Pictures by Felicia LaLomia
I’ll be genuine — the temptation of driving by a North Fork farm stand in the summer time is difficult to combat. It appears to be like each 30 seconds, I can’t aid but strike the brakes and fill my fashionable reusable canvas tote with a lush rainbow of generate. Strolling back again to my vehicle, I am Ina Garten, completely ready to be inspired by my unlimited creative imagination in the kitchen area.
But then I get household and unload my bag and have a fact test. I am not Ina Garten. What do I do with beets that enticed me with their juicy purple color but flavor a bit like the earth? Or the radicchio with its beautiful lacey purple edges and decidedly bitter taste? I was so tempted by their rather seems to be, I forgot that I have no concept what to do with these veggies.
Perhaps you are like me and received bamboozled by the splendor. Or possibly you received a several goods in your CSA box this week that go away you scratching your head. I chatted with the farmers at the rear of some of the finest North Fork farm stands about how they enjoy the, let us just simply call them, underrated produce objects.
BITTER GREENS: Steep them in taste.
If coffee has taught us anything at all, it’s that bitter does not signify poor. Brenna Leveille of Sep’s Farm in East Marion seems to be to Southern cuisine when cooking her preferred missed veggie — collard. “They are great and that can intimidate men and women from making an attempt them out,” she mentioned. “Prepared in the regular Southern-design, sluggish cooker system with farm fresh new ham and bacon, it is just outstanding. The greens keep their texture and flavor and are enhanced by the flavors they soak up from the meat in the cooker.”
As for mustard greens, a staple in quite a few Asian cuisines, the very best way to get ready them is in a straightforward broth of fish, rooster or miso, indicates Cristina Cosentino, director of farm functions at Sylvester Manor Educational Farms in Shelter Island. “Put the vegetables in the broth with a nice piece of white fish that is super delicate, beautiful and scrumptious,” she mentioned. Cosentino also endorses fermenting mustard greens kimchi-design and style.
ENDIVES: Bathe and dress them.
Escarole and radicchio, portion of the endive spouse and children, always search so really on the farm stand with their fragile veiny leaves and vibrant colors. They can be just as tasty as they are attractive, but the essential is to know how to get the job done with them. For escarole, that usually means boiling it in salted h2o for 10 minutes. For radicchio, soaking it in an ice tub for 30 minutes lowers its bitter taste. Even though the pre-procedure can help acquire the edge off, balancing out the endives with fats and sweet is also essential. Cosentino endorses sauteeing the escarole with garlic and oil and introducing cannellini beans or a wealthy cheese, like gorgonzola, plus balsamic vinegar, orange and figs. With the radicchio, char the exterior on the grill and toss with olive oil, vinegar, pancetta and anchovy “if you’re emotion naughty.”
BEETS AND SWISS CHARD: When in question, pickle it out.
Pickling a veggie that is not cucumber is a extremely overlooked way to mellow out sturdy flavors and textures. For instance: Beets. “Sometimes folks who are not acquainted with beets wait to attempt them out,” Leveille mentioned. “Beets can be perceived as obtaining earthy flavors and staying a time consuming product to approach.” But she states her loved ones eats them routinely in pickle kind. Sonomi Obinata of KK’s The Farm in Southold does the exact to swiss chard. “We make pickles with the vibrant swiss chard stems mainly because they can be hard like celery,” she explained. Pickling is straightforward. Bring equal components drinking water and vinegar to a boil with sugar, salt and spices for five minutes. Pour over veggies in a sealable container and refrigerate for at minimum a several several hours. You will require to roast or boil your beets initial until eventually tender, but the swiss chard you can pickle raw.
RADISH TOPS: Whip up environmentally friendly rice.
You know radish bulbs make a properly peppery garnish, but what do you do with the rest of it? You can use the full vegetable, Obinata said. Simply just sauteeing the bulb brings sweetness. She even suggests including the leafy tops to cooked rice. “It turns the rice green and offers flavor and coloration.”
FENNEL AND BOK CHOY: Make a summer months salad.
Why use unexciting romaine? Fennel is like a mini salad in a single veggie. Cosentino likes to chop it up with oranges, salty black olives and olive oil and garnish with the fronds. Obinata goes the same route with bok choy. “Slice it slim, add a sesame or soy-dependent dressing and crispy noodles or crushed peanuts,” she stated. “It’s incredibly sweet and has a good texture.”