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vegetables


V.21 No.4 | 1/26/2012
Ari LeVaux

Eating In

Vegan or Bacon?

Brussels sprouts swing both ways

Brussels sprouts with bacon is hardly a new idea, but the combination has taken off lately. Now the pairing is a menu meme, a darling of online recipe searches and food TV. But those green brassica balls also go effortlessly and deliciously, for example, in that most vegetarian of dishes: the leafy salad.

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Music

Mean green rapping machines

DJ Cavem raps about food justice and teaches youths organic gardening in urban Denver.
Jay Esposito
DJ Cavem raps about food justice and teaches youths organic gardening in urban Denver.

In an article originally published in E: The Environmental Magazine, Christopher Weber writes about a hip-hop movement with a environmental message. Read about it here: Tuning Into Environmental Hip-Hop

V.21 No.1 | 1/5/2012
DJ Cavem raps about food justice and teaches youths organic gardening in urban Denver.
Jay Esposito

Spotlight

Tuning Into Environmental Hip-Hop

New songs about green jobs, alternative energy and better air quality hit the ’hood

A new wave of green hip-hop is challenging America’s food systems and our relationship with nature.

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V.20 No.27 | 7/7/2011
“Plant offal” includes carrot tops and spinach bottoms.
Ari LeVaux

Flash in the Pan

Robbing the Compost Pile

Carrot tops, spinach bottoms and the whole radish

The preparation and consumption of animal offal has become trendy in recent years. From headcheese to braised pig feet, there are all sorts of ways of turning animal refuse into delicacies. And while plant offal hasn't exactly become the new rage, B-list plant parts can be incorporated into tasty meals as well. Ari LeVaux provides recipes for three such underused ingredients: spinach roots and the greens of carrots and radishes.

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V.19 No.29 | 7/22/2010

Answer Me This

1) How are criminals in Bernalillo County betraying their whereabouts?

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]


Food

Vegetables I Have Known

Oh beets, with your vivid, royal coloring, the shock of hot pink spiraling through you like Mother Nature’s own blacklight poster. I am so in love, I clicked on a NYT recipe for a salad of shredded you. My eyes juiced your image, regarded only briefly the measurements and directions, and then returned to you, a root the color of guts in my dreams.

Follow the recipe or throw caution to the wind as I did and trust your own gut as it resonates with the most bewitching of vegetable forms. (How could I have ever scoffed at still lifes?)

Let the juices stain your fingers as you shred the mighty beet with your common cheese grater. Squeeze in half a lemon after scornfully discarding the seeds. Taste. Another half a lemon, then, or not. Do the same with oranges.

Drizzle just the slightest bit of olive oil. Tip your palm cupping just a touch of salt. Stir. Taste.

Make a lot. Over days in your fridge, the flavors commingle and mellow. The citrus, less bright. The beet, less earthy.

Like ĺkaros, my ambition spurred me to dig up yet more roots for grating. The passé carrot found new life with sesame oil. Since I posses no mixing bowl and own only, instead, a purple Kool Aid pitcher, I shoveled my pile of three shredded carrots into this container. Sesame oil goes far, flavor-wise, so a few drops was all this dish required. Next, peeled tomatoes, chopped and strained, were added as a second layer. A touch of sweet Mirin and rice vinegar spilled onto those.

A little salt goes a long way in this dish, too. A couple of hearty stirs dispersed the tomatoes and carrots. (Not too many, or the delicate flesh of the tomato may be pulverized.) Once served, top with unadorned avocado.

Food

Today's Wild Finds: Suburban Foraging

Not exactly the mushroom I was after.
Maren Tarro
Not exactly the mushroom I was after.

The woods behind my apartment in Baltimore are full of goodies. It's still a little early, but I am finding tasty bites here and there. Cattail shoots are making a strong showing. Stripped of their leaves, the centers are a perfect replacement for genetically modified, pesticide-laden, supermarket cucumbers. And they're free, easy to find, a breeze to identify and grow in abundance. I'm waiting for them to be a bit taller before I harvest.

Wood violets are also in bloom; the flowers and young leaves make a great addition to salads. The flowers can also be used to flavor sorbets and beverages, and as decorations for cakes and pastries.

A nice bunch of spring onions
Maren Tarro
A nice bunch of spring onions

Mayapples are sprouting up all over the place, a good indication that morels are on their way. The leaves, stem and root are poisonous, but the fruits can be eaten in small quantities.

I think I may have found spicebush. The berries can be used in the same manner as allspice. I'm holding off on a definite identification until the berries ripen in a few months. Other possible finds include wild carrot, chicory and poison ivy. Not so excited about that last one.

Cattails, old and new
Maren Tarro
Cattails, old and new

My greatest find was fiddleheads. The young shoots of the ostrich fern are pure vegetative delight. It'll be a few days before they're tall enough to pick, but just locating them was a bit of an accomplishment. The fiddleheads, mayapples and certain trees I've identified suggest those elusive morels are soon to be mine (if the mushroom gods find me worthy and deserving).

That’s no way to talk to Mother Nature. Shame!
Maren Tarro
That’s no way to talk to Mother Nature. Shame!
Mayapples
Maren Tarro
Mayapples
Violets, pretty and yummy
Maren Tarro
Violets, pretty and yummy
I had to yank this nasty fucker from my right nalga. Foraging isn’t all fun and games.
Maren Tarro
I had to yank this nasty fucker from my right nalga. Foraging isn’t all fun and games.
Spicebush?
Maren Tarro
Spicebush?
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