Veggie Madness : #6 vs. #11 Matchups

Programming note: We’re going to keep all the first round polls open until we get through them this week, so if you haven’t voted, you can still vote in the earlier posts. After that we’ll figure out the best format for the following rounds.

11-seeds are looking good in the actual tournament this year. Are these 11-seeds going to be looking good here?

Leafy Region
#6 Frisée

The very first time we got this in a CSA box, I had no idea what it was. Also known as curly endive, it usually turns into a salad when we get it. If the taste of raw frisée is too much though, it withstands a quick sautéing too.

photo by wintersoul1 via PhotoRee

#11 Collard Greens
Looks like the bottom of the leafy bracket is a bunch of these greens which are often interchangeable in recipes. We know greens are really healthy, and a CSA is so useful in forcing yourself to learn how to cook them–I certainly have an appreciation for them I didn’t have before.

photo by essgee51 via PhotoRee

Root Region
#6 Tri-color Potatoes

It was a little interesting deciding which varieties of potatoes would make the bracket, or if we were just going to include potatoes. While this is technically three different kinds of potatoes, we’ve gotten a bag of “tri-color potatoes” so often, I thought it would be an interesting entry. The mix is usually blue potatoes, which are actually purple; red potatoes, which are white inside; and then a white or yellow potato, which is sometimes a fingerling or sometimes small Yukon Gold potatoes. The mix has funny challenges. If you boil or roast them, the varieties will inevitably cook at different rates, leaving you with one type that’s really soft, while another type is still hard. And once I made mashed potatoes with them. They tasted great, but they were this weird purplish-brownish color that was not very appetizing.

photo by libraryman via PhotoRee

#11 Sweet Potatoes

Judging from the comments so far, clearly sweet potatoes are underseeded. But we don’t quite get the sweet potato–it’s one of the vegetables that seems to show up way to often, eliciting a “oh great, more sweet potatoes. Put them in the pile with the others” reaction. We’ve made some great stuff (like sweet potato and kale enchiladas), but we want to hear from this veggie’s fans. Leave recipes in the comments. (Except for any recipe that includes sugar as an additional ingredient. It’s already sweet.)

photo by RaeA via PhotoRee

Fruits and Pods Region
#6 Corn
CSA box corn always tastes way better than store-bought corn. I think our favorite way is grilled, especially when you get it exactly right where some of the kernels are slightly charred but not super burnt.

photo by Sasakei via PhotoRee

#11 Peas
Originally had snow peas and snap peas, but I can never remember which is which kind, and we’ve also gotten some other varieties of peas. I hate pulling the strings out of them, though we’re never sad to see them in the box.

photo by Shelley & Dave via PhotoRee

Stalks and Other Stuff Region
#6 Young Garlic
Sometimes also called green garlic. Milder tasting than mature garlic, but still garlic, which makes it kind of awesome. Looks suspiciously like the scallions in the refrigerator, though.

photo by scazza_ via PhotoRee

#11 Chard
It’s a refugee from the Leafy Region, actually. I saw something on the internet that had chard in a stalk vegetable list, and since it’s the internet, it had to be true. And if I remember right, the stalk is more substantial and more usable than some of its leafy cousins (or am I thinking of one of the other ones…ah well), so it’s here with the stalks. I have no great insights here. We’re still mastering cooking techniques for this vegetable.

photo by Thomas Hawk via PhotoRee

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5 Responses to Veggie Madness : #6 vs. #11 Matchups

  1. john says:

    Mmmmmm. Corn! Grew up with cornfields on between 1 and 3 sides of our yard. Other years it was mint (even better!) or alfalfa.

  2. D says:

    Love chard, mostly due to a fantastic recipe that C found that steams the chard in chicken broth with bacon and golden raisins. Happy to share!

    • peter says:

      Yeah, we’ll have to hit you up for the chard recipe next time we get chard. I think our CSA _finally_ starts up again in April. The weather’s been screwing with the farm.

  3. Kate LKHR says:

    Sweet potatoes — I won’t eat them in those sugary preparations. It wasn’t until I had them prepared in a savory fashion that I realized I loved them. I enjoy them simple — baked with butter and salt and pepper, just like a regular jacket potato — or fancied up too (try that tandoori sweet potatoes recipe I sent you, if you haven’t already!). Or wedged up and baked as oven fries with cayenne and salt and cinnamon or nutmeg.

    Something I do with chard and kale is to saute chopped onions and garlic in olive oil; add chopped greens (if it’s chard, I add the chopped stalks first, then the greens a few minutes later) with generous splashes of balsamic. Then add a can of good diced tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste, a heavy shake of Italian herbs, and 1/4-1/2 of a jar of prepared pasta sauce. Simmer and serve over pasta. Yum :)

  4. Trina says:

    Frisee sucks to much to be so close in the running.