Monday, May 7, 2012

CSA Share Ninja Rescue: bok choy and rutabagas

My indoor seedlings, as it's still a bit too chilly to plant the garden here in Vermont
Welcome back! It's the first week of the 2012 edition of the CSA Share Ninja Rescue, in which you, the readers, tell me, The Ninj, what veggies in your CSA share are giving you consternation and I give you some recipe ideas.

If you need help with a veggie, leave a comment below or send me an email before this coming Friday. Recipes suggestions are posted on Mondays.

This week, readers have requested help with rutabagas (reader from the South) and bok choy (not sure where she's from but I'll go with it). I'm just jealous that you're even getting fresh veg, as we are still having occasional frost here in Vermont.


Seriously, don't be scared. Not only do they have the coolest name in the vegetable kingdom, they are easy to prepare. A hearty root vegetable, rutabagas are a lot like turnips, so feel free to substitute them for turnips in any recipe.
  • Mash: One of the easiest ways to prepare them is to mash them. Boil them along with some potatoes and/or turnips, mash coarsely, add a little butter and a touch of brown sugar and you've got a lovely mash to accompany roast meat.

  • Roast: Peel and cube rutabagas, along with some other root veggies (carrots, parsnips, turnips, etc.), toss them with some olive oil, salt and pepper, spread them on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until done. You could even drizzle them with a little maple syrup if you like. Yum!

  • Potato and rutabaga cakes: Substitute rutabagas for turnips in this recipe from Martha Stewart Living. These would be a lovely side for roast chicken or fish.

  • Farmhouse chowder: Another recipe from Martha Stewart Living, this one involves a whole chicken and lots of lovely root veg turning into a creamy, hearty chowder: perfect for a spring or fall dinner!

Bok Choy

Bok choy is a lot more versatile than you might think. While it's great raw, giving extra crispness to salads and slaws, it's also delicious pan-fried or cooked into saucy asian dishes. Use baby-sized heads for quick cooking dishes and the larger, more substantial heads for slow cooking.
  • Saute: Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Add trimmed heads of baby bok choy and some garlic and quickly saute for just a couple of minutes, until the bok choy just starts to wilt. A fast and yummy side of veggies for any meal!

  • Vietnamese slow cooker chicken with bok choy: This has quickly become one of our household favorites. The simple ingredient list makes it a snap to put together. Definitely use larger heads of bok choy for this one.

  • Crunchy bok choy salad: I've been making this salad for more than 10 years and it never fails to please. The combination of fresh veggies, peanutty sauce and crunchy ramen noodles make it a real winner.

  • Roasted bok choy and mushrooms: Slice several heads of baby bok choy in half. Combine them in a bowl with a few ounces of thickly sliced mushrooms. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of minced ginger, 1 clove of minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste; toss gently to coat. Spread the veggies on a baking sheet and roast at 450 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

So, what's in your CSA share box this week? The Ninj can help.


  1. These look great! I'm going to make the boy choy salad this week! Thanks!

  2. I can pretty much guarantee that you'll love it, Heather! Glad I could help.

  3. can I borrow your veggie descriptors for my CSA newsletter? You can check out our website at I'm sending out the first ever news letter on Tuesday night :)

  4. You may certainly borrow my descriptions but ONLY if you fully credit me and provide a direct link back to my blog on your CSA blog and in the newsletter itself. Otherwise, it would be considered plagiarism. THANKS!

  5. I thought that you just wanted to use my descriptions of the vegetables themselves, not all the links to the recipes and my other recipe suggestions. It would be more appropriate for you to just write your own introduction (about how you are linking to me) and then link directly to my pages, rather than using the entire text of my post on your page. Please modify appropriately -- thanks!!