heap 3 Tbs. of the filling crosswise near the base.  Lay a cilantro sprig on top, fold up the lower corner, fold in the outer corners, and then wrap.  Repeat, using the rest of the filling.  Place the egg rolls on a plate, cover with wax paper, then with plastic, until ready to cook.  To cook, heat a ½ inch of peanut oil in a medium skillet until hot enough to quickly sizzle a corner of an egg roll.  Add 2 egg rolls and fry until golden, about 2 minutes.  Turn and fry the second side, then remove to paper toweling to drain.  Continue frying the rest.  Serve hot with the mustard sauce.  From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

SIMPLE CAULIFLOWER SOUP

Sometimes people are not too fond of the mustardy flavor cauliflower can have.  We have learned from Cook’s Illustrated that the compounds that make that flavor are eliminated when the florets are cooked for 30 minutes or more.  What remains are the nutty flavors you get from roasting cauliflower.  We took advantage of this to make a simple creamy soup by simmering cauliflower in broth for thirty minutes then blending that along with sautéed onion with an immersion blender until creamy.  We sautéed a few florets in browned butter and added it to the soup after blending to get the full range of flavors.  You don’t need to add cream (but we did) and it was delicious

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