Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beachwood Canyon - what's in the box? + recipe

Pick-up #1 - Beachwood Canyon

The first round of veggie pick-ups at our second location - Beachwood Canyon - kicked off Tuesday in the pouring rain. It was chaotic and fun - so much positive energy. Farmer John arrived with the harvest, which Spencer, John and Laura helped distribute to shareholders. Thanks Team! Farmer John and Alex (pictured above), who owns the Beachwood Market, talked local veggies for a while. Will we see some synergy there? Visit the Beachwood Market and find out! And while you're in there, check out the Bonterra organic wine (Cabernet Sauvignon) from Mendocino County Their website is gorgeous.

Here's what Farmer John had for us this week:

red oak leaf lettuce
wildfire lettuce
mizuna (lovely mild mustard for adding to salads)
green garlic
baby bok choy (great for stir frying)
tatsoi (Chinese spinach - also great for stir frying)

And Shelley (also pictured above), our very own cooking consultant, has this quick and easy recipe for us this week. She says:

Broccoli is a great thing to eat because it's chock full of vitamins and minerals. Broccoli makes a simple side dish steamed or microwaved until just tender. It's even better tossed in olive oil and roasted in a hot oven. Here's a different way to use broccoli as the main ingredient in a tasty salad.

Crunchy Broccoli Salad

3 C broccoli florets* broken or cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 C toasted cashews or almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 C raisins
1-2 T finely chopped red onion
2 small oranges, peeled and seeded
4 T mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

1. I like to blanch the broccoli florets but this step is optional. To blanch the broccoli, bring a pot of water to a boil. Have another pot with ice water set aside. Toss the florets into the boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Scoop out the florets with a long-handled sieve and toss them immediately into the ice water until cool. Drain.

2. Cut the peeled and seeded oranges into chunks, collecting any juice that oozes out. You'll get juicier orange pieces if you cut the orange as opposed to breaking it into segments. Cutting around the membrane that separates the segments will result in the juiciest pieces.

3. Mix the broccoli with the nuts, raisins, red onion, and orange pieces.

3. Stir a few tablespoons of the collected orange juice into the mayonnaise to make it pourable. Pour this mixture over the salad and toss until it's lightly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This salad is equally delicious with a vinaigrette dressing instead of mayonnaise, so feel free to substitute your favorite mixture of olive oil and a light vinegar such as rice vinegar, if you'd prefer. Don't forget to stir in a little of the orange juice into the vinaigrette if you go that route.

*A floret is the flower part of the broccoli with just a small amount of the stem. You can use the broccoli stems in this salad, but they'll be more tender if they're peeled and blanched.

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