Saturday, January 09, 2010

Nature's Bounty!

What better way to kick off 2010 than with a big plate of Fronch Toast with homemade jam and a Cara Cara orange from our very own orange tree!? Auspicious beginning.

We got more goodies from the garden when I noticed that our turnips were bulging up and calling out to me. This is my first time ever growing turnips, but not my last. One of my yoga students gave us a packet of seeds for these turnips, and they grew so quickly and were so delicious. I have 3 more runts in the ground and hope to plant a new row or two sometime soon.

I took those turnips and made a batch of Potato-Turnip Soup from "Vegan Italiano" - it was smooth and hearty and perfectly full of turnip-y flavor. We loved it! I haven't used that book much, but not really for any good reason. I was really happy to find this recipe, and wasn't at all surprised that it turned out exactly as described!

Meanwhile, I took ALL THOSE turnip greens and braised them with a little garlic and veggie broth. Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats, hater of all bitter greens, was most emphatically not impressed. They were definitely on the bitter side, but I enjoyed them very much and summarily ate 'em up!

Along with the soup, I made a little side dish... Our lovely friend Gil dropped by in the afternoon with a bag of enormous Chantarelle mushrooms that he had picked out in the forest. These were about 5-6 inches across. It was so generous of him to share with us! He gave me some good instructions on how to cook them up:

Wash them thoroughly. TEAR them up (don't cut, he says). Heat in a skillet with a little oil and a little lemon juice and a little salt. Once they release their juices and are boiling in the juices, drain off the liquid to a separate pan. Then, add a little onion or garlic (I used shallot) and saute til done. Meanwhile, reduce the liquids in another small pan. Then, combine the two elements when complete.

As the world's former Number One Mushroom Hater, I have to say that I really enjoyed the delicious smells of cooking up these mushrooms. But, once I tossed them over a little rotini pasta, I couldn't muster up too much enthusiasm. Ah well, turnip greens for me, mushroom pasta for Mr. VE&Ts. Luckily, nature provided something for each of us to enjoy!


28 comments:

  1. i know what you mean. mushrooms look and smell good, right? but that doesn't help me when i try to eat them. at the fungus fair today i once again delighted in how utterly cool mushrooms are...i really wish i could find them tasty.

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  2. That is a bounty of delicious gifts from the earth indeed!
    Everything looks wonderful...and I can only imagine how joyous it must be to gather oranges from your own tree.

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  3. Yummy! What a beautiful soup. I was thinking of you today when I made my first broccoli soup with the help of the blender! I hadn't touched the recipe before because I thought I needed a food processor, but thanks to your tip, the blender worked great! Soups here I come...:)

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  4. Those turnips are amazing! Maybe I still have time to get some in the ground, too.

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  5. hey!
    if you're ever bored, check out my site too! it's outdated and boring, but all vegan.

    love you, love your turnips.
    xo
    kittee

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  6. Wow, you are so lucky to be able to grow so much of your own food. That turnip soup looks fabulous but I bet it tasted even better knowing that those turnips came from your own backyard.

    You know, I used to hate mushrooms too but over the past few years I've really grown to love them. Especially portabellas!

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  7. Love how you used the whole turnip! That soup looks delicious. I love it when forgotten cookbooks deliver the goods.

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  8. I work on my mushroom likes but I am not quite there yet.

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  9. Nice post! Reminds me of the old kids'rhyme, modified thusly:

    Amey the cook could eat no 'shrooms
    Her man could eat no greens
    And so between the two of them
    They licked the platter clean.

    Love ya!

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  10. How jealous am I that in the middle of winter you can go outside and pluck oranges and turnips?! And that your friends bring you fresh-picked mushrooms? That potato turnip soup looks amazing. I also love that you used the greens, even if Mr VE&T couldn't hang (and probably a much better use than the year I juiced all of our vegetable greens...). An awesome meal on every level.

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  11. Oh, my god. Those mushrooms made me drool. What a generous friend! YUM! Mushrooms are my very favorite thing & those are so beautiful. I'd have taken your portion off your hands, considering you don't like them much. :)

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  12. Auspicious beginnings indeed! I can't believe you have your own orange tree. :-)

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  13. I really love turnip greens and would love to plant my own turnips. Here in Germany nobody ever eats those greens but they are so missing out!

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  14. I'm suffering from garden turnip envy. The ground is frozen solid here.

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  15. I was also recently gifted some chanterelles, 'tis the season I guess! Your turnips looks awesome, I would also love all those greens. So good for you!

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  16. That soup looks like creamy goodness! Over the past couple of years I have been working to overcome my fear of the mushroom texture! Still can't handle the canned variety, though.

    By the way, I received you cookbooklette and it's wonderful! Thank you so much! (I posted a few pics on my blog ;)

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  17. Wait, you have an orange tree, and leaves growing in your garden? Where do you live, Costa Rica? It sounds so warm!

    I am the world's current Number One Mushroom Hater, and I have to tell you, that last picture of the shiny, slimy shrooms made me gag a little. Blech, I just hate their texture and they taste like dirt! I'm with you on the turnip greens, though.

    Lucky you, with your fresh backyard produce!

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  19. What divine looking foodstuffs! This was pretty hilarious. I am a hater of bitter greens as well, but I lurve me some mushrooms!

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  21. I love chanterelles, they're my fav mushroom! The greens look excellent too.

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  24. My, what beautiful turnips you have! hehe. Pretty mushrooms, but I'm so so sure I'd like them either.

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  25. I really like your tip on mushroom cooking , will definitely try that next time when i grab chantarelles.

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  26. Beautiful vegetables! I need to try and grow turnips this year. hmmm.
    Those chanterelles look beautiful. I love love mushrooms. My husband was one of those who never ate mushrooms until he met me. His sister thinks I did something to him because she still won't touch one although she will eat a dead cow. Go figure!

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  27. Those mushrooms look so great. Everything looks REAL great.

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