October 18th, 2013

  • I’d like to talk more about radishes today – we've got a lot to choose from this week:

    - pink beauty radish
    - French breakfast radishes
    - black radish
    - watermelon radish
    - rat tail’s radish

     rat tail's radish from Real Veggies Farm Blog

    'Tis the season!  This is the first year of our growing the last two on that list.  The watermelon radish is crispy with mild and sweet flavor, excellent for salad, garnish and cooking in Asian dishes.  Rat tail’s radish is the pod of the radish.  Usually, radishes to go seed or bolt when it gets really warm.  This particular radish is geared towards early flower and pod production – lucky for us.  I first learned of them a couple of years ago at the market – thank you Mosers.  It is an heirloom  from Thailand.  The pods are mildly radish flavored – great raw in salads, as snacks or good addition to stir fries. 

    The black radish we grew this year is a round variety from Spain.  This is generally a very strong radish.  My favorite thing to do with these is to follow my grandmother’s advice:  grate/thinly slice the radish, sprinkle with salt, mix well and let it sit for at least 15 minutes or so – then rinse and add a vinaigrette dressing.  Great side.  When cooked, their flavor is similar to rutabaga. They are used in soups, stews, and omelettes and with tofu.

    The French Breakfast radish has been around for a while – at least since 1875 when listed  by seedsman JHH Gregory of Marblehead MA.  This was not long after the USDA was founded (1862). Prior to the USDA, the Department of treasury encouraged military personnel and ambassadors working abroad to collect seeds.  When the USDA was born, 1/3 of its budget went towards dispensing seeds, I believe they even paid folks to travel and bring back seeds according to an exhibit in DC I saw a few years ago: What's Cooking Uncle Sam: The Government's Effect on the American Diet.  If it ever comes this way, I highly recommend it seeing the exhibit!  The distribution program ended in 1924 – opening the market to private business.  

    Enjoy your radishes and your weekend,
    Natalie and the Sugar Creek Crew

    Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad from Kathy at Healthy. Happy. Life.
    makes 4 cups

    1 large watermelon radish, sliced into thin rounds
    1 small white onion, sliced into thin rounds
    1/3 cup orange juice
    2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1/2 tsp pepper (fresh ground)
    2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    splash of rice wine vinegar (optional - adds an extra layer of tart-sweetness)

    1. Slice your onion and radish. Place in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl - toss well.
    3. Place in fridge to chill overnight.
    4. Serve! 

  • Winter Squash Pot Pie with Swiss Chard and Chickpeas from Vegetarian times 
  • serves 12
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (1 qt.)
  • 1 delicata or ½ red kuri squash, unpeeled, seeded, quartered, and cut into ½-inch-thick crescents (2 cups)
  • 1 lb. Yukon gold or fingerling potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 12-oz. bunch red Swiss chard, stems sliced, leaves coarsely chopped, divided
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen organic corn kernels
  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, quartered and thinly sliced (4 cups)
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
  • 1 cup plain almond milk, rice milk, or soymilk
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (½ 17.3-oz. pkg.), such as Pepperidge Farms, thawed
1. Bring broth, 4 cups water, squash, potatoes, Swiss chard stems, thyme, and salt to a boil in stockpot. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes. Add Swiss chard leaves and corn, and cook 3 minutes more. Drain vegetables, and reserve broth. Measure broth, and add enough water to make 7 cups liquid. Transfer vegetables to large bowl, and stir in chickpeas.
2. Wipe out stockpot, add oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté 7 to 10 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Sprinkle with flour and garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add reserved 7 cups broth liquid, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Stir in almond milk. Stir sauce into vegetable mixture, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cool. (If making ahead, transfer filling to bowl, cover, and refrigerate up to 2 days.)
3. To assemble pot pie: Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour filling into deep 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
4. Gently roll out puff pastry sheet to size of baking dish on lightly floured work surface. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and chill 30 minutes.
5. Place chilled puff pastry sheet over filling on top of baking dish, and press around edges to seal. Use tip of sharp paring knife to score 4 rows of diagonal incisions into puff pastry (without cutting completely through), alternating directions with each row.
6. Bake 30 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

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