poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie

CSA Update: Triumphant Turnips (amongst other things)

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Our 3rd CSA box from Eatwell Farm featured a lot of the same items, with some new ones too:

  • cilantro
  • mandarin oranges
  • lemons
  • mixed baby lettuce
  • mixed mustard greens
  • pomelo
  • broccoli
  • romanesco
  • chard
  • turnips
  • savoy cabbage
  • half-dozen eggs

Since we’ve had a string of misses, we decided to go for a sure thing — something definitely tasty and relatively easy. So we made stir fry with the broccoli, onion, chicken, and peanuts. A note about the chicken breast, and the chicken legs later in this post: we bought those from the Marin Sun Farms stall at Market Hall in Rockridge. Their meat is pricey, but we feel that MSF has excellent practices that are worth supporting with our dollars.

Stir fry with chicken, onions, peanuts and CSA broccoli.

Anyway, the stir fry was indeed very yummy, so much so that we ate more than 3/4 of it in one sitting. It reminded me how much I love peanuts in stir fry — they provide such a nice crunch, you know?

Our first two outings with the turnips were unsatisfying, to say the least. We wasted them the first time around and weren’t too impressed when we roasted them the second time. Commenter Tammy suggested mashing them up with potatoes, and luckily I happened to have a Cooks Illustrated recipe for doing just such a thing (root vegetables + mashed potatoes). Let me tell you — the results were AMAZING. Certainly, it didn’t hurt that I used 1/2 stick of butter and 3/4 cup of half and half, but still. I would like to keep fussing with this recipe to get the fat and lactose content down. If I’m successful, I’ll definitely post the results here. Anyway, the key in this dish is to caramelize the turnips in butter before adding and cooking the potatoes. That way, the flavor of the turnips doesn’t get completely lost in the potatoes. We also roasted chicken legs and the romanesco, and served a salad with the mixed baby lettuce, carrots, avocado, sunflower seeds, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette. TC thought this was one of the best meals we’ve ever made; I’d definitely put it in the top 5.

From top left: salad, wine, roasted romanesco, chicken leg, the amazing mashed potatoes.

A note about the wine: I’ve become a huge fan of Whole Foods’ Three Wishes Merlot. It’s only $1.99 and beats any two-buck chuck that I’ve had. I also usually hate Merlot (yes, I’m a wine snob), but make an exception for this one. Just FYI.

This was the first time we got cilantro in our box, so we decided to make a Mexican-inspired breakfast: an egg scramble (with onions and red pepper) served with cilantro, avocado, and cheese on a corn tortilla. I loved it! The only thing that was missing was churros.

From top left: cilantro, pepper jack cheese, scramble with peppers and onions, and avocado.

We also made the chard in the usual fashion — sautéed with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. It turned out awful. I don’t know if it was this batch, if I overcooked it, or if this was a bad way to prepare chard. Anyone out there have an opinion on this?

Oh, and I introduced TC to the pomelo, which is a very interesting fruit, like a less bitter grapefruit with really thick skin. We still have the cabbage and some greens sitting in the fridge… hopefully they haven’t gone bad already. What are your favorite cabbage recipes?

Author: Jen

Howdy! I'm a 30-something recovering former academic living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

6 thoughts on “CSA Update: Triumphant Turnips (amongst other things)

  1. Yum, yum, and yum! (except for the chard) While that’s my go-to method for cooking tougher greens like mustards, kale, collards, etc., I usually use chard the same way I would use spinach. I put it in eggs or pasta sauce or smoothies.

  2. Thanks so much for trying the mash and glad you enjoyed it. As for cabbage, I am probably amongst that slim part of the population that enjoys it cooked. Slaws and cabbage rolls are the other ways that I can think of.

  3. With greens, the traditional advice to balance the bitterness is something sour (traditionally vinegar), which works okay, but in my experience it often just accentuates the fishiness you complained about. Whenever I do my sauteed greens, I almost always add soy sauce and a few dashes of vinegar when they’re close to done. I saute them enough to evaporate this extra liquid and then they have a bit more balance of flavor as well. Another solution is browning some shallots in the skillet first; their nuttiness often counters strongly flavored greens.

    For cabbage, I like boiling the leaves whole (it’s kind of annoying to take them off relatively whole, but if they rip, who cares) until they’re soft and then using them as dumpling wrappers (especially with pork filling). I roll up the dumplings, put them in a skillet with a little bit of oil, saute them for a while, and then add some soy sauce and vinegar and cover them to steam for a bit. Finally, I uncover them and evaporate the liquid.

    • Oh yeah, I remember you told me about this one! Thanks for the reminder.
      We just made it tonight – very tasty, just as you said. Thanks again.

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