Tag Archives: Greens

Kohlrabi… what?

This week we are talking about Kohlrabi.  By the end of this post my hope is that you are familiar with the vegetable enough to buy one and eat it!

To start with this is what a kohlrabi looks like.photo 1

Kohlrabi is part of the cabbage family.  There are three basic parts to this vegetable.  The leaves, outer skin, and inner parts.  The leaves and inner parts are eatable.  Treat the leaves as you would any cooking greens.  The inner parts are similar in texture to a radish or broccoli stems.  The taste is similar to broccoli stems, jicama, or maybe even a faint apple or potato.

According to the folks at the Natural Agricultural Library… kohlrabi is full of some good vitamins and minerals.

Our farmer friends from River to River Farm asked us to take a closer look at this vegetable this week and present some cooking options.  So, here goes!

Grilled
photo 2After some googling & asking around someone mentioned grilling the kohlrabi.  We have a weekly grilling night with some co-workers so we figured we’d give it a try!  We cut the kohlrabi into ~1/4 inch slices, brushed with olive oil, stuck them on skewers, and grilled for 10-15 min.  They were amazing!  We are definitely doing this again.

Raw
We often try foods raw first.  We sliced the kohlrabi up and put some salt, pepper, and olive oil on them,  They were good.  I see us putting small pieces in salad in the future.

Roasted
We love roasted veges.  Toss an assortment of vegetables in a baking pan with olive oil and let your 350 degree oven do its magic for about an hour.  With the kohlrabi, I’d cut them into 1/2 inch chunks.

Kohlrabi Curry
We have been on a big Indian food kick lately.  Preparing for some upcoming blogs posts…
I googled and found these two posts: Kohlrabi Curry & Kohlrabi Greens Curry – I knew we needed to try them both.  We followed the recipe’s (minus the pressure cooker – as we don’t have one yet) and found both to be a bit bland – but good.

Kohlrabi and feta quiche
Plan on trying this recipe next weekend.  Looks good to me!

So, those are some ways to use this great vegetable!  Who would have thought something that looks vaguely like an alien could taste so good!

What have your experiences been with the kohlrabi? How do you prepare it?

Salads!

Last week I highlighted some salad dressings, this week I’m talking about salads.

We’ve been enjoying lots of great fresh greens this spring from River to River farm.  Along with a variety of cooking greens, we are finding all sorts of new lettuce varieties to enjoy.  In particular, the Forellenschluss variety – a type of romaine- has been great!  We have heard of people using this lettuce for wraps.  We have also been introduced to the  Bronze Arrowhead variety.  This is a very light lettuce – we have put it on many a salad lately.

Speaking of salads, here are a few salad recipes we been enjoying over the past few weeks.  First, know that it is important to wash your lettuce.  If you get them from a market or the store (or even your own garden)- it is important to wash the leaves.  We take each leaf off one by one & place them in a salad spinner.  Add some cold water & stir the leaves with your hand.  Then use the strainer to clear out the water.  I do a second wash the same way.  Then use the spinner to spin the leaves dry.

Salad with seeds & nuts:
Base of lettuce
Toast some pumpkin seeds, pecans, & raisins in a dry fry pan for a few minutes to bring out the flavor (the raisins should puff up, they’ll deflate once they cool down).
Put some cilantro on top to add some depth of flavor.
Add a dressing of your choosing.  I recommend a simple balsamic vinegar/olive oil mixture.  But, I have also really enjoyed the Gaba Gaba dressing from the salad dressings post.

Salad with strawberries:
It is strawberry season here – we’ve found these are great on salads.
Pretty simple – clean the lettuce with the instructions above, wash & slice some strawberries.  Add the dressing of your choosing.

Salad with mango, avocado lime, cilantro, and paprika:
While the mangoes are not at all local… they are in season!
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We buy ours from a local international food store by the case during this season.  While we eat a great number of them, we also cut some up and freeze them for later when they won’t be in season.
However, for this salad – again a bed of lettuce, add some cilantro, mango chunks, avocado (we didn’t have any when we made it), and then sprinkle lime juice and paprika on top.  We also added some fresh ground salt & pepper to this salad.

To help you cut your mango – here is a quick tutorial.
Along the middle of the mango is a long seed/pit.  You will want to not cut through it.  Make two cuts along the long/narrow side of the mango.  With your two ‘halves’ – first cut a grid pattern like so:
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Then you flip the mango out and you get these funny looking nub-spikes!
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Easy to cut off into chunks.  Get the rest of the meat off of the middle piece of the mango (the part surrounding the pit).  As a reminder, mango skin is not good for humans to eat.

What salads have you been making lately? Any favorite recipes? 

Braising greens – what is that?

I was excited to see this morning that one of our favorite farmers (Kris & Adriane of River to River Farm in Tunnel Hill, IL) will be bringing brazing greens to the market.  In their blog they specifically mention that they are bringing a “Brazing Mix (A Mixture of 7 different varieties of Kale and Collards).”

So, what is that? What to do with it?

As many of you know, we love cooking.  We actually cook with kale and collards regularly. Here’s what we do with them.  We sauté them.  That’s it.  Sauté.

Typically this means I start by washing the greens, separating the leaves from the stalks, and loosely chopping the greens.  Meanwhile I have some oil heating in a cast iron pan (low-medium heat).  We typically use olive, but have also braised with coconut oil or canola.

To just straight up braise greens – you just toss them in the heated oil.  Let them wilt while you stir them around some.

We rarely just do straight greens.  Usually, we chop up an onion (this is added & sautéd before the greens go in), add garlic, add lemon juice, add chili powder — or a combination of these.

Serving size wise – this really depends on how many people you have & how large your greens are.  It if is just me, I’ll do 2-3 leaves of collards, 4-6 leaves of kale (lacinato is usually smaller than most — red russian is our favorite).  For more people – add more leaves!  When my partner cooks greens she cooks three times as many for just the two of us (and never have leftovers!).  If we get a bunch of kale from the farmers’ market it is usually good for 1-2 meals.

Different varieties of greens: kale (all kinds), collards, chard, dandelion greens, beet greens, spinach, turnip greens… the list goes on!

Before the photos — just some info about greens.  Many greens can be harvested and served year round.  Some varieties can over-winter (kale is sweeter after the first frost).  You can eat them pretty much whenever.  Often the flavor will change when they bolt (or start producing seed) in the spring if you overwintered them.  Greens add fiber, protein, vitamins (especially Vitamin A) and nutrients to your diet.  Here are the nutritional facts about beet greens (yes, boiled, drained, unsalted, but still greens).  For us, they are a pretty important part of my diet.  I like to eat greens at least three times per week (partner would eat them at every meal if she had her druthers).

Here are some photos of what we’ve done:

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Garlic in kale

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Red onion in beet greensImage

Rainbow swiss chard on the cutting boardImageA finished meal – asparagus, dandelion greens, salmon sweet potato cake, and a cannelli bean tuna salad.

So – those are some of our tricks & favorites.  Let us know how you braise greens & any favorite recipes/tricks you do!  Go get your greens!