One of my favorite parts of belonging to a CSA is the unknown – what will be in the box? How will I use it? My goal, of course is to ensure everything gets eaten during the course of the week – which forces a certain creativity on the last meal or two.
I served this vegetable dish as a main course for two, though you can easily scale, or even modify the ingredients. Remember to peel the kohlrabi well – you want to eliminate both the skin and the stringy layer underneath.
2 medium zucchinis, diced into 1″ cubes
a handful of snap peas, remove strings and blossoms
4 medium kohlrabi, peeled and diced into 1″ cubes
stem of a summer onion, diced
large cabbage leaves
a handful of croutons per person *
2tbsp. heavy cream
several drops of lemon juice
kosher salt to taste (I find the shape and size of the flakes important)
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
leaves from two sprigs thyme (fresh herbs are critical to the overall flavor, I suspect marjoram or savory would be excellent substitutions)
bowl of ice water
Prepare your ingredients.
(This can be done anytime during the cooking.) Bring a pot of water boil that will fit the cabbage leaves. Cook each leaf for several minutes in the boiling water until soft, but still capable of holding its shape. Remove from water and stop the cooking by submerging in cold water. Place a cabbage leaf in the bottom of each bowl or on each plate.
Meanwhile heat a large saute pan (or cast-iron skillet) over medium** heat for several minutes. Melt the butter in the pan, waiting until the foaming starts to subside. Add red pepper flakes and onions. Cook until the onions start to soften – a couple of minutes.
Add the kohlrabi pieces. Stir to coat with butter. Salt the kohlrabi. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the zucchini. Salt again. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened.
Add the pea pods and thyme, cooking for a couple more minutes until the snap peas are bright green and the aroma thyme fills the air.
Add the croutons to the pan, stir to mix and then spoon the mixture into the cabbage leaves on the plate.
Put cream in a small bowl, add several drops of lemon juice and whisk immediately. Dollop generously onto food and enjoy!
* Croutons can be made easily by tossing cubes of breads with butter and then cooking in the oven on low (200°F or lower) until done. I normally use left over heels or slightly stale ends.
** Medium heat is not always the middle of your dial. I roughly define this temperature as the correct temperature for frying an egg, such that it does not run excessively and only crisps the edges. If the vegetables are browning early in the cooking you are using too high of heat. If you can’t hear a constant sizzle, your heat is probably too low.