Blooming Glen Farm | Recipes
104
archive,paged,category,category-recipes,category-104,paged-8,category-paged-8,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,paspartu_enabled,paspartu_on_bottom_fixed,qode-theme-ver-12.1,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.11.2.1,vc_responsive
 

Recipes

Lemongrass and CurryLemongrass is one of the many herbs grown at Blooming Glen Farm. Its lovely scent is due to citral, also the active ingredient in lemon peel, which has strong bacteria- and fungal-fighting antimicrobial qualities. Lemongrass is high in folic acid and essential vitamins, including B5, B6, ND B1, as well as the antioxidants vitamins C and A, potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium.

Native to India, lemongrass is not only nutritious, but tasty, too! It’s commonly used in Thai and Vietnamese dishes, particularly soups and curries. It’s unique citrus flavor really brightens up recipes, and is more versatile than one might think. It pairs well with everything from tofu to beef, and can even be used in tea. See below for a flavorful green curry recipe that not only uses lemongrass, but also lots of other goodies from this week’s share.

References and recommended links:

Summer Veggie and Lemongrass Green Curry

Summer Veggie and Lemongrass Green Curry

Ingredients:
1 can coconut milk
2-3 tbs green curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen, available in the Asian section of the grocery store)
4-5 stalks of lemongrass; trim off the grassy tops so that you’re left with about 6 inches or the stalk, then remove any tough outer leaves and mince.
2 tbs tamari
2 tbs brown sugar
1 lb tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
2 sweet peppers, julienned
1 zuchinni, sliced into disks
1/2 an onion, julienned
1/2 Chinese eggplant, sliced into disks
1/3 cup basil, cut into ribbons

Method:
Heat coconut milk, lemongrass, curry paste, tamari, and brown sugar in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Mix well, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add tofu, simmer 7 minutes longer. Add vegetables, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil and serve.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder and -owner of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Mmm… nothing says summer like a refreshing, juicy, crunchy slice of watermelon, does it? Big fat watermelons are in the share and at the markets again this week. This, of course, is a great thing, and not just because of the incredible taste — this big fruit offers up some big nutrition, too!

Watermelon is a natural thirst-quencher that has been shown to decrease the inflammation linked to health conditions from asthma to skin conditions. It also provides several beneficial antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene. And, because of watermelon’s high water content, calorie for calorie, it’s a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium, and potassium.

Here are two new ways to get this delicious and nutritious fruit into your belly:

Watermelon two ways: Frozen & Grilled


Frozen —
Cut watermelon into chunks, place on a clean cookie sheet (removing seeds as you go) and freeze overnight. Frozen watermelon chunks can then be used to make all kinds of smoothies, just add your favorite juice or water, a bit of sweetener and/or fresh herbs, and blend. Our most recent favorite flavor is a raspberry-lime watermelon smoothie: Mix 2 cups of watermelon chunks, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon raspberry agave and a squeeze of lime juice in a in a blender or food processor (or use a hand blender). Garnish with basil — or blend it in!

Grilled — Slice watermelon in 1″ slices. Place on heated grill for 2-3 minutes, flip and heat for another 2-3 minutes. You should see grill marks and the sugars from the fruit should become caramelized. Eat slices as is, or cut into chunks and serve on a bed of spring greens with vinaigrette dressing, a topping of feta cheese and/or nuts.

Post and photo by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder and -owner of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

As a farmer I consider myself food rich- my currency is not in dollars, but in the bounty and flavors of the season. As the stream of veggies flows by my front door from field to market, I can often get overwhelmed with the impermanence of it all. On those occasions the only thing that helps soothe my nagging thoughts is to put some of that food in jars. Seeing the freezer stocked and some preserves on the shelves brings a satisfaction like no other. I admit, my canning is limited to what I can do with a water bath canner, but that’s okay- there is so much in that realm, and every year I discover a new favorite. I hope to take a class and master the pressure canner someday, but for now I stick to jams, pickles and tomatoes, low in risk and high in satisfaction.

This week, for Farmer Tom, I decided to put up some pickled jalapenos, and for myself, some cantaloupe preserves. (We don’t grow tree fruit on our farm, but thanks to a gift of a box of peaches from our neighbors at Easton farmers market, Scholl Orchards, I also discovered the joy of homemade peach jam! I won’t go into that in this post, but I encourage you to make some- it was amazing! (I used the recipe in Put ’em Up, by Sherri Brooks Vinton.)

I have been canning on and off for the 12 years since we started farming. But I had a eureka moment after attending a class by blogger and cookbook author Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars fame. I had the mentality that canning needed to be an all day production involving crates of vegetables, cases of jars, a hot kitchen and my big black enamelware canning pot. Low and behold, Marisa talked about small batch canning, 3 pints or even better, 6 half pint jars of jam at a time. And, here comes the clincher: using your staple stock pot, not the big black canning pot that takes an hour to get the water to boil.

I ordered a cheap flexible flower-shaped trivet for sitting the jars on in the bottom of my pot and voila, my basic 12-quart stainless-steel stock pot was turned into a maneageable canning pot.  As long as your jars can be covered by an inch or two of boiling water, you can use any size pot you’ve got.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is a place for the big canning pot: salsa, and canned whole tomatoes, and my grandmothers sweet and sour relish, those I like to spend part of a day on and do in big batches. But pickled okra, pickled garlic scapes, pickled jalapeno, bread and butter pickles, and fruit jams with various herbs- now those can be done in smaller amounts in an hour or so. Smaller batches takes some of the pressure off to produce larger quantities and puts the fun back into exploring new flavor combinations. From past experience I’ve learned that you may can a lot of something, but if it’s not a hit, it will sit for a year in your pantry collecting dust. So making smaller batches is a great way to find your family’s favorite preserves, and to focus your precious time on canning what you really can’t make it through winter without!

Pickled Jalapenos

*This basic recipe is from Food in Jars. It makes approx. 5 half pint jars.

Prepare a boiling water bath and boil your empty jars while preparing the other ingredients. Place the lids in a small saucepan and simmer over very low heat.

Combine 2 cups distilled white vinegar, 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons pickling salt in a pot over high heat and bring the brine to a boil.

Meanwhile prepare 1 pound jalapeno peppers (about 1 quart). Wearing rubber gloves (very important!!), slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise, but leave on the seeds and guts- this is where the heat is.

Pack the peppers tightly into the jars. Pour in the hot brine, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Gently tap the jars on a towel lined surface to release any air bubbles before using a wooden chopstick to dislodge any more bubbles. Check the headspace and add any more brine if necessary.

Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boling water bath for 10 minutes.

Let these pickles cure for at least one week before eating. Tom loves these in burritos, on hot dogs or nachos, on scrambled eggs with tomatoes- anywhere you want a little extra heat.

The cantaloupe we are growing at the farm is a new variety this season with a wonderful aromatic sweet flavor. They don’t have the best shelf life, however, so I rescued one that was a bit soft and headed for the compost heap. It made the best small batch of cantaloupe jam. And I figured since cantaloupes have been in the share for the past few weeks, you too might want something new to do with them. The cantaloupe I used was on the larger end, so I even had a few slices left to eat.

Cantaloupe Preserves

*This recipe is from Put ’em Up!

Cut one cantaloupe into 1-inch chunks; you should have about 4 cups. Combine the melon with 1/2 cup water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Stir together 1 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin powder. Add the mixture to the boiling fruit and stir some more. When the mixture returns to a boil, stir in 2 teaspoons calcium water (included in the Pomona box, with instructions), 1/2 cup bottled lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to enable air bubbles to settle out. Skim off any foam (and enjoy a taste!).

You can refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, or can it using the boiling-water method. Process for 10 minutes- it should fill about 4 half pint jars.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Basil Quinoa with Edamame and TomatillosPoblano peppers are one of the most mild of hot peppers, measuring 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville Heat units. This is quite modest compared to, for example, it’s fiery relative the cayenne pepper, which has a heat unit of 30,000 to 50,000! The light spice of the poblano makes it a very versatile ingredient in the kitchen, and since it won’t singe taste buds, you can really taste its flavor.

The heat in poblanos and other peppers is caused by plant compounds called capsaicinoids, which are generally thought to exist as a natural deterrent against animals and fungi. Capsaicinoids have been linked to several health benefits over the years including, improved circulatory and heart function; pain management for arthritis, neuropathy and psoriasis; balanced and healthy cholesterol; increased metabolism; and even prevention against prostate cancer. Of course, poblanos mildness does means it has less capsaicinoids than the aforementioned cayenne or even a jalapeño, but it is worth noting.  And, like most veggies, all peppers are low in fat and cholesterol, high in fiber, and contain free radical-fighting antioxidants — a great addition to any diet!

We’ve posted a few recipes on the blog that feature poblanos; Summertime Chili, Creamed Sweet Corn with Poblanos, and Stuffed Poblanos with Mexican-style Quinoa. The recipe below uses two superfoods, edamame and quinoa, as well as flavorful basil and tomatillos, making it not only a nutritious, but delicious dish.

References and recommended links:

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh edamame, pods removed from branches
1 cup quinoa
1 tbs grapeseed oil
4-5 tomatillos, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tbs chopped fresh basil, chopped
2 cups No-chicken Broth

Method:
Heat enough water to cover edamame pods and bring to a boil. Add edamame and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan or pot (a dutch over works great). Add onions and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, tomatillos, and jalapeño and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add quinoa, basil, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer 10-15 minutes, until quinoa is cooked through.

Shell edamame and put beans aside.

Remove quinoa from heat, stir in edamame and let sit for 5 minutes. Salt to taste.

Post and photo by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder and -owner of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

With beautiful tomatoes, spicy peppers, pungent onions, and zesty cilantro all in one share, a batch of fresh salsa was calling my name last night.

There are several hot peppers to choose from this week. I used a serrano pepper, a variety of chili that originated in the mountainous regions of Mexico. It is the pepper traditionally used in making pico de gallo and salsa. It is hotter than a jalapeno and has a nice bright flavor for use in raw recipes.

This recipe makes a “medium” salsa, but can be adapted to be as spicy or mild as you like. Omit the hot pepper all together if you’ve got a sensitive mouth, or kick it up a notch by including the seeds or more than one hot pepper.

Salsa Fresca

In a food processor, pulse together: 1 pound red tomatoes (about 2 medium-sized tomatoes), cored and chopped; 1 torpedo onion, greens cut off and bulb chopped; 1 serrano pepper, stem and seeds removed; 1 handful cilantro; 1 garlic clove; juice of one lime; and a pinch of salt, to taste.

Voila! You’ve got salsa!

Now you can top these ultra-simple tostadas with a dollop of the salsa for a quick and fresh dinner. They are a great way to use up leftovers from a roasted Ledamete Grass chicken, and perfect for a summer night when the last thing you want to do is slave away over a hot stove.

Chicken Tostadas

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a cast iron or non-stick pan. When the oil is sizzling hot, lightly fry 4 corn tortillas (one at a time) in the oil–about 50 seconds per side, until just golden brown and starting to puff up. Place fried tortillas on a paper towel or newspapers to absorb extra oil.

Top fried tortillas with 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, shredded or crumbled cheese (I like cotija, a mild Mexican cheese, but cheddar, jack, or chevre also work well), a big dollop of your salsa, and a squeeze of lime.

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, fresh food enthusiast, and budding food blogger. She also writes for the Digging Deep Campaign, as well as for her personal blog, Growing Things.

 

You might have seen them at the market or in your CSA share, and wondered what are those flying-saucer shaped squashes? Depending on where you’re from, they go by any number of different names. When we farmed in Oregon it was called sunburst squash, here we call it pattypan squash, but it also goes by scallop squash, white squash, button squash, granny squash or custard squash. Their light green or bright gold rinds remain thin and edible. Their insides are white, with a mild, buttery flavor. It’s shape is whimsical and versatile- you can chop it up and use it like regular zucchini, or if you want to preserve its character, stuff it whole.

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

I used three pounds of pattypan squash, 8 squash, each about the size of my fist, or smaller. You could do less, larger squash, and just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Cook 1/2 cup quinoa in 1 cup water, or for more flavor I used homemade chicken broth. Feel free to substitute your grain of choice.

Meanwhile pre-boil the whole patty pan squash for about 5 min, just to soften them a bit and make cutting them easier.

To cut, just imagine you are carving the top off a pumpkin. Insert your knife at an angle and remove the cap. Scoop out the insides with a spoon, being careful not to pierce the wall. (Though have no fear, I did, and things still turned out just fine). Put prepared pattypans in a baking dish. I oiled the inside of each and salt and peppered them.

Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a pan, heat up and saute 1/2 of a large sweet onion, diced, 4 cloves fresh garlic, diced, and cook until the onions begin to sweat. Add 1 asian eggplant, diced, and one chopped tomato. Cook for a few minutes then add 1 1/2 cups Swiss Chard, cut into thin strips. You can also add any fresh herbs you like- I used a few sprigs of basil and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.

The great thing about making a stuffing for a squash, or even stuffed peppers, you can pretty much use whatever you have on hand. If you prefer to go the meat route, I think sausage or ground beef would work well also.

After sauteing the vegetables, stir in the quinoa, taste and adjust seasoning to your preference. Fill the squash to the brim with the quinoa mixture. To top it off, I combined a cup of bread crumbs with some melted butter and parmesan cheese. Then after oiling and seasoning the lids, I re-capped the cuties, added a bit of water to the bottom of the baking dish, and covered with foil. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or so, until squash is soft, but not mushy. I removed the foil for the last 10 minuted to get a bit of browning.

Enjoy!

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

While the farm crew was wilting in last week’s hot weather, our heat-loving summer crops were having a hay day. You’ll notice one of them, eggplant, in this week’s share for the first time. The elongated Oriental variety can be used just like the classic Italian eggplant, and I actually prefer it because it is thinner skinned, more convenient to cut, and has fewer seeds. This recipe takes inspiration from the vegetable’s Asian heritage and from the giant basil patch open to the CSA this week.

Stir-Fried Eggplant and Basil

In a very hot skillet or wok, heat 1/4 cup coconut oil (or other light oil suitable for high-heat frying). When the oil is hot, throw in 5 cloves of thinly sliced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, and 2 Asian eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch coins. Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt. Stir eggplant so that oil is evenly distributed.

Continue to cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until eggplant melts down and garlic becomes golden and slightly crispy. Toss in 1 cup basil leaves, stripped from stems. Remove from heat.

Drizzle lightly with soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve over rice or other grain of choice (I chose amaranth, a great pseudo-grain that actually grows as a weed on the farm, but whose seeds are high in protein and have a porridge-like consistency).

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, fresh food enthusiast, and budding food blogger. She also writes for the Digging Deep Campaign as well as for her personal blog, Growing Things.

Roasted and fresh fennelFennel is a spice commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine. Both the bulb and fronds of the versatile fennel can be used, and it’s enjoyed both raw and cooked. Fennel is a very good source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese, but its real star power comes from its unique combination of phytonutrients. Like radicchio, kale, and Swiss chard, the phytonutrients in fennel gives it “strong antioxidant activity.”

We’ve posted a few recipes here on the blog that feature fennel. It’s used raw in a crunchy and bright Escarole Salad with Fennel and Orange recipe, and it’s used cooked in a sweet Caramelized Fennel and Onions recipe. The couscous salad recipe below feature roasted fennel and capitalizes on its Mediterranean roots, while also including several other items from this week’s share (Swiss chard, Walla Wall onion, cucumber, and basil; sweet peppers will be in the share soon). It makes for a great addition to any potluck, picnic, or brunch table!

References and recommended links:

Couscous fennel salad ingredients

Roasted Fennel Couscous Salad

Ingredients
Dressing:
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
zest from 1 lemon
1 tbs fresh ginger, minced
1 tbs agave
1/4 cup olive oil

Salad:
2 cups whole wheat couscous
3 cups water
1/4 tsp tumeric
2 fennel bulbs, chopped
1/3 cup fennel fronds, chopped
2 red, yellow and/or orange sweet peppers, diced
1/2 cup Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves sliced very thinly, chiffonade-style
1/2 cup Walla Walla sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1/2 cup dried Turkish figs, sliced
1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots, sliced
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup pistachio kernels, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
zest from 1 orange

Method
In a saucepan boil water. Add turmeric and couscous. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let sit covered for 10 minutes, and then fluff with a fork to break up any clumps of couscous.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Spread fennel onto a baking sheet, lightly spray with grapeseed oil, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until edges begin to brown and bulbs begin to soften, about 15 minutes.*

Soak the raisins in warm water until they’re plumped up, about 15 minutes.

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the couscous and fennel with the remaining salad ingredients and stir to combine. Toss the dressing with the salad until until all the dressing is absorbed.

* Note: Make an extra batch of roasted fennel while you have the oven on!  Roasted fennel is a yummy addition to just about any green salad or grain dish.  It also sits atop a pizza or in a quiche very well.  Most simply, it’s tasty as is.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder and -owner of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

We are into week seven of CSA pick-ups and by now you’ve probably realized cooking greens (namely, kale and swiss chard) are a part of nearly every share. If you are a new member, you might be wondering what the heck to do with it all. Hopefully you’ve come up with a few favorite ways to prepare them by now. If not, here are a few tips and ideas even the most seasoned veterans might be able to use:

  • The stems of both kale and chard are perfectly edible. They require more cooking time than the leafy parts, but when included in cooked greens, they provide a nice crunch to contrast the wilted leaves. To include them, just strip the leaves from the stems, chop the stems, and add them to the pan 3-5 minutes before the chopped greens (see recipe below).
  • Chard is a great substitute for spinach. In its raw state, I find the flavor to be a bit stronger, but when cooked, if behaves very similarly. Like spinach, it is high in iron and other valuable vitamins and minerals. When replacing spinach with chard in a recipe, use only the leaves (no stems) for a similar texture.
  • Kale is a super food. It has more nutrients per calorie than any other commercially grown vegetable. It has more protein than beef, more calcium than milk, and a good dose of immune boosting vitamins like A and C. And even though it is a “cooking green” it is delightful raw if you know how to prepare it—I love it as a salad and a nutritious addition to my morning smoothie (recipes below).

Sautéed Chard or Kale with Garlic

Remove stems from leaves of ¾ pound swiss chard or kale by holding on to the stem and stripping the leaf off with your hand from bottom to top (or cutting down the side of each stem). Chop stems like you would celery. Roll leaves up into a loose tube and cut into thick strips. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet with enough oil (I like organic sunflower seed and coconut oil for their stability at high heat) to coat the bottom of the pan. Add 4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic and the kale or chard stems and cook on medium heat until garlic begins to brown and stems soften a bit. Add leaves of kale or chard in batches, adding as many greens to the skillet as will fit, stirring as it wilts. When all the leaves are just wilted, sprinkle in a bit of balsamic or red wine vinegar and salt to taste. Remove from heat. Serve as a side dish or topping for whole grain pasta, rice, or quinoa.

Variation (particularly good with kale): Add 1 tablespoon minced ginger along with the garlic. Replace vinegar with a sprinkle of soy sauce.

Super Food Smoothie

In a blender, combine 1 cup frozen berries (the frozen part is key for a milk-shake like consistency since I don’t add any extra ice), ½ cup plain yogurt, ½ -1 cup orange juice, 1 ripe banana, 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, and 3-4 leaves of kale, stems removed. Puree until liquefied, adding more juice if needed.

The Raw Kale Salad

This is the salad I make for kale newbies. It will make a kale convert out of anyone. It is simple, delicious, and infinitely adaptable. The key to eating raw kale is to dress it at least 15 minutes (and up to a few hours) before you actually want to eat it. I like using Tuscan kale for this one, but any kale variety will work.

Remove stems from ¾ pound Tuscan kale. Stack leaves on top of one another and cut into thin strips (julienne, if you will).

In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (you can use tamari or soy sauce as a substitute, but I highly recommend investing in a bottle of this stuff), and ¼ cup nutritional yeast (also known as brewer’s yeast, available in a health food store near you).

In a large bowl, toss kale with dressing, “massaging” the leaves, encouraging some of the toughness to break down. Add whatever toppings your heart desires. My favorites include: chopped apples or pears, raisins or dried cranberries, goat cheese, and walnuts or almonds. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before devouring.

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, fresh food enthusiast, and budding food blogger. She also writes for the Digging Deep Campaign as well as for her personal blog, Growing Things.

RadicchioRadicchio (pronounced rad-EE-key-o) is a leaf chicory common in Italian and Mediterranean cooking that is familiar to us mostly because of its inclusion in “spring mix” salads. Nutritionally, radicchio is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. It’s a very good source of vitamins C, E, and K, folate, potassium, copper, and manganese, and a good source of fiber, vitamins B5 (pantothenic acid) and B6, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.  The presence of vitamins C and E, zinc, and carotenoids, give radicchio antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect and repair cells from the damage caused by free radicals that contribute to many chronic diseases (including heart disease), cancers, inflammatory conditions (including arthritis), and immune system dysfunction.

While radicchio is clearly a great veggie to include in our diets, one issue that most people have with it — myself included! — is its bitter flavor.  This bitterness is actually due to intybin, a substance in radicchio that is beneficial to our blood and digestive systems, and is traditionally used for its sedative, analgesic, and antimalarial effects. There are two ways to diminish the bitterness: either soaking in ice water for 30 minutes (for salads and slaws), or cooking. The recipe below uses the latter method, and also the common practice of including sweet ingredients (fresh citrus, honey, raisins and figs are common in radicchio dishes) to further cut any bitterness. Note that simply soaking or cooking in no way eliminates radicchio’s bitterness, but simply lessens it.

References and recommended links:

Sautéed Radicchio & OnionsSautéed Radicchio & Sweet Onion
Ingredients
1-1/2 tsp olive oil
1 large Vidalia onions (or other sweet onion), sliced (~2 cups)
1 head radicchio with outer green leaves, cut into ribbons (~4 cups)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tsp agave (or other sweetener)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they become soft and translucent, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Add vinegar and stir to blend. Add radicchio, agave, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking, tossing frequently, until radicchio is tender, about 5 minutes.  Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled. Serving suggestions include:

  • On it’s own, topped with sunflower or sesame seeds, as a small dish or snack (pictured)
  • As a side dish, topped with chopped nuts or cheese, for diner
  • With smoked mozarella or gruyère as a topping on a white pizza
  • As a filling for an omlete or quiche
  • In a sandwich or wrap
  • With roasted garlic and oil as a pasta topping
  • With roasted veggies as a salad topping

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder and -owner of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!