Monthly Archives: June 2013

Kohlrabi Salad

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I love summer CSA season.

The gorgeous array of greens, broccoli, beets, spring onions – have you ever had a spring onion that traveled just a few miles to get to you? Amazing! Among all those greens is that funky looking pale green bulb with stems and leaves shooting up randomly from the base and middle of the veg. Those are kohlrabi and they are prolific little buggers.

We always seem to roast them, saute them, make them into fries – very yummy this way – but I have admit a few weeks into this season, I was growing a bit bored with them. Seems I had tapped my creativity with cooking methods but then I realized there was something we had yet to try, NOT cooking them.

I trimmed the stems and the tough outer skin, then sliced them into pencil sticks, tossed in some radishes and a mustard vinaigrette. I could not stop eating it!

Raw kohlrabi has a spectacular crunch similar to jicama, but sweeter and with more flavor. It is in the radish family so pairing it with some spicy radishes were great!

But use your imagination. Use kohlrabi as the base for your next slaw or toss some in your salad!

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SALAD

1-2 Kohlrabi, stems and outer skin trimmed

5-6 Radishes, trimmed and sliced

cabbage or other greens of choice

Slice Kohlrabi into matchsticks. Slice radishes. Chop cabbage, reserving some large outer leaves.

DRESSING

1 shallot, chopped

2 TBS Dijon or whole grain mustard or combo of the two

Zest and juice of large lemon

1-2 tsp Sherry vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients except olive oil in small bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss with chopped ingredients, serve atop large cabbage leaf and some fresh ground black pepper.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Blue Cheese

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I absolutely love roasted veggies!

Put that oven on 400 or higher and let the caramelization begin! Brussels Sprouts were the first veggie that I cranked the heat up on and Jolly and I always race to be the first to grab those extra crispy, dark brown outer leaves that have fallen off! They never make it to the plate!

In the words of Anne Burrell “Brown food tastes good!”

Cauliflower was soon to follow for me, although I always cut it into florets, tossed with olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes, roast until browned to golden perfection and yum!

So when I saw the photo of the whole head of cauliflower, gorgeous char on the edges and giant knife sticking out of it in the May (2013) issue of Bon Appetit, I knew I would be trying it.

As is usually the case I put my own spin on it and a few of the variations came without much thought and proved to be even better, in my opinion!

I’ve been in a blue cheese mood lately and thought it would be great in this whipped cheese dip, especially since we planned to serve this with grilled rib eye steaks.

I also cut the cauliflower head in half and I’m so glad I did because it created a great surface to really caramelize on the bottom and really, that is the best part of any high-heat roasted veggie! A cast-iron skillet aids that process in this recipe as well. If you don’t own a cast-iron skillet, run out right now to the grocery or hardware store and get one. You won’t be sorry and there is just no other cooking vessel like it!

The wine adds a nice punch to the boiling liquid. If you don’t want to use it, substitute chicken broth to add to the flavor infusion. Don’t be tempted to skip the boiling step. It truly does add a terrific layer of flavor and the already cooked cauliflower caramelizes better than if you started it raw.

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ROASTED CAULIFLOWER with WHIPPED BLUE CHEESE

 

1 head cauliflower, leaves removed

2 cups dry white wine

8 cups water

1 whole lemon, sliced in half

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup salt

1 TB red pepper flakes

1 TB sugar

3 TB butter

1 bay leaf

 

WHIPPED CHEESE

5 oz blue cheese

3 oz cream cheese

3 oz feta cheese

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 TB olive oil

salt to taste

 

EXTRAS

Olive oil

coarse sea salt

2 TB fresh chives

 

 

In a large stockpot bring all ingredients except cauliflower to a boil. Slice head of cauliflower in half, add to boiling liquid, reduce to simmer and cook 15 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 475.

 

Using a slotted spoon, remove cauliflower halves from liquid, drain well. Place in cast iron skillet or on baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes until well caramelized.

Meanwhile add cheeses and heavy cream to food processor, process until smooth, add olive oil, process again until very smooth and whipped.

Place in bowl, sprinkle with half the chives and chill until ready to use.

When cauliflower is done, drizzle with olive oil, coarse salt and chives. Serve with whipped cheese on the side.

 

You Will Never Buy Granola Again…

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Granola has long been considered a health food, loaded with oats, nuts, fruits and so many wonderful things.

The term is even used to describe a person who lives a natural healthful lifestyle.

Just picking a bag of it up in the health food section of the store even made you feel healthier. Until that day when you are waiting in line and decide to read the label, and I mean, really read the label, the entire ingredient list. There are usually at least two variations of sugar tucked in there, plus I can almost guarantee you that fruit, that healthy dried fruit, has been sweetened!

UGH!

I actually noticed this years ago and just generally steered clear of granola, or really compared brands to find the lesser of the evils, then I started randomly tinkering with making my own.

Guess what? It is SUPER easy to make even if you claim you can’t cook!

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The best part you can change it up any time you want, using what you have on hand, adding different nuts and fruits. I even made a batch without oats once, because I was out and had a wide variety of nuts leftover from various other projects. So I made a nut and fruit granola and it was one of my favorite versions!

I do add honey and/or brown sugar, but I add unsweetened fruit and I promise the amount you add yourself comes nowhere near what they add in the processed bag.

So give it go, you will be so glad you did.

NOTE: Sometimes I have trouble finding unsweetened dried fruit, but it is out there, MAKE the effort!

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Granola

1 to 1 1/2 cups gluten free oats
1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
¾ cup to 1 cup cashews, almonds, pecans, your choice or combo of
1 cup UNSWEETENED coconut flakes – try to find the large flakes, they cook up the best and create the best texture and flavor

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup of honey
1-2 teas cinnamon
1/2 teas salt
1/4-1/2 teas nutmeg
dried cherries or cranberries or currants

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Preheat oven to 350
mix together all ingredients except dried fruit in a large bowl until coated.

IF the mixture seems too loose add a TB or more coconut oil and a bit of honey.

Spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Check it after 10, you want it to be a light golden brown, it can go from golden to burnt quickly, especially the coconut. And it will continue to brown a bit after you remove it from the oven.

It will not be crunchy when you first pull it out, but will crisp up as it cools. Add dried fruit after you take it out of the oven and toss lightly.

Let it cool on the pan for a few minutes then remove and store in an airtight bag or container. It will keep for several weeks, but it probably won’t last that long!

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