DEBORAH CROMBIE: Back in January, my daughter and I embarked on an adventure we'd wanted to try for the last couple of years. We signed up for an organic produce co-op. We pick up our half share every other Saturday from a drop point that is about two blocks from my house.
At first we thought a half share might not be enough for two two-person households, but we've found it works out pretty well. My daughter got the lion's share when I was traveling so much in the winter and spring. (We'll see if we fight over the corn and tomatoes when the summer crops start coming in!)
But as the produce is all organic and most is local and seasonal, our winter/spring shares have presented some challenges. We're both good cooks and adventurous eaters, but we'd never had kohlrabi, or sorrel, and had no idea there were so many things you could do with beets. A few items defeated us, like the weird radish-like THING. I think it was a vegetable...
Last Saturday's share, pictured above, contained, among the bounty, an unidentified but yummy green, and dandelion greens. So far I haven't done more than nibble at the dandelions, although they're supposed to be really good for you. (Any suggestions, folks?)
I did make the suggested recipe from the previous pick-up, which was absolutely delish:
SHITAKE AND GREENS BREAKFAST TORTILLAS
(I cooked all the greens, onions and mushrooms, then used them with eggs and tortillas over a few days. There was no way dear hubby would eat greens or shitake mushrooms!)
1 dozen organic eggs
1 clamshell organic shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 bunch organic greens (sorrel, spinach, chard, or beet greens) chopped
1 organic yellow onion, sliced
12 organic corn tortillas
real salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp organic butter
Scramble eggs in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions, stirring occasionally until softened. Add mushrooms, cook 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped greens and stir until softened. Add 1 tbsp butter and season with salt and pepper. Place in bowl and set aside.
Reduce heat to low and 2 tbsp oil to skillet. Add eggs. Push eggs around pan occasionally. When the eggs are almost done, remove skillet from heat and finish cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste and place eggs in bowl.
Heat the tortillas in the skillet. To serve, spoon eggs into a tortilla and top with mushroom mixture.
(Courtesy of the Urban Acres Kitchen.)
While I was trying these sometimes strange new things, I learned that a friend's mother has been diagnosed with a degenerative disease, and although she is still mobile, she can no longer have food or liquid by mouth. And I couldn't imagine the loss of TASTING. All the weird and wonderful things we can eat are such a joy!
I've also just read our Lucy Burdette's wonderful new book, TOPPED CHEF (which made me want to cook like mad) and I kept going back to one of the book's chapter epigraphs:
"I always tell people, just put it in your mouth," she said. "What's the worst that can happen? You're not going to die. Either you're going to like it or not." Emma Hearst, chef at Sorella
So here's my challenge for today, REDS and READERS: Tell us what you've eaten lately that you've never tried before?