October 6, 2016

Brassicas Cookbook Giveaway

Brassicas comp 17.indd

“This is the book that will show you why brassicas are among your best friends in the kitchen. And when you see how gorgeous their portraits are, you’ll never look at cabbage or kale the same way again.” 

- Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy

We are tiptoeing into October and all the seasonal rituals that accompany it: adding sweaters and scarves back into our wardrobe, noticing the subtle changes in fall’s foliage and beginning to cook the delicious flavors of the cooler season.
In case you haven’t noticed, brassicas (including cauliflower, broccoli, and kale) have been trending in popularity over the past few years due to their exceptional health benefits and “superfood” status.

Hopefully your October Unprocessed regime is in place, but maybe you could use some tools and tricks to keep you inspired. Well, we think that Laura Russell’s Brassicas, should definitely be on your list of must-have cookbooks this year. Each chapter is devoted to a single vegetable or class of brassicas (such as leafy brassicas, Asian brassicas, or root brassicas), beginning with key information on selection, preparation and nutrition and followed by recipes that capture the best flavor that each has to offer. To give you a sneak preview of the yumminess, we have included a few recipes for you to try out below.

We’re guessing that a lovely recipe book that highlights this season’s most desired ingredients might just inspire you to keep strong and unprocess on into the New Year.

Here's How To Enter, leave a comment 

What is your favorite brassica & how do you like to prepare it?

Reprinted with permission from Brassicas by Laura B. Russell (Ten Speed Press, © 2014). 
Photo credit: Sang An.

No purchase required. Limit one entry per person, please. Entries will close at noon on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Winners are chosen by Random Number Generator and will be announced on our blog, Wednesday, November 2, 2016.

Thank you to everyone who participated!
Our winner is Darla Bell who wrote:

"My all-time family favorite Brassica is cabbage! I slice it into round wedges place it on a cookie sheet under the broiler sprayed with avocado oil on both sides salt and pepper and chopped garlic... Broil until it's crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. Simply delicious! I can't wait for my shipment so I can make it!" 

Photo Credit: Sang An

Spicy Soba Noodles with Wilted Watercress

Soba noodles, hearty and flavorful Japanese noodles made from either buckwheat only or buckwheat and wheat flour, pair perfectly with peppery watercress and a spicy dressing. This hassle-free side dish could not be easier, requiring no cutting at all. The watercress does not need cooking; it just needs a quick wilt, so tossing it in the hot pan with the freshly cooked noodles and sauce will do the trick. Look for the soba noodles, chile-garlic sauce (a mixture of chile, garlic, and vinegar), and toasted sesame oil in the Asian foods section of your grocery store. If you find watercress, a large bunch should be enough. If only upland cress is available, grab a couple small bunches.

8 ounces dried soba noodles
21/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
6 cups stemmed watercress or upland cress
1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook for about 8 minutes, or according to package directions, until done. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, in a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce, and sesame oil.

Drain the noodles in a colander set in the sink. Put the watercress in the hot pan. (If you are using 100 percent buckwheat soba, the noodles may be excessively starchy. Give them a quick rinse with hot tap water.) Return the noodles to the pan along with the canola oil. Using tongs, toss to combine. The watercress should wilt from the residual heat of the pan and the noodles. Add the sauce and toss until well incorporated. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4

For a print friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Photo Credit: Sang An

Grilled Baby Bok Choy with Miso Butter

Boiling or steaming bok choy often results in a watery, stringy vegetable. But grilling halved heads of bok choy slathered with miso butter leads to pure flavor. Be sure to keep the heat at medium so the paste can car-amelize without burning. My first few attempts at grilling bok choy (I used Shanghai bok choy) resulted in charred leaves that were too crisp to enjoy. Now I separate the leaves from the stalks and use them raw in a salad that wilts under the heat of the grilled vegetable. Use white or yellow miso paste in this recipe. If you use a darker miso, know that it will be saltier. Make this side dish when you are already firing up the grill for the main course.

1 1/2 pounds baby bok choy (about 6 heads) or Shanghai bok choy
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste (see note)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the leaves away from the bok choy stalks. Halve the stalks lengthwise. Rinse the leaves and stalks well, then pat dry to remove any excess water. In a small bowl, mix together the butter and miso with a fork until well combined. Set aside.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Put the bok choy stalks in a large bowl. Using your hands (or a fork), coat the bok choy with the miso butter. Arrange the bok choy, cut side down, on the grill grate. (If you have a grill screen, set it on top of the grate before adding the bok choy, to keep the stalks from falling through the gaps.) Close the lid and grill for about 5 minutes, until golden brown on the underside. Turn the bok choy with tongs, re-cover, and grill for 5 to 6 minutes more, until golden and crisp-tender.

While the stalks are cooking, stack the bok choy leaves and roll them up lengthwise into a cigar shape. Slice the leaves crosswise into thin shreds. Make a bed of the shredded leaves on a serving platter. Drizzle the leaves with the oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with the salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and toss to combine. Put the grilled bok choy on the dressed salad to wilt the leaves; sprinkle additional pepper over the bok choy. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

For a print friendly version, click here.