Magazine article Sunset

Bok Choy with Turkey? Why Not?

Magazine article Sunset

Bok Choy with Turkey? Why Not?

Article excerpt

How do you keep food traditionalists and innovators happy at the same Thanksgiving table? It's a challenge you can easily meet by exploring alternatives to the old standby vegetables.

The surprise is how traditional the alternatives taste and look while contributing a fresh touch to the menu. Most you'll find in supermarkets with good produce sections; some you'll find in Oriental markets. Consider one or all of the following choices.

As snappy lightly pickled appetizers to munch before dinner, you can use crisp, white jicama or carrots, peppery diakon radishes, slightly hot Chinese mustard greens, or mild napa cabbage.

Kohlrabi--with its mixed flavor of broccoli and turnips--is the base for a smooth, pale green soup.

Dark, orange-fleshed Japanese kabocha squash is creamier is texture and richer in flavor than the familiar butternut or acorn squash; all three are options to bake in a spicy syrup--just as you would yams or sweets potatoes.

Potatoes develop more character, rutabagas become mellower when mashed together; you can start with white-fleshed russets, or recent arrived golden-fleshed Finnish yellow or Yukon gold Potatoes.

Bok choy tastes much like Swiss chard. You can serve serve it with dramatic-looking Chinese long beans, small haricots verts, or regular green beans.

Lettuce plus various chicories and other salad leaves can be mixed in a salad with Japanese or regular cucumbers. The two cucumbers are a bit different in conformation but unmistakably similar in taste.

Kale or Chinese broadleaf mustard greens give the sausage-and-bread turkey stuffing a pleasant bite. Pickled Vegetables 4 cups rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar Cut vegetables (suggestions follow)

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine vinegar and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Quickly pack cut vegetables loosely into clean, hot jars, and immediately pour hot vinegar mixture over vegetables to cover. Screw on lids and refrigerate at least overnight or as long as 2 weeks. Makes about 2 quarts pickled vegetables.

Cut vegetables. You'll need 1-1/2 pounds total; choose 3 or 4 of the following:

Jicama or carrots. Peel and cut into 1/4-inch-thick sticks, 2 to 3 inches long.

Daikon radishes. Trim off root and stem end of vegetables. Scrub and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Chinese broadleaf mustard (dai choy) or napa cabbage. Wash and cut stems into about 2-inch squares; reserve leaves to use for soups or stir-frys. Kohlrabi Bisque About 2-1/4 pounds kohlrabi or broccoli 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 6 cups regular-strength chicken broth 1 teaspoon dry marjoram 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley Salt Parsley

Cut leaves and stems from kohlrabi; peel kohlrabi. Or cut tender flowerets from broccoli; cut off tough ends of stems and discard. Peel remaining stems. Cut kohlrabi or broccoli into about 1/2-inch cubes.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until limp. Stirring, add flour and cook until bubbly; do not brown. Blend in 3 cups of the broth, marjoram, and white pepper. Bring to boiling. Add cubed vegetable; cover and simmer until tender when pierced, 25 to 35 minutes for kohlrabi, 10 to 15 minutes for broccoli.

Add chopped parsley and remaining broth. Puree soup, a portion at a time, in a blender. If desired, pour through a wire strainer to remove coarse fibers. Return soup to pan. (If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill.) Heat, stirring, until simmering. Add salt to taste; garnish with parsley sprigs. Makes 2 quarts, 10 to 12 servings. Candied Kabocha Squash 4 to 4-1/2 pounds kabocha, butternut, or acorn squash 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/4 cup (1/8 lb. …

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