Saturday, May 28, 2011

Komatsuna with Garlic, Raisins & Pine Nuts

What looked something like collard greens in this week’s share were komatsuna, a Japanese green leafy with, I think, a fairly mild flavor. Milder than collards or kale, for sure. When I’m in doubt about what to do with something green, I usually just add garlic and lemon, salt and pepper, and a little olive oil…and its gotta taste good! I threw in some raisins and pine nuts, which I guess must make this dish sort of a Mediterranean-Asian fusion…The best part is, NO COOKING required, which means your kitchen stays cooler, there is one fewer pan to wash, and all of the nutrients in your greens, raisins and pine nuts are raring to go!

One medium bunch greens (here, komatsuna, but kale, chard, collards, and escarole are all tasty this way!)
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup raw (untoasted) pine nuts
1 large clove of garlic
½ a lemon
Olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper

Remove the hard part of the stems/stalks from your greens, and stack them, slicing several leaves at a time into ½ inch ribbons. (Be sure to wash and dry them well either before or after slicing!) Place greens in a large bowl, with some room to toss them.
Slice/shave garlic into very very thin slices. There are special little slicers for this, or you could use a vegetable peeler.
Toss garlic, raisins and pine nuts with greens, as well as 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (or more, to taste), a tablespoon of olive oil (to coat the greens – use a little more if you have a really big bunch!), a ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a dash of black pepper. Toss really well until every thing is coated, and adjust lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
Cover, and let sit for ½ hour or so before serving, tossing a couple more times. This will server several people as a side dish, or makes a great big salad, as well!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Turnip Ravioli with Asparagus-Scallion Cheese

The CSA share included another amazing bounty this week...what to make? Today I created just about the cutest ravioli ever, and they were a lot quicker than traditional ravioli, because the shell is…turnips! The teeny harukei turnips that came in my half share this week, thinly sliced, made great ravioli shells, and I used my asparagus and scallions, blended into a cashew “cheese” as a filling – yum!

Ravioli shells:
1 small bunch turnips (beets work, too!)

Asparagus-Scallion Cheese
1 cup raw cashews
½ bunch of asparagus
1 large scallion
A medium lemon
Seas salt & black pepper, to taste

Simple Parsley Pesto
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste

First, soak 1 cup of raw cashews in fresh water for at least an hour (if you forgot this step, don’t worry! You may just need to add more water later on).

Next, make your pesto: in a food processer (I like a small one for this job), combine parsley, oil, salt and pepper until mostly smooth. You’ll still be able to see specks of parsley. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour into a small bowl and set to the side.

Drain cashews. In the same food processer (don’t bother washing it, we’re going to add a little pesto, anyway!), combine cashews with 2 tablespoons lemon juice (you lemon will likely contain 3 or so, depending on its size), a teaspoon of lemon zest, half a teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of fresh black pepper. Add ¼ to ½ cup of water SLOWLY, until your mix resembles a thick but smooth ricotta cheese, pausing to scrape down sides. Add ½ of the thick, white part of the scallion, blend in, and adjust salt, pepper and lemon to taste.

Slice your asparagus crosswise into thin rounds, about 1/8 of an inch, reserving the tops. In a small bowl, combine cashew cheese mixture with 2/3 of a cup of asparagus and the remainder of the white portion of your scallion, finely chopped.

Now, slice your turnips into very thin rounds. I use a spiral slicer, which makes long, thin connected ribbons, that I break apart and piece back into circles. You could also use a mandoline, or a very sharp knife (watch your fingers!) or even a potato peeler. Try to get the slices less than 1/8 of an inch, closer to 1/16.

Arrange a dozen or so turnip slices on a dinner plate. Top each with ½ teaspoon of the cashew-asparagus mixture, and top with another turnip slice. Press down lightly – don’t worry if some cheese leaks out the sides. Repeat with remaining turnip slices and cheese (this recipe will make 4-5 dozen). Drizzle parsley pesto on ravioli (covering up any slices or holes in the turnip with a little dollop of sauce), and garnish with reserved asparagus spears. As I like to say…raw appétit!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Getting Psyched for my Next Raw Food Demo May 18!

I'm really excited for my next raw food dinner & demo at Fresh Thymes Cafe next week! Here's a picture of me working my raw food magic last was so much fun, with a great energy in the room. Plus, great food!
On May 18, I'll be demonstrating a fabulous, BBQ-worthy summer menu: Tex-Mex Lettuce Wraps, No-Grill Veggie Burgers, and a Summer Berry Tart!
For $40 per person, join me for the demo and three-course meal, and take home a recipe booklet so you can wow your friends with the flavor-packed, fresh and delicious menu...great idea if you have folks in your life who are gluten-free or have dairy allergies, or are vegetarian or vegan!

The Details:
Wednesday, May 18
6:30 pm
Fresh Thymes Cafe (1836 Lovering Ave, @ Lincoln & Lovering)
Wilmington, DE
Call 302-656-2026 for a reservation - please try to reserve by May 14!

Iron Cheffin' with my Veggie Share: Asian Veggie Tacos

The other day I picked up our first CSA (community supported agriculture) share of the year...and realized every week, I'll be playing my own version of Iron Chef! Some of the items - like a big, gorgeous head of red leaf lettuce - have pretty obvious uses (mine is still in the crisper, poised to serve as the base for an amazing salad) while others pose more challenges, especially if you want to try to combine things into the same meal.
I was feeling a little Asian vibe from some of the veggies, so I made Asian veggie tacos...and managed to use the kale, asparagus, tatsoi (like slightly bitter baby spinach) and red scallions to make a very yummy dinner. The radishes and red leaf are on deck for tonight!
In a large bowl, combine:
3-4 cups chopped tatsoi (or spinach) (about 4 small bunches)
3-4 red scallions (or regular), just the thick white/red parts (but reserve the rest!)
Half a bunch of asparagus (6-8 stalks), shaved with a potato peeler or otherwise sliced thing
1/2 inch chunk of ginger, grated

In a small bowl, whisk together:
2 tablespoons raw tahini
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons lime juice, to taste
1-2 tablespoons tamari, to taste (or nama shoyu, or regular soy sauce if that's all you've got)
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Dress the salad-like mixture with about half the dressing - save the rest for dipping or drizzling. Once the mixture is well coated, arrange about 1/2 a cup (or more) on a large kale leaf (or collard, or lettuce). Tie the leaf loosely around the middle with the reserved green portion of the scallion...raw appetit!
This recipe makes about 6 "tacos." You could also add more greens, use the entire amount of dressing, and call it a salad!

Friday, May 6, 2011

FRESH Spring Pea Hummus!

I have been loving all of the spring veggies out in stores. I've grabbed fresh spring peas at Traders Joe's a few times, and while they are typically very expensive, TJ's had them for 2 cups or so for $3 - not a bad deal! Peas are packed with protein, fiber, and all kinds of good stuff. I made a blended pea soup, which looked beautiful but that I'd like to work on before I blog a recipe...and this tasty, really quick and easy pea hummus. Of course, you could eat the peas on their own, toss them on a salad for a little extra crunch, or even stir them whole into another dip or some guacamole, but this pea hummus is pretty tasty, and just tastes like spring! I served a big scoop of mine with salad, and it was FILLING - because, as I mentioned, peas are packed with good stuff!
1 1/2 cups fresh green peas (frozen are likely blanched...and therefore not raw...but would work here as well, if defrosted and drained of any extra water)
1/4 cup raw tahini
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
3/4-1 teaspoon cumin, to taste
Dash of cayenne
Simply combine the ingredients above in a food processor, until desired chunkiness or smoothness has been reached. Serve with other veggies for dipping or on top of a salad...Raw appétit!