Monday, March 16, 2009

CSA, KIWI and the Future

Tomorrow will be the first CSA veggie pick-up. I'm not sure what to expect, but the Farmer's e-newsletter has let us know it wont be much this first time. Thanks to the recent rain the next pick -up should be better. There are veggies on the list I have never cooked before.

Here is the list we have been given for this week:
Brussels Sprouts (maybe)
All Greens Mix (excellent raw or braised)
Baby Swiss Chard
Baby Spring Mix (maybe)
Spinach (maybe)
Head Lettuce (small but tasty)
Turnip Greens
Radish - Easter egg OR Chinese red

I've cooked with cilantro and spinach before and I've eaten head of lettuce, but the rest of the stuff is new to me. I'm not a very good cook. Having different foods like these to cook makes me nervous. I don't want to make a new dish with an item I've never cooked before and then find out no one, not even me, likes the new dish. A good chef can make anything taste good. Me? Not so much. I will give it a try though. Who knows, I may surprise myself. It would help if I knew what most of these veggies looked like and what they are traditionally cooked with. I grew up with white corn, tomatoes, cilantro, avocados, onion, garlic, chile... What is dill? What are Turnip greens? What is baby Swiss chard. I know what Brussels sprouts look like, but how do you cook them? I've been told they are cooked like cabbage, but longer. I hope that is true.

Well... I guess as I learn you do too. Today's vegetable defined and explained:
Brussels Sprouts are one of the few vegetables to have originated in northern Europe. Brussels sprouts look like small heads of cabbage and are similar to them in taste as well. Brussels Sprouts are also high in vitamin C and "beta-carotene (vitamin A), and nitrogen compounds called indoles which may reduce the risk of certain cancers," according to

Brussels Sprouts Recipe:

1.Roasted Brussels Sprouts SUBMITTED BY: JAQATAC via
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2. Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly, and shake to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet, and place on center oven rack.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown, almost black, when done. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.

This recipe appears to be simple enough for someone like me to make and it sounds delicious. I also happen to have all the ingredients in my kitchen, well....sort of. I'm not sure what kosher salt is, but I have regular salt...

Kitchen On-line Dictionary to the rescue! Kosher salt defined at this link

I will have to use regular salt for now. If the dish turns out well, maybe later I can add a broth to it (chicken, beef, or veggie). Maybe I can add them to rice or put them in a stew. I mean if it is similar to cabbage it shouldn't be too hard to make. Right!?

Oh a quick note before I sign while reading KIWI magazine I saw an ad for a gift from the Eat Like a Hero program at Mail in UPC codes and "in return, Nature's Path and Organic Valley will make a generous contribution of up to $50,000 to the Rodale Institute's Farmers Can Be Heroes program. To thank you for your support, you will receive a free subscription to Organic Gardening magazine* and a chance to win a year of FREE Nature's Path and Organic Valley products! " For more information check out .

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