Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

I stopped by my friend’s garden the other day to see what was ready to pick, and look for some weeds that I could eat. While there I snagged some garlic scapes, wild mustard, and lambsquarters (real ones this time after I discovered I was eating some other plant and not lambsquarters. Woops!).

At home I planted some of the mustard in my garden. I have dreams of creating my own vegetable from it. A lot of vegetables were breed from wild mustard so figure if I start soon enough maybe in a few years I could have something. The rest I brought inside and cooked.

I wilted the mustard leaves and lambsquarters but my oil was too hot and I ended up frying them a bit. They didn’t have mush flavor though. Also they disappeared into nothing once wilted. I slow cooked the eggs with some garlic scapes. Altogether it was alright, nothing exceptional.


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My mom was at the store the other day and bought carrots and made sure to buy ones with the tops still on, knowing I would want them, which I did. Carrot greens are not for everyone. They are a bitter green. But if worked with properly can be quite nice. This time around I had the idea of using them in a pesto. So first I blanched them to take away some of the bitterness. But all alone they still would have been too much. Out in the garden I had some sorrel so I put that in as well. But I needed a nut. All I could find was some pecans which surprisingly worked awesome. The pesto was really good, I was surprised. Might even do it again it worked out so well. To go with it I just had a pork chop with some thyme on it.

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I came home from work the other day late and my only food option was left overs. So I headed to Whole Foods to see what I could get and come up with dinner for myself. The only thing that really stuck out was kohlrabi, which is the goofiest looking vegetable if you have never seen one.

No idea what to do with it I consulted some books and the internet and figured I would blanch it then try grilling it. I also had the last of my king oyster mushrooms and whole wheat pasta from Eataly so I figured I would put them all together into a dish. I pealed, sliced, and blanched them then placed the on the grill. Just cooked the mushrooms in butter then tossed in the pasta and the julienned kohlrabi. The kohlrabi doesn’t have much flavor. Taste like a mix of potato and celery. Over all the dish was okay, nothing mind blowing besides the mushrooms which are fabulous.

Gotta find something else to do with the kohlrabi. Plus it came with the leaves so got those to play with too.

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Ever since I saw Daniel Klein make eggs and radishes in episode 9 of The Perennial Plate I have wanted to recreate it. So the other day while I was down at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) to fill out my paper work to fully enroll in the August classes, oh yeah did I mention I am starting culinary school in August?, I stopped into Eataly for the first time. This is where I noticed one of my favorite underrated vegetables, radishes, and not just the normal grocery store kind but the petite tasty French breakfast radishes. Instantly I thought to caramelize them with slow cooked eggs like I had seen Daniel do.

So the next morning for breakfast that was my plan. I cracked three eggs into a pan with a chuck of butter and put it on low on the stove, mixing it around to slightly scramble the egg. Then in another pan I got some more butter and started to cook my radishes. Then made myself a quick vinaigrette to put on the limited sorrel my garden has produced.

I put the radishes over the eggs over some toast, I was hoping to have nicer bread but all we had in the house was crappy whole wheat, but it worked.

Daniel was right, the eggs were amazing. I usually hate scrambled eggs, even down to the smell. But these were awesome. I did over cook them a bit and next time I will keep them a bit runny. But awesome, another way to use to all mighty egg.

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Growing up we used to pick raspberries from bushes by my grandparents’ house. I also remember one traumatic occasion when my grandmother picked dandelions out of the grass for a salad. The bitterness of the green shocked my young palette. I can still remember how bitter the green was and how much I hated it. No green I have had since has given me such a bite yet I have eaten greens that are way more bitter than dandelions. It is funny how we remember things different from how they are.

Outside of that though I had never gone foraging and now I love dandelion greens. Any foodie who wants to call them self one has to go out into the woods and pick something out of the dirt nowadays though. So  home for the Easter holiday I woke up early and headed out into the woods looking for a bite to eat.

On the agenda first were the much loved ramps. Foodies go ape shit for these wild onions. The first time I had ever heard of them was on an episode of Chopped last year. Following food blogs I learned they were in season around this time last year so headed to the Union Square Farmers’ Market to pay $5 for a small bunch. They were good but not good enough in my opinion to pay that much for. So this year I was not going to buy them but rather find them.

I parked my car, walked about ten feet, and saw my first patch of ramps. I was blown away. It was that easy. For the rest of the day I continued to see fields of them! I had to stop myself from taking more than I would eat. Hell if I had picked them all and sold them for the $5 I paid I would be loaded. But I am not some money grubbing capitalist and am rather a budding conservationist so just took what I needed.

I had read that ramps are becoming hard to come by since people are over harvesting them in many places. Well not here. I am pretty sure I am the only person who has ventured into the woods around here to pick them. Because as I have said before there are no real foodies around here, just bored house wives who follow what ever Food Network and magazines tell them. Doubt they’re going to go into the woods to pick veggies who Whole Foods has them on the shelves.

On the way the only other wild edible I could find was of course dandelions. I was hoping to come across stinging nettles, lambsquarters, or cattails (which looking for lead me to get lost in the woods for 45 minutes in search of a swamp I had stumbled across another time when I was lost). But here is the bounty.

I fried up some bacon which I then tossed the ramps into. I also had some carrot greens that I blanched then mixed into scrambled eggs to make up my lunch.

As for the dandelion I just had them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Overall foraging was a success. Hopefully when I am home again I can find some other wild edibles since ramps will no longer be in season.

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I am on a mission to cook with every ingredient out there. Never know what might show up in my mystery basket when I make it onto Chopped one day so I am never afraid to buy and cook a mystery veggie. The vegetable this week, some weird green and purple spotted beans. I have no idea what kind they are. I tried to google them but could not find a bean that matched perfectly. I thought I found them on one website, a commenter calling them an “every use” bean, saying they could be eaten cooked or raw. Trying them raw and finding them extremely hard, stringy, and unpleasant I blanched them. This did not help at all, and I actually think it made the worse. The pods were stringy and the beans nearly inedible, but I tried to power through them. Made it through about a third and gave up. The rest of the meal was good though, some nice roasted potatoes and a fried chicken breast with gravy.

Then the pains came. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the stomach. I had just ingested something that may have been toxic and now my stomach was fighting it. Not a fun feeling poisoning yourself. After about an hour of pain it started to go away and I started my night of drinking. The next morning I woke up with the hangover from hell and hardly remembered the prior night. I had not even drank that much the night earlier. I blame the poison beans.

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The majority of my down time the last few weeks have been spent watching The Perennial Plate Daniel Klein’s awesome web series about living and eating for a year in Minnesota. Sadly I have caught up now though and without knowledge of any other awesome food web series I have to actually use my brain and read food articles now. But what brings me here was that in one episode Daniel cooked radishes with something else, cannot remember, and had them with eggs. I had always just eaten radishes raw, a fan of that sharp bite they have, and that apple crunch, but had never cooked them. So the next morning for breakfast I got out the radishes, and some Brussels sprouts, and lightly cooked them in a pan and had them with fried eggs. Delicious.

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