Simply Fresh by Julie Wern

CSA Tip—Eat Up Those Radish Greens

This week we have the pleasure of receiving beautiful watermelon radishes in our distribution.  What struck me about these radishes was that while the radishes were gorgeous, so were the greens.  Good thing, because the greens are edible!  Yes, you can really eat radish greens.  Some say they are best when the radishes are really young, but I tried them from my mature radish bunch and found them surprisingly sweet and delicious with a slight bite, although a touch “prickly” to the touch.  I decided to try them in a radish and apple salad that I ended up adoring (see below for recipe).  Apparently, you can even saute radish greens, along with your radishes if you like, for a really different preparation.  Just think of them like any other green, but don’t forget about them completely!

Featured Item—Green Tomatoes

If you’ve never grown your own tomatoes you probably don’t know that often several tomatoes on a plant will not ripen, especially before the first frost, which will destroy the tomatoes flavor and texture if they are not picked.  Hence the uniquely delicious green tomato.  Most people have heard of fried green tomatoes, but are not familiar with all the other delightful ways to prepare green tomatoes.
Green tomatoes taste, well, like unripe tomatoes.  Raw, they remind me a bit of tomatillos, but they are sweeter and less acidic.  When cooked, they generally hold their shape and become even sweeter still.  Some folks liken the taste of cooked green tomatoes to apples.  In fact, apples and green tomatoes are a classic combination in chutneys, desserts, breads, and cakes.
Before you decide what to do with your green tomatoes, try a raw piece first.  You might decide to slice it thin and put it on a sandwich or make salsa with it.  Or perhaps you will prefer to cook it, in which case you can do it any number of ways: bake, fry, roast, or saute.  I found a couple of good blogs that offer some interesting suggestions for cooking green tomatoes.  Check them out by clicking on these links (Oreganlive)(Tipnut)
Generally, green tomatoes offer the same nutritional value as ripe tomatoes (low calorie, high vitamin content, good amount of fiber, high protein), except that ripe red tomatoes contain more vitamin A, while green tomatoes are higher in vitamin C.
Choose green tomatoes that are on the larger size for their variety.  Avoid tomatoes with bruising, holes, or breaks.  When cutting, be sure to cut out the small whitish core just inside the stem area, as it can be tough.  Store green tomatoes at room temperature for about 1-2 weeks.
I found the bite of horseradish went really well with spicy radishes and greens.  Feel free to mix in some salad greens with the radish greens, if you prefer.

Watermelon Radish & Apple Salad w/ Horseradish Dressing        Serves 4

– 1 bunch watermelon radish greens (you may not use all of them)
– 4 large watermelon radishes, thinly sliced into half moons
– 1 large apple of choice (I used granny smith), thinly sliced, then julienned
– 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
– Dressing:
– 1/2 cup buttermilk, (can be fat free)
– 3 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
– 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
– 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
– 1 large clove garlic, crushed
– salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut off tough stems of radish greens just before leaves begin.  “Zip” radish greens off of stem (or cut with a knife).  Chop radish greens.  Rinse well and “spin” or pat dry.  Divide greens among four salad plates.  Top with julienned apples and sliced radishes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, horseradish, cider vinegar and garlic until mayonnaise is smoothly incorporated.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over salads, and then top with walnuts.  Serve immediately.
I simply had to try some fried green tomatoes this week.  My family really liked them with the following Cajun dipping sauce.

Fried Green Tomatoes w/ Cajun Dipping Sauce               Serves 4

– Dipping Sauce:
– 1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
– 3/4 cup nonfat or regular buttermilk
– 1 clove garlic, crushed
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
– 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
– 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne
– 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
– Fried Green Tomatoes:
– 3-4 large green tomatoes, sliced into 1/4″ slices
– 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
– 2 tablespoons buttermilk
– 1/2 cup all purpose flour
– 1/2 cup cornmeal
– 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
– 1 teaspoon garlic salt
– 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
– Pinch cayenne
– Vegetable oil
1. Dipping Sauce:  Whisk all dipping sauce ingredients until smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Fried Green Tomatoes:  Whisk egg whites and buttermilk in a small shallow bowl.  Place flour in another bowl.  Mix cornmeal, Panko, garlic salt, black pepper, and cayenne and place in a third shallow bowl.
Dip each tomato slice first into flour and coat well.  Next, place tomato slice in egg mixture and turn to coat with a fork, allowing excess egg to drip off.  Then turn to coat in cornmeal mixture.  Place on a plate while you continue in the same manner with the rest of the tomato slices.
In a large skillet, place enough oil to cover bottom by 1/4″.  Heat over medium-high heat until very hot.  Add one batch of coated tomatoes to pan, allowing enough room to fit comfortably and not overcrowd (about 5 slices per batch).  Cook for about 2-3 minutes until bottom side is golden brown.  Turn and cook on the second side until browned, 2-3 minutes more.  Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.  Continue with the rest of the tomatoes, batch by batch, until all have been cooked (if you need to add more oil, be sure to allow it to completely heat up again before adding any tomatoes).
3. Serve hot with dipping sauce.
If you prefer to make full-fat muffins, substitute canola oil for applesauce and use regular cheddar cheese.

Green Tomato & Corn Cornbread Muffins                   Makes 12

– 1 cup all purpose flour
– 1 cup yellow cornmeal
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 3/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup non-fat or low fat buttermilk
– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 cup natural applesauce
– 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
– 1 cup fresh corn kernels
– 1 cup chopped green tomatoes,  (chopped 1/4″ pieces)
– 3 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, (about 1 large)
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1 cup shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese (I used 50% reduced fat Cabot)
Preheat oven to 350 and place oven rack in center of oven.  Spray a 12-cup muffin tin well with cooking spray.
Combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in center of mixture.  Combine buttermilk, olive oil, eggs, and applesauce.  Pour into well in flour.  Mix, stirring until just combined.  Fold in corn, green tomatoes, and jalapeños.  Divide batter evenly into muffin tin.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Do not over bake, or muffins will get dry.  Cool for 5 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.  Muffins are best eaten hot from the oven, but are also good room temperature.
We really enjoyed this compote with roasted pork tenderloin.  It would also be good with pork chops, veal chops, on ice cream, over baked Brie, or with grilled chicken breasts.

Green Tomato and Apple Compote                  makes 1 ½- 2 cups

– 1/4 cup minced shallots
– 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– 1 large Macintosh apple, peeled, cored and diced
– 1 large (or 2 medium) green tomato, diced
– 1/4 cup raisins
– 1/2 cinnamon stick
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup water
In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat until hot.  Add shallot and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until shallot is tender, about 5 minutes.  Add apples, green tomato, raisins, cinnamon stick, brown sugar and water.  Stir well to combine.  Simmer until liquid has mostly evaporated and apples and tomatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes longer.  If mixture gets too thick before apples and tomatoes are tender, add a bit more water and continue simmering.  Once compote is done, remove cinnamon stick and serve warm.  Goes great with roasted pork or grilled chicken.

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