Thursday, April 9, 2009
One of the challenges of getting a produce box delivered is finding things to do with items you don't normally buy. And, now that we get the box weekly, I want to use as much of the box as quickly as possible, to make room for the next delivery, and so that things don't get wasted. I try very hard not to let anything go to waste (and truthfully, nothing does, since we compost), but I've lost several heads of lettuce we couldn't turn into salads fast enough, tomatoes that arrived so ripe they oozed on my counter before I could eat them, and at least a few squashes (one was a carnival squash so hard I could not hack through it with my cleaver, so off to the little green bucket it went).
Thriftiness can go a long way in using up ingredients I'm less than in love with. I've demolished many heads of homely green cabbage (cole slaw, minestrone); felt my life slipping by as I painstakingly pulled the soft little leaves off of pea shoots, only to cook them up and be left with a puny handful of leaves; forced myself to eat the bitterest dandelion greens I made the mistake of not blanching before sauteeing.
Recently we've started to move away from the winter produce (dark greens, navel oranges) to springier stuff (artichokes, strawberries). After many months of chard, kale, and collards, I'm pleased to see some of these cheerier fruits and vegetables. However, winter's not fully behind us, and on Tuesday, snuggled in with the green garlic were three humongous garnet yams.
They're pretty, in a dirty, earthy way. I'd like to do something with them that shows them off a bit, but I'm not sure what. I like yams fine, but they're not something I ever crave, buy, and or think about. I feel compelled to do something other than bake or mash them. So, I'm taking suggestions, sweet or savory.