Monday, February 15, 2010

Braised kohlrabi with poppy seeds.

This one is for all you kohlrabi lovers out there. That's right, all three of you!
Unfortunately kohlrabi is one of those underrated vegetables you can find relatively easily (if you know where to look), yet not a lot of people know what it is. Unless you live in Kashmir, where most households serve kohlrabi for dinner several times a week.
I grew up eating kohlrabi, even love it raw. The crisp, juicy flesh makes a terrific salad, when mixed with julienned carrots, crumbled feta cheese, drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and sprinkled with poppy seeds.
I can't remember a time when buying kohlrabi at the grocery store didn't generate and ad hoc meeting of all cashiers, management and whoever else was willing to put in their two cents' worth. They can never agree on what kohlrabi actually is or how much they're selling it for. Strange, since this veg is so versatile and cheap, not to mention delicious.


I first made this dish with turnips, found the recipe on the Gourmet magazine website (R.I.P). It's quick and satisfying, and can also be made with carrots and parsnips. Serve with creamy yogurt mixed with some grated lemon rind and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. The poppy seeds are a must!
Find the recipe here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I've been slacking of. I know. It seems like the dead of winter has gotten the best of me. I try to post something new at least once a week, but lately with all this dreary grey all around me inspiration has avoided me like the plague. I don't seem to have any new ideas. It might be February, or maybe I don't get enough vitamin D. Or maybe I'm just a friggin' cry baby. Those around me would definitely concur with the latter.
So why not make some good old fashioned soul warming beef stew or maybe a gooey chocolate cake? Right?
Mostly because I haven't had time lately for anything elaborate, but also because I'm one of those strange creatures who craves something fresh and crunchy ( and most of the time out of season) in the middle of winter. I'd swap my hot chicken soup with kale and roasted garlic for a bowl of fresh Ontario cherries right about now. Any takers?
So on one of these sunless days last week I decided to put some crunch in my lunch.
Like so:

Toss some frisee salad with thinly sliced fennel, sliced cara cara oranges and torn fresh mozzarella. Drizzle with a vinaigrette made of extra virgin olive oil, cider vinegar, grainy mustard, fennel seeds, sea salt and a bit of honey. Finish it off with freshly ground black pepper. You could also add some thinly sliced prosciutto to round out the meal. Or maybe a glass of crisp Chardonnay to toast the warm days ahead.