Welcome to your weekly Rootabaga newsletter. We have a fun new vegetable to share this week from Hutton Family farm – daikon radish! Daikon radishes are traditional ingredients in many East Asian cuisines and can also be called Japanese radish, winter radish, or white radish. They are milder in flavour than red radishes, with sweeter juicy notes rather than a peppery bite. You can eat the skin and enjoy the radish raw, pickled, or cooked. New this week are also Mini Cucumbers! It’s really exciting to see the beginnings of new crops popping up, and we have more in store for the coming weeks. For this week’s recipe I experimented with a Winter Daikon Salad, it’s fresh, crunchy, and highlights the daikon’s delicate flavour! This week in the small share, we also have:
Frozen Cranberries – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
Onions – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
Chioggia Beets – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Mini Cucumbers – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
Sweet Potatoes – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Buttercup Squash – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
Microgreens – Bramble Hill Farm, conventionally-grown
Daikon Radish – Hutton Family Farm, spray-free
The large share has everything above, as well as:
3 mini cucumbers instead of 2
1lb or cranberries instead of ½ a pound
Ambrosia Apples – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
Jalapeño – Stokdijk Greenhouses, conventionally grown. These are the first little tastes of the season, we should have more available for the small share next week.
When trying out a new vegetable I often opt for a simple dish that lets the star ingredient’s flavour shine. To celebrate the mild and juicy daikon, I have a simple and tasty recipe for Winter Daikon Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing. The dressing is from this recipe (https://chefjacooks.com/en/japanese-daikon-salad/), but I modified the salad ingredients to suit what’s available in March in Nova Scotia. Daikon skin can be a bit tough, so it’s recommended when eating it raw to peel it first. However, you can save the skin to throw into a soup or stir-fry. The salad is delicious as a side dish or can be made into a full meal added to a tofu rice bowl. Instructions below!
- 1 daikon radish, peeled and shredded or julienned
- 1 good handful microgreens
- 2 mini cucumbers, julienned
- 1 tablespoon Dulse, finely chopped (optional)
- 4 tablespoons ground sesame seeds (grind sesame seeds in a spice mill or small food processor) or substitute tahini
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon Ash Hill Farm honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or sub other light vinegar)
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Some water to thin if necessary
- Cut and mix the vegetables together in a serving bowl. Prepare the dulse for sprinkling on top.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small jar. I found mine needed a couple tablespoons of water to thin it to my desired consistency. I
- Drizzle the dressing on the salad right before serving and sprinkle with dulse and whole sesame seeds. Leftovers will get soggy if left with the dressing on, so only dress what you plan to eat. Save any leftovers separately in the fridge.
I made this salad as a “topping” for a Crispy Tofu Rice Bowl. To make it as a rice bowl, drain a block of Acadiana Soy Extra-Firm Tofu. Cut the tofu into cubes and toss them in ¼ cup of cornstarch, lots of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Fry the tofu cubes in vegetable oil over medium heat, turning them on each side until golden brown and crispy. Serve the salad as above on a bed of white rice, add the tofu cubes, and drizzle the whole bowl in Creamy Sesame Dressing. This salad would also be delicious on the side of sweet and sour Knoydart Ground Beef meatballs (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/16305/sweet-and-sour-meatballs-ii/).
Also in the produce bags this week are chioggia or candy cane beets. Chioggia beets are the mildest flavoured of the beet varieties we carry. They don’t have the earthy taste that red beets do and for this reason they’re delicious eaten raw. Eating them raw also maintains their beautiful pink stripe. When preparing them, cutting them into thin rounds or julienned yields the tastiest result, too large a piece and they can be difficult to bite through. A delicious salad recipe is one like this:
https://familystylefood.com/candy-cane-beet-salad-with-pistachios-goat-cheese/. If another salad isn’t calling your name, chioggia beets are also common as pickles. Or, you can peel, dice, and roast them like you would other root vegetables, or throw them in an ever versatile vegetable soup.
If you’ve been a Rootabaga subscriber for a while you’ve probably heard about my love of cranberries in baked goods. We love throwing them in our Sunday pancakes or waffles, just add the frozen berries to your favourite batter recipe. The tart cranberry is so tasty with maple syrup. Another favourite recipe is this Acadian Cranberry Pudding (https://www.uprootedmarketcafe.ca/2023/02/01/pink-feta-linguine-recipe/). However, if you’d like a savoury recipe for your cranberries, this Roasted Butternut Squash with Apples, Greens, and Cranberries, could easily be modified to use buttercup squash: https://www.spoonfulofflavor.com/roasted-butternut-squash-with-cranberries-greens-and-apples/
Thank you for joining us for another installment of the Rootabaga subscription program! It’s a special time of year as the spring’s new crops start producing and we get to pass on the bounty to our subscribers.
See you next week,