Friday, January 11, 2013

Recipes: Random Winter Produce

So far, this has been a very interesting winter in North Carolina. It got very cold very late and then this week it's been in the 60's and the weatherman says tomorrow it will be 75 degrees. I can only imagine what this is doing to the latent winter crops! Luckily, farmers markets still have some great hearty offerings right now including winter squashes, greens and root vegetables.

This week, Lomax Incubator Farm had a product I had never tried before: the mighty rutabaga!

At first, I mistook this beautiful vegetable for a turnip because it also has purple shoulders and luscious greens. The difference is that rutabagas are often much larger and somewhat sweeter than your average turnip. They can, luckily, be used in much the same ways. I consulted Fresh from the Farmers' Market and found that the best way to prepare these is alongside complimentary root veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots because of their slight sweetness. Below is how I prepared just one large rutabaga which went a lot further than you'd think. The sweet potatoes can be gotten from pretty much anywhere right now but I usually buy mine from Houston Farms.

Rutabaga Bake (V)
1 medium/large rutabaga
1 medium/large sweet potato
~1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Peel both the rutabaga and potato and slice in 1/4 in pieces.
  2. Drizzle a little olive oil in a brownie-size baking dish.
  3. Layer rutabaga and potato slices, adding a little oil here and there.
  4. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until at desired tenderness.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.

A couple vendors in Charlotte are still selling bok choi or bok choi-like greens. I keep meaning to ask if these are greenhouse-grown or have been stored from warmer months but regardless, I buy it whenever I see it. Because of my IBS, I can't eat most lettuce or very dark greens so these are a great replacement for the vitamins I'm missing from those. I threw the following together last night which has bok choi from Houston Farms, Simply Local's medium sharp cheddar and Windy Hill's amazing eggs. It had a great salty flavor without the addition of actual salt so I'm calling this a healthy recipe.

Bok Choi Omelet (makes 2) (v)
About 1/2 head of bok choi, diced
1/4 onion, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
  1. Whisk eggs. Pour into medium-high heated frying pan.
  2. When cooked mostly on the outsides, add cheese. 
  3. Once cheese is melted part way, add the onions and bok choi and flip one side over the other.
  4. Cook until brown on the outsides.

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