Salsa Verde or green sauce (in case you didn't know) is a favorite with Mexican cuisine. It is used as a condiment as well as a main ingredient in some recipes like chicken in salsa verde. The basic ingredients are tomatillos, chili peppers, cilantro, & onion but there are many different recipes with more ingredients as well. Salsa verde can be made with raw or roasted ingredients, each having a distinct flavor. It can be eaten with chips, tacos, chicken, steak, eggs, etc.
jalapeño & serrano peppers (1 of each with seeds/veins=very hot - 1 of each without seeds/veins=mild-hot - half of each=mild
cilantro (small handfull about 1-2 tbsp chopped but doesn't need to be chopped - stems can be used too)
small white onion (about a 1/4 cup)
1-2 cloves garlic
*the tomatillos tend to be very sticky, be sure rinse them well.
For the raw salsa place all ingredients in a blender until well blended, add salt & pepper to your liking.
For the roasted salsa, all ingredients (except cilantro) can be roasted in the oven or in a frying pan until they start to blacken (garlic will be ready first, then peppers, tomatillos and lastly the onion) and then place them in blender along with the fresh cilantro until well blended, add salt & pepper to your liking.
You can also make the salsa in a molcajete (mortar & pestle).
Cipollini onions are a smaller, flat onion. There are yellow & red varieties. They are sweeter onions, having more residual sugar than garden-variety white or yellow onions, but not as much as shallots.
Their size & shape makes them great for roasting. Their sweetness also makes them perfect for caramelized onions.
Roasted Cipollini Onions I
Preheat oven to 325°F. Melt butter in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add whole peeled onions and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and roast, tossing occasionally, until deeply caramelized and tender, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
Roasted Cipollini Onions II
Preheat oven to 375°. Wrap whole peeled onions in aluminum foil with a little olive oil & salt & pepper. (herbs optional) Place on oven rack and roast for 25-30 minutes. *Optional - when done roasting squeeze fresh lime juice over the onions.
If you are not a big onion fan, definitely try roasting them. You will change your mind about them guaranteed!
Did you know potatoes are related to peppers, tomatoes, tobacco and eggplant? The nightshade family includes many medicinal plants as well as staple crops, such as potatoes. Although potato tubers aren’t naturally toxic like some nightshades, the green leaves and green skins of tubers exposed to the light are toxic. It’s easy to get bored of the monotony of mashed, baked, and fried potatoes, but here are a few recipes to help you embrace the full potato potential!
Papitas Chambray al Cilantro
* This is a great recipe to use your tiny potatoes
2 cups small red/white potatoes
Salt to taste (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
20 sprigs cilantro, leaves
1 clove garlic
1 green serrano chile, or to taste
1 lemon, juice
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
Cook the potatoes a pot of boiling salted water until soft and can be easily pierced with a toothpick. Then drain.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry the potatoes until the skins begin to wrinkle.
Blend the cilantro leaves along with garlic, serrano chile, lime juice, bouillon and 3/4 cup water. Pour this sauce over the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens green and potatoes are to taste.
Serve as an appetizer or as a side dish.
Potato, Onion, Cabbage Stew
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium leeks, thinly sliced or 2 medium onions, diced
1 medium green cabbage, shredded
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 medium white, peeled and diced
2 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
Thyme, basil, and parsley to taste
Black pepper to taste
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to serve
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, add the leeks/onions and cook until soft and golden around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cabbage and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage begins to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Stir in potatoes, stock, 4 cups water, salt and thyme. Bring soup to a simmer and cook, partly covered, until potatoes begin to fall apart, 45 to 50 minutes. Add more water, as needed, to reach the desired consistency. Season with black pepper and serve, topped with cheese.
Purslane You’ve probably seen purslane hundreds of times in your life but never recognized the diamond in the rough! Purslane is a succulent that survives well in dry and extreme conditions, but we Americans are missing out if we pass it off as a weed. In Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Mexico purslane is a cherished food! Every part of the plant is edible, and it can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked in a soup or stir fry. Purslane’s biggest perk is that it is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy veggie and is rich in vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, iron, and antioxidants! It is even used in traditional Chinese medicine!
Wilt into a soup
Saute with swiss chard and kale and add it to pasta
Add to a smoothie
Substitute for spinach on a sandwich
Add into a stirfry
Feeling bold? Eat it in a salad! Purslane salad with quinoa, peas, and radishes Purslane salad with cherries, feta, and mint Purslane salad with tomatoes, onions, feta cheese, olive oil and lemon dressing
Some of you may only know the turnip as that big waxy orb you see in the grocery store in the fall. Yes, turnips are know to be a fall crop but they can be grown in the spring too. Although they don't reach their common large size in the spring, they are just as delicious. They have a bonus as well!; you can prepare the greens too! Here are a few basic recipe ideas for your turnips:
Sauteed Turnips and Greens
Peel and cut-up turnips and cook along with minced garlic in olive oil in a large skillet until tender. Add the greens and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. (*Bacon can be added too)
Peel, wash, and quarter - Boil 35-45 minutes or until tender - Strain and rinse - Place in large mixing bowl and use fork or immersion blender, add milk and butter and blend to desired consistency (salt and pepper to taste)
Preheat oven to 450 and cut turnip (s) into wedges - mix in a bowl with melted butter (enough to coat), thyme (just a pinch, add more with about 5 minutes left to cook), garlic (shallot, onion, or garlic scapes), a little olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, flip and cook another 15 minutes or until tender.