Posts Tagged ‘bok choy’

Box 6 – Roundup

Actual usage & thoughts:

  • Green Beans – I think we must have forgotten about these this week, since we had one or two meals that could have used them. They’re still looking good in the fridge, so I’d be surprised if they’re not all eaten in the coming week.
  • Bok Choy – As I predicted, we had a stirfry last night that used the Bok Choy and the Komatsuna, details of which are in June’s blog posting about Hot & Sweet Chicken and Noodles Stirfry. The Bok Choy hearts were firm and sweet, giving a nice crunch to the overall dish, and the greens helped round out the noodles.
  • Green Peppers – As before, we haven’t used a single one of these yet. They’ll probably end up in the freezer sometime this weekend unless I get creative, but they’re definitely not going to go to waste.
  • Komatsuna – Used in the Hot & Sweet Chicken and Noodles Stirfry, along with the Bok Choy. The Komatsuna lived up to it’s alternate name of ‘mustard spinach’, with the general taste of spinach but with a definite warm kick very akin to mustard. It added a nice heat to the stirfry (bolstered by our homemade hot & sweet chili dipping sauce that June added), and I’m definitely hoping we get more of this in the future.
  • Radishes – As recommended in the newsletter, I sliced them up and ate them on buttered bread, which worked surprisingly well – I’d never thought of radishes on bread before, but now I’m thinking about it I guess it makes just as much sense as lettuce or tomato. The radishes were crunchy and crisp, with a good warming aftertaste. Unfortunately, we waited until too late in the week to use the tops, which started wilting very quickly.
  • Aubergine/Eggplant – Earlier in the week, June decided to make an Beef & Aubergine curry, adding the Asian Mix from Box 5 that we still had. However, the quality of the meat was poor, and the aubergine turned into a goop, so we ended up abandoning the dish – the aubergine bits didn’t taste that bad, it was the texture that killed it. There’s still half of the aubergine left over, but we’re now hesitant to use it, since both this and a previous dish using aubergine failed to be edible. Given that the Aubergine & Chard gratin I made last month worked out well, I suspect it’s more a case of our needing to find a use for the aubergine that suits our palettes (and doesn’t turn it into mush).
  • Piper Betel Leaf – Since we’re rapidly accumulating these leaves, I finally took a chance and tried a little bit. My goodness, I’d read that it was supposed to taste similar to smoked sausage, but I didn’t realise how strong it was! Wow! Since we were making a stirfry anyway, we used just one leaf as an aromatic, and it added a slightly meaty element to the overall taste. We probably could have used more than we did, but since the little tastes we had were so strong we decided to err on the side of caution, as obviously the last thing we wanted was to swamp all the other flavours. Now that we know what it’s really like, I’m definitely going to look for ways to use this leaf more.
  • Canistel – We’re not 100% sure if these are actually ripe or not yet, so we’ve not touched them this week. My idea of roasted vegetable soup still sounds doable, so hopefully that’ll happen this week.

Ratings:

  • Hits – bok choy, komatsuna, piper betel leaf, radishes
  • Near Misses – aubergine
  • Total Flops – none
  • Not Rated – green beans, green peppers, canistel

Final Opinion:

An interesting week, with a good percentage of things all working fairly well together in the stirfry, and only one thing being abandoned. However, as always there’s more things left than there really should be, so we’re going to have to start planning our meals to use them more in the coming weeks.

Box 6 – Opening

What’s inside Box 6?

  • Green Beans – 3/4lb bag
  • Bok Choy – one head
  • Green Peppers – 3
  • Komatsuna – one bundle
  • Radishes – one bundle of ‘French Breakfast’ variety
  • Aubergine/Eggplant – a HUGE one!
  • Piper Betel Leaf – 6 leaves
  • Canistel – 3 (2 plus 1 from the extras), AKA Eggfruit
Box 6

Box 6

Initial thoughts:

Canistel is new to me but looks interesting, and komatsuna is a complete unknown, but otherwise this looks like a reasonable selection that we can definitely make good use of.

Usage ideas:

  • Green Beans – These have been consistently good when steamed and served as a side dish, so that’s definitely a possibility again.
  • Bok Choy – I foresee at least one more stirfry in the future, since June found she really liked the Bok Choy we cooked that way last time.
  • Green Peppers – Unless I pull my finger out and cook something for myself that uses these, they’re probably going to have the same fate as most of our previous ones, namely being sliced & frozen.
  • Komatsuna – I’ve never even heard of this particular plant before, but some quick research shows that’s it’s known as Japanese Mustard Spinach, which hints that it could be used in the same way as spinach – either raw in salad or cooked.
  • Radishes – June’s not a huge fan of these, but I like a good radish, so I’ll probably munch on these either on their own or as part of a salad later in the week. Interestingly enough, the newsletter has a recipe which is pretty much sliced radish on bread & butter, which sounds a bit strange, but I might have to give that a go just for the heck of it.
  • Aubergine/Eggplant – Given that this is such a big one, we’ll need to find something that’ll use most of it in one hit. Perhaps a variation on my Aubergine & Chard gratin, using the piper betel and/or the komatsuna?
  • Piper Betel Leaves – The CSA newsletter recommends not treating these like vegetables, since they’re very strongly flavoured, but apparently it combines well with cheese. I think we’ll have to find an excuse to try doing something with these, since there’s still the previous 5 leaves in the fridge that we’ve not used yet, and it sounds interesting enough to warrant a little experimentation.
  • Canistel – June’s not sure if we’ve ever had these before, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t, so we’re going to have to go by what information we can find about them. The newsletter suggests that they work well in pies & soups if treated like pumpkin or squashes, and if sweet enough might work well in a smoothie. However, even with three fairly sizable fruits, I’m not sure we’ve got enough to make a pie or soup that’d purely be canistel, so we’re either going to have to combine it with something else (perhaps that summer squash from Box 2 if it’s still good, or the other little squashes that have been sitting around since late November?), or find a small focused use. Given the weather of the last week or so, I’m leaning towards having another roasted vegetable soup of some sort.

Photos by me, edited by June:

Green Beans

Green Beans

Bok Choy

Bok Choy

Green Peppers

Green Peppers

Komatsuna

Komatsuna

French Breakfast Radishes

French Breakfast Radishes

Aubergine

Aubergine

Piper Betel Leaves

Piper Betel Leaves

Canistel

Canistel

Box 2 – Roundup

Our second box, and the first that we’d have to try to utilise in just one week. So what did we do with it?

Actual usage & thoughts:

  • Italian Dandelion – The various other blogs by fellow members of our CSA all seem to agree on one thing – that the dandelion greens are very bitter. Therefore, we’ve not been bold enough to actually try doing anything with it for fear of making something we’d have to trash.
  • Garlic Chives – Added to the rice of the Lemon Chicken dish (see below). It definitely created an extra dimension to the rice, and there’s plenty more which I’m sure we’ll use in the coming weeks.
  • Lettuce (Romaine) – As covered in the previous post, I made an adhoc salad from it, and wished there was more of it!
  • Bok Choy – June cooked up a Lemon Chicken with Rice & Bok Choy dish (which I’m sure she’ll get around to blogging about eventually, since she took enough photos of it), which was excellent all round. The Bok Choy was very flavourful, and surprisingly sweet, so it make an excellent side to the dish. EDIT: June finally posted about the Bok Choy.
  • Green ‘Suntan’ Pepper – I admit I haven’t done anything with this yet, partly from laziness (since I’d be cooking for myself), and partly from inexperience (since I don’t cook that often). It still looks fine, so maybe next week I’ll find something that’ll work.
  • Yellow Squash – Pretty much the same as the green pepper above, I’ve not found anything to make this into yet.
  • Avocado – June did her usual with at least one of the two avocados, so I’m guessing there’s no complaints.
  • Black Sapote (AKA chocolate pudding fruit) – neither has riped yet, so not much can be said about it. It’ll probably be another week or two before they can be eaten.

Ratings:

  • Hits – Bok Choy, Garlic Chives, Lettuce, Avocado
  • Near Misses – none!
  • Total Flops – Italian Dandelion
  • Not Rated – Green Pepper, Yellow Squash, Black Sapote

Final Opinion:

From what we actually ate, there were definitely no complaints. However, from a combination of lack of ideas and unriped fruit, there is still quite a bit of produce left for the coming week(s), so I’ll have to hold off on final judgment until a later post.

Box 2 – Opening

What’s inside Box 2?

  • Italian Dandelion – one bundle
  • Garlic Chives – one bundle.
  • Lettuce – one (small) head, in this case Romaine
  • Bok Choy – one head, complete with caterpillar and other bugs!
  • Green ‘Suntan’ Pepper – one
  • Yellow Squash – one
  • Courgette (Zucchini) – one, swapped for an avocado since neither of us are fans of it
  • Avocado – ‘monroe’ variety this time, one plus the swapped one
  • Black Sapote (AKA chocolate pudding fruit) – two
Box 2

Box 2

Initial thoughts:

Another good selection, with only the Bok Choy being unusual. Black sapote would probably also be considered unusual by many, but since we’ve had it before, it’s not such an unknown to us. See June’s blog post for her thoughts on the box.

Usage ideas:

  • Italian Dandelion – June has already told me she’s going to cook the recipe from the CSA newsletter, namely Dandelion Fetuccini, so I’ll have to see if that comes to pass. Otherwise, a simple salad might work, as would steaming or light sauteing as a side.
  • Garlic Chives – these can be used in pretty much any dish where (a little) garlic is required, so it’s just a case of picking one.
  • Lettuce – another salad is probably on the cards, perhaps filling for a BLT too.
  • Bok Choy – I’ve no clues about this, so will have to research some Asian recipes for ideas. Might work well in combination with the garlic chives.
  • Green ‘Suntan’ Pepper – June’s not a fan of bell peppers, so I’m going to have to think of something for myself here. I suspect it’s not sweet enough to eat raw, so I’ll have to cook it. Maybe if I find a recipe that uses with with bok choy and garlic chives, I’ll kill three birds with one stone!
  • Yellow Squash – it’s pretty small, so perhaps a Yellow Squash Parmesan (ie fried then baked with cheese etc) for a one person meal.
  • Avocados – June will do her usual avocado and rice with these, I suspect…
  • Black Sapote (AKA chocolate fruit) – these just need to be left to ripen (when they become black and very soft), and can then just be eaten with a spoon, oh… or perhaps with icecream? Hopefully they’ll ripen quickly!

Photos, by June:

Italian Dandelion

Italian Dandelion

Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives

Lettuce (Romaine)

Lettuce (Romaine)

Bok Choy

Bok Choy

Green Pepper

Green Pepper

Yellow Squash

Yellow Squash

Avocados

Avocados

Black Sapote (Unripe)

Black Sapote (Unripe)