Chickpeas, turnips, and carrots in a spiced coconut sauce

by Katie on December 12, 2011

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I’ve been shopping and cooking a little differently these days. I typically shop at the farmer’s market once a week, picking and choosing whatever looks good to purchase. But a few weeks ago I started buying the produce box at Hollygrove Market and Farm. It’s a great selection of the best of what local farms have to offer.

While sometimes it’s nice to be picky, I’ve been enjoying simply paying my $25 and having all my purchasing decisions made for me. The boxes during this time of year are fabulous and include a ton of greens, citrus, and root vegetables. Recent boxes have also featured shiitake mushrooms, brown and white varieties of rice, red beans, and salad greens and/or sprouts.

Of course, when you get the box, the name of the game is to actually cook everything in the box within a week’s time or before the contents go bad, whichever comes first. It requires a certain amount of determination and creativity. I tend to use up all the greens within a few days. This past week, turnips were one of the veggies that were lingering in my fridge. So I thought about this recipe for turnips in coconut sauce and thought I’d do a little variation.

The inspiration for the other ingredients were things I had around the house. Not one to serve a meal without something green in it, I garnished the dish with chives, one of my few backyard herbs that survived the summer heat. It worked great.

Oh – I do need to tell you that I included an unusual ingredient called kalonji, which I picked up at an Indian market in Montreal this summer. They are tiny, black, teardrop-shaped seeds that offer a slightly bitter, fragrant, woodsy yet flowery flavor. Since I’m guessing you don’t have them handy, I offer a substitute in the recipe below (cumin seeds).

The brown rice I served it with is also from the Hollygrove Market box. The rice is so good, I could just eat it plain as a snack (and in fact I have).

While this is “spiced,” it is not “spicy” as in hot. If you like a little heat, feel free to add a dash of cayenne pepper when you add the turmeric, or include a diced serrano pepper or two along with the onion.

Do any of you purchase a weekly produce box or belong to a CSA? If you have any good strategies for using up the box, please share them! I still have radishes lingering…

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert December 12, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Kalonji is great. I read somewhere that it’s used as a substitute for onion in Indian cuisines that forbid that ingredient, but I’m not sure that’s true. I know I’ve seen it sold as “black cumin,” but I tend to think the onion connection is true, given the aroma when you toast the seeds.

And I’ve been enjoying cooking from the box at Hollygrove for a while. It’s great when I have the time on a weekend to cook the stuff that will otherwise go bad in a few days.

Enjoying the site, Katie, keep up the good work.


Katie December 12, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Thanks for the comment, Robert, and the words of encouragement! I truly appreciate that.


ksaras December 23, 2011 at 9:02 am

One way I use up Hollygrove’s radishes is by putting them on a sandwich: I slice them thinly, arrange them across a baguette, add salt and pepper, squeeze lemon over it all, and then drizzle a generous amount of slightly watered-down tahini on top of that. If I have any sort of leafy herb or green, I layer that on, too—arugula, flat-leaf parsley, basil, cilantro. Very delicious and (unfortunately?) addictive!


Katie December 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm

That is a great idea – thank you, I will definitely try that! I love anything with tahini.


sal jones July 29, 2012 at 1:43 am

hey, nice website n great recipe…………..i noticed u mentioned buying kalonji seeds at a montreal indian market, ive been looking for them and cant find them, do you recall where or what street or metro station, thanx :)


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