Being part of a Filipino family, I am learning about using every part of the food…respect for the animal or plant, but also the historical reasons for this belief. Pete’s family has told me many stories about the Spaniards using all of the good parts of the food and then leaving what they viewed as the “unusable” parts for the Filipinos. This tradition runs deep in their native cuisine and has transferred to all food preparation.
Enter turnip and radish greens from the CSA box this week. What I would of just chopped off and thrown out (wow, I wish we had composting facilities here, but alas!) Pete asked what I was planning on making with the greens. WHAT? I was planning on just getting rid of them and prepping the turnips and radishes. Always loving a food challenge, I set out to find a tasty way to turn these greens into our dinner.
I’ve always loved risotto, but have always known that I’m not patient enough to truly explore it. Challenge number two for the evening! I decided to braise the greens with shiitake mushrooms and onions in chicken broth and then add it into the risotto. The chicken broth was able to cut the bitterness of the greens and the shiitake mushrooms added an interesting texture to the greens. The risotto was prepared with a crisp white wine and chicken broth, then the green mixture was added for the final few minutes. We topped the dish with piave cheese (we think this is a great substitute for parmesan…Pete calls it “parmesan without the anger”). A beautiful, cosy evening dish!