Saturday, June 1, 2013

Catching up on our local vegetable bag

It's been a while since I've made an update on the bag of local organic vegetables I get. As you can see from this bag, which I received in early April, the winter growing season lasts pretty long in Denmark. Leeks, beets, carrots, parsnips, potatoes (always potatoes), red onions, and mushrooms were not exactly the most exciting things to have after months (7 of them!) of winter. But the spaghetti squash was fun (and honestly, Bobby and I never complain about beets). For the spaghetti squash, I made a gratin, which was quite tasty but ugly as sin!
This bag from late April was a bit more exciting, with some fresh endives and two cucumbers! It also included carrots, beets, celeriac/celery root, leeks, potatoes (always, always potatoes), and parsley. I made a version of this salad with the endives, except I replaced the blue cheese with soft goat cheese. It was quite yummy! The parsley is still on my window sill, enjoying the sun.
And now we have last week's stash! Finally, spring has arrived in Denmark, just in time to be replaced by summer. We have some potatoes (always, always, always potatoes), new spring leeks (which are closer in size to scallions/green onions than the larger winter leeks), a cucumber, asparagus (the first asparagus of the season!), mizuna salad, and rhubarb! Now things are starting to get interesting.
I found this brilliant recipe on Food52: pickled rhubarb, asparagus, and goat cheese salad! As you can see, I replaced the white asparagus called for in the recipe with the green asparagus I received in my bag, and I used half butter lettuce and half mizuna salad. This was a seriously good salad. And pickled rhubarb? Deliciously awesome.
I used the potatoes to make my first batch of roasted garlic and goat cheese mashed potatoes. I have fallen in love with these and can't believe that I've lived 29 years without having made these. All I did was roast a whole bulb of garlic in the oven, then added all the garlic along with some soft and mild goat cheese to boiled potatoes. A little milk, butter, and some salt, plus some mashing, and you've got deliciousness.
I used the spring leeks in this Singaporean slow cooker pork roast. This recipe is quite simple and very delicious, and we used the meat to feed us in a variety of ways and for several days. You can find the recipe here. Note that I didn't add the almonds, and next time I make this, I will add carrots and pearl onions to the slow cooker. I would also reduce the soy sauce to 1/2 cup and use 1/2 cup stock.
I didn't use all of the rhubarb for the pickled rhubarb salad. In fact, I had so much rhubarb that I was able to make two desserts! I made this rhubarb and strawberry pie for Bobby's return from Athens. Something about the way to a man's heart is through his stomach...   :)
This dessert was more for me than Bobby since it features lavender. Inspired by this recipe, I made lavender biscuits (I used half rye flour and half white flour), and made a vanilla, strawberry, and rhubarb compote with the remaining rhubarb. Accompanied by some crème fraîche, this was a lovely dessert. Even Bobby, who claims to not like eating lavender, enjoyed it!
I also used my birthday gift from Bobby for the first time this week! Bobby bought me a beautiful pressure cooker. I'll be honest: I was a bit afraid of using it at first. I read the owner's manual (yep, my pots and pans have owner's manuels) and learned about the many ways I could burn myself (and I burn myself fairly frequently). However, new pressure cookers are a distant relative of the old models, which could easy blow up from too much pressure. In fact, my new toy served me quite well. I cooked dried beans, which I hadn't pre-soaked. Instead of taking 3+ hours in a regular pot, the pressure cooked cooked the beans in 30 minutes! And at the lowest stove setting! Talk about saving time and energy. I am going to make another pressure cooker meal tonight: I'm going to try to steam artichokes in it, and then I will try to make risotto, a dish with which I've never had much success.
Bobby is home for a bit between his Athens trip and his upcoming London trip. Athens has made quite the impression on Bobby, with frappes making the biggest impact. So Bobby has learned how to make frappes at home, and we even have the proper glasses for them! All the more reason for you, our dear reader, to visit us.

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