Friday, September 9, 2011

Vegetable Week Continues: Turnip and Turnip Green Risotto

What to do when you pick up your weekly veggie share and you get enormous turnips with even more enormous turnip greens?  Turnip risotto!

I made turnip risotto last year, but I can't seem to find the recipe anywhere.  I scoured the internet, and I found one on epicurious that looked pretty close to the one I remembered.  Too bad I didn't have any bacon!  Well, I had some frozen turkey bacon on hand, but I didn't think rendering fat from turkey bacon would be the same.

Most of the time I don't have arborio rice handy. Once I substituted brown rice, and the risotto took forever!  However, I do usually have some sushi rice on hand, and it seems to work just as well as arborio rice.  Long-grain white rice also works but take a bit longer.

I couldn't really add both of my enormous turnips to this recipe due to the volume of the turnip greens.  If I did, it would have been turnip and turnip greens with some rice garnish!  I'll have to find another recipe to use my other turnip in.  Any suggestions???

Turnip and Turnip Green Risotto
adapted from

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium turnips or 1 large turnip, preferably with greens, cut turnips into 1/4-inch dice and chop steps (about 3/4 pound total)
5-6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups Arborio or short-grain sushi rice
1 tbsp butter
parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

  1. In a saucepan bring broth to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer. 
  2. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and stir for about 2 minutes. Then add turnips and turnip greens and stir from another 2 minutes.
  3. Add rice to onion and turnip mixture and stir constantly for one minute. 
  4. Stir in 1 cup of broth and cook, stirring constantly and keeping at a strong simmer, until absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about 18 minutes total.
  5. Remove from heat.  Add butter and stir until melted.
  6. Garnish with parmesan cheese (optional)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lentils with Broiled Eggplant

It's definitely the time in the CSA season when I am looking for some new ways to cook vegetables.  As much as I like vegetable stews and soups, I just wasn't in the mood for them tonight.  I had bookmarked a recipe from a few weeks ago, and this week's vegetable share allowed me to try it out!

I've simplified some of the directions, but feel free to look at the original recipe.

Lentils with Broiled Eggplant
adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty via

2 medium eggplants
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup small dark lentils (such as Puy or Castelluccio), rinsed
3 small carrots, keep 1 whole and make 3/8-inch dice with the other two
3 celery stalks, keep 1 whole and make 3/8-inch dice with the other two
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried dill
2 tbsp sour cream or plain yogurt
salt and black pepper

  1. Pierce the eggplants with a sharp knife in a few places. Put them on a foil-lined tray and place directly under a hot broiler for 20 minutes, turning at least once. The eggplants will deflate, and their skin should burn and break.
  2. Remove the eggplants from the heat, and turn the oven down to 275°F.  Cut a slit down the center of the eggplants and scoop out the flesh into a colander. Leave to drain for at least 15 minutes.  Then add 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the drained eggplant.
  3. Mix chopped celery and carrots with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake in oven for about 20 minutes until carrots just tender. 
  4. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan with whole celery stalk and carrot, bay leaf, thyme and onion.  Cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Simmer on a low heat for up to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.  Drain lentils and discard carrot, celery, and bay leaf. Transfer the lentils to a mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and salt and pepper to the lentil mixture to taste. 
  5. When cooked vegetables are done, mix them with the warm lentils, followed by parsley and dill. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Spoon the lentils onto serving plates. Pile some eggplant in the center of each portion and top it with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.
Yields: 4 servings
Active and total time: about an hour

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Last of the Summer Vegetables: Veggie Enchiladas and Black Beans and Rice

We had a wonderful 4-day weekend in Buffalo, but I came home to a week's worth of vegetables from our CSA still to cook!  I searched the internet to figure out what I could make to consume the most number of vegetables.  Since my night classes have started again, I was hoping for a good casserole dish so that I could make something ahead of time and reheat for the rest of the week.

I ended up combining a few different enchilada recipes I found online. There are definitely easier and faster ways to make enchiladas, but my goal this week was purely consumption of maximum vegetables.  If you want to make this faster, you can use a canned enchilada sauce or a simpler enchilada sauce recipe.

Vegetable Enchiladas with Black Beans and Rice
adapted from epicurious, allrecipes, Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, and the back of a Goya can of black beans

1 tbsp butter
3 cups coarsely chopped zucchini and/or yellow crookneck squash
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears) or frozen
1 4-ounce can diced mild green chilies
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 large fresh medium-hot dried chiles, cored, seeded, and minced
3 tbsps corn oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds tomatoes, cored and chopped with their liquid (about 3 cups, can also use canned)
1 cup water or chicken broth
1 tbsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsps freshly squeezed lime juice

Black beans and rice
2 tbsps olive oil
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15.5-ounce can of black beans (undrained)
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp oregano
3/4 cup water or chicken broth
cooked rice

10 six-inch corn tortillas

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Make filling.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and onion and sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes. Mix in corn, canned chilies.  Remove filling from heat into bowl.  Stir in sour cream, ricotta cheese, and 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese.  Set aside.
  3. Make enchilada sauce.  Put oil in medium saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add chiles, onions, and garlic.  Stir occasionally until onions soften, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, sugar, water or chicken broth, salt, and pepper.  Cook for about 20 minutes.  Stir in lime juice.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Puree in blender or food processor.
  4. Make enchiladas. Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Warm each tortilla for about 15 seconds or until flexible. (Can also microwave each for about 30 seconds in a damp paper towel). Place about 1/4 cup of filling in each tortilla.  Roll up, and place seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cup of Monterey Jack.  Place pan into oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until cheese begins browning.
  5. Make black beans and rice. Heat oil in medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, pepper, and garlic.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Yields: 10 enchiladas
Total time: about 2 hours
Active time: about an hour