Posts Tagged ‘mizuna’

Box 8 – Roundup

Actual usage & thoughts:

  • Mizuna – Used in the BMTs and BMs, and in the adhoc salad, in both cases as a lettuce substitute. As I mentioned before, the leaves are very much like rocket (arugula), but without the peppery kick, and are fairly tasty. I’m not sure that just eating them raw brought out the best of the flavours though, so if we got this again I’d definitely want to try incorporating it into cooked dishes.
  • Green Chard – June made the ‘Zuppa Toscana’ clone using the chard earlier in the week, which was an okay soup, but nothing special – definitely not as good as the real deal from Olive Garden, hence the lack of blog posts about it. The chard also played a key role in the Five Spice Beef Stir-fry. In both cases, the chard added good flavour and in the case of the stir-fry some crunch, and is something we’d definitely be able to use easily should it appear in future boxes.
  • Celery – Apart from the adhoc salad, the celery has been a bit neglected, so I’m munching on a few stalks as I type, in lieu of a less healthy evening snack! The stalks (once washed, of course) are wonderfully crunchy, and have that sweet almost grassy taste that celery should have. Actually, thinking of washing them, for at least a couple of the stalks in the bundle, the lower ends appeared to have some soil (or something else very brown) up inside the inner walls of the stalk – actually inside the stalk, not just on the surface – so I played it safe and just trimmed those parts off. While I’m eating these last stalks, which are getting a little soft & flexible now due to age but surprisingly still retain their crunch, I’m noticing that they’re nowhere near as stringy with the fibres in the celery as some shop-bought ones are, which is a definite plus!
  • Red Round Tomatoes – These sat on the counter all week, ripening in the sun, and are now ready to eat (apart from one or two spots which are starting to get a little surface damage), so they’ll get used at some point this coming weekend I’m sure.
  • Green Peppers – As predicted, we couldn’t find a use for these, so they’re frozen along with the others now.
  • Canistel – For some reason, the canistels from this week’s box ripened much faster than the previous ones, which means that they’re all pretty much equally ripe now. June is fairly sure that some of them are actually rotten, but I think they’re still usable. However, I’ve not managed to convince her into try cooking them in a soup (with or without other roasted vegetables), so we might need to find another idea instead.

Ratings:

  • Hits – Mizuna, Green Chard, Celery
  • Near Misses – none
  • Total Flops – none
  • Not Rated – Red Round Tomatoes, Green Peppers, Canistel

Final Opinion:

This turned out to be an interesting week, since we used probably just as much from older boxes as we did from this box, but what we did have from this box was consistently good, so hopefully the remaining items will be equally satisfactory – I’ll definitely need to do another catchup post in the next few weeks! Also, unlike previous weeks, this was the first week in which we’ve been able to add our own home-grown veg into the mix, in this case the radishes (greens in the stir-fry, the rest in my salads), which is giving us yet another impetus to really use this great stuff. Next up on that front will be the baby bok choy in a few weeks time, so until then it’s back to using just what’s in the boxes!

Colcannon at last!

Another productive cooking weekend means that we’ve made another dent on our burgeoning veg stocks. On Saturday, even before I’d had a chance to post the opening of Box 8, we’d used the mizuna and red round tomatoes for BLTs (well, BMT for June, BM for me):

Open BMT

Open BMT

Closed BMT

Closed BMT

The mizuna was an interesting change from the usual lettuce, since it was much leafier, like rocket/arugula without the kick really, and it kept the sarnies slightly healthier than the just ‘B’ they would have been otherwise (for me, anyway).

Yesterday, I threw together a simple salad using the rest of the mizuna, some more of the cabbage from Box 5, a few stalks of celery, a big handful of raisins, and pretty much our entire radish harvest (with a improvised dijonnaise-ish dressing). Delicious! Yes, I forgot about the green peppers (and the carrots we bought a few days back), so a slightly missed opportunity but no matter – the result was great, with the heat of the radishes and dijon mustard mixing with the sweetness of the raisins, and the contrasting textures and crunchiness levels all working well.

However, the star of Sunday’s dining was the Pan-Fried Mahi Mahi & Colcannon that June prepared in the evening.

Pan-Fried Mahi Mahi & Colcannon

Pan-Fried Mahi Mahi & Colcannon

The fish was great, perfectly done and the crusting was excellent. However, the star of the show was the colcannon. June decided to actually find a recipe (from one of her hundreds of cookbooks) rather than rely on my rather ad-hoc version, and then improvised a little on that with the addition of caramelised red onions. Oh my! I could have eaten the entire batch and barely noticed! It was easily the best colcannon I’ve ever had, and needless to say it’s henceforth definitely going to on our frequent cook-list. In fact, I think I’ll be making this version rather than my own from now on, which is saying something. It’s possible to say that it was the freshness (and quality) of the kale that lifted this dish, so I’m looking forward to trying this one with both future box contents and other types of kale.

Oh, and before I finish, a quick teaser… we’ve finally used 5 of our black sapotes, and the results are … impressive. More details on that another time!

Box 8 – Opening

What’s inside our half box #8?

  • Mizuna – one bundle
  • Green Chard – one bundle
  • Oyster Mushrooms – donated to another CSAer, as there’s no extras box still (due to the freeze damage) but we didn’t want them.
  • Celery – one large bundle
  • Red Round Tomatoes – two
  • Green Peppers – officially it’s one per box, but we ended up with two. If you see the photos, you’ll understand why they gave us two of them!
  • Cilantro/Coriander – donated to the same CSAer as the mushrooms, since June is passionately averse to the taste (and even the smell) of this
  • Canistel – two
Box 8

Box 8

Initial thoughts:

Another small box due to the frost damage reducing the harvests, especially once we’d given away the mushrooms and coriander. However, what’s left is all very easily usable, so I’m hoping that this will be our first box that we complete finish… apart from the green peppers of course 🙂

Usage ideas:

  • Mizuna – As mentioned in the Box 7 roundup, June had a BLT today. The ‘L’ was really not L but M, Mizuna that is. I skipped the T to have a BL (well, BM) as well. Still plenty left though, so we might do another stirfry at some point, or there’s always salads. Actually, since I’m going to be taking lunch to work with me this week, I might end up using some in the sarnies I make.
  • Green Chard – June mentioned a Potato & Greens soup recipe – a clone of the ‘Zuppa  Toscani’ from Olive Garden – earlier today, which sounds great to me, since that’s the soup I always go for when we go there. The chard will definitely be good in this, so that’s at least some of it covered.
  • Celery – The CSA newsletter features an ‘Ants on a Log’ recipe this time, which makes me laugh, as I can’t hear that phrase without thinking of the daft Playhouse Disney show ‘Tasty Time with ZeFronk’ which featured it. Blame El Nino for inflicting that upon us… However, I really like celery, so I’ll probably eat a fair amount of it raw (with mayo is my preferred), but it’s easily cooked with too, so there’s plenty of other possibilities.
  • Red Round Tomatoes – As with last week’s, these will need to wait most of the week to ripen up fully. Then, who knows 🙂
  • Green Peppers – Given the size of the peppers, I might manage to use the smaller of the two, but I suspect that the larger will end up in the freezer with the others…
  • Canistel – These will take a fair while to ripen, if the previous ones are anything to go by, so I doubt we’ll be able to use these this week.

Photos by me, edited by June:

Mizuna

Mizuna

Green Chard

Green Chard

Celery

Celery

Red Round Tomatoes

Red Round Tomatoes

Green Peppers

Green Peppers

Canistel

Canistel