Review: Brassicas - Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables

Raise your hand if you're 100% certain that you have more than enough greens in your diet.

Yeah, me neither.

Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables, the new cookbook from Oregonian Food Day writer Laura B. Russell, is on a mission to change your answer to that question. It just might change mine.


I tried a couple of recipes, and am eager to tackle others. The Kale & Sweet Potato Saute on page 27 required serious patience in the first step (slow cooking 1/2" cubes of sweet potato,) but proceeded quickly with the second step (sauteing shredded kale.) Though I used much more than 2 tablespoons of olive oil and not quite as much chili powder as recommended, this recipe could easily become a standard around here. This works as a side dish, in a corn tortilla and, as recommended by the author, with a fried egg for breakfast.

If there's a mention of ginger in a recipe, I'm usually interested; it's the one type of 'heat' in a spice that I enjoy. The bok choy and crystallized ginger Waldorf salad sounded like a fun spin on an old-school classic, so I tried it out.

Dear god in heaven, it's awesome!

That first bite sparkled - lemon, crunch, pecan, and just a hint of ginger. I would even be inclined to kick the ginger up a few notches with ginger syrup.

The bok choy hides backstage in this recipe, under wraps with the greek yogurt and itsy bitsy amount of mayonnaise. Do take the time to let the bok choy mix with salt (and then carefully drying with a kitchen towel) as it definitely made a difference in the amount of liquid in the bottom of the dish.

Pick up a copy of Brassicas and prepare to make kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, arugula, cress, bok choy, chinese broccoli, mizuna, napa cabbage, tatsoi, radish, turnip, rudabaga, horseradish, wasabi, and kohlrabi your new best food friends.

No, really, they're ALL brassicas. Plenty to choose from! Take a look at Chapter One here.

P.S. I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.

Brass Cafe Roundup - Spring/Summer 2014

Wasn't that a pleasant silent interlude? It was for me, though not really quiet. I painted more of my kitchen, visited with a friend, and got back into re-writing that cozy mystery. 

I've been eating at the Brass Cafe and Saloon nearly every Thursday as well. As you may remember, each Thursday, the chef's get extra creative and offer "Little Plates" or appetizer-size samples of experiments.

I typically get two little plates and am perfectly happy. Sometimes dessert is added, but not always. Here are more than enough little plates to make your mouth water.

Start with thinly-sliced beef, asparagus, mozzarella cheese, charred cherry tomatoes, and a balsamic vinegar reduction.

Beef Asparagus Mozarella Charred Tomato Balsamic Reducion.jpg

And move on to a grilled croissant with prosciutto, duck egg, and greens.

Next up might be a small pasta served with sauteed leeks, olives, and goat cheese.

Followed by a red pepper risotto.

Perhaps you'd prefer roasted apricots with goat cheese and greens?

My personal favorite of the last few months has to be the sweet corn fritter. What's not to love about a deep-fried batter and sweet corn? The dipping sauce was divine. (And, of course, I've forgotten what it actually was!)

I'm busy in the kitchen this weekend, checking out a new cookbook that covers all sorts of greens: kale, collards, and more. Look for a review sometime next week.