Sarah Bollman and LeeAnn Christopher look pretty happy in this picture, and they should be. I am one of 66 families now eating fresh, local, organic produce from the CSA they arranged in Southport that began distributing shares from Stoneledge Farm this week.
We’re furiously trading recipes and cooking away. I’m so happy to have this beautiful and delicious fresh produce to work with. I keep my cooking very simple and fast, which suits many busy families.
I clipped a recipe for strawberry-rhubarb compote from Prevention magazine two years ago and just found the recipe on their site to share with you. I skip the orange juice and halve the water to make it a bit thicker. It’s fast and delicious. I use it on top of yogurt or frozen yogurt as you see in this picture. I added some Scharffen Berger cacao nibs for crunch! Granola or nuts work too. Yum!
Today’s snack at right was a small bowl of organic yogurt with strawberry-rhubarb compote and cacao nibs.
Now for the salad greens. I mixed the mizuna, red leaf lettuce and arugula and dressed them with a classic vinaigrette I learned how to make in cooking school many moons ago. Finally, I topped my salad off with feta cheese because my local goat cheese was long gone.
Classic Vinaigrette: Ratio of 1-1/3-3
If you follow the ratio of 1 part acid (vinegar or lemon juice), to 1/3 part Dijon mustard, to 3-4 parts extra virgin olive oil, you can scale up the amount of salad dressing (sauce vinaigrette) you need to any amount. Let your kids help; a whisk is almost as irresistible as a pepper mill.
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste (this is important; it will taste flat without seasoning)
1. Whisk together vinegar and mustard until smooth in a small metal mixing bowl using a wire whisk.
2. Add oil in droplets and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. You can also make this in the blender but it will be much thicker and won’t spread as easily.
3. Refrigerate any leftovers and re-whisk before using if it separates.
The biggest part of our share was 2 bunches of bok choy and one of Chinese caggage. You can cook and season these in roughly the same way, but the Chinese cabbage cooks much quicker since it is thinner and more delicate.
Asian Style Sauteed Bok Choy
Saute means “jump” in French so keep it jumping with your tongs or wooden spoon.
- 1 large bunch bok choy
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger (use a Japanese or microplane grater)
- canola oil or other vegetable oil
- soy sauce
- Asian sesame oil (dark and toasty color, aroma and flavor)
- toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Lay entire head of bok choy or Chinese cabbage on a cutting board, remove any blemished leaves, and cut into 1 inch strips using a large kitchen knife.
- Rinse in several changes of water and drain.
- Heat large wok, frying pan or braising pan over medium heat, add oil, then add garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant, about a minute. If you want some kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes now.
- Add cabbage all at once, raise the heat to high, and do not cover or you will steam it and wind up with a pan full of water you don’t want. Saute with a large wooden spoon or tongs, which I find easiest. I grab large amounts and just keep flipping it over until it’s cooked through.
- It will take about 9 or 10 minutes for the bok choy to be crisp tender. A purist would cook the steams for a few minutes then add the leaves since they take less time, but who has the patience for that? Take a bite of a stem to test it for doneness.
- When crisp tender, add soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. It needs at least a few teaspoons of soy sauce and at least a teaspoon of sesame oil.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving with freshly steamed brown rice and tofu,shrimp, steamed fish, or Vietnamese Style Baby Back ribs (recipe coming soon.)
Happy local, organic cooking!