Everyone received kale or collard raab, cauliflower, and winter squash (one of several Brazilian varieties). To complete your share, you were able to choose from the following: Yukina Savoy, garlic, polenta, bok choi, mache, cabbage, beets, leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, Magic Molly purple potatoes, sunchokes, lettuce, braising mix, cilantro, cress, sweet dandelion, and mustard greens.
Raab are the florets of various brassica crops: kale, collards, cabbage, kohlrabi, and even Brussels sprouts send up florets in the spring. Unlike turnip raab, kale and collard raab don’t have the strong bitter notes, so blanching is unnecessary. Here is a simple prep for this vegetable–just sautee on high with garlic in olive oil and finish with salt, chile flakes, and lemon juice. One of our members, Shay, shared a trick his sister uses to finish the raab. After the raab reaches a tender stage, cut the heat off and let them rest in the pan. This removes additional moisture and leaves the raab almost crispy. Once these are done you can eat them as side or chop and combine with pasta and fennel sausage. For a vegetarian version, ditch the sausage and add a cream sauce. If you are eager to start up the grill, raab grill beautifully.
The cauliflower are the same as last week. Several of you shared recipes ideas for how to cook this lovely vegetable, though just roasting was a popular and easy approach. I like this idea from Alyse: it involves roasting the whole head basted in a curried yogurt sauce. Gina brought me the following recipe from Christina Pirello’s book, Christina Cooks, and after trying it, I am fan. I really like the pepita pesto, though I did substitute the basil and parsley for cilantro and a handful of braising mix.
Creamy Cauliflower Bisque with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
1 onion, diced
1 head cauliflower, florets removed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup arborio rice
5 cups water
Mirin [I used white wine]
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white miso
1/4 tsp chili powder
Juice of 2 lemons
To make the bisque: Place the onion, cauliflower, and rice in a soup pot. Add the water, a generous splash of mirin and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the cauliflower is soft, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the soup, by ladlefuls, to a food processor and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and keep the soup at a simmer, while making the pesto.
To make the pesto: Place the pumpkin seeds, basil, parsley, and olive oil in a food processor and pulse into a coarse paste. Add the miso, chili powder and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. You may need to add a small amount of water to puree properly, but keep the pesto thick, so that it holds its shape in the soup.
To serve, spoon the soup into individual bowls and scoop a generous dollop of pesto in the center of each bowl.
Finally, the squash–these are varieties originally from Brazil, and they are all in the C. moschata or butternut family. At drop-off yesterday, I brought a ricotta cake I made with the puree of one of the squash. If you enjoyed it, the following is how I prepared the cake (based on this recipe from Bon Appetit). I hewed closely to the recipe only diverging in a few places. Instead of using white flour, I substituted completely with our whole wheat flour. I also added 1 tbsp of ground cardamom to the dry ingredients before incorporating the wet ingredients. I reduced the sugar by half (pumpkin provides sweetness). Finally, instead of the raspberry, I folded in pureed roasted pumpkin (same volume). After cooking and cooling, I flipped the cake over onto a plate and drizzled with approximately a 1/2 cup of olive oil and let soak in.