What do I do with...?
Reposting with a better title- I'm starting a small farm in the Hudson Valley that is going to focus on specialty varieties of vegetables and herbs, including some unfamiliar vegetables and varieties with an ethnic heritage. I would like to give out recipes with certain produce so the buyers aren't too afraid to try the unfamiliar. So here's my call for recipes. If you'd like credit, let me know and I'll put your name with it. Anything that tastes good and sounds enticing is fine by me.
Here's a list of some of the more unfamiliar items:
flowering mustard (gai lon)
shungiku (chrysanthemum greens)
mitsuba (Japanese parsley)
green shiso (perilla)
french breakfast radishes
roma (flat) snap beans
kousa squash (Middle Eastern summer squash)
phoona keera cucumbers (russeted Indian variety)
okra (not too unfamiliar, but definitely needs help)
corno di toro peppers
red meat and green meat Chinese winter radishes
kamo (Japanese eggplants)
Thai green eggplants (these are mottled green and slightly longer, more egg shaped than the now-familiar little round guys)
thank you so much and happy cooking!
garlic chives - Saute for pad thai, mix with pork for Chinese-style dumplings, make into savory pancakes
flowering mustard - braise with garlic and serve with oyster sauce. chop into 2" length and saute with garlic, dark/light soy, rice vinegar, chili, sugar, beef and flat rice noodles
escarole - braise until tender. saute in olive oil with garlic, onions and chopped olives. finish sauce with anchovies and lemon juice.
french breakfast radishes - pickle in a vinegar brine with mustard seeds, coriander and garlic. serve these pink radishes with a creamy caramelized onion dip.
okra - saute with chopped onions, garlic, tomato and season with cumin, coriander, turmeric, and red chili powder for an authentic curry. brighten with lemon juice.
Melt butter, throw in a bit of brown sugar (depends on how sweet your vinegar is, but I tend to do this with someone inexpensive vinegar so depend on the brown sugar), and stir together. Throw in the cippolini, stir to coat, then pour in a few hefty glugs of balsamic. Cover and simmer gently, checking to make sure nothing burns, until the onions are cooked through. Uncover when they're done. If the vinegar is too liquidy, cook until it's all thick and covers the onions well. Season well with salt and pepper, since that's what keeps it all from becoming a dessert.
Is it silly to ask why you are growing things that you are not familiar with? It would be a pretty hard sell for me to look to buy something and then to hear the grower say, "I've never really tried that before."
How was this list compiled? I don't mean to be a jerk but I am curious.
re: Ernie Diamond
Not a silly question, but I am in fact familiar with just about everything on the list (with the exception of parsley root and phoona keera cukes)....it's my potential customers that are probably unfamiliar with at least some of them....the list was compiled out of the items I am growing this year and that list was compiled by my crazy attempt to grow everything I can on 1/4 acre of land in the Northeast. (Though I'm used to farming 6 acres or more). I'm growing over 130 different varieties, these are just the "stranger ones".
I am anticipating the big question "what do I do with..." and while I have my stock answers: fennel and orange salad, garlic chive kim chi, escarole and white bean soup, etc., I'm looking for a little diversity and hey, a new way to have some of the veggies myself so I can be better prepared for the market.
Great. I get it now!
Cardoon for gratins, Parsley root for soup with potatoes and leeks or just mashed with potatoes. Pickeled okra (maybe something you can do on your own and sell ready made. Gai Lon (Gai Lan?) great done as broccoli rabe. Cippolini great roasted and topped with balsamic. yardlong beans are great in a curry as are the Thai eggplants.
Were I in youir position, and blessed with infinite time and resources, I would consider having a little taste from day to day of the potential uses, depending on what is in season. Make up a green curry, parsnip soup, roasted padron peppers, etc.
Just a thought and best of luck. Would love to shop at your stand if only I was in the area!