• Simply Fresh by Julie Wern–Week 14

    Posted on September 13, 2016 by in CSA, Featured, Recipes

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    Holcomb Flowers = Happiness

    Aren’t you just loving your Holcomb flowers?  The sunflowers are just so sunny they can’t help but make you smile. Enjoy them while they last!

    beetsFeatured Item—Radishes

    Radishes are a root vegetable that I didn’t learn to love until I was an adult.  Perhaps their peppery bite turned me off. But I can’t get enough of them now.  For years I only ate them raw in salads.  However, once I tried them cooked, I was truly hooked.  Radishes are genuinely more versatile in the kitchen than they get credit for.

    Red radish varieties are most common in the United States.  They have a sharp bite and can be quite crisp.  However, there are several other varieties of radishes that vary in color, spice level, and preferred growing conditions.  They are all members of the Brassica family, which includes such other vegetables as cabbage, turnips, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale.

    Radishes are so well known for their roots that many folks don’t even realize the greens are edible.  In fact, supermarkets often trim up the roots and leave off the greens altogether.  This is a shame, as radish greens are a fun, delicious, and highly nutritious vegetable.  When raw, I love their light peppery bite and unique texture in salads.  Cooked, they mellow and become almost indistinguishable from any other tender green so I often just throw them into the pot when cooking anything from sautéed greens, to soups and stews.

    Radish roots and greens have a great nutritional profile.  While both the roots and the greens are quite high in Vitamin C, overall the greens contain higher amounts of vitamins, protein, calcium, fiber, and minerals.  Yet on their own, radish roots are about 94% water, almost fat free, contain no cholesterol, and provide important vitamins and minerals, which makes them a great healthful, low calorie food source.  Radishes, like their Brassica siblings, are high in antioxidant properties, including components that help fight various cancers.

    When choosing radishes, select roots that look crisp without holes, cracks, or soft spots. Radish tops should be bright green and crisp.  Avoid yellowed, limp, or blackened leaves.  When you bring your radishes home from the farm, immediately cut off the roots (leaving about an inch of stem) from the leaves and store the roots and leaves separately in plastic bags.  The reason for this is that the roots will draw water and nutrients from the leaves if they are left intact too long.  The roots will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator, while the leaves should be used within 3-4 days.

    There is no doubt that raw radishes are delicious.  Use them in salads, as crudités, on sandwiches, as a base for an hors d’oeuvre, or even as a topping for tacos, burritos, or soups/stews.  One of my favorite ways to eat raw radishes is dipped in sweet grass fed butter and sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

    Radishes become wonderfully sweet and succulent when cooked.  Try roasting or pan frying them, or cooking them in a bit of braising liquid (like orange juice, broth, wine/spirits, olive oil).  They can also be steamed.

    Below I offer you three radish recipes in an effort to inspire you try something different with your own….I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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    Beware these roasted radishes are positively addictive!

    Simple Roasted Radishes                                                                        Serves 2

    INGREDIENTS:

    – About 6-8 radish roots, small ones quartered, large ones cut in eighths

    – 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

    – 1/4-teaspoon Kosher salt

    – 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

    METHOD:

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cover a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of foil.  Spray or brush foil with olive oil.  Toss radishes with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread out on baking sheet.  Bake, stirring a couple of times, about 15 minutes, or until radishes are nicely caramelized and tender.

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    Radish and Cannellini Bean Salad with Lemon Dressing            Serves 2-3

    INGREDIENTS:

    – Dressing:

    – zest of one lemon

    – 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    – 1 tablespoon orange juice

    – 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

    – 1/2 clove garlic, crushed

    – 1 teaspoon honey

    – 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    – salt and pepper to taste

    – Salad:

    – 5 radish roots, thinly sliced

    – 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

    – 1 tablespoon minced chives

    – 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

    – 2 cups radish greens, sliced into thin ribbons

    METHOD:

    1. For Dressing:  Using a hand blender, blend all dressing ingredients until smooth and emulsified.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    2. For salad:  In a small bowl, toss radish greens with dressing to taste.  Arrange on a serving plate.  In same bowl, toss sliced radishes, beans, chives, and pine nuts with the dressing to taste.  Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange over greens and serve immediately.

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    This pesto can be used like any other pesto. We like it with pasta or on pizza or flatbread.

    Radish Leaf Pesto

    INGREDIENTS:

    – 1 bunch radish greens, well washed and dried

    – 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

    – 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan cheese

    – 3/4 teaspoon salt

    – 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    – 1/2 teaspoon sugar

    – 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1/2 lemon

    METHOD:

    In a food processor, blend all ingredients until well minced. Gradually add olive oil through the feed tube until you get a pesto-like consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If not using immediately, cover top completely with plastic wrap and chill.

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    Julie Wern is a health coach, food writer, and caterer who is passionate about health, food, and vital living.  For direct comments or inquiries please use this contact form to send a message to Julie.  To comment on the blog, scroll down further to the blog comment section:

2 Responses so far.

  1. Susan LeClerc says:

    I agree with Julie that the flowers are wonderful! I look forward to a new bouquet every week!!

  2. Julie says:

    Susan, I am so glad that you are enjoying the flowers as much as I am!