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The Taste of Treviso Italy via Mt. Vernon

We have been enjoying a few different soups that hail from the region of Tuscany, Italy. The White bean soup and Tuscan potato kale soup have quickly become staples here at the farm. Both easy to make and nutritious. And those two characteristics, easy to make + nutritious = health!

This week we are traveling 3 hours to the north and east from Tuscany to Treviso for a taste of Radicchio of the chicory family. Radicchio in Italy is tied to regions in a similar way wine is tied to regions. And this week’s Treviso Radicchio comes from the Treviso region of Italy. Ironically, Treviso in Italy is as big a deal as Romaine is here. You can find 3 packs of Treviso in Italy on the shelves of grocery stores just like we have 3 packs of romaine in the states. You will also find Romaine in your box of good this week, my thinly veiled attempt to highlight and contrast how we eat compared to other parts of the world.

Treviso radicchio hasn’t been cultivated in America very long, maybe 40 years, compared to 4+ centuries in Italy. Fortunately, in the PNW we have a similar climate to Treviso, Italy and grow excellent Radicchio. While the inspiration comes from Italy, the perspiration required to grow this crop comes from Mt. Vernon.

Ralph’s Greenhouse and its rich alluvial soils in the Skagit valley coupled with its cool maritime nights mimic the ideal growing conditions for this super nutritious vegetable. I am also pairing the Treviso with French shallots from Hedlin Farms in La Conner and I asked my neighbor, Vivian, to cut one sprig of sage for each of you (make sure you find it) to use in this week’s recipe.

Also, I am bringing over Spitzenburg apples from Okanagan. There is a small organic grower’s co-op over there that we (Klesick’s and you) support by buying their fruit. And Spitzenburg is an excellent apple that dates back to Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd president of the United States. It is reported that this was his favorite apple and I can see why.  This week you can use a Spitzenburg apple to balance the deep flavor of the Treviso Radicchio in the wilted salad recipe. The recipe uses a technique called braising, it works great with all types of greens. I would be tempted to, also, create a freshly made Valencia orange/balsamic vinaigrette with the Valencia oranges in your box and add it to a Romaine/Treviso salad. So many choices!

Health does come down to choices. Thank you for choosing Klesick’s as one of your partner’s in health!

Tristan

Your Farmer and Health Advocate

Recipe: Braised Treviso with Sage & Balsamic

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 (about 125g) French shallots, peeled, halved lengthways
  • 1 treviso lettuce, cut into 6 wedges
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) Massel chicken style liquid stock
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (Optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallot, stirring, for 20 minutes or until soft. Add treviso. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add stock, vinegar, sugar and sage. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the treviso wilts. Season with salt and pepper.

Radicchio, Teviso:

A favorite of Italians, whom it is believed their cultivation originated with, Treviso radicchio look a bit like purple romaine hearts. Italians almost never use radicchios in a mixed salad, but savor them alone with the simplest of olive-oil dressings. Often, they cook radicchio, turning to varieties like Treviso, that are milder in flavor, since the bitterness of radicchio intensifies with cooking. The tonic bitterness, however, is a good contrast to rich or fatty flavors. Radicchio is good braised, grilled, or in a soup. Store: keep radicchio in a tightly sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Radish, Daikon:

Daikon is a white root vegetable often seen in Japanese and Chinese cuisine that resembles a carrot. However, unlike a carrot’s sweetness, daikon is spicy and tart, similar to a radish. Its pungent and sharp flavor can be enjoyed raw, pickled, or cooked. The white pigment in daikon is called anthoxanthin, which is an antioxidant that may lower cholesterol and blood pressure. In Asian cuisine, daikon is often eaten alongside meaty dishes, and is said to aid in digestion and breakdown of oil, fatty animal protein, and dairy.

It can be eaten raw like you would a radish, sliced or grated into a salad, or baked, sautéed or grilled like any other root vegetable. Cooked daikon has a similar texture and flavor to turnips.

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 8/12/18)

Bartlett Pears

These are easy to tell when ripe because they brighten in color (turn from green to yellow in tone) and have a wonderful fragrance. Try adding pears to a salad this week! Cut into wedges or cubes they would make a great addition to this week’s salad mix. For dressing, try mixing a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a little bit of Dijon mustard and about an eighth cup of maple syrup. Mix together with a wire whisk and beat in an eighth cup of olive or avocado oil. I would probably double the recipe if serving more than 3 people. Can also be topped with gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese and pecans (or walnuts).

Beets

If you don’t have time to roast or boil beets you can shorten the cook time dramatically by slicing off thin rounds and either sautéing, steaming, or boiling them, just peel them first with a vegetable peeler.

In the cooking world, beets are often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin” for their incredible range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although beets can be cooked in a variety of ways (including as a secret ingredient for deep dark chocolate cake-Google it!), roasting beets is one of the easiest and most delicious. Roasting beets intensifies their flavor, brings out their earthy sweetness, and makes their skin tender and easy to peel off. Roasted beets are particularly delicious in beet salads or just as a complementing side dish.

Kale

We love Apple Kale Salad: (Kale, Apple, Pear, Red Bell Pepper, Green onion, Carrot….)

Kale is just wonderful and it’s so good for you! One great thing about kale as a salad is that it keeps well in the fridge, so you can make ahead of time and not worry about it wilting. Kale can be a little tricky because it tends to be a bit tough and sometimes bitter. Here are a few tips that have helped me. First make sure to remove all large ribs and stems (They make a great addition to a stir-fry though!); Chop the leaves small; Sprinkle with salt to cut the bitterness; “Tenderize” the leaves by massaging them with your hands (only takes about half a minute); And lastly, massage in the olive oil or salad dressing. This turns the kale bright green and makes it so it’s evenly covered.

For the dressing, I like to use a combination of vinegar and olive oil. Once you have prepped your kale and worked in the dressing, add your toppings. Try with apple or pear slices. Cashews, almonds and dried cranberries also taste great with this combination!

Broccoli:

Pass the broccoli! Broccoli contains plant compounds which protect against cancer. Broccoli is great in salad, stir-fry, soup, roasted, steamed, or raw with your favorite veggie dip. Add Broccoli to your next box of good food delivery here.

Featured Recipe: Roasted Broccoli

The high heat with this method causes the broccoli to caramelize making this one of the tastiest ways to prepare and eat broccoli. Leave off the pecorino for a vegan option (try topping with a drizzle of tahini instead). Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

1 and ½ pounds broccoli crowns (roughly 2 heads)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, pressed

large pinch of dried red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons raw, sliced almonds (with or without skin)

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 – 3 tablespoons freshly grated aged pecorino cheese (leave out for vegan option)

zest of half a lemon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer less crispy florets (or if your oven runs hot), you can reduce the oven temperature by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust cooking time as necessary.

Line a sheet pan with parchment. Trim any dry, tough ends of the broccoli crowns, leaving roughly 2-inches of stalk attached. Slice the broccoli into ½-inch-thick steaks, starting in the center of each broccoli crown and working out to the edges, reserving any small or medium florets that fall off for roasting. Slice any large remaining florets in half lengthwise.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, pressed garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the broccoli steaks and toss gently until evenly coated. Arrange the broccoli, cut-side down, on the lined sheet pan, setting them apart slightly. Sprinkle with salt.

Roast the broccoli for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the broccoli, and sprinkle the almond slices evenly across the sheet pan. Roast for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is evenly caramelized and fork tender, and the almond slices are toasted and golden.

Transfer the broccoli to a platter, toss gently with the lemon juice and top with the grated pecorino cheese. Garnish with fresh lemon zest. Serve hot or at room temperature (it also tastes great cold). Leftover broccoli can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

 

Recipe adapted from abeautifulplate.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 6/17/18)

Baby Artichokes

Artichokes can be steamed, boiled, baked or grilled. To bake, cut about an inch off the top and stem of the artichoke. Then cut it 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, sprinkle with salt, pepper and freshly minced garlic. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 25 minutes at 425°. Melted butter or mayonnaise mixed with a little balsamic vinegar is commonly used for a dip but you can be creative and use whatever your taste buds desire!

Nutrition: Artichokes

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a medium-sized artichoke provides about 60 calories and just over 10 grams of fiber, or 41 percent of the recommended daily value. Artichokes are highest in insoluble fiber, the type that stimulates digestion and contributes to bowel regularity. They also contain a significant amount of soluble fiber, which promotes healthy cholesterol levels and helps control blood sugar levels.

Amounts per 1 artichoke, medium (120g): low in Saturated Fat (0% DV) and Cholesterol (0% DV). Also a good source of Niacin (1.3 mg/7% DV), Magnesium (50.4 mg/13% DV), Phosphorus (97.6 mg/9% DV), Potassium (343 mg/10% DV) and Copper (0.2 mg/8% DV), and a very good source of Dietary Fiber (10.3 g/41% DV), Vitamin C (8.9 mg/15% DV), Vitamin K (17.8 mcg/22% DV), Folate (107 mcg/27% DV) and Manganese (0.3 mg./13% DV). —Source: nutritiondata.self.com.

radishes

Radishes:

Radishes are a just a great vegetable to have around. Packed with nutrients these little red globes make a great addition to your daily eats. Add them as a topping to your salad, tacos, or as a side to Asian or Mexican cuisine! I recently started wondering about those fancy shaped radish slices that came with my meal at Thai restaurants. They had a definite vinegar flavor to them and that’s when I discovered pickled radishes! They are great and so simple to make! Just let your radishes (thinly sliced) soak in about 2 cups of red or white vinegar with a teaspoon of sugar and salt.  You can also add onions or garlic cloves, peppercorns and chilies for even more flavor. You can let this sit in the fridge overnight or for a whole month if you want.

If you’re not a fan of raw radishes (or even if you are), try one of the alternative recipes below.

Pickled: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pickled-radishes-366455

Or Baked: http://www.hobbyfarms.com/balsamic-roasted-radishes-with-fresh-thyme/

 

Featured Recipe: Steamed Baby Artichokes with Lemony Brown-Butter Sauce & Chives

A bright, simple sauce that dresses up baby artichokes while letting their delicate texture shine through. Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

1 lb. baby artichokes, trimmed

4 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbs. thinly sliced chives or green onion/scallion tops

Instructions:

Trim the artichokes to remove any prickly outside leaves with a pair of scissors. Bring an inch of water to boil over high heat in a pot fit with a steamer insert. Put the artichokes in the steamer basket, sprinkle with kosher salt, cover tightly, and steam until just tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. The artichokes should be neither crisp nor soft, but exactly in between.

While the artichokes steam, melt the butter in a small (1-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter, whisking constantly, just until the milk solids turn a nutty brown color, 3 to 5 minutes. As soon as the butter is brown, take the pan off the heat and carefully pour in the lemon juice. Swirl to combine. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste. Drizzle the sauce over the steamed artichokes and sprinkle with the chives.

 

Recipe adapted from finecooking.com

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Raw Beet Salad

Ingredients

1 to 1½ pounds beets, preferably small

1 yellow onion or 2 large shallots

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or to taste

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry or other good strong vinegar

1 sprig fresh tarragon, minced, if available

1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves

 

Instructions

  • Peel the beets and onions/shallots. Combine them in a food processor and pulse carefully until the beets are shredded; do not purée. (Or grate the beets by hand and mince the onion/shallots, then combine.) Scrape into a bowl.
  • Toss with the salt, pepper, mustard, oil and vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Toss in the herbs and serve.

 

Variations

  1. Raw Beet Salad with Carrot and Ginger. Ginger and beets are killer together. Use equal parts beet and carrot, about 8 ounces of each. Treat the carrots as you do the beets (you can process them together), adding about a tablespoon of minced peeled ginger to the mix; omit the tarragon. Substitute peanut for olive oil, lime juice for sherry vinegar, and cilantro for the parsley.
  2. Raw Beet Salad with Yogurt Dressing. Replace the olive oil and one of the tablespoons of vinegar with 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, preferably whole-milk or low-fat.

Recipe adapted from http://markbittman.com/recipe/raw-beet-salad/