I know pickles are usually considered more of a garnish than a vegetable, but since I started with cucumbers from my CSA, I’m totally counting this as a Veggie Resolution! The idea of making my own pickles first crept into my head when I saw this post on my friend Penny’s blog, and it bloomed full force when my CSA pick-up included four pounds of cucumbers last week. That’s a lot of cukes, see for yourself!
Last week’s CSA pick-up included the usual goodies: garlic scapes (Love!), fava beans (Looooove!) and the like. It also included one extremely beautiful but alien-looking vegetable – the kohlrabi. As you can see, it looks a bit like a radish and at times a beet, but not completely like one or the other. Plus its leaves grow from all parts of the bulb – fascinating! I was intrigued by its beautiful magenta color, but as to how to prepare it – completely clueless.
Thankfully I turned to my trusty source, the internet, and scrounged up some facts about the kohlrabi. Here’s what you need to know:
Happy Tuesday! I just love a shortened work-week, don’t you? How was your holiday weekend?
Today, I’d like to share a recipe for pesto using the mysterious looking veggies above. These curly green doodads are garlic scapes, and they were part of my Week 1 CSA pick-up. Garlic scapes are the immature flower stalks of garlic, and they are often removed to allow the garlic bulb to grow bigger. I had no idea what to do with these super-pungent greens until my friend Lisa had suggested pesto. You better believe it – pungent scapes = suuuuper garlicky pesto! In fact, I brought a container of this pesto with linguine to work for lunch one day and subsequently brought it right home again so as not to offend my coworkers. So consider yourself warned! This pesto is soooo good though – if you don’t mind stinking up your breath, it’s totally worth it
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Ooookay, so I know avocado is technically a fruit, not a veggie – but considering I’ve stalled on Veggie Resolution #5 (and that included the disappointing Baba Ganoush), let’s not get too technical here.
Guacamole is one of those easy-to-make, highly customizable dishes. I looooove avocados like crazy, so naturally guacamole is a major WIN! for me. Even though you don’t technically need a guacamole recipe, I wanted to give David Lebovitz‘s version a try.
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Yes, I’ve made it to Round 3 of the Ridiculously Delicious Challenge! A huge THANK YOU and big intrawebs hugs to all of you for voting for me! For Round 3, we have to “make over” any of the other 14 recipes that also made it to this round, using any 3 remaining mystery ingredients (except the ones we already used). After reading through all of the yummilicious contenders, I went with Katie’s Cucumber Cups with a Feta-Dill Stuffing and Lemon-Szechuan Dressing – I loooove the cucumber dill combo! AND I’m totally counting this as one of my Veggie Resolutions (this would be #4) – I like to think of it as just being efficient
Rather than cups, I decided to re-interpret this recipe as a chilled cucumber soup – perhaps longing for summer a little early?
I had already used the tart cherries and the Szechuan peppercorns, so those ingredients were out of contention. I decided to go with the dill pollen (of course), the saffron threads, and the Tepin chile. The saffron threads tie back into the Persian culinary use of yogurt and cucumbers, and the Tepin chile gives a brief but intense kick to the otherwise cool yogurt.
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This post could also be called “Is eggplant supposed to taste like that?” or “Where did I go wrong?” For my third veggie resolution, I continued tackling veggies that were scary or blah – after all I was 2 for 2 with veggie WINS! I hoped I’d face similar success with the eggplant. The eggplant, or aubergine, as I prefer to call it in my hoity-toity voice, looks beautiful. However, my rare encounter with it have left me disappointed – either bitter or bland, mushy and just generally unappetizing. General blergh-ness all around. I then happened upon this recipe from David Lebovitz, with some of my favorite things – salt? Good. Olive oil? Gooood. Cilantro? Yummers.
So why did it come out funny? Help me out, readers. First, the recipe.
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I am just jumping right into the scary vegetables with my Veggie Resolution – first kale and now Brussels sprouts! Oh geez. When I was eight, I had my first encounter with Brussels sprouts. I thought I’d be super cool and be the kid who actually *liked* them (uh yeah, my definition of cool was a little skewed). I took an enthusiastic bite, and….blergh! Mushy, bitter and not pleasant at all. No wonder they had a bad rap. Well, after some reassurance from blogger buddies that they actually weren’t that bad, I decided to give these cute yet potent veggies another chance. Of course I needed some help from some pork and sugar…
I’m not a big fan of vegetables. I mean, I’ll eat them if they’re placed in front of me. But now that I’m an actual grown-up and don’t have my mom preparing veggies for me, I never place them in front of myself. Blah. Why should I fill myself up with vegetables when I can have dessert, or cheese, or carbs? Mmmmmm.
Of course, I realize there are *some* benefits to these “veggie” things (I guess). So this year on Big Apple Nosh, I’m going to cultivate a veggie-eating habit by posting 30 (Ahh! No) 20! recipes that tackle my veggie fear and apathy. These recipes will be honest experiments, with some better than others I’m sure, as I come around to these green beasts. I’m counting on YOU to keep me on the ball. Are you with me?