Count Broccula's veg-head ramblings

My home experiments with vegetarian cooking. Focused on seasonal produce with some vegan stuff thrown in for good measure. I may include random other food-related stuff as I please.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

CSA box #1

(In the interest of full disclosure, this was first posted on my main blog, Count Mockula's Naughty Bits

Well, I joined Full Belly Farm, a CSA (community supported agriculture) program, where you pay in advance, then once a week, pick up a box of veggies. Since I love experimenting culinarily, I thought this would be fun (I did it once before a few years ago, but I was in school and working and hardly ever had time to cook). Anyway, today's box included carrots, oranges, onions, cauliflower, salad mix, cabbage, celery root and joi choi. I had to look up celery root and joi choi to figure out what to do with them. Joi choi is basically like bok choi and celery root is a starchy, somewhat bland root vegetable. So here's what I did:

Cauliflower curry -- I diced up and onion and sauteed it in olive oil. Then I added the head of cauliflower, busted up into florets. I also added two sliced carrots. I put in about a teaspoon each of minced garlic and minced ginger. When the cauliflower was browned and getting soft, I added a tablespoon of Thai Tom Yum paste (sorry, didn't have any Thai curry). Then I added about 1/3 cup yogurt mixed with 1/3 cup water, mixed it all up good, lowered the heat to medium and put the lid on. After another ten minutes or so I had a curry that Piggs pronounced "good."

Joi choi -- I just chopped it up, leaves and stems, and stir-fried it in a little olive oil, seasoned with some red chili flakes and soy sauce.

Celery root -- I decided to experiment with the smaller of the two. I peeled the thing and sliced one half very thinly (with a mandoline, I'm not really very good with knives). Then I heated the oven to 425, threw the slices on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam, salted and peppered them, and put them in for ten minutes, then took them out, flipped them over, and did another 7 minutes or so. They were good, but next time I'll be more careful with the salt -- I sort of over-salted them with sea salt, thinking that it would mostly fall off, but it didn't.
I grated the other half, and on the advice of a web site, put some lemon juice and salt on it, then let it sit for about ten minutes. Then I rinsed it off, drained it well, and put a vinaigrette on it. I made the dressing with a little sesame oil, cider vinegar, and wasabi mustard. I liked it. It was kind of like an asian slaw.

I served all this with rice. I would probably have used brown if I was just cooking for me, but Piggs loves his white rice. Overall, I would say this was a very successful experiment so far, and I still have the cabbage, several carrots, another celery root, another onion, and some oranges. A soup may be in my future . . . and probably more celery root chips.

Thanks to Jack Bishop, whose cookbooks I consulted for ideas and inspirations.


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