Monday, June 1, 2009

Hon Tsai Tai, Pea Vine, and other Veggie Delights

Wow. I am so enjoying the bounty of our latest box of goodies from Harmony Valley Farm. So far, we have made from our box:

Pea Vine, Hon Tsai Tai Stir Fry
Orange Pea Vine Salad
Roasted Rhubarb and Apples
Rhubarb Bundt Cake

And I have to say that the stir fry was hands-down the BEST stir fry I have ever made! I am so far psyched with the green garlic, hon tsai tai and pea vines. My four-year-old still says 'eeeew....I don't like that....' at most dishes featuring these new veggies but the veggies shall not be defeated! I read somewhere that a child needs to be introduced to a new food some umpteen number of times before they will decide to like it. So if he has to eat peanut butter and jelly all summer (the old stand-by once he's tried a few bites of the prepared dinner) until he finally gives in that's fine by me! I have faith that he will come around because these dinners have been some of the best this city girl has cooked up in a LONG time!

And yes, you read right, that was ROASTED rhubarb on my list!! This was definitely a recipe for those who like the more natural tart taste of rhubarb. I think next time I will add more sugar or throw some splenda into the mix. The original recipe came from The Wednesday Chef but of course City Girl had to make a few modifications based on what was on hand:

Roasted Rhubarb

7 ounces rhubarb
1 large apple, peeled and sliced
1 lemon
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1/4 c brown sugar (or more to taste)
whipping cream (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the rhubarb strings by using a knife to cut under the top of the string just a bit and then peel it off, down the length of the rhubarb, with your fingers. Cut the rhubarb into 2-to-2 1/2-inch pieces and place in a medium bowl with the apples.
2. Grate the zest of half the lemon into a small bowl and then squeeze the juice of the whole lemon into the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and sugar and stir to combine. Pour over rhubarb and apples and toss to coat.
3. Pour the rhubarb and apple mixture into a baking dish and arrange the pieces so that they lie flat. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

*Some feel that de-stringing the rhubarb is not necessary. I have read that it's better to do so and so gave it a try this time around. It was actually kind of fun to do and the little strings of rhubarb curled up when peeled off and made a pretty little pile on my cutting board.

And last but definitely NOT least, here are the other amazing delectables we cooked up over the past few days.

Pea Vine, Hon Tsai Tai Stir Fry

2 cups of loosely packed pea vines - woody stalks removed, softer stalks and leaves chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 c chopped hon tsai tai - chopped, purple thick stalks separated from the rest
1 green garlic - stalk only, thinly sliced, reserve the garlic head for another use
2 green onions - sliced
1-2 T stir fry oil
Soy Sauce

Cook the chopped purple pieces of hon tsai tai in stir fry oil over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until they begin to soften, stirring often. This part of the hon tsai tai is much 'woodier' than the rest and will require longer cooking time. Once they are beginning to soften, add the green garlic and green onions and cook for 1 minute. Then add the pea vines. The woody stalks of pea vines can be quite tough too, which is why I removed the bottoms of mine. The top half and the leafy parts seemed tender enough. When the pea vines are beginning to soften, add soy sauce to taste. The green garlic and hon tsai tai in this dish lend an AMAZING flavor to the stir fried greens!

You can add any meat you like to this, by stir-frying the meat first until almost done. We stir-fried some chicken separately so that our four year old could have some plain old meat with his rice.

Orange Pea Vine Salad
(City Girl's new fave summer salad!)

3 c spring salad mix, loosely packed
3 c spinach, loosely packed
1 c pea vines, loosely packed
1 sunchoke, cut into thin matchstick pieces
1 orange, peeled and diced

1/4 c orange juice
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 T sesame oil
Few dashes of soy sauce
1 T sugar

Mix the salad ingredients first in a large bowl. In a separate dish mix the dressing. Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss. The dressing will make enough for a few salads, so you can store the rest in the fridge for later use. This salad is a refreshing spring treat, and the splash of orange flavor with sesame oil gives it a bit of Asian flare! Enjoy!!

No comments:

Post a Comment