Cooking with Ancient Vegetables
Good morning! The other day I posted a Youtube video discussing unique, earthy ancient vegetables that many are afraid to cook with because they don’t know how to cook with them. The video is just that–a discussion, not a cooking show. But as promised, below are recipes for those vegetables I discussed in the video that I make quite often. Vegetables like beets, and bone marrow (not so much a vegetable, but used for protein), turnips were used by the poorest of the poor in the 18th and 19th centuries, when people couldn’t afford anything else. It gave them the nutrients they needed and could be harvest and found right in their own back yards. These are easy recipes that offer you an opportunity to get to know these vegetables on a deeper level.
Get comfortable cooking with beets, fennel, dandelion greens, and turnips:
Mashed Turnips with Crispy Turkey Bacon-
Simmer peeled and cut-up turnips in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash with butter, salt, and pepper. Fold in crumbled cooked bacon and chopped chives; top with shaved Parmesan.
Peel turnips, then halve horizontally and quarter halves. Arrange turnips in one layer in a 12-inch heavy skillet and add enough water (about 1 1/2 cups) to reach halfway up turnips. Add butter, sugar, and salt and boil over moderately high heat, covered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Boil turnips, uncovered, stirring until tender, and water has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
Saute turnips over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden brown-about 5 minutes more. Add 3 tablespoons water and stir to coat turnips with glaze. 2 lb small to medium (purple top) turnips
About 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Stevia (sugar substitute) or honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
Garnish: chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Dandelion Greens sautéed:
Cook greens in a 10-to 12-quart pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 8 quarts water), uncovered, until ribs are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking and drain well, gently pressing out excess water.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic and red-pepper flakes, stirring, until pale golden, about 45 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high, then add greens and sea salt and sauté until coated with oil and heated through, about 4 minutes. 3 pound dandelion greens, tough lower stems discarded and leaves cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Cheesy Beet Flatbread Pizza
2 Beets (use bulb only; rinse and peeled)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1 clove garlic
1⁄8 cup olive oil (roughly 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste; optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (if desired)
Iodized sea salt
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
Sprouted 7-grain Flatbread
Set oven temperature to 400 °F.
To make the hummus, in a food processor, puree 1/2 of the can of chickpeas and garlic with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini (if using), cumin, and 2 pinches of salt, until smooth and creamy. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl. In a juicer, juice one whole beet. Take care to make sure any roughage is discarded and beet juice is smooth. Add 2.5 to 3 ounces of the juice to your hummus mixture. **You may substitute already made beet juice if you don’t have a juicer (Lakewood organic pure beet juice—same measurements apply). Add another 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and mix thoroughly until hummus looks a pale pink color.
On a separate work surface, grate the other whole beet and set aside. Spread the hummus mixture onto the flatbread with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Add 1/4 of the cup of grated Pecorino Cheese, then add the grated beets, and top with the remainder of the cheese.
Set the pizza on the center rack, and cook for roughly 3 minutes. Lower temperature to 375°F and cook for another 1-2 minutes. (Look for the edges of the pizza crust to turn slightly brown and cheese melted. Flatbread cooks fast, so keep a close eye on it).
For Fennel Juice see my recipe here: Wild Orange and Fennel.
Cooking with Ancient Vegetables Youtube video: