Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tiny little share

From the email it says we got kohlrabi (green and red), celeriac; shallots; fermented vegetable medley (seems to be like pickled vegetables when I tasted them), radish, pea, sunflower & cress sprouts (these sprouts are very good! Last week we had a huge back of them and we had sprout salads), frozen strawberries, Vermont Soy Co. tofu Butterworks Cream, Champlain Valley Creamery Cream Cheese (smells great! I need to pick up some bagels), and Patchwork Farm Bread.

It seems like a very small share as we had almost no root vegetables this week. I imagine they're getting closer to the end of the inventory for the year at this point so I'm hoping we'll soon be getting some greehouse produce. I'm also getting a real inventory of frozen strawberries since we've gotten huge bags of them in the last couple of shares.

Oh, the tofu! I'm not fond if it at all so I'm looking for suggestions for use where I won't know it's there. This time it's firmer than the stuff we had in the past which should be a plus. I think. The last time we got it I put some mashed tofu in soup and it messed with the broth by making semi gritty little chunks although it didn't have much flavor. I put it in bread and there is added a soy flavor I didn't like at all. I think I threw part of it out too and I hate doing that with any food.

Today our vegetable bin contains only the sprouts, two shallots, two potatoes, a few stalks of (non-local of course) celery, four carrots, non-local salad greens, and some garlic. I guess that means I've effectively used a lot of vegetables lately but it also means I'm going to have to get stuff at the store for the next few days.

How did I use most of the shallots and all the celeric and kohlrabi? I made a gratin to go with dinner (baked chicken, my Mom's crowd pleaser cabbage, this gratin with crack cookies for dessert) last night.

Creamy Kohlrabi and Celeriac Gratin

1 cup thinly sliced shallots
3 TB butter
1 lb. celeriac, peeled, quartered, then thinly sliced
1 lb. kohlrabi, peeled, quartered, then thinly sliced
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp dried, crushed tarragon
dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
grated cheddar for top of gratin (the recipe didn't call for this but how can you do a gratin without cheese?)

Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a deep dish pie plate. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small skillet over medium heat and saute shallots until translucent, but not yet browned, about 3 minutes.

Set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients, including the 2 tablespoons of butter, in a large pot. Cover and place over medium-high heat. As soon as the mixture boils, remove the pan from the heat and mix in sauteed shallots. Pour into prepared pie dish, smooth, top with cheddar, and cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Remove foil.

Bake for about 15 minutes more, until the veggies are tender, the top browns and the sauce bubbles thickly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

What did we think?

Me: Wow! Very rich but a little watery since the celeric and kohlrabi don't soak up the liquids the way potatoes do. The tarragon really improves the flavor over most gratins too. The cheddar on top was essential to the flavor so don't skip it even though the original recipe doesn't call for it.

Ben: Very good. He went back for seconds.

Sam: Can't be thinking about food, Judyboo is here and it doesn't matter what I'm eating except I really want cookies for dessert. Can I have dessert right now? I think he ate a little of it but not much.

Paul: Good. "Aazing how many people don't know anything about root vegetables. When I go to the store the checkout people hold up all these types of vegetables and ask me what they are." (Paul cooks a lot in case you were wondering)

Judyboo: (Note: Judy avoids most vegetables on principle) This is ok. But she ate it.

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