Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cooking "In the Box"

When I grabbed the dogs to go walking this morning, I noticed a Greenling box sitting next to the door. I thought I had accidentally ordered something (I was looking at turkeys on their website earlier this week), but when I looked closer I realized Micah had ordered it as part of my Christmas gift!

I've been a Greenling customer for several years now but I haven't purchased a Local Box from them in a long while -- I guess because I started my own garden and I felt that I wasn't getting the best deal with the box. I still think what they offer is great but not good enough for me to order once a month -- maybe every few months.

Since it's the cold season, there were a lot of turnips, leafy greens, and a huge head of cauliflower.

Thankfully I didn't have a ton of veggies sitting in the fridge so I had enough space for all the delicious farm goodies. The biggest thing that's sitting in my fridg is a 15# turkey that is getting happy sipping on a delicious brine for Christmas Eve dinner (another post).

Micah spent most of the day brewing, so I decided I would make use of some of the Greenling veggies and make a healthy dinner.

After some googling, I came across these two recipes:

1. Watermelon radish salad
2. Cauliflower soup

If you've never used watermelon radish before, I suggest you try!

The color is gorgeous and it has a nice bitter/peppery bite that is common in radishes, but not as obvious as a regular red radish.

I already had everything else in the fridge for the salad (avocado, lettuce, cilantro, shallots) - it was meant to be.

The salad is tart but very well-balanced. The biggest thing is the presentation! It's such a pretty plate of food!

{coming to you in technicolor!}

When Micah plated his salad, he said, "It really looks like watermelon!"

{sauteeing leeks. make sure you clean them of all the grit before using!}

The cauliflower soup was just we needed on a fairly cold night. I had leeks leftover from last weekend's dinner of mussels and two bags of yukon gold potatoes in the pantry. I love it when I have most of items already in my house!

Look at this ginormous cauliflower head. The cauliflower even had a tinge of purple.

I also had homemade chicken broth in the freezer so I used that. After simmering the veggies for 20 minutes, I threw everything into a blender (in multiple batches) to make a smooth soup. 

After giving the soup a whir in the blender, I put everything back into the pot and added one extra pat of butter plus some extra salt and pepper.

The soup was simple but full of creamy goodness but without the heavy cream! I love the texture and richness that cooked and pureed cauliflower ends up being. While I love raw cauliflower, I like it in this form as well.

{final product}

The reason I started using Greenling's Local Box a few years ago was because I wanted to diversify my cooking. I wanted to use ingredients I wouldn't normally pick up at the store. I veered away from that for awhile, but I might be coming back around due to the surprise Christmas gift!

Thanks, Micah! I really think it's a gift for him too, since the food ends up in his belly.

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