Posts Tagged ‘radishes’

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 9 – Roundup

Actual usage & thoughts:

  • Broccoli – We used the largest of the three spears in the Beef, Broccoli & Green Beans stirfry (along with the green beans from a few weeks ago). The broccoli did a great job of trapping the sauces, and the taste of the broccoli itself wasn’t too bad (considering we’re not really huge fans of it). However, the remaining spears had to be thrown out, as they went bad very quickly, which surprised us.
  • Lettuce – A fair number of the lettuce leaves we used in sandwiches throughout the week, including my strange-sounding-yet-tasty PB/lettuce/radish wrap that I threw together almost at random at one point. We’re only about halfway through the whole head, but the leaves are keeping well, so it’ll be used in yet more sarnies this week as well. As expected, the leaves were crisp at heart, with not too limp leaf ends, which is pretty much the best compromise leaf for this household. They were also fairly sweet, which is always a good thing!
  • Rapini – June managed to find a reasonable recipe that used the raab, from which she made the Pasta with Rapini and Bolognese sauce. While the overall dish was great, the rapini was effectively relegated to being merely a supporting green, and didn’t end up lending that much flavour to the finished product. That’s not to say that it wasn’t good, it merely didn’t show it’s strengths in this particular usage.
  • Radishes – Most of the radishes ended up sliced and added to the aforementioned PB/lettuce/radish wrap (I used a huge wrap to fit it all in), with the rest just munched on while the wrap was being prepped. Once again, the tops started to rot very quickly, so we didn’t get any use out of that aspect, but the radishes themselves were as crunchy and warming as the previous batch.
  • “Young” Onions – Along with the avocado (see below), and a red round tomato from a previous box, June made a guacamole recipe that she really likes. This only used one of the onions, so we’ve still got the rest of the bundle to go. However, they appear to be keeping fairly well, so there’s no reason not to use them in the coming week.
  • Italian Parsley – Last Sunday June made a pot roast for us and her family, which was okay but nothing special (hence no blog mentions other than this). The parsley was added to the pot during the cooking process, so was really just a supporting flavour, thus I can’t really say whether it was “good” or not. We’ve still got about half of it left, so maybe we’ll find a more prominent use for it in the coming weeks.
  • Ponkan Tangerine – Since there were two of these, I had one and June had one. We both agreed that while they weren’t super sweet, they were definitely sweet enough to be refreshing, and I was surprised at just how juicy they were. In fact, there was very little pulp in each segment, compared to the amount of juice, so it often felt more like drinking than eating them!
  • Red Grapefruit – I’ll be honest on this one – I completely forgot we’d got these as they’d been put in the basket with all the other fruit & veg, and their lack of distinction meant I mistook them for something else each time I saw them in passing. However, they still seem firm and ripe, so I’ll have to at least try them this week.
  • Avocado – Since I’m late posting the roundup this week, I actually say that we’ve used (2 of the 3) avocados now, rather than none which would have been the situation on Friday & Saturday. June made a variation on a guacamole recipe a friend of hers made, and from what she tells me it’s a huge success.

Ratings:

  • Hits – Avocado, Ponkan Tangerine, Lettuce, Radishes, Young Onions
  • Near Misses – Broccoli, Rapini, Italian Parsley
  • Total Flops – none
  • Not Rated – Red Grapefruit

Final Opinion:

Even though we didn’t finish everything, we managed to at least try everything (except the grapefruit), which is a good step forward. Obviously, we will not always pick the best use for various things, which is why the rapini and parsley didn’t get top marks, but its a learning process, and we’ll do better the next time we get those items.

Box 9 – Opening

What’s inside our half box #9?

  • Broccoli – three spears, of varying sizes
  • Lettuce – one head
  • Rapini – (AKA Broccoli Raab) one bundle
  • Radishes – one large bundle of the French Breakfast variety
  • “Young” Onions – one bundle of these onions which are halfway between spring onions (AKA scallions or green onions) and full onions
  • Italian Parsley – one bundle
  • Ponkan Tangerine – two
  • Red Grapefruit – two
  • Avocado – two, plus one from the extras box
Box 9

Box 9

Initial thoughts:

Of all the items in this week’s half box, only the rapini stands out as unusual, which means there’s still hope that we might finish an entire box in just the one week – especially since nothing seems to need to sit out ripening either.

Usage ideas:

  • Broccoli – Hmmm… I think it’s safe to say that we’ve both got mixed feelings about broccoli, and we’ll both eat it in small quantities, but rarely would we actually specifically chose to eat it, at least not on it’s own. Given that there’s plenty of it this week, our best bet is probably to combine and/or disguise it with other things, such as baking in a quiche with ham and cheese, or steamed then covered in sweet & sour sauce.
  • Lettuce – This will definitely feature in either salads or sandwiches this week, the latter of which I’m going to be eating plenty of, so that’ll probably use up this entire head.
  • Rapini – The CSA newsletter has a recipe for rapini polenta, but I doubt we’ll be making that. A quick search around teh intarwebs seems to hint that it works well with pastas, but since it’s of Italian and Chinese origin, this doesn’t really surprise me! This will probably be the one thing this week that we’ll need to really think about to find a good use for.
  • Radishes – The simple radishes on buttered bread recipe (if you can call something that simple a recipe) from the last time we had these is definitely in consideration, as is featuring in a salad at some point. However, I’m curious as to whether they’d work in a cooked form, so might experiment in that direction as well.
  • Onions – The tops of these can be used in any dish that calls for spring onions, and the bulbs could probably substitute for shallots in a pinch, or whenever only a small amount of onion is required. That being said, they might be good candidates for pickling, so I’ll have to look into that as well.
  • Italian Parsley – Obviously this can be very easily used as a garnish, and otherwise combined with meats and other herbs in any number of other dishes, so I can’t really think of anything in particular that this might be used in yet.
  • Ponkan Tangerine – If these are as sweet as the newsletter says they are, we’ll probably just eat them out of hand (or let el nino attack one again),  but they’d definitely work in a salad as well, as they’d make for an interesting contrast with the radishes.
  • Red Grapefruit – I’ve not eaten grapefruit in years, so I might just do the classic halves with sugar for breakfast one morning. Otherwise, I’m sure we can come up with something for these, perhaps adding them into a small batch of marmalade?
  • Avocado – These are likely to be the last of the season (according to the newsletter), so June will need to make the most of them. That being said, there are three of them, so I might try claiming one for myself (even though I’m not a huge fan of avocado, at least I haven’t been up until now). Thinking of which, I was catching up on my ‘Good Eats’ backlog yesterday, and in the latest episode (“Live and Let Diet”) Alton combined avocado and sardines on toast, which sounds like something I wouldn’t mind trying…

Photos by me, edited by June:

Broccoli

Broccoli

Lettuce

Lettuce

Rapini

Rapini

Radishes

Radishes

Young Onions

Young Onions

Italian Parsley

Italian Parsley

Ponkan Tangerines

Ponkan Tangerines

Red Grapefruit

Red Grapefruit

Avocado

Avocado

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