Grilled Peach & Dandelion Salad

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Grilled Peach & Dandelion Salad

Dandelion greens, like a lot of other "wild" greens, are super nutritious, somewhat bitter, and lots of fun to eat. You need some strong flavors to balance the greens, so this salad calls for a strong sweet and sour vinaigrette and grilled Georgia peaches.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 2 bunches Italian dandelion greens
  • 2 ripe freestone peaches
  • 2 Hakurei turnips, sliced thinly
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs whole grain mustard
  • 1 tbs honey
  • pinch of kosher salt

  1. Cut off the stemmy part of the greens and chop the leafy parts into manageable chunks. Wash and spin dry in a salad spinner if you've got one. Shake them in a colander if you don't.
  2. Quarter the peaches, rub the flesh parts with a little bit of oil. Cook on a very hot grill until you think you've gone too far, a bit of char is perfectly alright here. If it's too hot to grill or you don't want to build a fire you can also do this in a cast iron pan on your stove. Same method, let the peaches get good and dark. You need to have the heat up very high to get the color quickly without turning the peaches to mush. After they are done slice the peaches in half so you have 16 pieces.
  3. Measure the oil, honey, mustard, and vinegar into a little jar (if you do it in that order the honey won't stick to the measuring spoon). Shake the jar vigorously for a minute to combine.
  4. Toss the greens, sliced turnips, crumbled cheese, peaches, and dressing together and arrange lovingly in a bowl or on a plate.

Enjoy
-Matt

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Honey Braised Beets with Red Onions and Feta

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Honey Braised Beets with Red Onions and Feta

I love to eat beets, but I don't love to cook them. I have a bad habit of buying a bunch of beets and letting them sit in the fridge until the greens are wilted and the roots are squishy. This way of cooking beets is so fast and easy that I actually want to do it. 

Ingredients

serves 4 beet lovers, or 8 other people

  • 2 bunches of beets, green removed and reserved for another purpose
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 red onion, julienned
  • 2 tbs feta, crumbled

  1. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler. If you do this under a thin stream of running water you won't stain your hands.
  2. Slice the beets in half through their equator.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat with the oil.
  4. Place the beets in the pan cut-side down. Add the water, salt, honey, and vinegar.
  5. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover the pan.
  6. Cook the beets for 20-25 minutes, until a paring knife slides right in with no resistance.
  7. Take the beets out of the pan and cut them up.
  8. Add the sliced onions and reduce the liquid in the pan until it's slightly thickened and syrupy. 
  9. Toss the beets with the onions and cooking liquid and pour out into a serving dish.
  10. Sprinkle feta on top.

Enjoy
-Matt

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Orange Ginger Sugar Snap Peas

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Orange Ginger Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar snap peas just mean spring-and-almost-summer to me somewhere deep down. They transport me to my grandmother's garden when I was a kid, eating them right off the vine. That's still my favorite way to eat them, but that's not much of a recipe, so I made this for you.

Ingredients

serves 2-3

  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 tbs candied ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp white miso
  • 3 tbs orange juice
  • 3 tbs vegetable stock
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

  1. Snap the ends and peel out the strings of the pea pods. This can be a pain, but don't skip it, eating those things is worth than taking them out ahead of time.
  2. Heat up a small frying pan over medium high heat, add the oil to the pan.
  3. Put the ginger in the pan and stir it around.
  4. Add the miso and stir it in with the ginger. Let the sugar melt off and even caramelize a little bit.
  5. Add the peas, orange juice, and vegetable stock.
  6. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often to coat the peas. You want to cook the peas through and have some liquid remaining for a bit of sauce, so adjust your heat accordingly.
  7. When the peas are done and there's just a bit of liquid remaining remove the pan from the heat and add the cold butter. Stir constantly while the butter melts.
  8. Serve immediately.

Enjoy
-Matt

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Wilted Arugula Salad, Harukei Turnip Puree, and Pickled Shunkyo Radish on a Wonton Crisp

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Wilted Arugula Salad, Harukei Turnip Puree, and Pickled Shunkyo Radish on a Wonton Crisp

This is really 3 easy little recipes that all complement each other well but can also be used separately. I made this for the Toast to the Culture in Agriculture fundraiser at Bamboo Creek Farm. 

Pickled Shunkyo Radish

Ingredients:

makes about 1 quart of pickled radishes

  • 3 bunches shunkyo radish (you can use another kind of radish, but the long, skinny shape of these radishes makes them great for easily cutting into rounds)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium red beet
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 tbs whole allspice
  • 2 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs whole black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  1. Slice the beet, onions, and garlic and combine with vinegar, water, spices, salt, and sugar. Everything in the recipe except for the radishes.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile wash and slice the radishes into thin rounds. A Japanese mandoline makes this fast and easy, or at least faster, easier, and much more consistent than using a knife.
  4. Put all of the sliced radish into a large mixing bowl and strain the hot pickle brine over them. You want to remove all of the solids so that just the liquid mixes with the sliced radishes.
  5. Walk away for a couple hours.
  6. Pack the pickled radishes into a jar or some sort of container and pour in enough bring to cover. Chill completely before covering. These should keep for a good long time in the fridge. Save any excess pickle liquid to make salad dressing.

Harukei Turnip Puree

Ingredients:

makes about 8 sides

  • 2-3 pounds Hakurei turnips
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • some kosher salt
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Clean and trim the turnips. Put in a large pot and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil, add the salt and garlic.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes, until turnips are completely tender.
  4. Drain and discard the cooking liquid.
  5. Add the butter and sour cream and mix together.
  6. Puree with a blender until completely smooth.
  7. Taste and add salt as needed.

Wilted Arugula Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bunches of arugula, washed and long stems removed
  • 1/2 cup pickle liquid (I used the liquid from the pickled radishes above, but you could use any pickle liquid to make a salad dressing)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • pinch of kosher salt
  1. Combine the pickle liquid and the oil in a small saucepan and add a pinch of salt.
  2. Bring the dressing to a boil.
  3. Whisk carefully and vigorously then pour over the arugula.
  4. Toss quickly to coat and allow the greens to wilt.

 


Making Some Hors D'oeuvres

Ingredients:

  • pickled radishes 
  • turnip puree
  • wilted arugula salad
  • dumpling wrappers
  1. Heat your oven to 425.
  2. Lightly brush a baking sheet with oil and then lay out the dumpling wrappers. Brush the tops with oil.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, until lightly browned and crisp.
  4. Place a small dollop of turnip puree in the center of each crisp. Lay some of the arugula salad against the puree and top with 2-3 pieces of pickled radish. Serve immediately.

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Enjoy!
-Matt

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Kohlrabi & Turnip Salad

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Kohlrabi & Turnip Salad

I get really excited about salads that don't include leafy green things. Leafy greens have their place in the spectrum of things that are wonderful about salad, but they are not everything. So often we get stuck thinking a salad starts with lettuce. This salad can also double as a cole slaw, or kohl slaw, if you are looking for an alternative that doesn't involve mayo. Either way it would be great with barbecue or anything off the grill.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized kohlrabi with greens
  • 4-5 medium turnips
  • 1 medium red beet
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 Doux South sweet pepper relish
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste

There are a couple of different ways to prep the vegetables for this salad. My favorite by a mile is the Benriner Japanese Mandolin. It's cheap and easy to use, though it can be a little scary. Those blades are sharp and I would always recommend using the provided tool to grip the food and protect your fingers. You could use a knife, a julienne peeler, or a grater (either box or food processor) to achieve similar results with more work.

  1. Wash and peel the vegetables (peeling is optional for the kohlrabi and turnips, it depends on where they fall on the tender to tough spectrum). We will use the kohlrabi greens for this recipe, save the turnip and beet greens for something else, they are delicious.
  2. Julienne the vegetables, being careful of your fingertips.
  3. Toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Let this sit for at least 30 minutes to draw out some of the excess moisture. This is a crucial step in any slaw recipe you could make, it will prevent your slaw from being too drippy and wet.
  4. Remove the stems from the kohlrabi greens. Stack the greens together and roll them up like you're rolling a cigar. Slice thinly across the roll to shred the greens. Add them to the julienned vegetables and toss toss toss.
  5. Make the dressing by combining the red pepper relish, oil, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl.
  6. After 30-45 minutes drain off the liquid that has come out of the vegetables, squeeze them a bit to get everything out.
  7. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss everything together. Taste and add more salt or more vinegar depending on how salty and sour you like things to be.

This would be great with anything fried or grilled. We ate it with some pan-fried smoked milkfish. Enjoy!
-Matt

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Black Eyed Peas and Braised Kale

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Black Eyed Peas and Braised Kale

This was my all-day Sunday project. It doesn't have to take all day, but it can, and it will taste better if you let it. Most of the time it's just cooking slow and low on the stove while you do other things. And you can tell people you spent the whole day cooking if you know the kind of person who is impressed by that.

 
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Ingredients

serves 6-8 people

  • 1 bunch of kale, cleaned and chopped small
  • 2 carrots, small dice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 stalks of celery, small dice
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 pound smoked meat (pork hocks or turkey necks or turkey legs or other)
  • 1 quart of water or stock (stock will add more flavor but don't go to the store if you don't already have some, I didn't and it was still delicious)
  • 3 cups black eyed peas, fresh or frozen (you can use dried, you'll just have to add them sooner and cook them a lot longer)
  • some fresh herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (yeah I know) will enhance this if you have them handy, it's fine without so don't feel like you have to go out of your way, you can add a little bit towards the end.
  • some kosher salt and/or fish sauce

Serve with steamed rice or crusty bread with butter


Note about the meat you choose: What you want is a muscle that worked, a leg, a neck, a tail, a cheek, something like that. These parts have a lot of flavor and a lot of connective tissue that will break down and add body and richness to your braise. The smoke is a natural friend to greens and peas. I used turkey legs because that's what I happened to have in the freezer.

Note about the liquid you choose: There are enough flavor components in the recipe that you can cook all of this in water. If you have stock you can use that and it will boost the flavor. I recommend avoiding anything that says broth, these always have too much salt. You can use them or bouillon sparingly. Smoked meat already is pretty salty so you don't want to add too much.


  1. Cut up all the vegetables. Your goal is to have everything roughly the same size as a black eyed pea.
  2. Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat and add the oil to the pan.
  3. You're going to sweat all the vegetables first. This means to saute without browning to cook out a little bit of the liquid and concentrate the flavors of the vegetables. Cook the onion first, adding a pinch of salt and stirring often.
  4. Add the carrots when the onions are translucent and before they start to brown. Add another pinch of salt and stir it up.
  5. Add the celery and garlic when the carrots begin to soften a little. Don't burn the garlic.
  6. Add your smoked meat and cooking liquid. Turn the heat up a bit and let the liquid come to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, put the lid on and walk away for a couple of hours. How long depends on what meat you are using, you'll know it's done when the meat falls off the bone.
  7. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside to let it cool.
  8. Add all of the kale, or add as much as will fit, put the lid on and let it cook, then add the rest when the first batch has wilted down. Stir it in to the cooking liquid, put the lid back on, leave the heat down low.
  9. When the meat has cooled enough to touch pull it apart, discard the bones and skin (they've given away all the flavor they have to give at this point) and return the shredded meat to the pot. This is a good time to stop and taste the cooking liquid for salt. Add some kosher salt and/or fish sauce (I like fish sauce here because it adds salt and a punch of umami).
  10. Cook for at least 90 minutes more. You want the kale stems to be soft and the leafy parts to be really soft.
  11. Add the black eyed peas and chopped fresh herbs if you're using them, mix them in, and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the peas are soft. Taste again and add more salt if you feel it's needed. (You shouldn't taste salt, but if there isn't a lot of flavor, if it just sort of feels flat on your tongue then you may need to add another bit.)
  12. This is great over rice with your favorite hot sauce, or with some buttery crusty bread.

Enjoy!
-Matt

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Sauteed Gai Lan With Ground Beef

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Sauteed Gai Lan With Ground Beef

This is as much a recipe for a dish as it is a method for a fast and easy meal. You can substitute pretty much any meat and vegetable in this combination and get delicious results. If you want to make it vegetarian you can use delicious mushrooms instead of meat.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch gai lan, chopped into 2" sections
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • generous pinch of kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil

serves 4-6 


  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet or a wok on high heat. Add the oil.
  2. When the oil starts to smoke put the meat in the pan and break it up into small pieces. It's important that the heat is really high when the meat goes in because you want the meat to brown, not steam.
  3. Sprinkle with some salt and allow the meat to brown, stirring minimally. It's best to leave it alone so that it can brown thoroughly, then stir a little so that more pieces can brown.
  4. Add the garlic and green onion and stir into the beef. After one minute add the stems of the gai lan, stir in and cook for one more minute.
  5. Add the greens of the gai lan and stir into the beef mixture. The greens will give off some moisture that will help you to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Add the chicken stock to help with this.
  6. After two more minutes or so of cooking, turn off the heat, add the oyster sauce and sesame oil. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with rice. Enjoy.
-Matt

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Whole Wheat Crepes and Spring Vegetable Moo Shu

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Whole Wheat Crepes and Spring Vegetable Moo Shu

Moo Shu

  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 4-5 leaves of chard with stems, sliced thinly
  • 2 heads pac choy, sliced thinly
  • 1 bulb and stem green garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1" chunk ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 8-10 small carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbs Guilin style chili sauce (This might be too spicy for some people, it's not super hot but if you are especially sensitive you can reduce or omit this. Some fermented black bean sauce would be a nice substitution.)
  • 1 tbs mirin
  • 1 tbs fish sauce (Red Boat is my favorite if you can find it)
  • Some hoisin sauce

 

Crepes


1. Mix the ingredients for the crepes. You can use water or some other flavorful liquid like chicken stock or mushroom stock. Water is really fine though if those aren't handy. Do this first so that the batter can rest a little bit before cooking.

2. Wash and shake dry all of the vegetables. A little water clinging to the leaves will help them cook faster so don't worry about getting them super dry. Your goal is to cut all of the vegetables small so they cook fast and in the same amount of time.

3. This will work best in a wok but you can use a cast iron pan or heavy frying pan too. The important thing is to get the pan very hot and then keep the food moving around. Have everything ready to go and at hand because it will cook very fast. When the pan is hot add the onion first and begin to stir. When the onion begins to soften and turn translucent add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat down a bit if the vegetables are burning or there is too much smoke. As you add new vegetables the liquid that cooks out of them will steam the vegetables and cool down the pan a little bit. Next add the carrots and let them cook for a few minutes. Then add the Guilin chili paste and stir it in. Add the mirin and fish sauce at this point too. Then the chard and pac choy. Turn the heat all the way up if you turned it down and stir a lot. The greens will give off a ton of liquid when they wilt and you want to cook that off quickly or your final dish will be too wet. After a couple minutes you should be done. Take the pan off the heat and store in the arugula. Set aside while you make some crepes.

4. If you are super into multitasking or in a hurry you can make the crepes and stir fry at the same time but you don't have to if you would rather focus on one thing at a time. Get a small nonstick pan on the stove over medium heat. Spray it a little bit with some cooking spray or wipe a little bit of oil on it with a paper towel. Pour a small amount of crepe batter in the pan and tilt the pan to spread it around in a thin layer. Expect that you will throw away your first one or two crepes as you get the temperature and technique dialed in. Adjust the heat so the crepe browns on one side in about a minute. The edges should begin to curl up and dry out when it's ready to flip. You can use a spoon to help you pick it up and turn it over. It should release easily. If it doesn't then try cooking a little bit longer until it does. Cook on the other side for 30-60 seconds and then remove from the pan. Repeat until you've cooked all of the batter.

5. If your greens are now swimming in liquid after sitting while you made the crepes here's what you can do. Drain off the liquid into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix a cornstarch slurry (something like 1 tsp of cornstarch and 1 tbs of water) and drizzle it slowly into your excess liquid to thicken it into a sauce. Then you can stir it back into your vegetables.

6. You can assemble before serving or build your own as you eat. Spread some hoisin sauce on a crepe and wrap some of the vegetables inside.

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Strawberry Arugula Salad with Hakurei Turnips and Carrot Leaves

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Strawberry Arugula Salad with Hakurei Turnips and Carrot Leaves

Ingredients

  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • 5 Hakuri turnips
  • Some carrot tops
  • 1 recipe green garlic aioli
  • 1 TB rice wine vinegar
  1. Wash the vegetables and fruit, especially the carrot tops they are really dirty.
  2. Chop up the strawberries and turnips to pieces roughly the same size. Pull the carrot leaves off the stems, the stems are tough to chew.
  3. The green aioli from one of my previous recipe turns into a salad dressing when you whisk in another tablespoon of vinegar. Toss everything together and give it a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked pepper if it's nearby. Toss it again.
  4. Make sure that you can see the strawberries and turnips when you put it on a plate.
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Roasted Baby Carrots and Hakurei Turnips with Green Garlic Aioli

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Roasted Baby Carrots and Hakurei Turnips with Green Garlic Aioli

Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 TB chopped green garlic
  • 1 TB rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • A bunch of small carrots and some Hakurei turnips

1. Put a cast iron frying pan into a cold oven and heat it up to 400F.

2. Make the aioli while the oven gets hot: Separate the egg and save the white for breakfast. Whisk together the egg yolk, green garlic, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Set the bowl on a damp towel so it doesn't slide around while you are whisking. Very slowly drizzle the oil in to the egg yolk until it's all combined.

3. Remove the greens from carrots and turnips and reserve for other uses (the carrot greens can be used like parsley and are great in salads, the turnip greens can be cooked along with kale, chard, spinach or other greens). Scrub them and peel the carrots if you want to. Cut the turnips into quarters and toss with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Put the carrots and turnips in the hot pan and return to the oven. Roast for about 8-10 minutes until cooked through and started to darken. Check on them occasionally and stir them around with a wooden spoon. Serve with the aioli as a dipping sauce.

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