Friday, October 3, 2014

How to cook any unknown produce

Another warm and beautiful day to weed and dig, that seems to be all I am doing at the moment, well besides sowing the new veg seeds for the season. I have even had to cover up all my seedlings due to it being around 29 C tomorrow. The summer is supposed to be so horrific that I need the soil to retain all the moisture it can. I am so glad I decided to cover so many beds with shadecloth this year.

Before I get to todays article, I will share a couple of random pics I took today.

This poor little sunflower has struggled through frost and winter and is now just opening its first flower. What a trier, lol. I must remember to plant a few more this year as they look so great.
Last year I didn't get much seed as the parrots stripped them but at least they are spectacular when in flower, and they attract all sorts of pollinators.

After going to so much trouble to get all my cucurbits in, as well as a heap for the nursery, yesterday I went out to find that mice had found them. They went from tube to tube taking every seed. They got a shock last night with traps and bait so I hope I am on top of them now.
I have now reseeded and there is still time for them to be ready for the nursery.

The cheats guide to cooking any unknown veg

Roots and hard, dense vegTo roast root vegetables, peel them and chop into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces.  Toss the vegetables with melted fat or oil and any seasonings that you like, then roast them in an oven preheated to 220 degrees C for thirty to forty-five minutes as needed, stirring once or twice during the roasting process to prevent burning and promote even cooking.
Just about all of these, from yams to kohlrabi can be roasted till tender, split and served with butter and cheese melted onto them, and maybe with some fried onion on the side.

Leafy greens: Steam until tender and serve with melted garlic butter or a drizzle of white sauce.
Or you can braise them in a heavy frying pan with chopped onion, olive oil and a little water if they have tough stalks and you have to cook a bit longer.
You could also try making a vegetable lasagne with them.
Try these hints with silverbeet to amaranth and beet greens.

Tender salad greens: Toss unusual lettuce, mizuna or other tender greens that can be eaten raw in a home made mayonaise or vinegarette.

Just about any vegetable: Cook in a soup, or chop and cover with cheese, white sauce and breadcrumbs. Bake until tender and the cheese is golden.
Soups are very versatile. I just cook veg till tender then add stock, herbs and bacon pieces. Cook for 20 minutes then allow to cool a bit. Use a hand stick blender to make is smooth. Reheat and serve.
Most things can also be chopped and added to egg dishes like omelettes and frittatas.

Basically, any new veg in my home is first tasted raw, then steamed or microwaved. Then I decide on how it will likely cook in other ways. Usually all veg are just chopped and steamed here because we are lazy.

To be honest, there are few veg that you won't find recipes on the net for, but sometimes you just don't know the name of something you have bought from me so just follow the guide here - or you could just ring me, lol.

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