Thursday, May 31, 2012

Organic Harvest Box for May 31, 2012

It just might be a soup weekend again, given that I have to close the windows in the house as it is getting too cold!!  I picked up my box today and the small coloured peppers are just about gone as they were my lunch when I was late for an appointment this afternoon.  Then I could barely keep them on the table to get the photo before little fingers were grabbing at them and just eating them raw.  I really shouldn't say too much because about a dozen blueberries snuck their way into my mouth pre-photo shoot as well.  I took the tomatoes out of their packaging in order to set up the photo and if the other ones are like mine, it would be best not to keep them in the packaging too long as they are ready to eat.

I am excited about the eggplant this week.  I didn't write about the eggplant last time as it was a late substitution so all week I've been thinking about it and what to write about.  There is this recipe that my uncle made when we were visiting him in Edmonton last year.  I tried messaging him and voice mailing him and he still hasn't gotten back to me - so I am going to do my best to wing it with the recipe because it is delicious.  Some quick tips first:
  • To store the eggplant,wrap it in a paper towel or the paper it came in, 
  • Place it in a plastic bag with holes and/or in the veggie crisper, 
  • Eggplant shouldn't be left for more than about 4 days in the refrigerator as then it starts to get bitter,
  • Try to use the eggplant as soon as possible for best flavor and results.  
My uncle would slice the eggplant, brush it with some olive oil and then grill it until soft.  He then cut it into strips and marinated it in . . .this is where I get stuck - I'm sure it was olive oil, garlic, some salt, and . . .whatever else was in there made it absolutely delicious served on crackers or sliced baguette or your favorite crispy bread.  (I'm sure he'll call me back sometime and I'll be able to fill you in.)  This Calabrian recipe for Melanzane Arrostite (Marinated Eggplant with Olive Oil, Garlic and Mint) looks delicious and very similar to my uncle's eggplant.  I also came across this recipe for Spicy Grilled Eggplant that I think would be very tasty and the slices could be used on a sandwich for a meal.  The eggplant could be roasted with the coloured peppers (stove or grill) with some olive oil, chopped and then added to some chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs to make a bruschetta.

The baby bok choy looks fantastic, so fresh and full, but make sure to give them a good wash when you are ready to use them.  Bok choy is a member of the cabbage family and apparently has some of the highest anti-oxidant levels compared to other veggies in the cabbage family.  It is also a great source of Vitamins A and C, fibre, folic acid, and calcium.  It can be stored in the veggie crisper for up to a week.  Chinese cabbage of any variety usually ends up in a stir fry at our house, and it's easy to use but a bit time consuming to do it right.  The stems take a bit longer to cook than the leaves so I often end up taking a little extra time when slicing the bok choy in order to put the stems in to cook before the leaves.  You might have to go get some shitake mushrooms, as the most appealing recipes that I found for baby bok choy included shitakes.  And coincidentally, all my favorite recipes for bok choy are from LCBO's Food and Drink (my vast collection sits in the bookcase next to me as I type each week).  Four different ideas for bok choy:
I do get a bit wordy doing this but I have so many yummy food ideas all the time for all these veggies.  I don't ever get to cooking all of them, but I daydream about all of the fantastic recipes that I would have endless to make - and they would all turn out delicious of course.  Bear with me for two more things. Number 1 - cauliflower - my absolute favorite way to eat it is to toss the florets with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, roast it in the oven at 400F for 20 min or so.  While it is cooking, mix up some cream or preferably creme fraiche, a bit of dijon mustard, and a small squeeze of lemon juice.  When the cauliflower is done cooking, toss it with the sauce.  

Number 2 and last thing for this week - field cucumbers - I know I had one witty post about uses for cucumber, but I have to admit, they are lunch box fare in general for us.  Cukes are so good just sliced up on their own, or with just a dash of salt to curb that craving for a salty snack that it's hard to make a point of "cooking" with them.  I do have one recipe that I use regularly that makes great use of the cucumbers - Gingery Pork and Cucumber Pitas.  My mom found it in Real Simple magazine and every time I make it, my husband and I say to ourselves, "why don't we make this more often?"  It's so easy, and so good and now I feel like I've given you a real recipe for cucumbers.

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