Now that summer is in full swing, hopefully many of you are taking some time to invest and ingest the abundance of local seasonal produce we have here in Cape Ann. Whether you explore local farmers markets (Gloucester's at Stage Fort Park on Thursdays from 3-6!), are CSA members (Community Supported Agriculture programs are funded by shareholders who invest in the abundance-- as well as potential risks-- for local farm, and receive a bounty of vegetables each week), or swinging through the Common Crow to pick up your groceries-- there is enough fresh and local produce to keep your fridge's full, your grill's lit, and your family well fed and happy. See below for some awesome recipes highlighting some under-appreciated seasonal finds.
BOK CHOI is a vegetable in the brassica family, related to broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. It is a great source of vitamins C, to help bolster the immune system, vitamin A-- one cup of the leaves provide over 100% of the daily recommended value! It’s also a great source of Vitamin K, critical in bone health.
Bok Choi: Two Ways
1 large bok choi
1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, grated
Either juice of half a lemon or 1 tsp freshly grated ginger, splash of sesame oil, and a splash of soy sauce
Cut off bottom of bok choi and chop the leaves off. Slice the stems into smaller pieces. Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add garlic (and ginger if using) and saute 1 minute. Add bok choi stems and stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add the leaves and cook just to wilt. Remove from heat and finish with either fresh lemon juice or sesame and soy. Option to add a dash of hot pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Great as a side dish for salmon, or in a stir fry with chicken, beef, or tofu!
KOHLRABI is another vegetable of the brassica family, related to broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. It is a fast growing plant, with leaves growing from a bulbous stem that makes it look like a turnip growing on top of the ground. It is high in vitamin C and it’s a good source of fiber and potassium. It is recommended to peel away the tough outer skin before enjoying it raw or cooked.
Kohlrabi: Two Ways
Ingredients: kohlrabi, olive oil, salt
Directions: Toss thinly sliced, unpeeled kohlrabi with olive oil and lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 250 degrees, rotating sheet often. Cooking until deeply golden, 35 minutes to and hour. Transfer to paper towel lined plant and sprinkle with salt.
Ingredients: 2 cups peeled shredded kohlrabi, 1 cup peeled shredded beets, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, ½ tsp dijon, ½ tsp salt, ¼ cup parsley, ½ cup golden raisins and chopped apple
Directions: Whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, dijon, honey and salt. Pour over kohlrabi and beets. Stir in parsley, apples, and raisins. Mix well and enjoy!
GARLIC SCAPES are simply the flower bud of the garlic plant. We remove the scapes in June to encourage the garlic bulbs to size up. Scapes are delicious to eat and taste just like garlic.
Garlic scapes: Two Ways
Brush garlic scapes with oil or melted butter and grill over indirect heat, flipping a few times until soft. Char over flame to finish if desired. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Ingredients: 1 cup chopped garlic scapes (use grilled or raw), 1 lemon, 2 cloves garlic,
1 cup loosely packed arugula, ⅓ cup pecorino cheese (or nutritional yeast for vegan), 3 tbsp roasted almonds, pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, 1 cup olive oil
Directions: Put garlic scapes, zest and juice of lemon, garlic, arugula, pecorino, almonds, and red pepper flakes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Run food processor and slowly drizzle in olive oil until everything is in a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy on nearly anything!
CABBAGE is a member of the brassica family, a relative of kale and broccoli. It’s dense heads can range from green to red and purple and leaves can be smooth or crinkled. It is delicious eaten raw, sauteed, added to soups, and even fermented! It’s a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber.
Sauteed Cabbage with Roasted Beets
1 head cabbage, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2-3 beets, diced and roasted
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray beets with oil and wrap in parchment paper, roasting until tender. Meanwhile, heat butter in large saute pan over medium heat. Add cabbage and cook until softened and starting to brown. Once beets are soft, let cool and peel off skins. Dice beets and combine with cabbage. Season with salt and pepper. Serve as side dish, add pancetta and serve over pasta, or use with salad greens, goat cheese, and apples. Garlic scape pesto would be great with it!
RADICCHIO is a leaf chicory, sometimes called Italian chicory. Radicchio is a good source of selenium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, B-vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E and folate. Radicchio has been known as a healthy food for quite some time. In fact, Pliny the Elder, a Roman author and natural philosopher, claimed in his encyclopedia, “Natural History,” that it was useful to purify the blood and treat insomnia. While this document was written during the first century, it’s actually true that one nutrient found in the radicchio plant, intybus, is a mild pain reliever and sedative.
Grilled Summer Salad
3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil (& more for drizzling)
1 TBSP chopped fresh dill
1 TBSP Sherry wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon
1 tsp honey
6 garlic scapes, trimmed at both ends (or scallions/fresh onions if we are having them! )
1 head romaine lettuce, 1 head red leaf lettuce, 1 head radicchio, all quartered with cores intact
2 summer squash and 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
Whisk dressing ingredients and set aside. Light grill to medium high heat. Arrange prepared veggies on baking sheets, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables: romaine 2 minutes per side, leaf lettuce 1-2 minutes per side, radicchio and squash- 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from grill, core and slice the greens; chop the squash and onions/scapes/scallions. Serve with additional fresh greens, kale that's been massaged with the dressing, or dressed over quinoa/rice. Enjoy!