Savoy Cabbage Slaw

This is the time of year when pickings are slim at most farmer’s markets. In February and March, even here in California, it is hard to find anything that inspires the home cook. On my most recent trip I came across a vendor that had some promising looking Savoy cabbages.

Savoy Cabbage

Savoy Cabbage

My first thought was cabbage soup – I have a great recipe for one that involves chicken stock and potatoes – but the weather has been warmer than usual so I decided to make a cabbage slaw for tacos.

First, wash the cabbages. Core them by slicing them in half and cutting out the thick middle stem.

Core the Cabbage

Core the Cabbage

Flip the cabbage halves over and slice them finely into shreds. I add finely sliced radishes and red onion to the mix.

Cabbage, Radishes and Red Onion

Cabbage, Radishes and Red Onion

Squeeze the juice of a few limes over the mixture and toss in a bowl. Generously salt and pepper the slaw.

Savoy Cabbage Slaw

Savoy Cabbage Slaw

This can be used as a topping for any kind of taco – my favorite is grilled fish. It can also be used as a salad for any rich meat dish. The fresh taste of cabbage and the snappy bite of radish is great to offset roasted pork, beef or duck.

Think of spring as you enjoy this!

Some Basics

Part of the fun and challenge of loving to cook is deciding each day what to prepare for dinner. Like most people I get stuck in a rut making the same five dishes over and over. My teenage daughters are great about reminding me that I should switch it up. Usually the look of disappointment and the deadpanned “(salmon – chicken – tacos) again?” works. I do, however, rely of some basics to create new dishes. Homemade pesto is one ingredient I never tire of.

As I have mentioned earlier I am allergic to tree nuts. That hasn’t stopped me from creating some wonderful pesto by either eliminating the pine nuts or using sunflower or sesame seeds in their place. I always have basil growing in my garden, but I have also used arugula, parsley and cilantro for the green ingredient. A good amount of olive oil, parmesan cheese and garlic bind it all together for a delicious boost to many dishes. As usual, I don’t use a recipe. I gather as much basil (washed) as can fit into my food processor and pour a generous amount of olive oil to get it started. Toss in a few peeled garlic cloves, a generous grinding of black pepper and sea salt. Then blend away! I add more olive oil until the consistency looks right. Add a handful of grated parmesan cheese, blend again, and you have pesto. Add this to scrambled eggs, meatloaf, risotto, beans and of course pasta.

Tonight I have grabbed the remains of some of that pesto and a hard boiled egg.

Pesto and Egg

Pesto and Egg

I have prepared some al dente spaghetti and have tossed it with the pesto. I have drained and rinsed a can of cannellini beans and quickly sautéed them in some olive oil and chopped garlic.

Cannellini Beans

Cannellini Beans

Place the pesto spaghetti in a bowl, top with the beans, garnish with a half hardboiled egg and a dollop of pesto.

Pesto Spaghetti with Beans and Egg

Pesto Spaghetti with Beans and Egg

Add grated cheese – simple and delicious!

 

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Preserved Citrus

It is that time of year again! The citrus trees in our yard are heavy with ripe fruit and I am busy packing boxes to ship to my relatives on the East Coast. I have been seeing a lot of recipes for dishes that contain preserved lemons and I have decided to preserve a jar of my Bearss limes. They are a little sweeter than lemons, but have a bright yellow color when  ripe and are bursting with juice.

Ripe Bearss Limes

Ripe Bearss Limes

I scrub and dry enough limes to fit into a large sterilized Mason jar. The limes are then sliced into quarters without completely cutting through to the end.

Sliced - but intact

Sliced – but intact

I pour a heaping tablespoon of coarse sea salt into the center of each lime.

Sea Salted Lime

Sea Salted Lime

I place the lime top down into the mason jar and press firmly with the back of my (clean) hand squeezing some of the juice as I go. Repeat this until the jar is packed full and juice surrounds all of the fruit. A wonderful benefit is that your hands smell of fresh citrus all day!

Pressed Fruit

Pressed Fruit

Place the jar in your refrigerator. Wait about two weeks and use in any recipe that calls for preserved lemons. I suppose this could be done with any citrus fruit.  You would have some creative results tweaking traditional recipes that contain preserved lemons by replacing with the citrus of your choice. I will post a recipe with these as soon as they are ready!

Ready to Refrigerate

Ready to Refrigerate

 

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Orange Rosemary Marmalade

My relatives on the East Coast have historically been the beneficiaries of our abundance of citrus. It tends to ripen all at the same time in February and March. I wash it and pack it into “if it fits – it ships” boxes along with a recipe for lemon bars, lemon chicken etc. There is always more than I can ship and the fruit starts dropping to the ground rendering it “lost”. This year I have decided to make marmalade.

I picked about six large oranges and scrubbed them well.

I prefer a more savory marmalade so I chose to add rosemary to the oranges. The rosemary is beautiful with its small blue flowers.

After scrubbing the oranges I sliced them very thinly and cut the disks into eighths. The sliced oranges, and six cups of water are added to a large pot and cooked at a full boil for about 45 minutes – or until reduced by about half. The orange rind should be quite soft. Add three cups of sugar and a handful of fresh rosemary to the pot and bring it to a boil again. Be careful to watch the pot to make sure it doesn’t boil over – if it does just reduce the heat to control the situation. Once the mixture thickens (fifteen minutes or so) test it for readiness by putting a spoonful on a cold plate – wait a full minute and tilt the dish to see if it is runny or jam-like. If it is runny, continue to cook until a thicker consistency is obtained. Can the marmalade according to “Libby’s” instructions – boiling the jars and returning the filled containers to a hot bath to be sterilized (it’s really not as hard as it sounds).

Serve on toast or drizzled over honey yogurt.

©All content property of Renee Fields and Farmer’s Market Table