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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 9/24/17)

Conference Pears:

As with all new crop pears, these will need to be ripened for 4-7 days before they are ready to eat. Check the neck for ripeness by gently pressing your thumb near the stem end of the pear. When it gives slightly, the pear is ripe.

Leeks:

Besides potato leek soup (recipe below), there are other delicious ways to eat leeks. Used as an onion swap they make a great base in just about anything. Cook in a little oil until tender as a base for a sauce, sauté, scrambled eggs, soup, etc. The flavor is milder than an onion so I don’t mind having larger chunks. I like to cut them into quarter inch rounds. Leeks are cousins to the old, familiar onion, but have a sweeter, more delicate flavor reminiscent of garlic or chives and are delicious no matter how they’re cooked. Additionally, leeks contain generous amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making the vegetable a great addition to a healthy diet. You can cook leeks by poaching them in chicken broth, pan-frying them in a little oil, or boiling them until tender.

Potatoes:

Packed with nutrition, potatoes are among the most popular of all the root vegetables. Low in fat and high in health and beauty-promoting dietary fiber, potatoes are a rich source of B vitamins as well as vitamin C, and vitamin K. Potatoes are an excellent source of healthy, energy-giving complex carbohydrates, and contain good amounts of certain essential minerals like iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, copper and potassium. Be sure to store potatoes in a cool dark place so they don’t develop green spots (from exposure to light) or sprout.

 

Simple Potato Leek Soup

You will be able to make this simple soup in no time flat, and can feel good about filling up your belly with healthful ingredients!

Ingredients:


2-3 large leeks, white and light green parts only

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

Kosher salt

6 medium-to-large potatoes

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or homemade vegetable stock or water)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Sour cream, for serving (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Slice leeks in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons. Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Add leeks and garlic and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened but not browned, about 10-12 minutes.
  2. While leeks are cooking, fill large bowl halfway with cold water. Peel potatoes, placing each in bowl of water immediately after peeling to prevent browning. Cut each potato in half lengthwise and slice into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons. Drain potato slices and add to pot along with stock and a few generous grinds of pepper. Raise heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until potatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes.
  3. Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches in standing blender. If you like your soups on the hearty side, you can skip this step, or lightly puree (some pureeing makes for that lovely creamy texture, so don’t skip it completely). Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with parsley and sour cream if desired. Soup reheats well and will keep in refrigerator for up to one week.
Recipe adapted from seriouseats.com

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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 2/19/17)

D’Anjou Pears:

The d’Anjou is a truly all-purpose pear. They are juicy when ripe, and their subtle sweetness hints at a refreshing lemon-lime flavor. Their dense flesh holds up well in heated applications like baking, poaching, roasting, or grilling and they are delicious when sliced fresh in salads or eaten as an out-of-hand snack. The most important thing to know about d’Anjou pears is that they do not change color as they ripen, unlike Bartlett pears, whose skin color changes to yellow during ripening. Check the neck for ripeness by gently pressing your thumb near the stem end of the pear. When it gives slightly, the pear is ripe.

Mushrooms:

These edible fungi are great raw on salads but they are absolutely fabulous when sautéed. There really isn’t a better ingredient around that works just as well in a breakfast, lunch or dinner plate. To sauté, heat oil or butter in a skillet on medium high heat. Clean and slice mushrooms in half inch pieces. When oil is hot add them to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like to sauté mine with onion and or garlic. Season with salt pepper to taste.

Artichokes:

Artichokes can be steamed, boiled, baked or grilled. I’ve had to play around with these to find how I like to cook them best. Boiling them whole is fast and easy in the beginning but can be messier to prep afterwards while they’re hot and soft. Plus, I’m always impatient and don’t want to wait around for them to cool off. My preferred method is to get them all prepped first and then bake them. That way they’re ready to eat as soon as I take them out of the oven.

To prepare, first have a lemon handy. Cut about an inch off the stem and top of the artichoke. Then cut in half and remove the fuzzy part in the center with a spoon. Rub the cut side with a half a lemon, squeezing some juice into the fold and the middle. Drizzle with olive oil, trying to get it between the folds, sprinkle with salt, pepper and freshly minced garlic. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 25 minutes at 425°. Mayonnaise mixed with a little balsamic vinegar is commonly used for a dip, or try using some olive oil or salad dressing mixed with mustard and balsamic vinegar. Play around with it. Your pantry is the limit!

RECIPE

Fresh Spring Rolls

If you’ve had this fancy Thai appetizer before, you may be surprised how easy they are to make at home. Try it out and see what you think!

Ingredients: (Put whatever veggies you’d like in these)

½ cucumber, halved and thinly sliced

1 carrot, Julienned

1 avocado, sliced

½ bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 green onions, diced

Lettuce, cut small

Cilantro, chopped(optional)

Rice paper, 8+ inch rounds

A protein (I like using grilled chicken but seafood is often used here)

Dipping sauce:

Mix 1 part crunchy peanut butter with 2 parts hoisin sauce, or store bought Asian dipping sauce.

Directions:

Preparation: 20-30 min

1. Cut up all the veggies and put in bowls or separate piles for easy access.

2. Fill a large salad bowl with hot water from the faucet. Place a single piece of rice paper under the water for a couple seconds. As soon as it becomes soft and pliable (about 5 seconds) remove from the bowl and place on a smooth plastic cutting board.

3. Arrange some of each ingredient on the rice paper in a row close to the center.

4. Roll rice paper by folding the shorter piece over first then wrapping the top and bottom down ends down. Finish by rolling the remainder from the middle out, keeping as tight as possible. Repeat