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).
Serves: 3-4 Time: 45 minutes
1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used safflower)
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon kalonji (or cumin seeds)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 (14-oz) can coconut milk
1-2 cups chopped turnips
2 carrots, diced
1 (14-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
In a heavy-bottomed pot, add the oil, mustard seeds, and kalonji or cumin seeds and heat over medium-high heat. When the seeds begin to make a popping sound, add the onions and saute until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and saute for about 30 more seconds. Add the tomato paste and turmeric, and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
Add the coconut milk and bring it to a simmer. Add the turnips, carrots, chickpeas, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bring it back to a simmer. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Keep an eye on things and add water (1/4 cup to 1/2 cup) if needed while cooking to ensure that the vegetables remain immersed in the liquid.
Add additional salt to taste. Garnish with chives or your favorite herb, and serve over rice.
© 2011 BistroKatie.com
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…