I think I may have mentioned this, but THE FIRST CSA BOX IS HERE! As excited as I was to go pick it up, I was a little overwhelmed at the contents and not entirely sure what to do with all of them. I’d never had turnips before, and I have no idea how I’ve lived 40 years, most of them in the South (even though I still consider myself to be from Long Island) and never eaten a turnip, but there you have it. I think I associated them with radishes and beets, neither of which I care for. I have no idea what to do with the radishes we got this week and will get for the next few weeks in our box. I was very excited to try the new variety of kale – Portuguese – which looked like collards. I decided to make an old-style veggie plate to start out with. I planned to do it on Thursday night, but the weather was so nice and Seth was finally home, so I decided we needed to go over to the not-so-impressive-but-fun-to-eat-at-Mexican place across the road from us. Anyway – since the kale looked like collards, I cooked them the same way I normally cook collards for Seth. Or, really, more like a cross between the way I make them and the way his mom makes them. She adds turnips and potatoes to them. Light bulb! This is how I can use the turnips I had no clue how to use! I also had a few small blue potatoes that really needed to get used up, so double win. I don’t really use a recipe anymore, but there’s one in The Vegan Soul Food Guide to the Galaxy that’s a great place to start if you’re new to cooking collards. Just let it simmer for at least an hour, preferably two or more, if you plan to feed them to a Southerner. Collards must be cooked until they’re really, really tender to be acceptable to a true Southerner. Anyway since you asked – this is the basic gist of how I did the kale: one chopped yellow onion chopped, several cloves of chopped garlic, large bunch of kale cut into strips and then roughly chopped, several turnips (I mostly left these whole), turnip greens (roughly chopped) a handful of small blue potatoes (whole), vegetable broth and a chopped tomato. I sauteed the onion and garlic until they were soft, then added everything except the tomato and brought it to a boil. I let it boil for a few minutes and then reduced the heat to medium-low, covered it and left it alone for about half an hour. I added the tomato and let it simmer another half hour or so. I dunno, ‘til it was “done”. While the kale cooked, I simmered some black eyed peas (I soaked and cooked them on Wednesday) in veggie broth with chopped onion and garlic and some Spike seasoning. I also threw a couple of ears of corn in the grill pan because while it’s not quite “corn season” it’s close enough.
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