Dancer, Instructor, Choreographer

J Michael Winward

What to do with a Watermelon Radish

I first learned about Community Supported Agriculture when I was scrounging around for work in my early twenties. Unable to find a dance gig, I was thrilled to find a vegetable gig (which was a close second on the list of gigs I was considering). Every week for four hours, I would weigh and pack local produce into large green boxes for delivery to our customers. I was compensated in all the leftover vegetables I could fit into my '93 Celica. Being paid in vegetables teaches you a lot about the value of vegetables, and I feel lucky to have had this experience early on. That CSA was called World Peas and it was based in Lowell. When I moved to Plymouth and started ballroom dancing (a job that paid money!) I signed up to receive weekly shares from South Shore Organics. Now that I live in Boston, I receive deliveries from Boston Organics, who just sent me the gift of this wooden spoon inside my tenth delivery.

 

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If you are interested in these organizations, follow the links above. Otherwise, check and see if there is a CSA in your area. I've never paid more than $35 for a week's worth of produce (which often lasts into the next week). It's like living your own weekly episode of Chopped. Your dinner menu is dictated by a mystery box! This week's star ingredient:

 

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The watermelon radish.

 

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Hmmmmm.

 

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Also, a sprout mix.

 

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Hmmmmm.

 

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The only thing you have to be aware of when working with a CSA is just how quickly the produce can pile up if you're not on top of things. The day I got the watermelon radish and sprouts, I was also grappling with a shelf full of root vegetables from the week before.

 

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Those got roasted in the oven at about 400 degrees until everything was soft.

 

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This is the start of an eggplant spread, similar to the one I use to make Eggplant Pasta.

 

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Roasted vegetables turned into a mash with some butter, half & half, salt & pepper.

 

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I also made some caper hummus, and two other easy, 3-ingredient spreads. The first was a combination of cream cheese, dill and lemon zest. The second was a simple guacamole: smushed avocado, lime juice and cumin.

 

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I served this assortment of spreads and sprouts with rye bread and thinly sliced watermelon radish.

 

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With these open faced tea sandwiches, I have successfully completed yet another uncontested Chopped challenge.

RecipesJ Michael Winward