Posts Tagged ‘komatsuna’

Box 10 – Roundup

Actual usage & thoughts:

  • Komatsuna – Monday night was the inevitable stirfry, featuring the komatsuna along with five spiced beef, and the spring onions. June didn’t blog about it, even though it was pretty tasty, as she’s getting a little bored of constantly writing about very similar stirfries… but I’m not complaining.
  • Baby Rocket/Arugula – As a quick lunch on Saturday, I threw together some turkey, rocket & radish sandwiches, which worked surprisingly well together. The rocket wasn’t as potent as I expected (even though I put probably excessive amounts of it on the bread), but the radishes helped add that heat as well, which boosted the normally flat taste of turkey into something far better. There’s still just under half the bag left I think, but they’re holding up, so should keep for another week without problem.
  • Spring Onions/Scallions – We managed to make a reasonable dent in this huge bundle, but there’s plenty left. The major hitters to use it were the beef & komatsuna stirfry, followed by a chicken fried rice the next day using the remaining cooked rice.
  • Radishes – The majority of the radishes went in the sarnies with the rocket, the remaining ones somehow managed to get munched while the sandwiches were being prepped. If anything, these ones were a little spicier and also a little moister (well, you know what I mean) than the french breakfast ones of previous boxes, but that’s just how I like them!
  • Thyme – As mentioned previously, June made the Lemon-Thyme cookies and they turned out surprisingly well. I say surprisingly, as I really didn’t expect a cookie (which should be sweet) to work with a herb (which should be savoury), but these cookies have opened my eyes. The thyme had a mild citrus kick, which works perfectly with the lemon, and the sugar of the cookie helped balance out the tartness of both into a well rounded final taste. Definitely highly recommended!
  • Carambola/Starfruit – I ate the smaller of the two at the tail end of the week, and it was either still not ripe enough, or just not a very sweet example. The larger starfruit is still out on the counter, as I don’t think it’s ready yet (especially going by the other one), so hopefully next week it’ll be good.
  • Ponkan Tangerines – As mentioned in the week 11 newsletter it appears we weren’t the only ones for whom the tangerines rotted away in less than two days, which meant that unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to eat these ones.
  • Canistel – Still sitting out, slowly ripening…

Ratings:

  • Hits – Komatsuna, Rocket, Spring Onions, Radishes, Thyme
  • Near Misses – Carambola
  • Total Flops – Ponkan Tangerines
  • Not Rated – Canistel

Final Opinion:

Apart from the tangerines which rotted on us, and the slow-ripening canistel, this box lived up to its promise of being one we could easily use everything in there, and while we haven’t used everything completely, we got to try it all, which is an important first step. Given that we’re still reeling from the frosts, the quality of the items we did get to try was for the most part still excellent, which is always reassuring.

Box 10 – Opening

What’s inside our half box #10?

  • Komatsuna – one large bundle, plus a smaller bundle from the extras box
  • Baby Rocket/Arugula – one bag
  • Spring Onions/Scallions – one huge bundle!
  • Radishes – one bundle of ‘Red Globe’ variety this time
  • Coriander/Cilantro – returned to the extras box for the komatsuna
  • Thyme – one baggie
  • Carambola/Starfruit – two
  • Ponkan Tangerines – four
  • Canistel – officially 1, in reality 2 (one large, one tiny)
Box 10

Box 10

Initial thoughts:

A box full of either repeats, or items that will be easy to use, so shouldn’t be too tricky to find uses for everything this time around. I’m not going to repeat last week and forgot to try anything, so expect to see real reviews of everything in this box!

Usage ideas:

  • Komatsuna – Since we’ve got twice as much as normal, there will definitely be at least one big stirfry in the near future with komatsuna as a key player. However, I’m hoping that we’ll also try a different approach as well, since we’ve got enough here to experiment with too.
  • Baby Rocket/Arugula – June doesn’t like the taste of rocket, so this will all be mine, and, since I’m not very exciting, I think you can guess how I’ll be using them… yes, in sandwiches and salads!
  • Spring Onions/Scallions – This is a *huge* bundle of spring onions, and they’re both numerous and very tall, so we’re definitely going to have some left over at the end of the week. As for what they’ll be used for, I’ve no idea, as they can play a role in so many dishes.
  • Radishes – Like the rocket, these are all mine, and like the rocket, I foresee salads and sandwiches. However, I’m hoping we’ll get to cook the tops as well (perhaps in the almost-guaranteed-to-happen stirfry), since it’s a shame to let those go to waste.
  • Thyme – June found an old cooking magazine that featured a recipe for Lemon & Thyme cookies, which sounded interesting. Since I’m very late with posting this weekend, she’s actually made those cookies already, but I’ll withhold my final verdict until the roundup ;). The rest of the thyme could be used for anything, since herbs are so versatile.
  • Carambola/Starfruit – We’ve left these on a counter to help ripen up some more, but since we’ve got two I’m thinking of eating the smaller one, and perhaps doing something with the juices of the larger one.
  • Ponkan Tangerines – Since we’ve got so many of these, I’m expecting at least one to just be eaten out of hand. With the rest of them, I’m thinking of juices, since the previous box’s ones were so low in pulp and high in juice. Maybe in combination with the carambola juice? More thinking needed on this one…
  • Canistel – You might have noticed that the canistels have been mentioned a number of times over the weeks since we got our first ones, and in all cases we’ve not yet used a single one. That’s not to say we can’t, as they’ve all been fully ripe for at least a week now, we’ve just not managed to commit to using them yet (June’s insistence that they’re getting rotten isn’t helping their chances). This means that these two are definitely going to just sit around ripening for at least the next week, but probably longer than that. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see 🙂

Photos by me, edited by June:

Komatsuna

Komatsuna

Baby Rocket/Arugula

Baby Rocket/Arugula

Spring Onions/Scallions

Spring Onions/Scallions

Radishes

Radishes

Thyme

Thyme

Carambola/Starfruit

Carambola/Starfruit

Ponkan Tangerines

Ponkan Tangerines

Canistel

Canistel

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