Links to all second round matchups

In case you missed them, all the second round matchups are here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Voting will stay open until at least Saturday. Vote now!

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Veggie Madness : Second Round (part 4)

We’ve been having some strange problems with WordPress–Heather likes the Visual editor, while I prefer the HTML editor. But when we switch back and forth, WordPress will lose all the stuff in between tags, most notably the embed tags. It’s really frustrating when you have some videos embedded and they all disappear.

Back to the tourney. Here’s the schedule: Tomorrow we’ll put up an überpost that links back to all the second round matchups, and voting will stay live for the rest of the week. Saturday we go to the Sweet 16 matchups, we’ll do the two matches of each region in their own post.

Leafy Region – #10 Mixed Salad Greens vs. #2 Lettuce

Endive started off strong, but the Mesclun ended up winning rather handily. This is a battle of…what’s the better salad?

#10 Mixed Salad Greens
Previous round: Defeated Endive, 67% to 33%.

Hmm, I don’t think they’re talking about Mesclun here.

#2 Lettuce

Previous round: Defeated Purslane, 93% to 7%.

I don’t ever really watch Saturday Night Live anymore. If it turns out to be good, you can just watch it on the Internet the next day.

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Root Region – #7 Garlic vs. #2 Yellow Beets

I had regular beets today. The kitchen is all red now. That’s why Yellow Beets are still in it, but Red Beets aren’t. I expect garlic to trounce it here, though. You people don’t like beets as much as we do.

#7 Garlic
Previous round: Defeated Ginger, 80% to 20%.

This video is from Pécs!

#2 Yellow Beets
Previous round: Defeated Turnips in a penalty kick shootout.

It’s only right that Tofu make a guest appearance.

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Fruits and Pods Region – #7 Avocados vs. #2 Cucumbers


#7 Avocados
Previous round: Defeated Green Beans, 64% to 36%.

I know the limes in guacamole are supposed to help prevent it from turning brown; anyone have suggestions on better ways to store it (aside from eating a whole quart of guac in one sitting)?

#2 Cucumbers
Previous round: Defeated Winter Melon, 87% to 13%.

You can’t vote against Brak. (Or can you?)

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Stalks Region – #10 Leeks vs. #2 Cauliflower

Meh. This matchup doesn’t really excite me.

#10 Leeks
Previous round: Defeated Artichokes, 69% to 31%.

#2 Cauliflower
Previous round: Defeated Kohlrabi, 67% to 33%.

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Veggie Madness post will be late today

Just a heads-up if anyone’s looking for the latest voting rounds, it will likely go up late tonight or tomorrow morning. 2nd round voting will stay open until Saturday.

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Veggie Madness: 2nd round (part 3)

VCU and Butler in the Final Four. One of these teams will make the championship game, which is pretty cool. But what does “mid-major” mean? It’s such a corporate-speak term.

Anyway, I could rant about things like that all day. Onto the matchups…

Leafy Region – #11 Collard Greens vs. #3 Bok Choy

#11 Collard Greens
Previous round: Defeated Frisée, 54% to 46%.

Judging from the comments, Trina cast the deciding vote, saying “Frisée sucks too much to be so close in the running.” So does American Idol.

#3 Bok Choy
Previous round: Defeated Mizuna, 87% to 13%.

I found this little video from a group called “Team Bastos”. Those of you who know what that means, you have been warned. (I gotta say, I’m intrigued by these guys…and they’re based out of Houston.)

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Root Region – #11 Sweet Potatoes vs. #3 Fingerling Potatoes

#11 Sweet Potatoes
Previous round: Defeated Tri-Color Potatoes, 57% to 43%.

Sweet Potatoes seem like they’re posed to make a VCU-like run, but I can’t figure you voters out. They kinda get screwed by facing regular potatoes again for the second time. I should have included Yukon Golds, but they’re on probation for recruiting violations.

#3 Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerlings just always feel like less work than other potatoes. They taste good, they cook fast, and if you do want to slice them, you only have to slice in one direction.

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Fruits and Pods Region – #6 Corn vs. #3 Summer Squash

#6 Corn
Previous round: Defeated Peas, 86% to 14%.


Grapes of Wrath Opera from chuckumentary on Vimeo.

#3 Summer Squash
Previous round: Defeated Winter Squash, 63% to 37%.

I’m thinking Summer Squash won, because it’s always food, while sometimes people just use Winter Squash out as decorations. (Hey, how’d we not include pumpkins in the bracket? It’s like a rite of passage for the share to contain a pumpkin right around Halloween.)

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Stalks Region (I’m tired of saying “Other Stuff”) – #11 Chard vs. #3 Green Onions

#11 Chard
Previous round: Defeated Young Garlic, 62% to 38%.

A YouTube search for “Chard” pulls up this Pinoy reference, which includes the line “One of the Most Admired Love Teams of Their Generation”. Needless to say, I didn’t look any further.

#3 Green Onions
Previous round: Defeated Rhubarb, 81% to 19%.

Reminds me, I have some green onions in the refrigerator that need to get used. Booker T and the MGs take you out…

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Veggie Madness: 2nd Round (part 2)

Wow, Pete really set the bar high for the veggie commentary in this round! I hope I can keep up with the quality that he has presented.

Here we go!

The only huge upset in the first round was that beets were taken out by radishes in a surprise upset. I do believe that their tendency to stain may have been their weakest element and in the end was the reason for this heart-wrenching loss.

Leafy Region: #5 Spinach vs. #4 Brussels Sprouts

#5 Spinach:
Previous round: Defeated Kale, 73% to 27%.

Since Pete already used Popeye, I’ve had to come up with something more creative.

#4 Brussels Sprouts
Previous round: Defeated Mustard Greens, 79% to 21%.

So excited to see the Brussels pull off this win over Mustard Greens. For those of you who hate both, you can hope for an upset later on!

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Root Region: #12 Radishes vs. #4 Carrots

#12 Radishes:
Previous round: Defeated Beets, 57% to 43%.

I think that radishes won once we opened it up to Daikon and other varieties.

Here’s a cheery little song that doesn’t mention radishes, but is from “The Great Radish Famine” episode of Fraggle Rock.

#4 Carrots:
Previous round: Defeated Celeriac, 93% to 7%.

Carrots won with great flourish against Celeriac, but we’ll see if they can hold up through the next match-up.

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Fruits and Pods Region: #5 Hot Peppers vs #4 Red Bell Peppers

#5 Hot Peppers:
Previous round: Defeated Okra, 100% to 0%.

Since moving to Texas, my eyes have been opened to the numerous flavors as well as hotness levels of peppers. I love a pepper that has a robust flavor with a little edge and a little heat that doesn’t linger too much.

#4 Red Bell Peppers
Previous round: Defeated Green Bell Peppers, 86% to 14%.

As I mentioned before, this is my all-time favorite vegetable. I absolutely love an open-faced sandwich on the dark German bread with Munster and red pepper slices.

Here’s a little video that combines the match-up:

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Stalk Region: #5 Crimini Mushrooms vs #4 Green Asparagus

#5 Crimini Mushrooms
Previous round: Defeated Fennel, 60% to 40%.

I found a PSA about mushrooms…it just may be more than you ever need to know about the fungi, but the presentation is quite priceless.

#4 Green Asparagus
Previous round: Defeated White Asparagus, 93% to 7%.

So happy that it beat out its white cousin! Nicely done, great green one.

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Veggie Madness : 2nd round (part 1)

The round of 32 begins…1 major “upset”, and yet all the #8 seeds won, which never happens in the real tournament. I’m also trying out putting the polls in-line, let us know what you think.

Leafy Region – #1 Arugula vs. #8 Red Cabbage

Arugula should have a tougher matchup in this round, though I think the real battles in this region will start in the Sweet 16.

#1 Arugula
Previous round: Defeated Dandelion Greens, 81% to 19%.

It is impossible for me to cook or use arugula without saying it “aROOOOOOOOOOgulah”. This Classic Mini cooper agrees:

#8 Red Cabbage
Previous round: Defeated Napa Cabbage, 57% to 43%.

So, more of you prefer the German-Scandinavian to the Asian. I see how it is.

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Root Region – #16 Yams vs. #8 Sweet Onions

We hear you loud and clear, friends, we totally screwed up the seedings in the Root Region. We do have trouble with root vegetables in general. We promise to do better next year.

#16 Yams
Previous round: Defeated Yellow Carrots, 59% to 41%.

Yams always remind me of cast parties, which then reminds me that it’s been way too long since I last played a show.

#8 Sweet Onions
Previous round: Defeated Red Onions, 57% to 43%.

I’m on board with the sweet over the red here. But is it sweet enough to get to the Sweet 16?

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Fruits and Pods Region – #1 Heirloom Tomatoes vs. #8 Eggplant

Mmm, eggplant parmesan. These two should be getting together to make a yummy dish, not battling it out. But you can’t vote for both.

#1 Heirloom Tomatoes
Previous round: Defeated Edible Flowers, 94% to 6%.

Yeah, that’s probably not an heirloom tomato in that video. But does anyone out there even say “to-MAH-to” anymore? So I think we could make things easier by calling regular ones “to-MAY-to” and these expensive heirloom ones “to-MAH-to”.

#8 Eggplant
Previous round: Defeated Chayote Squash, 77% to 23%.

Here’s a tip: the European-English word for eggplant is “aubergine”. Once, when we were in Barcelona, I ordered a dish that our Catalonian friends translated to “aubergine”, which I thought must have been some fancy vegetable I’d never heard of, since they insisted that was indeed the English word and not just a partial translation into French. When it finally arrived and I tasted it, I said, “Oh! It’s eggplant!” Now you know, and this won’t happen to you. (Though you probably did know, and now you’re wondering how I could make it to my mid-30s without knowing that.)

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Stalks Region – #1 Broccoli vs. #8 Broccoli Rabe

This might be like that matchup where you have a #1 but Butler is the #8 seed in your region. Or maybe not.

#1 Broccoli
Previous round: Defeated Nopales, 82% to 18%.

“And if I didn’t know her…” Classic. And must be sung whenever one chops broccoli. Or when a lady you know chops broccoli.

#16 Broccoli Rabe
Previous round: Defeated Celery, 71% to 29%.

Did you know this is also sometimes called “rape”? I know it’s pronounced “rah-peh”, but it’s very disconcerting if you’re at a restaurant and they spell it that way on the menu. Plus any restaurant that spells it that way, they’ll charge you $14 for it. Other names include “raab” and “rapini”. (NOTE: NEVER, EVER search for “rape” on YouTube.) Hey look, bees!

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Veggie Madness : #2 vs. #15 matchups

We’re going to start the second round on Saturday, and run each of the next sets of 4 from Saturday through Tuesday. We’ll close voting on each when the new post goes up– so 1/16/8/9 closes Saturday, 5/12/4/13 on Sunday, 6/11/3/14 on Monday, and 7/10/2/15 on Tuesday. Get your votes in on the previous polls if you haven’t already!

Leafy Region
#2 Lettuce

The old stand-by! One of the reasons that it is seeded so high is because of the variety that we’ve received in our CSA box. Romaine, iceberg, butter and red…I will admit that during a heavy leafy green eating phase of our life, I actually got nauseous over too much lettuce! We’ve been exploring extensive additions to the traditional lettuce and have had some wonderful full-meal salads.

photo by via PhotoRee

#15 Purslane

Yes it is considered a weed, but it is a weed with extensive amounts of omega-3 fatty acids! It has the best health benefits when eaten raw, so we have used it as a bed for broiled fish as well as a Niçoise salad base.

photo by A. Drauglis Furnituremaker via PhotoRee

Root Region

#2 Yellow Beets

As Pete has mentioned before, yellow beets have all the benefits of red beets, but without the fear of ruining your clothes or staining your skin when working with them! The only downside to yellow beets is that they are less common and sometimes a challenge to find.

photo by 3liz4 via PhotoRee

#15 Turnips

Baked, boiled, sauteed, grilled and even raw, turnips are easy to prepare and have great nutritional value. They are more subtle than the rutabaga and are a great accompaniment to heartier entrees.

photo by John-Morgan via PhotoRee

Fruits and Pods Region
#2 Cucumbers

Cucumbers are refreshing for both the tastebuds as well as your skin! Add it to many summer salads and soups and then take the last few slices and place them over your eyes.

photo by David Davies via PhotoRee

#15 Winter Melon

Best known as the main ingredient for a hearty soup, winter melon is a large waxy gourd that is used quite extensively in Asian cooking. It has a firm texture and a sweeter taste, thus the reason for the melon name.

photo by Megan Choo via PhotoRee

Stalks and Other Stuff Region

#2 Cauliflower

I’m actually trying to grow cauliflower in our balcony container garden right now and although it’s flowering beautifully, it hasn’t produced any flowerets just yet. Cauliflower has a strong piquant taste and takes subtle sauces quite well.

photo by clayirving via PhotoRee

#15 Kohlrabi

The German turnip that tastes like a cross between broccoli and cabbage! It’s a Grün Brokokohl! They are quite tasty mashed with some paprika and a little butter.

photo by La Grande Farmers’ Market via PhotoRee

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Veggie Madness : #7 vs. #10 Matchups

Two more first round posts to go…today the 7/10, and some strong matchups today. Let’s get right to it:

Leafy Region
#7 Endive
I think this is the guy that’s also known as escarole? Go ahead and correct me in the comments if I’m wrong. Makes a tastier salad than regular lettuce, and also can be cooked, just like it’s curly cousin.

photo by purpletwinkie via PhotoRee

#10 Mixed Salad Greens
AKA mesclun. Often contains endive, so endive is playing against itself. This generally forms the base for salads, but when we have this around I will usually grab a handful to put on top of any sandwich that I’m making, whether it’s a burger, a turkey sandwich, or a ham and cheese sandwich. But one variety will annoyingly wilt and turn into rotted mush long before the rest of the mix wanted to go.

photo by randomduck via PhotoRee

Root Region

#7 Garlic
Let’s get this straight. We LOVE garlic. We use it in almost everything. It’s just not the most exciting thing to find in a CSA box for us. A single head will usually disappear within a day, then we have to trek down to the Asian market and buy that bag of 5 heads for $1.

photo by Muffet via PhotoRee

#10 Ginger
We love ginger too. On second thought, it’s a shame we matched it up with garlic here. A magical food that adds flavor to everything, not just Asian food–and can soothe sore throats and cure motion sickness. I just hate peeling that knobby thing.

photo by sweetbeetandgreenbean via PhotoRee

Fruits and Pods Region
#7 Avocados
We have to resist the temptation always to make guacamole when we get this, even though guac rules. Because if you have an avocado, you can make a good sandwich or good salad a great sandwich or a great salad. And it plays well with both Mexican food and Asian food (sensing a theme here…)

photo by maureen_sill via PhotoRee

#10 Green Beans
Another tried and true staple. Honestly, my favorite thing to do is just steam them and serve them as a side to whatever we’re having. CSA beans always have plenty of taste that doesn’t need anything else.

photo by Chasqui via PhotoRee

Stalks and Other Stuff Region
#7 Artichokes
Normally we only get 2 or 3 of these the times we get them. They get steamed, then I peel and eat those leaves until I get down to the heart, which is one of my favorite foods ever. And then I’m always disappointed there isn’t more.

photo by minwoo via PhotoRee

#10 Leeks
A fancy version of the green onion or green garlic. Well, that’s not actually fair to the leek. Makes a great soup, and I think it can hold its own better as the major player in a dish. We’ll also add it to many recipes in place of onion or garlic, especially when we want its subtler taste instead.

photo by amortize via PhotoRee

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Veggie Madness : #3 vs. #14 matchups

It’s weird not to have games in the last few days….waiting, waiting, waiting for the next round!

Leafy Region

#3 Bok Choy

It took me a few years to really appreciate Bok Choy and I still lean towards the baby version rather than the full-grown. The Baby Bok Choy is easier to work with and doesn’t have as much of a dominant flavor or texture. I add them to stir fry and also steam them with either oyster or hosin sauce.

photo by FotoosVanRobin via PhotoRee

#14 Mizuna

The asian equivalent to arugula….dynamic and diverse, it’s a great addition to soups and also makes a great pesto that goes perfectly with a heartier fish. Finely chop the mizuna and add soy (or patis), Sriracha sauce and some lemongrass and ginger. Chop it all in the food processor and then take the paste and coat the fish. Bake or broil.

photo by viernullvier via PhotoRee

Root Region
#3 Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted with a good quality olive oil, rosemary, sea salt and a little paprika….’nuff said!

photo by beautifulcataya via PhotoRee

#14 Parsnips

I used to think that the only way to prepare parsnips was boiled or roasted and then mashed. I now know that the best preparation for parsnips is in a parsnip ginger cake with cream cheese frosting. Pete made this and it is amazing! The butterscotchy-cardamom undertones are really present when you pair this with something more sweet.

photo by karenblakeman via PhotoRee

Fruits and Pods Region
#3 Summer Squash

Such a wonderful variety, from zucchini to patty pan! Zucchini is the most prevalent type in this section and I have strong memories of too much zucchini in the summer. Zucchini bread, zucchini bars, zucchini cake and zucchini added to almost everything to add texture and moisture. Since we don’t usually make very many sweet things, we usually prepare summer squash very simply with olive oil, sea salt and pepper and then grill.

photo by La Grande Farmers’ Market via PhotoRee

#14 Winter Squash

My biggest challenge with winter squash is the texture. The larger squashes are a little easier to handle and not so dense/waxy and I love baked spaghetti squash with tomato sauce.

photo by Ed Gaillard via PhotoRee

Stalks and Other Stuff Region
#3 Green Onions

We go through green onions in our house like kleenex! Whether cooking Tex-Mex or Asian, the green onion is the perfect flavor/crunch addition to many dishes. It is a must for fried rice and fajitas and we also use it extensively as a garnish for things like arroz caldo and spicy black bean soup.

photo by beautifulcataya via PhotoRee

#14 Rhubarb

We had so much rhubarb growing up that I got quite sick of it! Much like zucchini during Wisconsin summers, it was added to every sweet treat imaginable. What I didn’t realize is that it is quite a delicacy here in Texas and at one point was $8/pound!

photo by net_efekt via PhotoRee

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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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