October 28, 2009: This week’s featured fruits and vegetables are: Sweet potatoes, peppers, white potatoes, salad mix, lemon grass herb (just the thing for soup or tea in this wet cold weather), radishes, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, and apples.
Recipes: Life with Lemon Grass
Lemon grass – yet another CSA adventure!
Those who have never cooked with this herb before (myself among them) may enjoy this handy tutorial on cooking with lemon grass. There are a number of links to interesting recipes at the bottom of the page, including one for Tom Yum Kung, a soup that promises to boost the immune system. (And for those who prefer visual aides, the same author provides a photo tutorial on preparing lemon grass.)
To use lemon grass with some of our seasonally abundant broccoli, try Thai Vegetable Curry. To add peppers into the mix as well, try Lemon Grass Quinoa Pilaf with broccoli and red peppers. (Never cooked quinoa before? Me either. The same blog has a page with some quinoa tips. Another fun recipe with broccoli and lemon grass is Butternut Squash in Yellow Thai Curry Sauce, which could incorporate some of the great winter squashes we’ve been getting recently.
(While on a curry kick, one could also try this very seasonal Butternut Squash Curry, which uses squash, carrot, red pepper, and broccoli, as well as cabbage, eggplant, and onion – but, sadly, no lemon grass. Similarly, this Detox Indian Style Curry, while bereft of lemon grass, does use broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.)
If all these curries are seeming too complex, one can always fall back on a simple Lemon Grass Tea.
And anyone who still can’t get enough of lemon grass can look at Allrecipe’s Top 20 Lemon Grass recipes – the Vietnamese Chicken and Long Grain Rice Congee and the Lemon Grass and Citrus Poached Salmon both look easy and delicious.
Food For Thought: Composing Compost
This fall I’m looking greedily at all the leaves that cover our yard, and thinking of next spring and summer, when – all chopped up and composted – they will cover my garden.
Composting is surprisingly easy, and is a good step both for gardening and for carbon sequestering! The latest issue of Organic Bytes, the
Organic Consumer Association’s e-newsletter, has a great article on composting, featuring three great videos on backyard composting, worm composting, and composting toilets. Anyone interested in this form of organic recycling should check it out!
Botany of Desire – tonight on TV
Based on the 2001 book of the same name and directed and produced by Michael Schwarz, “The Botany of Desire” is as faithful a TV adaptation as TV adaptations come. True, it may disappoint readers who delight in Pollan’s supple prose and whimsically learned digressions.
But for the uninitiated, the show provides a visually interesting and informative tour of four crops – the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato – that Pollan argues reflect different aspects of human desire.
Pollan’s original thesis is that people and plants form a reciprocal relationship. We have cultivated the apple because of our desire for sweetness, the tulip for beauty, the marijuana plant for intoxication and the potato for control over our sustenance. In turn, these plants have transformed human history.
The human-plant relationship is explored via the stories of the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato. Included: how the apple came to be sweet; “tulip mania” in the Netherlands circa the 1630s, when tulips were traded for large sums of money.
Read the Baltimore Sun article on the documentary here.