Daikon radishes are widely used in Asian cuisine. Some grow quite long and regularly will grow more than a foot long. Others are more rounded. We grow white and purple daikons round ones as well as the long icicle type. The spice is in the skin and the centers are crunchy and sweet. You can eat daikons raw in salads or cooked in stir fries along with napa cabbage, bok choi, and any other stir fry favorites. Store them in the fridge in an air tight container or bag. They should last at least a month.
Celeriac is a variety of celery selected for its enlarged root (actually a tuber). It is not common in America but is a stable in Europe. It has a more condensed celery flavor and celery is prepared like a root vegetable. Peel the skin of the celeriac bulb and cube. Then it can be roasted, stewed, or boiled and mashed. If you are looking for an easy way to prepare this unfamiliar vegetable try preparing mashed potatoes using half celeriac and half potatoes. It will store for a long time in the fridge in an airtight container.
While scarlet turnips can be used in any turnip recipe, we like to harvest them when they are young and tender and can be eaten raw. If you find the skin too tough or too spicy it can be peeled, but we prefer to eat these turnips whole (like an apple!).
Also don’t forget to use the greens! When harvested young the greens on these turnips are especially tasty. Use them in place of mustard greens or kale. Remove greens from roots and store separately. Use the greens up within the week, but the roots will keep much longer.
Sweet Potatoes are such a versatile vegetable. You can use them in savory dishes (anything from curries to soups to roasted vegetables) or you can go the sweet route and add a little honey, brown sugar or maple syrup to really bring out the natural sweetness of the sweet potato. They work well either cubed and boiled, baked, or pureed and are a stand out on their own or paired with other ingredients. There is really no limit to what you can do in the kitchen with sweet potato!
CSA members who have received sweet potatoes have noticed that we have left them in their work clothes (still with some residual dirt on them). We have done this because unwashed sweet potatoes store much better for us. When you are ready to cook them simply rinse the dirt off under warm running water. Also sweet potatoes are best stored above 50 degrees so keep them out of your fridge for the longest storage!
Edamame beans are freshly harvested soybeans. To prepare, strip beans from stalks; then cook in salted, boiling water for approximately 5 minutes or until beans inside pods are just tender. Season edamame with salt or soy sauce. To eat edamame simply pop the beans out of the pods in your mouth. They are great hot or cold. The pods themselves are not eaten, just the beans inside.
If you don’t want to eat the beans directly from the pods they can also be popped from the pods by hand and used in salads or substituted for chick peas or other beans in a favorite recipe.
Leeks can be used like onions but are milder. The edible portion is the white/light green base of the stalk. The darker green portions of the leaves can be used to flavor stock. Leeks can burn easily so use a low heat when cooking them.