Monthly Archives: June 2014

Discovering Kohlrabi

DSC_0008Killiam and Bassette Farmstead‘s stand at the Farmers’ Market of Plainville had kohlrabi (which I have seen and heard of but never prepared) so I decided that its about time I try it. The young ladies at the stand were very helpful and of course The Joy of Cooking (a wedding gift from my sister in law that I have used for over 25 years for the basics and not so basic) is a great resource as well as the internet.

Fried kohlrabi served with homemade smokey red lentil dip (can also be used as a vegan pate), raw kohlrabi sticks served with homemade cilantro and garlic scape yogurt dip and a raw fresh salad made with the kohlrabi leaves.

To prepare the kohlrabi– remove and set aside the leaves to make a salad. Peel the kohlrabi with a potato peeler and cut it in half. It smells faintly of broccoli which makes sense since they are both cruciferous vegetables (as are kale and cabbage so all healthy food choices). I thought the “ball” was the root but it is actually a thick stem that the leaves grow from.DSC_0012 DSC_0014

Carrot Salad with Kohlrabi Leaves

Rinse and cut the leaves into thin strips. Massaged the leaves and place in a bowl, add 1 shredded carrot, sprinkle with 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, dash ground white pepper, 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar and 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, toss and chill till serving.

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 Fried Kohlrabi with Homemade Smokey Red Lentil Dip/Vegan Pate

3/4 cup split red lentils; rinsed and drained
2 cups water
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (or 1/2 onion); minced
1 celery stick; minced
1 carrot; minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Bring lentils and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are tender and most of the water is absorbed. Check so it does not burn, add 1 Tablespoon of water at a time as needed during cooking time if water absorbs too quickly.
In the meantime, sauté vegetables and salt in extra virgin olive oil in a medium sized frying pan with a lid. Start with the olive oil and onions at medium heat, add the celery, carrots and salt, stir, reduce heat to low and cover cooking for 20 minutes.
Add the sautéed vegetables, paprika, cayenne and black pepper to the lentils and blend until smooth. I used a hand held (stainless steel) blender but a food processor or counter top blender will work just fine.
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Chill until ready to serve (can be made the morning of or the day before). Serve with kohlrabi sticks, other vegetables for dipping and crackers/bread/gluten free version etc.

To prepare fried kohlrabi– peel and cut kohlrabi into half-moons about 1/8″ thick. Heat a heavy bottomed (I use cast iron) skillet over medium high heat and coat the pan with butter/olive oil/canola oil. Add prepared kohlrabi and cook till golden. Flip and cook till golden on second side. Remove from pan, place on a plate/platter and continue until all pieces are fried.

DSC_0022Raw Kohlrabi with Cilantro and Garlic Scape Yogurt Dip

Peel and cut kohlrabi into (1/8″x1/2″) sticks for dipping.

1/2 cup cilantro; minced
1 garlic scape; minced (see below for the easiest way to do this)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
pinch ground cumin
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt*
1/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade recipe)

Mix all ingredients together and chill until serving. This can be made the morning of or the day before.
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Cut the scape(s) into roughly 4 inch sections so it is easier to cut them into quarters (in half then half again) lengthwise. Line them up as closely as possible then starting at one end finely cut off sections.


Sauted Asian Greens, Snap Peas and Garlic Scapes

DSC_0012At the Farmers’ Market of Plainville I purchased Asian Greens from Dinebergs Farm. When I looked up “Asian Greens” on line I found many varieties of greens but after some digging I believe I purchased Purple Mizuna.DSC_0005

I picked the only items that were ready out of my garden; garlic scapes and snap peas which is how this recipe came to be. Cooking locally and seasonally is wonderful, everything is fresh and, in my mind, “as it should be” if we are trying to live as close to nature as possible.

1 cup brown rice; soaked, rinsed and cooked with 1 3/4 cup water till all the water is absorbed

1 Tablespoon canola oil (I use a gmo free product; either Trader Joe’s or Spectrum)
1 teaspoon sesame oil (found in the international section of a grocery store or at Asian markets)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon water
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
pinch ground cumin
pinch ground coriander

DSC_00071 bunch Purple Mizuna (or other Asian Green); washed, leaves cut to1″ and stems to 1/4-1/2″ sections
4 garlic scapes; the tender part of the stems sliced thin
2 cups snap (or sugar) peas; washed and “strings” removed
1 onion; halved and sliced thinDSC_0004

1 Tablespoon canola oil.

Cook the brown rice. (Refer to an early post, College Kitchen Questions.)
In the meantime mix together the oils, soy sauce, water and spices for the sauce in a small bowl.
Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan (I use a cast iron skillet that has a lid) over medium high heat.
Prepare the vegetables, pour 1 Tablespoon canola oil into the hot pan, add the onions and stir occasionally so they do not burn, sautéing for 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, pour the sauce over top, reduce heat to medium and cover. Saute and stir occasionally for 2 minutes or until the greens (which are also purple) have wilted.
Serve over rice.

Dairy Free Scallop Chowder with Herbs

DSC_00014 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (if you are not dairy free do 1/2 butter and 1/2 extra virgin olive oil)
1 onion; diced
1 stalk celery; diced
1 carrot; diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 potatoes (I used yukon gold); pealed and cut into 1/4″-1/2″ cubes
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 lb bay scallops (frozen is fine)

Heat a wide bottom 3-4 quart pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and salt; cover and allow to simmer 3 minutes. Add celery and carrots, stir, cover and continue to simmer 5 more minutes. Add potatoes, spices and water, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add scallops, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer 5 minutes, turn off heat and leave covered until ready to serve.

Homemade Hummus with Garlic Scapes

The lovely pale green color of the hummus is from the garlic scapes. I picked our first snap peas of the season to dip and served organic whole wheat pitas for Xav while I dipped gluten free blue organic corn chips. Cheese for those that eat dairy is a wonderful compliment and a soup (I made a scallop chowder). This is a version of my classic house hummus. Instead of using garlic I substituted with garlic scapes. Depending on how many you add you will get a light delicate garlic flavor or add more to intensify the experience.

1 cup dried chick peas; soaked over night, rinsed and boiled till soft (or 2 cups canned chickpeas  drained and rinsed)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
5-10 garlic scapes; cut into 1/2-3/4 inch lengths
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
if necessary- add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time for consistency
Traditional hummus uses tahini but my family prefers it without. If you like the traditional style add 2-4 Tablespoons tahini.

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy (this will take longer than usual since the scapes need to be ground finely). At this point you will see if more water is needed for consistency. Add more water one tablespoon  at a time as you process. Taste and add more salt if needed. To add a kick you can add some cayenne pepper. Serve hummus with vegetables and/or crackers for dipping (gluten intolerant or celiac will find that tortilla chips dipped in hummus is delicious). To make this into a light summer meal add cheese and fruit.

Quick Bean Salad with Fresh Garlic Scapes and Herbs

DSC_00081 12-15 oz can black beans; drained and rinsed
1 12-15 oz can white beans; drained and rinsed
*see note below for using dry beans
2 1/2 cups mixed frozen vegetables (I used a corn, green bean, pea and carrot combo); defrosted or **see note below if cooking dry beans
6-8 garlic scapes; rinsed and thinly sliced (I used only the stem because the flower and the “tip” was tough and fibrous)
1 cup fresh Italian/flat parsley (optional, I had some on hand that I needed to use)
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano; leaves removed from stem and minced or 1Tablespoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh thyme; leaves removed from stem or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil




Optional cooked pasta, rice, quinoa to make a meal

Optional, toss in some shredded parmesan/romano cheese

*soak 1 cup white beans for 6-8 hours, drain, rinse, add 4 cups water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer till tender (about 1 hour)
*soak 1 cup black beans for 6-8 hours, drain, rinse, add 4 cups water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer till tender (about 1 1/4 hours)
**place frozen vegetables in a colander, pour cooked beans and hot water over the frozen vegetables, rinse with cold water, drain and place in a large serving bowl.

Place drained and rinsed beans and defrosted vegetables in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well to coat with the dressing. If you have a house hold like ours that is gluten sensitive and gluten friendly divide the bean salad and toss in the desired starch of making a pasta salad.

Garlic Scapes

Today I picked a handful of garlic scapes in the garden. They are “cool” the way they twist and curl. The mild garlic flavor is a preview to the tangy bulbs still growing.DSC_0004
The buds and the tips are a bit tough/fibrous so they were composted but the stems are crunchy when fresh. I will also be sautéing them for another meal making them tender and making pesto to freeze since garlic scapes are a short season.