Bok Choy or Flowering Brassica
Lettuce (Panisse Oakleaf & Little Gem Bibb)
Baby Daikon Radish
Cilantro & Basil Tops
There are so many combinations of dishes you can make with this assortment of vegetables; but in late spring or early summer we often find inspiration in Japanese cuisine. There is something beautiful about how much of the cuisine uses one or two main ingredients in a dish, highlighting a particular meat, starch, or vegetable. We have included a number of dishes to make a wonderful meal or two or three from this week’s share.
All recipes below from Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
Bitter Greens with Dashi 2 small bunches (1 1/3lb) Bitter Greens: mustard, turnip, or komatsuna
1/3 cup Dashi
2 Tbls Soy Sauce
2 Tbls freshly shaved katsuobushi or 3 Tbls hanakatsuo
Bring a large pot of hot water to a boil and place a large bowl of cold water on the kitchen sink. Hold the bunches of greens by their tops and lower the stems into the boiling water. Count to ten or twenty, then drop the greens into the pot and cook an additional 1-3 minutes. Scoop out the greens with a strainer and dump them immediately into the cold water. Turn on the tap and plunge your hands into the water, lifting the greens up directly into the stream of cold running tap water to cool them. Pull out a few connected strands and squeeze down the length of the greens to express the excess water. Ley the greens on the cutting board, cut off the end tips, and slice into 2” lengths.
Squeeze the greens one more time and arrange the clumps attractively on a medium-sized saucer with the cut sides face up. Season the dashi with soy sauce, pour over the greens, and sprinkle with shaved katsuobushi right before serving.
Variation: Also nice with some slivered citrus peel, such as yuzu or meyer lemon. Although in this case I would cut back, or omit the katsuobushi.
Turnips and Turnip Leaves Pickled in Salt 8 tender turnips with leaves
2 Tbls sea salt
1 meyer lemon or 2 yuzu
2 small fresh or dried red chile peppers
1 tsp slivered ginger
Slice the tops of turnips and reserve. Cut turnips in half vertically, then crosswise into thin half rounds. Slice a couple of small handfuls of leaves into 2 by 1 ¼” pieces. Toss the turnips and leaves together in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Gently but firmly massage the salt in to distribute well, encouraging the turnips to exude a bit of their water. With a very sharp knife or vegetable peeler, shave off the outer yellow zest of the lemon, taking care to avoid the bitter white pith. Stack small slices of zest and slice into very thin strips. Slice the chiles into thin rounds. Slide the zest, chiles, and ginger into the bowl of turnips. Massage one more time and serve immediately. Variation: slice carrots into thin rounds in place of the turnips. Make sure to slice very thin as they have less water content. Add some of the carrot leaves as well.
Daikon and Daikon Leaf Salad
1 medium-small daikon
1 TB Sea Salt
2 small or 1 medium Yuzu (or substitute Meyer Lemon)
2 TB Organic Miso
2 TB Organic Rice Vinegar
4 TB Organic Rapeseed Oil
2 TB Slivered Scallions
Slice the daikon into manageable lengths. Cut those pieces in half vertically and slice lengthwise into fine slabs. Lay those slabs flat on the cutting board and slice into fine julienned strands about 1.5 inches long. Put the julienned daikon into a medium-sized bowl as you go. Chop a large handful of the most tender leaves medium -fine and add to the julienned daikon. Sprinkle with the salt and massage in gently. Let sit for 10 minutes. Pare off the yellow zest of a yuzu or meyer lemon with a sharp knife, avoiding the white pith. Stack roughly and slice into fine slivers. Muddle the miso with the vinegar and whisk in the oil until emulsified. Squeeze the daikon and daikon leaves in handfuls and drop into a clean bowl. Toss with the yuzu peel and onion greens. Give the dressing a quick whisk and fold into the daikon right before serving. Ratio: miso:rice vinegar:oil – 1:1:2