It starts like it always starts.
Wait, no, actually it starts before that.
After the asparagus score, I picked up lots of greens and salad mix from my main squeeze Pete Taliaferro, then it was off to my besties Ken and Doug’s beautiful homestead, where they’ve built a house, run a gloriously adorable farm, and run their thriving business, the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Have you heard of the HVSL? It’s a truly revolutionary idea–and if you don’t want to save seeds and return them (or if, like me, your garden tends to falter due to neglect around July or so), you can buy their beautiful Art Packs with local seeds printed with art made by local artists. Additionally, they are pretty much the sweetest people ever.
In order to thin out some of their crops, they offered to sell me some of their veggies (actually, we’re doing a trade so that when they take a little “staycation” they can get meals from me!). This week is was these Easter Egg Radishes–scroll down to see how beautifully they held their color when steamed.
Ken and Doug from the Hudson Valley Seed Library with their lovely radishes!
Then, Farmer Dave from Muddy Farm came by with some of his newborn Hakurei turnips. How juicy and fresh and delicious these turnips are really can’t be expressed in words. They are really not related at all to what most people think about when they think about turnips. They are a spring crop, for one thing, and don’t store well. Thus, they are never woody, just 100% sweet and tender.
A few more deliveries and shopping trips, and it was down to work.
Plantain pyramid! For the Cuban coconut rice and black beans dish.
So much for that...
Peppers ready to be sauteed for the Cuban dish--juicy!
Dave's turnips! (The greens are in the Sofrito Greens dish and also the Shiitake soup!)
The entire food revolution nicely encapsulated in one ingredient: a super fresh, properly piquant radish (I have sort of a peeve about non-local radishes: it seems that their vibrant spiciness has been completely bred out of them, have you noticed? Radishes should be spicy!), bartered from a fellow small business and grown super close to the kitchen where it was prepared.
Radish greens! These can be a little, well, spiny, if you lightly steam them, but if you give them a bit of nice olive oil, slivers of garlic, and a longer sauté, you will be rewarded with silky, sweet greens. These went with the Teriyaki Carrots dish.
Related to nothing, I just want to show off the new hair scarf my pal Maresa gave me. Cute, no?
Carrot stars for the Shiitake Soup.
Teriyaki Carrots, before their seared scallion and radish greens were added.
Homemade preserved lemons for the Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette for the radishes and turnips
My best miso yet, a 2005 red vintage. Miso never goes bad, did you know that? Well, if it was stored improperly it wouldn't be tasty, but otherwise it just keeps getting better and better with time. This is all I have of this batch! But I have many other batches slowly, so slowly, fermenting away.
Easter Egg Radishes, post-steam, pre-vinaigrette.
Steamed Radishes and Turnips with Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette. In order to up the liberal cred of this dish just a bit more (what we've got already: 100% local veggies, handcrafted preserved lemons and 6-year-old handmade miso in the dressing), I'd like to state that I was watching Spike Lee's brilliant movie Malcolm X as I prepped all those teeeny veggies.
Another beauty shot of Dave's turnips
Phew! A lot of chopping this week!