Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Early Summer Market Stir-Fry

Kohlrabi:  looks like a vegetable from outer space, means "cabbage turnip" in German, is surprisingly light, crispy and and sweet.  If you see these at your local farmer's market, be adventurous and take a few home to peel and cook, because they are truly tasty.  The tops are edible, too.

My market is lucky enough to have a good number of Asian farmers who, currently, are offering all that is young, green and crunchy about early summer.  Daikon radishes from Ly Vu Family Farms came home with me this past Saturday, and were kind of a mystery at first.  They are a large, white, incredibly peppery radish, but it turns out that only the outermost skin stings--peel them, and they have the texture of water chestnuts.  So, what to do with a bounty of produce?  A stir-fry is usually a good way to use a generous market haul.  This one included sugar snap peas, broccoli rabe, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, baby leeks, spring onions, kohlrabi (all from Flora at Bluebird Farms), sirloin steak (Donnell Century Farms, a new vendor this year), and the aforementioned peeled, thinly-sliced daikon radishes from Ly Vu.  

There is really no recipe to follow, and in fact, a good stir-fry is special precisely because you throw in what you have. 

 In general, though, slice your meat thinly against the grain and cook it with a little oil in a saute pan, then set it aside.  

Next, throw in your crunchy veggies, cook until they soften a bit, then add in your greens, meat, and the sauce you fancy.  This stir-fry was dressed up with a 2:1 ratio of rice vinegar to hoisin sauce.  But, use what you like!  A stir-fry is the easiest place to get creative.

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