Hello and welcome to this week’s Rootabaga subscription release!
We have some familiar favourites in your bags this week, including the perfect ingredients for making a classic German dish, Himmel und Erde. As well as some exciting new products – watermelon radishes and bosc pears! If watermelon radishes are new to you, they don’t taste like watermelon. An heirloom variety of the daikon radish, they have a peppery bite and a bright pink watermelon coloured inside. Their colour makes them a beautiful and standout addition to any winter plate. Today I’ll share 2 methods for eating your radishes, a quick watermelon radish pickle and a roasted version. First, let’s get into this weeks small share:
Watermelon Radishes – Taproot Farms, certified organic
Turnip – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
Yukon Potatoes – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Butternut Squash – Taproot Farms, certified organic
Red Cabbage – Taproot Farms, certified organic
Bosc Pears – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
Bramble Hill Microgreens – Bramble Hill Farm, spray-free
The large produce share has everything above, in addition to:
3.5lbs napa cabbage instead of 2lbs red cabbage – Taproot Farms, certified organic
An extra pound each of turnip and squash
Red Onion – Taproot Farms, certified organic
Hot House Tomatoes – Den Haag Greenhouse
As mentioned, this week’s subscription is inspired by a recipe straight from my German father in-law for Himmel und Erde. Since I first had this meal it has become a favourite of mine during turnip season. The name translates to Heaven and Earth, referring to the German word for potato, ground apple (earth), and apple from up in the sky (heaven). Though I call this a recipe that might be a bit of stretch. When I asked my father in-law how he makes it he said to mash potato, turnip, and apple with butter. The mash is then topped with fried onions and traditionally served with pork sausage. The ratio of potato, turnip, and apple can be adjusted for what you have on hand or to your flavour preference! I like to make mine with roughly 3 parts potato, 2 parts turnip, and 1 part apple.
- Peeled and cubed turnip
- Peeled and cubed potato
- Peeled and cubed apple
- Salt and pepper
- Yellow cooking onions, sliced into half rings
- Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and add in your turnip and potato, about 5 minutes into the cook time add the apple.
- While the veggies are boiling, heat some butter over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt and fry until golden brown and caramelized.
- Once the veggies are soft, drain the cooking liquid (save it for your next soup broth!), and add a few tablespoons of butter or more depending on your batch size. Mash and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the Himmel und Erde topped with the fried onions alongside your favourite sausages!
Himmel und Erde is a simple and comforting dish. The turnip adds so much flavour to mashed potatoes, and the apple brings the perfect amount of complexity and sweetness. Make it for your friends or family and when they ask what you’re making you can respond, Heaven and Earth!
It’s really exciting to have another new vegetable to share this week! I’ve had watermelon radishes before but it was fun experimenting with them more. They’re a great veggie to have in the fridge as you can easily add them to lots of things. They’re deliciously peppery raw and can be roasted to bring out their sweetness. To prepare them just scrub the skin clean and trim off the ends. No need to peel the skin as it’s quite tender. I really like thinly sliced watermelon radishes on the side of a cooked meal to add a crunchy and juicy element, and the pink inside is a lovely bonus! This week I experimented with 2 new to me ways to eat them: pickled and roasted. The pickling tips come straight from the Uprooted kitchen (thanks Emily!) and I overheard a customer talking about roasted radishes (thanks customer!) and looked into the method myself.
First, Quick Pickled Watermelon Radish
Ingredients to make one 16oz mason jar of pickles:
4-5 very thinly sliced watermelon radishes
- Admire the beautiful radish slices! Place the slices in a jar that fits them in tightly without too much extra room.
- Fill the jar half way with white vinegar, fill the rest of the way with water.
- Add a 2:1 ratio of sugar to salt. I used 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon salt for a 16oz jar. Put the lid on your jar and shake it all together. I let my pickles sit overnight and was happy with the flavour the next evening. Quick pickles are very easy and versatile. I wanted to try them quite plain to get a sense of the radish flavour. But you could easily add bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, mustard seed, or other flavourings to the brine. Likewise, you can try white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead of white. And use a higher ratio of vinegar to water if you like a stronger pickle.
I was really happy with how these pickles turned out. They have a lovely pink colour and a mild amount of bite. I served them on the side of a falafel plate with rice, hummus, cucumber, peashoots, tahini sauce, and hummus. I also plan on using them on burgers later this week, which I think will be a nice change from a classic dill pickle!
Second way, Roasted Watermelon Radishes
Halved and quartered watermelon radishes
Fresh herbs (optional but nice! I used cilantro because I had it on hand but I think basil, chives, or parsley would all work well)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the radishes on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until fork tender, about 25-30 minutes.
- Toss with fresh chopped herbs. The green contrasts beautifully with the bright pink of the radish! They have plenty of flavour without any herbs, but I really enjoyed the cilantro with them.
Serve and enjoy! I can’t get enough of roasting veggies and the method works so well for the hardy kinds of vegetables available in the winter. I love having the oven on to keep the house cozy too.
Another meal I’d like to try this week is a butternut squash curry soup with pear and micro greens. I often put an apple in squash soup for sweetness, but I think pear would be a neat flavour to experiment with. I like to blend the soup smooth and stir in some coconut milk for richness. Serving a thick soup with fresh microgreens is one of my favourite ways to eat micros and pea shoots in the winter! If my experiment turns out well I’ll have to share the recipe here.
Have a great week folks! I’d love to hear how you use your pickles or any other winter vegetable pickling tips. They’re so easy, budget friendly, versatile, and are a great addition to many meals.
Looking forward to next week,