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Conquering Unfamiliar Vegetables

 

Welcome to Summer with the Produce Posse!


The longest day of the year has passed, bringing the official start of Summertime. This means the heat will last and the colors of our veggies will slowly start to brighten. It's a few weeks away yet, but it's coming.

In the shares this week, we're seeing our first kohlrabi, one of those notoriously weird vegetables that we get lots and lots of questions about. Amongst the familiar, the discussion offers oodles of recommendations to describe it - like an apple or a potato, but with a hint of a bite like a radish, or the cool cruciferous flavor of broccoli stalk. There is not, however, overwhelming agreement. The taste is inoffensive and the texture crisp, so few feel a stir of passion to pin down the alien vegetable. Nonetheless, many still struggle to figure out what exactly to do with it, and not-a-few have opted for letting it shrivel in the bottom of the crisper. The letting-it-shrivel method is not one I hope to recommend.

Usually we just say peel your kohlrabi and eat it raw. And this is perfectly reasonable advice. I've chopped it and put it in slaws and salads aplenty without any special treatment. The only trouble is that I'm not always motivated to do that and it's not tremendously exciting. The other easy option is to put it in a veggie soup. Except that it's 85° outside and most of us have no desire to so much as look at soup. Lastly, the thing to do about any vegetable is to slather enough cheese and butter on it that you don't even know what else is in there. This is also perfectly viable.

Allow me to interject the kohlrabi fritter. You can do this with any vegetable you don't know what to make of, probably. Shred or finely chop your kohlrabi. Mix with egg and bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and any additional seasonings that seem right. Heat oil in a skillet and put little mounds of kohlrabi crumbs in. Flatten with your spatula, and flip to cook both sides until crispy. Children will dip this in ketchup and eat them like tater tots. 

Another option is to roast your kohlrabi. You're going to hear us say this about cabbage and cauliflower too - just roast the whole thing. These cruciferous veggies caramelize when roasted, transforming the otherwise uninspiring flavor into something ridiculously phenomenal. I say do a slow Sunday roasted pan of sausage and veggies - easy peasy puddin' pie. Put your feet up and drink lemonade whilst dinner prepares itself.

We've also got ch-ch-ch-cherries for you which is just so so exciting I can't even stand it! It's a City Fresh rarity. I don't even know how anyone grows sweet cherries. It's been my experience that the birds all get them before the rest of us can get near the tree. These farmers are something else! Congratulations to all of us for it though, because WE get to reap the benefits! Enjoy!

Maybe make a cherry compote to put over french toast. Take a picture and put it on Instagram, tagging @cityfreshneo. Check us out on Instragram too because our volunteer, Anthony, and I have been doing brunch battles every weekend.

See this totally sick frittata? You line a pan with thin sliced potatoes with butter, cook on the stove top until lightly crisp, then pour in a scramble of 6-8 eggs, 1/2 cup milk or cream, and whatever veggies you want - here I used radishes, spring onions, and baby pattypan squash. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. So easy, so fancy.

Equally easy and fancy, is Anthony's Spanish-fried egg with green onions and buttered radishes on a bed of wilted radish greens. I did almost the same meal with added baby crookneck squash and a poached egg instead. I was astounded at how simple and yet how decadent it was. Join us in the fun!

Peace and veggies,

Anna Kiss Mauser-Martinez
Director
City Fresh
annakiss@cityfresh.org
216.469.0904
In the shares...
Single
Kohlrabi
Kale
Beets, bunch
Cabbage
2 Zucchini
Lettuce, Head
Cherries, pint
 
Family
Kohlrabi
Kale
Beets, 2 bunches
Cabbage
2 Zucchini
Lettuce, Head
Radishes, Bunch
Mixed Baby Zucchini (1 qt.)
Sugar Snap Peas, 1 lb.
Cherries, quart
Basil
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