The thing with having a farm share is that you get what you get and you kind of have to deal with it. I really like our CSA program as a general rule because they're responsive on the rare occasions when there is a problem, they give a lot of green leafy things which I love, and they tell you what the things that they're giving you are. (This doesn't seem like rocket science, but the first CSA program we tried did not see this as necessary.) Of course, just because you know what a vegetable is doesn't mean you know what to do with them. Take tatsoi. Tatsoi is this thing. It kind of looks a little like a bok choi, but not really, and it comes with its roots. I had no idea, before I made this recipe, what it might taste like. Now, our farm share people provided some suggested recipes, but where would the fun be in that? I needed a side dish with my tasty chicken treat and decided to go ahead and see what came out.
The other thing is that you sometimes get vegetables you could live without. I'm not a big fan of sweet peppers but frankly I'm getting quite a lot of them. You may have noticed that I'm using a lot of them lately... I'm trying to find uses for them that are actually value-adding. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I don't see the point of them. Their flavor is generally insipid, not worth the money expended on them or the space they take up. But I've got them, so I might as well use them... I'll admit that the peppers from the farm share are far superior to the ones from the supermarket.
Anyway, I was actually very happy with how this came out. I used the soaking liquid from the mushrooms I used in the chicken recipe from a couple of days ago to cook the rice, which gave it a darker color and a richer flavor. You can use all vegetable broth if you want, or water. What really surprised me - in a pleasant way of course - was how nicely the garlic flavor came through.
Brown Rice with Tatsoi and Peppers (serves 4; $2.41/serving)
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 cup soaking liquid from dried black trumpet mushrooms (optional, see above)
1 cup vegetable broth
3 tatsoi, washed and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and very thinly sliced
1 purple pepper, seeded and very thinly sliced
1 onion, very thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
- Medium saucepan with a glass lid
- Saute pan
- Combine the soaking liquid and the broth in the saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Add the rice and return to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy. This is why the lid is glass.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in the saute pan.
- Add the onion, garlic and peppers. Saute over medium-low heat until the peppers are soft.
- Add the tatsoi and cook until the tatsoi are wilted and bright.
- When the rice is done, combine it and the vegetables in your serving bowl and serve.