Jun 19, 2009

Farm Direct Co-op - Week 2

Thursday was my second co-op delivery. I picked up napa cabbage, garlic scapes (3), green lettuce, and I got my choice of either mizuna or pea tendrils, and scallions or kohlrabi. Feeling a bit adventurous, I chose pea tendrils and kohlrabi. I've had tried kohlrabi before, but had never even realized you could eat pea tendrils.

That night after a bit of research I decided to cook the pea tendrils since they don't last long and are best used right away. Most sources mentioned they are common in Asian stir-fries, and some recipes used them raw. Upon sampling the shoots raw, I decided that they were a bit too tough to eat raw and decided to chop them and do a quick stir fry with sesame oil, hoping to soften them up. Although I mostly liked the flavor (Jim did not!), they were way too tough for us to eat. I kept having to spit out the unchewed fibrous clumps. Unfortunately the entire dish was a lost cause.

Wondering what I did wrong, I researched pea tendrils further. Every blog post and recipe mentioned how delicious they were and what a nice subtle pea flavor they added to each dish. Then, I hit upon one post that mentioned that the tendril and tougher stems should be removed first. I think if I had done that, or just used the leaves only, the dish may have been more of a success. Since Jim really didn't like the earthy pea flavor, I doubt I will be giving them another try soon, which is a shame. If anyone has any suggestions, or has had a similar experience, please let me know.

The good news is that I made a fantastic garlic scape pesto for my potato gnocchi. Here is the recipe:
  • 3 Garlic Scapes, chopped
  • a small handful of organic pine nuts (sorry, I didn't measure- add more or less as you go, per your taste)
  • olive oil (again- no measurement, but I would suggest to start with 3 tablespoons and add more as you go)
  • Salt to taste

I added all ingredients to my small electric chopper/blender until I had a finely chopped, bright green blend.

I look forward to experimenting with the kohlrabi this weekend. I have to find a good recipe for the napa as well, since we never seem to use up cabbage in time.

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