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TIP OF THE DAY: Make Cabbage The New Kale

Head Of Cabbage

Head Of Red Cabbage

Savoy Cabbage

Bok Choy (White Cabbage)

Head Of Napa Cabbage

Top: Familiar green cabbage. Second: Purple cabbage (other varieties are red). Bottom: Savoy cabbage. Third: Savoy cabbage. Fourth: Bok choy or white cabbage. Photos courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco. Bottom: Napa or Chinese cabbage. Photo courtesy MG Produce.

 

St. Patrick’s Day evokes corned beef and cabbage—a dish the Irish learned in America, by the way, from immigrant Jews on New York’s Lower East Side. But we’d like to use the occasion for a plea:

Make cabbage the new kale. Even if you’re not tired of trendy kale, we sure are.

We’re turning back the clock. We were a cabbage lover before we ever heard of kale. Cole slaw and Nana’s stuffed cabbage were favorites while we were still in kindergarten. Next came sauerkraut on hot dogs and the braised red cabbage served with Sauerbraten, the German classic that marinates beef in vinegar or wine.

  • Cabbage is sharp and crunchy when served raw in salads and slaws. Unlike lettuce, it doesn’t wilt under dressing.
  • It becomes soft and suppple when braised over low heat, made into soup or cooked in casseroles. Heat brings out some sweetness.
  • It is both crisp and tender when grilled or added to stir-frys.
  • It plays well with other vegetables: brassicas, root vegetables, potatoes.
  •  
    CABBAGE VS. KALE

    Like kale, cabbage is a brassica (cruciferous vegetable), packed with anticarcinogen antioxidants.

    It even has fewer calories. Here’s a nutritional comparison.

    Eat This Not That highlights 10 greens that are healthier than kale. (This article, based on a report from the Centers For Disease Control [CDC], begs the question: When will chard become the next supergreen?)

    Finally, it’s a much more versatile ingredient, as you’ll discover when you keep reading.
     
    TYPES OF CABBAGE

    With these choices, it doesn’t get dull:

  • Bok choy/white cabbage, crisp, broad, white stems with a nutty nuance; tender, deep green leaves that taste not unlike spinach.
  • Green cabbage, ubiquitous, slightly peppery when raw.
  • Red/purple cabbage, slightly earthier than green cabbage.
  • Savoy cabbage, deeper green color, beautifully crinkled leaves, thinner leaves with mild flavor.
  • Napa† cabbage/Chinese cabbage, oblong shape with frilly, sweeter, softer leaves.
  •  
    You can use them interchangeably in recipes where the cabbage is chopped or sliced, like cole slaw or soup. The round heads are interchangeable, except when color or texture is important.

    While they do have different flavors, bok choy and napa cabbage are interchangeable in stir-fries and braises.

  • Bok choy is white-stemmed with dark green leaves; napa cabbage is pale green with crinkly leaves.
  • Napa cabbage has a very mild flavor along with a peppery kick. Bok choy has a stronger flavor, similar to green cabbage.
  •  
    WAYS TO USE CABBAGE

    For starters:

  • Baked cabbage chips (recipe)
  • Casseroles
  • Lettuce cup substitute
  • Sandwich wraps
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sides
  • Slaws
  • Soups and stews
  • Stuffed cabbage
  •  
    Emeril’s favorite cabbage recipe has bacon and is simmered in beer.

    We’d love to know your favorite cabbage recipe.

    _______________________________
    *The Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables includes arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, horseradish/wasabi, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rapeseed/canola, rapini, rutabaga and turnips, among others.

    †Here, “napa” does not refer to California’s Napa Valley. The word originates from a Japanese term that refers to the leaves of vegetables that are edible. The variety originated near Beijing, China.

     

     
    RECIPE: THAI STEAK SALAD WITH RED CABBAGE

    In addition to Thai salads with cabbage and stuffed cabbage, we now regularly make cabbage wraps.

    Thanks to Quinciple, a weekly curated delivery of farmer’s market produce, for this recipe.

    Ingredients For 1-3 Servings‡

  • 1 sirloin steak
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup red or purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ¼ pound baby greens
  • ¼ cup mixed fresh cilantro and mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, chopped
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SEASON the steak generously on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet with just a few drops of oil in it, sear the steak on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, or longer for more well-done beef. Sirloin tastes best when cooked hot and fast to medium rare. Let the steak cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

    2. WHISK together the juice from the lime, the soy sauce, fish sauce, shallot and olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

    3. SLICE the steak thinly. Toss the greens and cabbage with the dressing. Divide the salad between two plates and top with the steak. Garnish with the mint, cilantro and peanuts.

     

    Thai Steak Salad

    Cabbage Wrap Sandwiches

    Top photo: Thai Steak Salad with red cabbage from Quinciple. Bottom: Savoy cabbage wraps, served with spicy peanut dipping sauce. Here’s the recipe from AHouseInTheHills.com.

     
    __________________________
    ‡Depending on whether you plan to serve the salad as a first course or a main.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Eggplant & Tomatoes With Indian Seasonings

    Eggplant and tomato dishes have found their way into world cuisines: ratatouille and tian in France; caponata from Sicily; Middle Eastern eggplant, tomato and chickpea casserole; among so many others.

    In this recipe, Maya Kaimal, the doyenne of fine prepared Indian foods in the U.S., adds layers of flavor with Indian spices. Slices of fried eggplant are folded into a spicy tomato sauce. Use a nonstick skillet to minimize the amount of oil needed for frying.

    You don’t have to wait until tomato season to enjoy this recipe. You can use canned tomatoes, and fresh in the summer. (We use diced canned San Marzano tomatoes in the off season.)

    Find more of Maya’s authentic recipes at MayaKaimal.com.

    RECIPE: EGGPLANT & TOMATOES WITH INDIAN SPICES

    Use a heart-healthy oil (coconut oil, olive oil, Malaysian palm oil) and this is a “good for you” way to eat your veggies. Prep time is 40 minutes.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 thin Japanese* eggplants cut into ¼-inch rounds (about 4 cups)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • ¼ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned, drained
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Water as needed
  •  
    For The Spice Mixture

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ____________________
    *You can substitute a standard Italian eggplant, cut into ¾-inch chunks.
     
    Preparation

    1. HEAT 2 to 3 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add enough eggplant to cover the pan in a single layer. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, adding more oil as needed for each batch to prevent sticking.

     

    Eggplant & Tomato Recipe

    Brown Mustard Seeds

    Fennel Seeds

    Top: Eggplant in a spicy tomato sauce. Photo courtesy Maya Kaimal. Center: Brown mustard seeds from Maille. Bottom: Fennel seeds from SilkRoadSpices.ca.

     
    2. WIPE the pan clean. Over medium-high heat, heat the mustard and fennel seeds in 1 tablespoon oil until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, salt and spice mixture. Continue frying over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes turn orange and pieces break down to form a soft paste, about 5 minutes.

    3. ADD the reserved eggplant and stir very gently to combine with the tomato mixture. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the eggplant is cooked through, adding water in small amounts if the mixture becomes too dry. Taste and add salt as desired.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Extra Shallots

    Shallot Vinaigrette Recipe

    Shallots

    Oysters With Mignonette Sauce

    Top: Shallot vinaigrette, a French classic
    from Good Eggs. Center: Shallot bulbs have
    individual cloves, like garlic bulbs; photo
    courtesy Burpee. Bottom: Mignonette sauce
    for oysters is shallot vinaigrette without the
    oil.

     

    While they are a staple in France, most Americans don’t keep a store of shallots in the kitchen. Shallots tend to be that specialty onion you purchase for a particular recipe.

    If you buy them for a particular recipe and have a extra shallots, what should you do with them?

  • Milder than onions, they are easy to add to salads, omelets, roasted vegetables and other recipes.
  • You can caramelize them or fry them into a crispy shallot garnish.
  • Use them to top a burger, bruschetta or a pizza, raw or sautéed.
  • Two classic French recipes are shallot vinaigrette and mignonette sauce for oysters. The difference: mignonette sauce has no oil.
  •  
    RECIPE: SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE

    Prep time is 5 minutes, active time is 20 minutes.

    You can double or triple the recipe and keep the extra in the fridge.
     
    Ingredients

  • 2 small shallots, minced (tiny dice, 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    A shallot is different from other onions in that the bulb is made up of individual cloves like a bulb of garlic, its close cousin.

    The technique for dicing shallots and onions is to leave the root end of the bulb or clove intact while you cut. This keeps the bulb together so you can cut pieces that are uniform in size. Here’s a video showing how to peel, slice, dice and chop shallots.

    1. COMBINE the vinegar and minced shallots in a small bowl and set aside for at least 15 minutes.

    2. ADD the olive oil and a pinch of salt, and whisk together until well-combined.

    3. TASTE and add another pinch of salt and pepper as desired.

     
    CRISPY FRIED SHALLOT GARNISH

    Use these to garnish anything savory. We add them to plain grilled fish, meat and poultry for a bit of pizzazz.

    Ingredients

  • ½ pound shallots (about 6), peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. LINE a large plate with paper towels. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer and lightly smoke.

    2. ADD the shallots and cook, stirring often, until light golden brown, about 7-9 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to the paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

     

    WHAT ARE SHALLOTS

    Shallots are an allium, a member of the same botanic species as chives, garlic, leeks, onions and scallions/green onions. They are a milder type of onion, imparting a subtle flavor to recipes. Like garlic, shallots can be separated into cloves.

    Shallots are preferred by French chefs, because their mild flavor doesn’t overpower the other flavors in a dish. Unlike onion flavor, which can be prominent, shallots are a quieter member of the ensemble of ingredients.
     
    Meet The Genus

    The Allium genus comprises some favorite flavor ingredients:

  • Chive: Allium schoenoprasum
  • Garlic: Allium sativum
  • Green onion/scallion: Allium cepa var. cepa
  • Leek: Allium ampeloprasum
  • Onion and spring onion*: Allium cepa
  • Shallot: Allium cepa var. aggregatum
  •  

    Fried Shallot Garnish RecipeFried Shallots

    A crispy fried shallot garnish tops sautéed baby greens. Here’s the recipe from ItsNotEasyEatingGreen.com.

     
    The botanical family is Amaryllidaceae, which contains mainly perennial flowering bulbs such as amaryllis and other lillies, daffodil and tuberose. Allium genus members are also bulbs and also flower, but not in the same, showy way that engenders garden and home decoration.
     
    HERE ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ONIONS.
     
    *Spring onions are immature onions, harvested early in the season.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Sauté Your Greens

    How To Saute Greens

    Green Garlic

    TOP: You can sauté greens in 2-4 minutes,
    with some onion, garlic and olive oil. What
    looks like red-tipped green onions are red
    spring onions, a close relative (see the
    differences below). The green garlic
    tops and bottoms have been minced.
    BOTTOM: Green garlic, available in the
    spring, looks like scallions (but you won’t be
    fooled—the nose knows!). Photos courtesy
    Good Eggs.

     

    Your recommended daily fill of vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, mashed or puréed. A glass of a 100% vegetable juice counts as a serving.
     
    YOUR CHOICE OF VEGGIES

    The USDA organizes vegetables into five subgroups. Your daily servings can come from any of them, although a mixture is best for rounded nutrition:

  • Dark-green vegetables
  • Starchy vegetables, including white potatoes and grains
  • Red and orange vegetables, including sweet potatoes
  • Beans and peas
  • Other (bean sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, green cabbage, lettuce, green/wax beans, mushroom, onion, yellow squash/zucchini, etc.)
  •  
    Women and teen girls should consume 2-1/2 cups daily, men and teen boys, three cups. Younger children get a bit less.

    The USDA has handy charts at ChoseMyPlate.com, including the quantity of each option that constitutes a serving—1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, or 2 cups of raw leafy greens, for example.

    We’re happy to eat our green, red and orange vegetables steamed. When we have more time, we roast root vegetables.
     
    But we rarely sauté all those tasty, leafy, good-for-you “cooking greens” (as compared to salad greens).

    Our friends at Good Eggs, a premium grocery delivery service in San Francisco, nudged us a bit by sending us these tips and recipe.
     
    HOW TO SAUTÉ GREENS

    Use this sauté technique with any and all leafy cooking greens—broccoli rabe, chard, collards, kale, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens, etc.—plus garlic and onions. Sauté the greens in olive oil with the garlic and onions and you’ve got a simple, delicious side.

     
    Don’t hesitate to sauté a medley: Mixed greens give you more flavors to enjoy.

    This is your opportunity to try greens you haven’t had before. You’re bound to enjoy anything sautéed with onions and garlic.

    Ingredients

  • 1 bunch leafy greens, chopped roughly to bite size
  • 1 spring onion including the tops, thinly sliced (substitute green onion—see the differences below)
  • ½ green garlic, white and pale green parts sliced thin*
  • Pinch of salt
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Optional: pinch of chile flakes
  • ____________________
    *If you can find green garlic at a farmers market or upscale produce store, grab it. It looks like scallions (see photo above) but smells like garlic. It’s the baby plant before it matures into the papery-covered bulb of cloves. Otherwise, substitute one or two cloves of garlic, minced.

     

    Preparation

    1. COVER the bottom of a large sauté pan or skillet with olive oil, and place it over medium-heat. Add the garlic, onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions are translucent but before they turn golden brown. While the garlic and onions cook…

    2. PLACE the greens in a colander and rinse quickly with cold water. Shake off the excess but don’t worry about patting dry: a bit of water clinging to the greens will help in the cooking.

    3. TURN the heat to high, add a pinch of chile flakes, then add the greens. Once the greens are in the pan, move them around with a pair of tongs and add a pinch of salt.

    4. SAUTÉ until the greens are just tender, 2-4 minutes (taste to determine). If all of the water has evaporated before then, add a splash of water. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste.
     
    MEET THE ALLIUM GENUS

    Green onion (scallion) and spring onion are different members of the Allium genus, the “onion genus.”

  • Green onions and scallions are different names for the same species. They are either harvested very young from the regular, bulb-forming onions, or are other varieties that never form bulbs. Green onions are milder than other onion varieties; the green tops are milder than the bulbs. The bulbs can be red or white, with white being most commonly found.
  • Spring onions look similar to scallions, but have a base of small round bulbs at the base. They are planted in the fall and then harvested in the spring, hence the name. Spring onions are more intense than green onions, but milder than regular onions. As with green onions, the bulbs can be red or white.
  •  

    Raw  Broccoli Rabe

    Baby Red Chard

    Raw Mustard Greens

    Top: Broccoli rabe, called rapini in Italian. Center: Baby red chard. Bottom: Red mustard greens. Photos courtesy Good Eggs.

  • More confusion: new spring garlic, known as green garlic, can easily be confused with green onions. The are an immature version of the standard cured garlic bulbs (the harvested bulbs are hung up to dry). Good Eggs advises: As the bulb matures, the garlic greens die off. The mature bulbs re harvested in the fall, having developed a number of cloves surrounded by papery cellulose layers. Green garlic has a sweeter, milder flavor than when the mature, cured bulbs.
  • However, as different English-speaking countries use different words to describe something, green onions are called spring onions in the U.K. and Canada. It’s easy to determine what they are in your vocabulary: green onions have a straight bulb at the bottom, spring onions have a round bulb.
  •  
    Here are all the different types of onions.
     
    ALL IN THE FAMILY

    Well, all in the Allium genus (the family is Amaryllidaceae):

  • Chive: Allium schoenoprasum
  • Garlic: Allium sativum
  • Green onion/scallion: Allium cepa var. cepa
  • Leek: Allium ampeloprasum
  • Onion: Allium cepa
  • Shallot: Allium cepa var. aggregatum
  •   

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Savory Galette

    Beet Galette

    Beet and Sweet Potato Galette from Vermont
    Creamery.

     

    Shoo the winter blues away with a colorful galette.

    In the pastry world, a galette is a rustic, open-face pie, made without a pie pan. It is flat, with a turned-up crust that wraps around the filling to create a “dough pan.” It can be round, square or oblong.

    Galette (gah-LET)—called crostata in Italian and rustic pie or rustic tart in English—hails from the days before people had pie plates, and the days after that when only the kitchens of the wealthy had them.

    Way before then, the precursor of the galette probably dates from the Neolithic Age, a.k.a. the New Stone Age, which lasted from about 10,200 B.C.E.and ending between 4,500 and 2,000 B.C.E. Thick cereal pastes—barley, oats, rye, wheat—were sweetened with honey and spread on hot stones to cook.

    The recipe below, from Vermont Creamery, uses their Spreadable Goat Cheese and Unsalted Cultured Butter.

    It can be served as a light lunch or brunch with salad and soup, or as a first course at dinner.

     
    The Most Exquisite Butter

    Palates, take note: Vermont Creamery’s cultured butter is churned to 86% butterfat. This is higher than most other butters available and creates an especially flaky and delicious pie crust.

    Supermarket butter is 80% butterfat, and most European-style butters are 82%-84%. We’ve only seen the 86% varieties from Vermont Creamery and California’s Straus Family Creamery. If you want the best butter, this is it.

    And, we must note: Our favorite butter for bread is Vermont Creamery’s Cultured Salted Butter. It’s amazing: We never use salted butter unless it’s this one, with the lightest touch of sea salt. It’s irresistible.

    See the different types of butter in our Butter Glossary.

     

    RECIPE: BEET & SWEET POTATO GALETTE

    Ingredients
     
    For The Crust

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1–2 tablespoons ice water
  •  
    For The Filling

  • 8 ounces spreadable goat cheese
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large red beet
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F.

    2. PEEL the sweet potato and beet, then slice them into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Set them aside on separate plates, to keep the beets from bleeding onto the sweet potato slices.

     

    Squash Galette

    For summer, make the galette from zucchini and yellow squash. This example, from Good Eggs, shows an individual-size galette.

     
    3. PLACE the flour in large bowl and add the salt; stir to combine. Add the butter. Using two fork, knives or a hand-held dough blender, cut the butter into the flour, gently mixing to ensure that every crumb of butter is pea size and coated in flour. Once the butter is combined…

    4. ADD the ice water one tablespoon at a time, mixing until the dough begins to take shape. Gently knead with your fingers to help bring the dough together. If needed, add additional water a little at a time. Once the dough is formed…

    5. SHAPE it into a disk and roll it into a rough circle on a piece of parchment, to a uniform thickness of ¼ inch. If you have trouble creating a uniform thickness, consider a pie crust mold for “perfect crusts every time.”

    6. SPREAD the goat cheese onto the dough, leaving an inch border around the edge. Layer rounds of the cut sweet potato and beets on top of goat cheese. Gently fold the bare edge of dough inwards on top of the layered vegetables, working around the entire circle.

    7. SPRINKLE the top of the galette with fresh thyme, salt and pepper and bake for 40–50 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through and the crust is golden. Serve it hot from the oven, at room temperature or in-between.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Football Fries (French Fry Footballs)

    If you have kids and like to make special treats for them, head to HungryHappenings.com and sign up for the emails. Even if you don’t make them, you’ll enjoy the creative ideas.

    Here’s one that adults can enjoy, too: French fries shaped like footballs. The Football Fries recipe is on the Hungry Happenings website.

    If you don’t want to be frying or reheating during the game, these recipes can be made in advance:

  • Chocolate Caramel Fudge Footballs (recipe)
  • Microwave Football Caramels (recipe)
  • Super Bowl Popcorn With Chocolate Football Almonds (recipe)
  •  
    And don’t forget the Football Calzone.

     

    Football Fries

    Football fries for the big game. Photo courtesy HungryHappenings.com.

     

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Bhaji, Indian-Style Onion Rings

    Onion Rings Indian Style

    A yummy twist for onion ring fans: spiced onion rings with spicy ketchup. Photo colurtesy Maya Kaimal.

     

    If you’re looking for interesting Super Bowl fare, add a spin to onion rings with this recipe from Indian food doyenne Maya Kaimal.

    Serve it with spicy ketchup—store bought or home made, by mixing some heat into your regular ketchup.

    RECIPE: BHAJI, INDIAN-STYLE ONION RINGS

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable oil for deep frying, or as needed
  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia), peeled, cut into ½-inch thick rings
  • Maya Kaimal Spicy Ketchup or make your own spicy ketchup
  • Preparation

    1. HEAT the oil in a wok or 4-quart pot over medium heat, to 350°F.

    2. MIX the chickpea flour, cumin, cayenne, turmeric and salt in a medium bowl. Add the water and stir until batter is formed. It should be just thick enough to coat an onion ring without sliding off too quickly. Adjust with more water if necessary.

    3. DIP the onion rings into batter and coat each thoroughly. Deep-fry the rings, in 3 or 4 batches, in the oil until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

    4. SERVE with spicy ketchup.

    FIND MORE RECIPES AT MAYAKAIMAL.COM.

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Easy Roasted Spiced Carrots

    Love roasted root vegetables? Who doesn’t!

    Turn a humble bag of carrots into delicious roasted carrots, spiced and fragrant with cinnamon, cumin and ginger.

    RECIPE: CUMIN-SPICED ROASTED CARROTS

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F.

    2. DICE the carrots into ½-inch thick pieces. Leave the skin on as desired.

    2. MIX all ingredients together and bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

     
    WHAT IS CUMIN?

    Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. Its botanical family, Apiaceae, is also known as the celery or carrot family, a family of mostly aromatic plants with hollow stems.

    Caraway and dill are also members of the family.

     

    Cumin Spiced Carrots

    Cumin

    Top: Cumin-spiced carrots from Evolution Fresh. Bottom: Whole and ground cumin seeds. Photo courtesy Silk Road Spices.

     
    Cumin grew wild from the east Mediterranean to India, and is common in the cuisines of those areas. Seeds excavated in Syria have been dated to the second millennium B.C.E. Cumin seeds are also found in ancient Egyptian archaeological sites.

    Flavorful and aromatic, cumin was popular throughout the ancient world.

  • It is mentioned in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 28:27) and the New Testament (Matthew 23:23) of the Bible.
  • The ancient Greeks kept cumin in a container on the dining table, much as we keep pepper today.
  • Cumin was also used heavily in ancient Roman cuisine.
  • In India, it has been used for millennia as an ingredient and is part of curry powder and garam masala spice blends.
  • It is also added to other spice blends, including achiote, adobo, bahaarat, chili powder and sofrito.
     
    Cumin was brought to the New World by Spanish and Portuguese colonists, and has become a popular ingredient in Latin American cuisines.

    Several different varieties of cumin are cultivated today, the most popular of which are are black and green cumin.

      

  • Comments

    RECIPE: Happy Salad For Sad Weather

    Colorful Salad

    Pick up these bright ingredients and make a happy salad. Photo courtesy Evolution Fresh.

     
  • Weather: Cold.
  • Sky: Gray.
  • Snowstorm: Heading this way.
  • Cheer: This bright, happy salad.
  •  
    We saw the photo and recipe on Evolution Fresh’s Pinterest page, where it was featured as a summer recipe. But all of the ingredients are just as available in the winter.

    Because there are no leafy greens to wilt, you can make a large batch and eat it over several days. You can vary it with olives, crumbled cheese, crunchy seeds or other favorite salad additions.

    RECIPE: BURST OF SUNSHINE SALAD

    Ingredients

  • Bell peppers, red, yellow or orange, diced
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • English or Persian [seedless] cucumbers, sliced in half-moons
  • Radishes, sliced
  • Optional: red onion or sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • Optional: fresh herbs, minced
  • Dressing: balsamic vinaigrette or Dijon mustard vinaigrette
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the ingredients, toss toss to coat with dressing, and serve.

     
    THE HISTORY OF SALAD

    Man and his ancestors have been eating salad greens since they crossed from homonids (great apes) to hunter-gatherers.

    More recently in our history, ancient Romans and ancient Greeks ate mixed greens with dressing. They brought the custom with them in their imperial expansions, and green salads became a European convention/ [Source]
     
    IS IT SALAD IF THERE’S NO LETTUCE?

    Yes, indeed. A salad is a dish consisting of small pieces of food, typically served cold and usually mixed with a sauce (called salad dressing).

    Beyond vegetable salads of all types, raw or cooked, there are bean salads, grain salads, pasta and noodle salads and meat/poultry/protein salads such as chicken, egg, tuna and seafood.

    The leafy green salads most of us think of as “salad” is technically “garden salad” or “green salad.”

    The word “salad” comes from the Latin salata, salty. During Roman times, the vegetables were seasoned with brine or salty oil-and-vinegar dressings. In English, the word first appears as “salad” or “sallet” in the 14th century.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Ingredients For Exciting Winter Salads

    Green Salad With Apples & Pecans

    Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

    Green Salad With Edamame

    thai-celery-salad-with-peanuts-bonappetit-230

    Top: Mixed greens with apples and pecans.
    Second: Shaved Brussels sprouts,
    watermelon radishes on greens, topped with
    feta from Good Eggs. Third: Edamame, diced
    red bell pepper and black beans top greens
    at Betty Crocker. Bottom: Thai celery salad
    with sliced hot chiles and peanuts. Photo
    courtesy Bon Appetit.

     

    Over the weekend we had the occasion to meet friends for two different restaurant meals. At both, the side salad we ordered was boring: monotonously green with no contrast, but for dull croutons on one and a crown of thin-sliced red onions on the other.

    These were not free salads; they were overpriced sides. When we mentioned our disappointment to the servers, both mentioned the “limited selection” in winter.

    Limited choices, NO. Lack of imagination or sheer laziness, YES.

    There’s just as much opportunity to pack green salads with color and texture as any other time of the year.

    It’s just as easy to balance the flavors and textures with something bright-colored, something crunchy, something tangy, something peppery and something sweet.

    It doesn’t take a lot of effort to sprinkle with colorful, crunchy pomegranate seeds or some mandarin segments.

    And it doesn’t have to cost more: Use pricier ingredients sparingly and they’ll still add interest.

    Here’s how to add interest to winter salads while Mother Nature is taking a nap.

  • Plan for something crunchy, something colorful and something sweet in each salad.
  • Incorporate two colors besides green—red cherry tomatoes and orange bell peppers, for example.
  • Any salad can be turned into a lunch or dinner main when topped with a protein.
  • Don’t overlook your leftovers, from beans to grains and pasta. Toss them in!
  •  
    START HERE TO BUILD YOUR WINTER SALAD

    Pick something from each group, and no one will find your salads boring.

    Salad Greens: Beyond Everyday Lettuce

  • Arugula
  • Baby spinach
  • Bell pepper
  • Cabbage (especially Savoy cabbage)
  • Endive
  • Frisée
  • Kale
  • Lettuce, beyond iceberg and romaine
  • Watercress
  •  
    Other Vegetables

  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts, shaved
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Celery root
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Fennel
  • Hearts of palm
  • Onion
  • Pickled vegetbles
  • Pimento
  • Mushrooms, raw or marinated
  • Radicchio or red endive
  • Radishes
  • Red cabbage
  • Squash, roasted and diced
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Turnip, shaved
  • Water chestnuts
  •  
    As you go up and down the produce aisles, look for other ingredients you’d like to try, whether as a principal ingredient or an accent.

     

    A Touch Of Fruit

    You don’t have to add fruit to every green salad, although most people will enjoy the touch of sweetness.

    Diced, sliced or segmented, you’ve got great choices:

  • Apple
  • Citrus: kumquat, mandarin, orange, pink or red grapefruit
  • Dried fruits: apricots, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, figs, raisins, dates
  • Grapes
  • Pear, Asian pear
  • Persimmons
  •  
    Garnishes

  • Cheese: crumbled, shaved, shredded
  • Chiles
  • Corn kernels
  • Fresh herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, parsley
  • Nuts, toasted or candied
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Seeds
  •  
    Plus A Touch Of…

  • Anchovies
  • Bacon
  • Beans
  • Baby potatoes or sunchokes
  • Capers
  • Croutons
  • Grains
  • Preserved lemons
  • Olives
  •  
    For The Dressing

    We’re fans of vinaigrettes rather than heavier dressings (although we do have a weakness for a great blue cheese dressing).

    Vinaigrettes are lighter, lower in calories (in that you use less), and most importantly, offer so much variety in terms of which oils and which vinegars you use.

     

    Arugula & Quinoa Salad

    Arugula & Burrata Salad

    Spinach Salad, Apples, Beets

    Top: Quinoa, arugula, red onion and sundried tomato at California Pizza Kitchen. Second: Mesclun and burrata atop beets, garnished with cherry tomatoes and a jumbo garlic crouton, at Duplex On Third. Third: Spinach salad with apples, beets and sliced almonds from Butterball.

    Anyone can mix three parts of oil with one part of acid. Take a look at:

  • Flavored oils
  • Nut oils
  • Flavored vinegars and balsamic vinegar
  • Herb-infused vinaigrette
  • Layered viniagrettes: add Dijon mustard, fresh lemon or lime juice, honey, horseradish or wasabi, orange juice, maple syrup
  •  
    These options should keep you busy…until the spring veggies arrive, and beyond.
     

      

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