Great share this week - I am in love with the eggplant, they have an awesome taste. The cherry tomatoes never even make it home...
We grow many common vegetables but some are a bit more elusive. Please check the instructions below for storage and cooking some of these unusual varieties...
Most vegetables should be refrigerated until eaten. However, there are some exceptions. Tomatoes should never be stored below 55 degrees F. Chilling destroys their wonderful flavor. And sweet potatoes should not be refrigerated. Long-term refrigeration causes them to develop a stringy texture.
Now onto the "unusual."
Green edible soybeans are high in protein, calcium, A and B vitamins and contain omega-3 oils.
They are very easy to prepare. They are most commonly just boiled or steamed for 5 or 6 minutes. You may salt the water or sprinkle salt on them after cooking. One of our CSA members suggests drizzling sesame oil and salt over the cooked pods before eating. To eat, squeeze the beans out of the pod, right into your mouth, if you wish, then discard the pod. The beans can also be added to soups, stews and stir-fried dishes.
Our favorite way is to eat them as a movie-watching snack.
Daikons are big (about a foot long!) white Japanese radishes. The root can be sliced or shredded raw into a salad or they can be boiled. It is sometimes suggested that some of the pungency may be extracted by soaking the cut radish pieces in cold water.
The green tops are also edible. The tops cook (boiled or steamed) very quickly - two or three minutes - and are surprisingly mild.
Closely related to sunflowers and native to the US, these tubers are wonderful: sweet and crisp - a great addition to a salad. Just wash and shred or slice into disks or sticks. They can also be boiled or roasted.
Jerusalem artichokes are high in potassium, iron, fiber, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus and copper.
The Brassica family of vegetables has been "mutated" in every way possible by humans. Cauliflower and Broccoli emphasize the flower buds. Cabbage and Brussel sprouts emphasize terminal and lateral buds, respectively. Kale and collards are more normal, yielding their leaves. Some people eat the young seedpods of many Brassicas. Turnips and radishes are grown for their roots, as well as their leaves. Kohlrabi is the stem of the plant. It looks like an above ground root, but is not.
To eat a kohlrabi, peel the outer layer to reveal the white flesh. It can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, roasted or stir-fried.
Turnips are not so unusual, but people seem to only know to eat the root or the top. Both are excellent, either separately or together.
We grow at least two varieties. One is a "salad" turnip that is very mild, with almost no top and little pungency and can easily be eaten raw, without peeling and the other is better cooked, both the tops and roots.
Tomatillos are a "nightshade" in the Solanaceae family related to tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes. They are also called "husk tomatoes." Remove the papery husk and the green , purple or yellow fruit inside can be cooked or eaten raw. You can wash off the "soapy" coating or not. It is mildly sweet when ripe. Our favorite way to eat tomatillos is in a green salsa with lots of garlic and cilantro. The tomatillos may be roasted first - yum!
Oriental Greens in general...
There are many greens from the Orient: tatsoi, mizuna, mustards, and many more. They can be cooked as a "pot green" (boiled or steamed) or used as an ingredient in stir-fries or soups.