This Weeks Share Includes:
Cilantro- It’s not just for tacos and salsa’s. Try my Cilantro & Jalapeno Margarita for a little twist on the traditional lemon and lime rita. Simply muddle about 4-5 slices of Jalapenos (more or less to taste) a few cilantro leaves, and a wedge of lime. Add your sour mix, store bought works but i make mine with lemon & lime juice and simple syrup. Add Tequila (da dat da da de da dat da), Triple Sec-optional, shake with ice, rim the glass with lime wedge and dip in salt. Serve over fresh ice. You may choose to strain the cocktail so the cilantro doesn’t get into your teeth but i think it’s attractive.
Snow Peas- First of the season, this crispy snappy snow peas are perfect for stir frying or snack on them raw.
French Breakfast Radish- I read that this particular radish may have gotten its name from the french who ate these radishes sliced thin atop toast at breakfast alongside their morning coffee or tea. So i gave it a go and now it’s my new favorite way to eat radishes. Slice them real thin and place on some toast with a good thick spread of butter Paula Deen style yall, and a generous amount of salt. You will be amazed! I had people who don’t even like radishes eyeing my colorful toast waiting for me to offer them another taste. I typically prefer a thicker, more dense bread made by a local artisan because EVERYTHING is better LOCAL!! In Gainesville try The Vine or Uppercrust Bakery.
Purple Daikon Radish- Did you know the word ‘daikon’ is Japanese for “great root”. The Daikon radish is a cool weather root vegetable grown primarily for its tuber though the entire plant is edible. It may be eaten raw in salads, slaws and sandwiches or served atop sushi. To cook, prepare it as you would a potato however peeling is not necessary.
Roselle- An edible variety of hibiscus with so many health benefits. The little calyces leaves can be eaten raw on salads or made into a tea. See some past blogs for Roselle Tea Recipes. This week i made some Hibiscus Simple Syrup, it’s more concentrated than the tea, stores easily in the fridge and makes for a delicious sweetener as well as adding a bright pink hue to any beverage. Add it to club soda, lemonade, or use it as a substitute for cranberry juice in a cosmo.
Hibiscus Simple Syrup: In a small pot add the 1/2 pound roselle calyces to about 2 cups of water and bring to a boil and then turn off. Let the roselle steep for about 20 minutes and then strain out the Calyces. For those of you who know how to make Symple Syrup simply substitute the hot water with the roselle tea and make as usual. For those who don’t follow these directions: When you make simple sugar you use a 1 to 1 ratio. So for however much roselle concentrate you have you add the same amount of sugar. I had 2 cups of roselle in the small pot after removing the calyces so i added 2 cups of sugar over low heat stirring continuously until the sugar dissolved. let the liquid cool to room temperature and store in the fridge. I would try to use it up it may start to ferment after a week or so.
Red Leaf Lettuce- First of the season. Light, tender, and colorful makes it a great main salad green.
Fingerling Sweet Potatoes- Wash, slice, Bake. No peeling necessary, no sweetening necessary- it’s the sweetest variety we grow.
Yellow & Green Beans- Freshest green beans around. Cook them up or eat them raw but cherish them because it’s probably the last time you will see these crispy little beans. They will be back in late spring.
Curly Kale- I’ve been anxiously awaiting this kale variety because i wanted so much to make my favorite Kale and Quinoa Salad. I worked at an Irish pub in Aspen a while back and our chef Joe Flamer had the most amazing Kale and Quinoa salad you have ever tasted!!! Finely chopped kale (i emphasize the FINELY because it can be pretty tough if you don’t chop it up good) blue cheese crumbles, quinoa, grapes, chopped walnuts and a fig/date balsamic dressing. It’s a heavenly mixture of sweet and savory that gets better the day after as the kale marinates in the dressing and creamy blue cheese. I love making this salad however i cheat with when it comes to the salad dressing. Chef used a housemade dressing made with figs and dates it was delicious however, i use any creamy balsamic vinaigrette i can find at the store and mix it with a little bit of honey. Sure it’s probably not the healthiest kale salad you’ve tried but at the end of the day you are still eating kale so cut yourself some slack and relish in this “dessert salad”.
Kale and Quinoa Salad
1 Bunch of Curly Kale,
2 cups grapes (sliced in half),
4 oz container of blue cheese crumbles,
1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa,
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts.
1/2 cup Creamy Balsamic Dressing mixed with 2 tablespoons of honey
Finely chop the kale- it should look like chopped parsley. In a big bowl combine the kale, grapes, blue cheese, chopped walnuts, and lastly the quinoa. Gently toss the salad in the dressing adding more as you go – don’t be afraid to use a lot of dressing! Store the leftovers in a covered container, remember it’s better the day after, at least my tastebuds think so.