Thursday, September 29, 2011

Seasonal Wheel

Mother Nature is dramaticlly letting us know it is a time of change. Once verdant canopies are turning an array of reds, oranges, yellows and brown that is just breathtaking. Unlike the spring season with its continuous tender, green sprouting, budding, and flowering flowing into the fruiting season we are witnessing exhaustion. My vining plants are showing signs of the wear and tear as their leaves are browned and shriveled; late settling fruits hang on seemingly suspended, and the bees are searching for a new source.

All is not so desparate for in her grace a new crop of subterrain heartiness is developing -- vegetables that don’t mind the decreasing light and cooling days. And, the green, leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, sorrel and lettuce that wilted and pooped-out during the dog days are up and running mad, renewed by this change. Thank goodness for radishes, those fast maturing tubers give a blush of color as my palate turns to the hues of green, and brunt umber. While I will miss the overwhelming output of the cucumbers and the eight different herbs options to season the night’s meal I am already relishing in the turn of the wheel. 

Brussels Sprouts Slaw – yeilds 6 to 8 servings
1-1/2-pounds Brussels sprouts 
1 fennel bulb
½-pound kolrahbi – peeled
4-scallions – very thinly sliced
¼-cup chopped loveage (or the inner stalk of celery)
¼-cup chopped Italian parsley
1-bunch watercress
½-cup toasted pumpkin seeds
½-cup white wine vinegar
2-tablespoons Dijon mustard
½-cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Wash the Brussels sprouts and then peel one or two outer leaves, and trim the base.

Shred the Brussels sprouts, fennel, and kolrahbi. Place them in a large work bowl along with all the other ingredients. Toss every well to disperse all the flavors. Refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight before serving.

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