THE MAINE INGREDIENT

May 19, 2010

Anne Mahle: Spring crops up with a bounty of its own

(Continued from page 1)

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Growing many of these vegetables requires just a little planning and direct seeding in the springtime garden.

Elizabeth Poisson photo

 

BABY ROOT VEGETABLES

• Roasted – of course, with just a little oil, salt and pepper. The sugars in these vegetables make them perfect for roasting, giving them a slightly sweet, rich and mellow flavor. For a twist, use a different kind of oil – sesame, walnut, hazelnut, chili, rosemary or lemon.

• Grilled – only a little oil, salt and pepper needed. Or toss them in the same marinade you like to use for your fish, chicken or steak. Sometimes, I'll just use a simple garlic, lemon and herb marinade and play.

• Roasted radishes – try them; you won't believe it's the same vegetable.

 

BABY BOK CHOY, SWISS CHARD, KALE OR SPINACH

• With browned garlic – slice garlic thinly, saute in olive oil until brown, and add bok choy or chopped greens, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.

• Asian style – add bok choy or chopped chard to hot oil and saute. Add sesame seeds, tamari and a tiny bit of honey.

• Spicy – saute garlic and red pepper flakes in a little extra virgin olive oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the greens and sea salt, and turn with tongs.

 

BROCCOLI AND BROCCOLI RAAB

• Sometimes, I'll cut the tender leaves and shoots from a broccoli plant to use as a "baby broccoli" dish and leave the center shoot to develop a full head of broccoli.

 

MIXED GREENS

• Green Indian rice – puree spinach with parsley and cilantro and water in blender, and use it in place of plain water with your jasmine or basmati rice for an Indian-style rice.

• Soup – add chopped greens to a bean or vegetable soup 15 minutes before serving for a color-and-vitamin boost.

• As a bed – for grilled fish, chicken or pork. Toss the greens in a simple vinaigrette that blends well with your other ingredients and let the heat of the grilled fish or meat wilt the greens a little before serving.

• Creamy greens soup – saute greens, garlic and onions in butter until all are tender. Add chicken stock and cream and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree in a blender if desired.

 

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of "At Home, At Sea," a recipe book about her experiences cooking aboard the family's windjammer. She can be reached at: chefannie@mainewindjammer.com

 

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