Orzo salad with radish and fennel

Orzo salad

This was kinda nice to find, a good way to use a variety of different things I had around at once. Here’s the recipe — a great dish for the hotter days.

Puree of turnip soup

Puree of turnip soup

Radishes I’m good with but turnips sometimes leave me uninspired. But a scrounge last night turned up this recipe, so a little experimenting later and this was the result, plus another batch for another night. The garnish in this case was some cayenne pepper to add extra bite as well as some roasted seaweed. Not bad, really!

Udon with tofu, bok choy, tomato and more…

Udon with bok choy, tomato, tofu, etc.

It’s been a while — far too long, really! — since I put up something I’ve cooked, and tonight was time to rectify that. Having picked up my latest basket and seen some baby bok choy, I wanted to do something with that, and a scrounge online turned up this really fantastic recipe — seriously, check it all out, lots of photos, plenty of detail, the works.

My big change here was to use udon rather than the thick rice noodle indicated, in that no such noodle as described was available in my local Japanese market (I could have easily have missed it). Other than that I went at it, adjusting portion sizes down for a single-person dish. (I used some minced ginger I had to hand as well rather than julienning, FWIW.)

Quite delicious, very filling — give it a whirl!

Savory greens stir fry

Savory greens stir fry

Such is the name of the recipe — it’s a fairly basic enough stir fry on the one hand but on the other it’s a nice way to use a lot of different things in tasty fashion. Recipe from my CSA mailout:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
1 (7 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and thinly sliced
3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (if using dried, soak, discard the stems and slice)
1 pound kale, washed and cut into large pieces
1 teaspoon mirin (or seasoned brown rice vinegar)
1 teaspoon tamari (or high quality soy sauce)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredient Options:
Combine several types of greens. Add 1 tablespoon of brown rice syrup along with the tamari. Use chard and add a cup of drained, chopped tomatoes after adding the greens. Top greens with chopped, roasted walnuts.

Method:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté until onions are translucent. Be careful not to brown garlic or it will give a bitter taste.

Add water chestnuts and shiitake mushrooms. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add kale and sauté for 1 minute. Add mirin, tamari and pepper and continue cooking until kale is just tender.

Sweet potato and fennel soup

Sweet potato and fennel soup

Meantime, this is really what I was all about this week. The recipe itself is a fine one but I really wanted an excuse to finally test out a Christmas gift I was really excited about, this Bamix professional immersion blender. My old blender died a while back and I wanted to make the switch to a hand blender for ease and to not have to worry about shlepping things back and forth. Worked like a dream and damn if this wasn’t good. (And a little crispbread to go with never hurts.)

Squash-Swiss chard gratin

Squash-swiss chard gratin

Mostly hidden under the bread crumbs there, I realize. Anyway, this was done as I had a surfeit of butternut squash and chard to get rid of before this week’s basket and some random browsing around turned up this handy little recipe. Frankly I didn’t precook the chard as they suggest so just skip the first paragraph, it’s not needed and makes things a little simpler.

Easy seaweed soup

Seaweed soup

You can’t go wrong with a name like that — and indeed, this was very easy, and quite lovely.

I found the recipe while wondering what to do with a small amount of fresh vegetable broth I’d made last week after coming home from up north. Most of it had already been consumed over the intervening days while another portion was frozen, but I wanted to use a remaining fresh remnant for something else. Given the chillier weather, soup was a logical choice, but I wasn’t interested in anything too complicated after a busy work day.

The advantage of the recipe is not merely that it’s simple but protean; one can easily adapt as one chooses. In this case, the seaweed had already been shredded and roasted, while I had some fresh parsley around instead of cilantro, so I used that instead. The end result was gently tasty, as much about the light touch of the broth and the hint of texture and scent the roasted seaweed provided as anything else; paired with some hearty bread, salad and a bit of chocolate, it’s a little hard to beat.