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Ravioli with Onions, Peas, and Basil

Pasta is such a wonderful vehicle for veggies. Honestly, it’s my go-to pantry staples when I want to combine a lot of different vegetables together.

What you need:

  • 2-3 purplette onions, blubs sliced
  • Snap peas, sliced on the bias or diagonal
  • Handful of basil, torn or sliced
  • 1 package Ravoli
  • Butter
  • Feta Cheese, or you favorite cheese

Boil water, and salt for pasta.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta as instructed on package.

Meanwhile, in a pan over medium heat, cook till onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.

The pasta should be done. Add pasta and peas to pan, add dash of pasta cooking water, and butter. Cook for another minutes or so until the pasta is coating with the ymminess in the pan. Toss in basil.

Serve hot with crumbled feta on top.

Zucchini Lemon Crepes

My mom makes a delicious zucchini souffle recipe, but I don’t feel like turning on my oven this week! So we are going to use the same flavors to make our savory summer crepes. They will whip up in no time. 

This recipe makes 4 pancakes/crepes. It can serve 2-4 people depending on what you’re serving it with. 

What you need: 

  • 1 medium zucchini, any variety
  • 1 lemon, zest & juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • Dash of paprika or harissa spice
  • Salt & pepper
  • Oil
  • Water, 1 scant cup
  • Goat cheese or yogurt for serving

Grate your zucchini onto a kitchen towel. Ring out any excess moisture, this is key. Toss with the lemon juice, then with the flour and spices. Mix in half a cup of water and the egg, then add in another scant cup of water till you like the consistency. Stir in the lemon zest. 

Pop the batter into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (This helps the flour absorb the water, resulting in a more tender crepe.)

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Use a gulg of sunflower oil to cook your crepes. Pour out a quarter of your batter and cook each side for about 2 minutes. When the edges of the pancakes curl from the side of the pan, filp. Cook the rest of the batter. 

Serve warm or cold with lemon yogurt or your favorite cheese!

Star Ingredient: Mustard Greens

When I was a little boy I thought mustard greens were as bad as mustard gas.  I loved the mustard that I put on hamburgers and hot dogs but mustard greens?  Yuck!  I wondered how something so bitter could make my favorite condiment…but then as I got older and explored different types of cooking I started loving them more and more!  I rarely eat a salad now without young mustard leaves in it.  Heck, you’ve probably eaten mustard greens without even knowing it since many restaurants and stores use them in their salad mixes.  So how about that?  Mustard greens, a vegetable that I avoided at all costs when I was young is now the Star Ingredient of the Week!

Let’s Talk Mustard!

First and foremost, we need to point out that the mustard plant is in our most favorite plant family, Brassicaceae.  From there it’s broken into 4 subgroups and then divided even further because there are soooo many types of mustard plants.  When we talk about mustard greens we’re just talking about the leaf mustard group.  The leaves, seeds and stems of these types of mustard are edible and appear in so many types of cuisines.  It’s grown for food, as a “green manure” to act as a mulch to suppress weeds between crops and even as a way to remove heavy metals, such as lead, from the soil in hazardous waste sites.  Wow…that’s some plant!

Now Let’s Talk About Nutrition!

Get this…mustard greens are one of the Superfoods (nutrient-rich foods considered especially beneficial for health and well-being) since they’re low in calories and rich in fiber and micronutrients.

One cup of chopped raw mustard greens is only 15 calories and extremely high in Vitamins K & C.  It also has Vitamins A, B6 & E plus fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, riboflavin and other antioxidants.

How To Take Care Of This Week’s Star!

If you’re planning on eating your mustard greens right away, simply wash them like you would any other type of greens/lettuce with water and drain thoroughly.  If you need to keep them for a few days, gently wrap unwashed mustard greens in paper towels and store loosely in plastic bags in the lower part of the fridge.  They can keep for up to 5 days.  You can even freeze your mustard greens after washing & blanching them for cooking in the future. 

How To Prepare Your Mustard Greens!

One question most people have is how to get the bitterness out of mustard greens.  Use salt.  Salt is a friend to bitter greens, whether you plan to eat them raw or cooked.  You can bacon, ham, pancetta to help in this endeavor.  And there are so many ways to eat mustard greens…you can eat them raw, cooked, steamed, sauteed or simmered.  Prepare mustard greens like you would spinach but expect a stronger flavor and “bite”.   Chef Diana has a great Garlicky Mustard Greens recipe that she’s sharing with us this week so be sure to check that out after reading this!

So, there you have it!  Give mustard a chance and you’ll be rewarded with flavor plus a boatload of vitamins & nutrients.

-Johnny Kat

Garlicky Mustard Greens

Mustard greens love garlic, so let’s really go for it with this dish. Mature mustard greens are best cooked with lots of seasoning, they can take it! You can serve this as a stand-alone side, throw it into a stir fry, or toss it with noodles.

If you have some purplette onions you want to use, simply cook them until translucent and then continue with the recipe below!

What you need: 

  • 1 bunch mustard greens, stems removed
  • 1 garlic scape, diced (this stuff is powerful)
  • Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dash of Soy Sauce

Roughly chop the greens into large pieces. Heat a glug of oil over medium-high heat and cook the garlic scapes for a minute. Add the greens and season with salt & pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes until the greens are tender (turning frequently), then add a dash of soy sauce at the end!

Mustard greens go well with peanuts, so you can crumble some on top of your greens. 

Garlic Scape & Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

What’s a Garlic Scape? They are garlic shoots & flowers that take energy away from a garlic plants’ bulb growing efforts, so farmers cut them off to help their plants focus on growing big bulbs…which become the very familiar garlic cloves! They are so delicious, and very garlicky!! Use them in any recipe calling for garlic: stir frys, pesto, pasta, etc.

What you need:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes, roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, pit and skin removed
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey
  • Optional, a handful of fresh herbs
  • A glug of oil for consistency

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blitz until smooth. It’s that simple. Season to taste. 

Serve as a salad dressing or use as a dip on a snack platter. 

Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. To keep the surface from browning, seal with plastic wrap right on top of the surface of the dressing. This will prevent air from oxidizing the avocado.

Squash Blossom & Tomato Pizza

This pizza is a celebration of spring and summer colliding. Make your pesto from this week’s kohlrabi greens, spinach, or radish tops. Then top with ricotta, tomatoes, and blossoms if you have them! I can’t wait to dig in!!

What you need for the pizza:

  • Scant ⅓   cup pesto
  • Half a cup of ricotta cheese
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • A few squash blossoms
  • 1 pizza crust, or homemade pizza dough

Heat oven to 450F, if you are using a pizza stone preheat with the oven. 

Spoon the pesto onto your crust then top with the ricotta, tomatoes, and blossoms. Season with salt & pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is crisp and cheese is melted. If you don’t have a pizza stone, bake directly on the oven racks if you are using a pre-cooked crust. Serve warm!

Apple, Snap Pea, & Kohlrabi Slaw

I really like a crunchy salad and that’s what a slaw is! I consider coleslaw to have a creamy dressing. And simply a slaw to have a light vinegar based dressing. Whatever it’s called, it’s delicious. 

What you need: 

  • 1-2 apples
  • A handful of snap peas
  • 1-2 kohlrabis, leaves trimmed
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Or 2 Tablespoons of vinegar
  • Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Slice the snap peas on the bias or diagonal, thinly. Cut the apple and kohlrabi into thin slices or matchsticks. Toss everything together, season to taste. Serve cold. 

Kohlrabi Schnitzel

with Spicy Yogurt & Tomato Relish

What is schnitzel? It’s traditionally a thin piece of meat that is breaded and fried; however, there is no reason you can’t schnitzel your veggies! My vegetable goal this year is to get people to love kohlrabi, so I figured a good place to start is by slathering it with deliciousness! However, I’m baking these instead of frying to make them a bit lighter and pairing them with yogurt and fresh tomatoes to cut through the richness. 

Recipe Notes: If you don’t have matzo crumbs, then you can use bread crumbs or panko. I also love to bread items with pretzels that I’ve blitzed in the food processor.

What you need: 

  • 2-3 young kohlrabis, leaves removed (make them into a pesto)
  • ½  cup of flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten and thinned with a dash of water
  • ⅓ cup grated cheese, lanchengo or parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Paprika or Harissa
  • Oil
  • ½ cup plainYogurt
  • Handful of fresh tomatoes 
  • and any fresh herb

Heat oven to 350 F and bring a pot of water to a boil.

The trick to tender kohlrabi is to par boil it before breading, so it is soft in the center. Since the kohlrabi we are using are young, we do not need to peel the skin off. Simple trim the leaves off and cut into ¼ inch round slices. Boil them for about 5 minutes, then let drain in a colander.

Now it’s time to set out the breading station. Find three plates or bowls that will fit your kohlrabi rounds with ample room for your fingers. Set up the station as follows: 1. Flour seasoned with salt & pepper. 2. The lightly beaten eggs 3. The bread crumbs & grated cheese mixed together. Generously oil a baking sheet. Now you are all set!

Take each slice of kohlrabi and dip it in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, always shake any excess off between bowls. This is the messy part! If you have a kitchen partner, assign one person to dry and one to wet, so your hands don’t get really messy. Place each slice onto your baking sheet and drizzle with more oil. 

Bake for about 15 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through. You want them golden and crispy! Serve hot!

I like to serve with a harissa yogurt sauce and fresh tomato relish

Pan Roasted Radishes and Kohlrabi

with Brown Butter & Vermouth

You can make this dish with just the radishes if you’d prefer. I love pan roasting radishes with butter, and the vermouth has a beautiful herbaceous note!

What you need: 

  • Butter, about 3 Tablespoons
  • 1 bunch of radishes, cut in half lengthwise
  • The radishes tops, reserved till the end
  • 2-3 small kohlrabis, tops removed & cut into wedges
  • 1 cup white vermouth
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Any seasoning you’d like

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook it until it foams and separates, then trunks brown and smells nutty. This takes about 5 minutes. (You’ve just made brown butter!) Remove from heat.

Add radishes, kohlrabi, vermouth, and ¾ cup water to the pan. Season with salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced to a glaze. About 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, toss in the radish tops for color and spice!

Cherry Tomato & Basil Bruschetta

The first tomatoes of the season have arrived! It may be cliche…but I had to make bruschetta. It’s so simple and lets these beauties shine. I prefer a light vinegar instead of balsamic because I find it’s heavier flavor tends to overwhelm. You do you…

How I make summer bruschetta:

  1. Take a handful of cherry tomatoes and slice in half or quarters, depending on their size. Toss with a splash of lemon vinegar and oil, season with salt & pepper. Add some fresh herbs in there too!
  2. Toast some crusty bread, even better pan fry some bread slices in olive oil…but the toaster does the trick!
  3. If you’re feeling cheesy, spread a layer of goat cheese or ricotta onto your toasty bread.
  4. Simply spoon the tomatoes on your bread and enjoy.

It’s so simple, so satisfying, & one of my favorite warm weather go-tos.