Facing Down the Crisper

I, again, have a crisper full of weird things: daikon, sunchokes, scorzonera (or black salsify, if that helps any). I keep pushing them around and making things with carrots instead. They just look weird and I need to get over that. To think I thought turnips were strange.

The turnips turned out to be not a problem at all. I had been pushing them around the bin for a bit and finally made an intriguing tagine with them from Jack Bishop’s A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. Again, thanks Jack! I put in some of the aforementioned carrots to bulk out what turned out to be a small amount of turnips and got over the seemingly odd addition of dried apricots. It was very tasty and warm and pleasantly flavorful. Cumin makes everything good in my book. Okay, turnips done.

Also, I have this daikon to use. Many years ago, I belonged to a CSA in another part of the country that happily sent along daikons for what seemed like several eons. My palate has matured as I have grown older and sloughed off my picky eater way, but a fridge full of forearm sized daikon just got the best of me. I cringed when I saw that vegetable on our share list for last week. It arrived and was very modest in size. Thanks to Epicurious, I think I have a solution for this issue: Vietnamese Sticky Chicken with Daikon and Carrot Pickle. Oh lord that sounds good. The collective Epicurious wisdom seemed to like it very much even without the addition of any cheese, as is their usual want. Also, it uses several herbs that we have in the garden that will need harvesting as the threat of a frost comes closer to reality every day. In addition, I would like to experiment with the wide world of Asian pickles rather than the usual dill, garlic, white vinegar combination.

I actually found a recipe for scorzonera in my Joy of Cooking so if those squares can deal with it, I don’t know what my problem is.

We had lots and lots of sunchokes from the CSA last year and by the end of their run, our guts cried “No more!” They are a fiber filled vegetable which would be great if we didn’t already eat a healthy, reasonably well balanced diet. They are a pain to clean and need a fair amount of cooking, possibly involving some pre-cooking, to make them edible. I can’t believe we even contemplated planting them in the garden. They are versatile, it’s just that I don’t think I want to eat them in any form. Except that tagine type dish I remember from the New York Times; that was pretty good. Okay, dig that recipe out and it just might take care of things.

Then it’s on to the tribble like avalanche of pomegranates that are heading our way…

For your cooking pleasure:

Vietnamese Sticky Chicken with Daikon and Carrot Pickle
(I cannot testify if this recipe is as good as it sounds but I have high hopes)