Saturday, December 4, 2010

week 27

Red Springs Family Farm
December 2, 2010 week 27

Lettuce Broccoli Garlic Kale
Butternut Tatsoi Daikon Radish
Herb bag: Arugula Parsley Cilantro Dill

We have to wait until the veggies thaw to harvest them these days. And we were alarmed to find the broccoli quite frozen this morning. We ate some to see how it was – and wow, was it ever yummy. So, it’s probably best to eat it up quickly. Depending on how the side shoots survive the cold, this could be the last week of broccoli.

The cold weather will begin to change the garden now. Dill plants are still alive, but getting lower to the ground. All the growth is slowing down substantially. We still have some monstrous Chinese cabbages to bring to town, and more beautiful varieties of kale to share. Green is the color of the season!

Daikon radishes… what are they about? Not your average radishes, that’s for sure! The taste is milder, so they can be used as you would any other root vegetable. They’re plenty good sliced into salad, and also stir-fried. Here’s a recipe to give you some basic guidelines – modify as needed:

Stir-Fried Daikon Serves 4
2 tablespoons peanut oil 1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 medium daikon, thinly sliced (about 3 cups) 10–12 red radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil to taste (optional)

1. Heat the peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add the scallions; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the daikon and red radishes; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the water and continue stir-frying until all the water has all evaporated.

The other wonderful thing to do with Daikon is brine it. We like to make a simple radish relish. Grate the daikon, salt it, and pack it into a jar quite tightly. If the juices don’t completely cover the grated radish, then stir up a brine (2 Tbsp salt to one quart of water) and make the water cover the daikon. Leave loosely covered (let it breathe, but keep bugs out) on a room temperature counter for three days. Cover more tightly and refrigerate. Enjoy with hearty bean dishes and spicy meats. It’s got lactobacillus, a healthy living bacteria (like yoghurt) that helps keep digestion healthy (and has been part of the human diet for centuries, if not millenia).

Brining, or fermentation, is also how sauerkraut and kimchi are made. Turnips are also wonderful fermented. We’ll tell you more about that later. You can find fermentation information and resources at Sandor Katz’s website: Check it out.

Please forgive the lateness of our newsletter. Levon was having the sort of day that six week old babies have from time to time – one that leaves little room for a mother to do more than tend to a baby. Enjoy your weekend – stay warm – we’ll see you later!

With best regards,
Paul, Coree, Lulah and Levon