Category Archives: Chopped Parkton

Farm Fresh Challenge: Turnip, Potato, Tomato Stew

After a couple of steamy weeks the weather has cooled considerable here since Sunday. This resulted in my getting a nasty cold ( which meant I didn’t post yesterday! GASP! — I do have note from the doctor, but still!) However the vegetables from the CSA are still going strong.

Here’s what was in the box for week 18 of the Calverts Gift CSA (after I made my substitutions)…

escarole Tomatoes cherry tomatoes garlic turnips Napa cabbage Bok Choi Jalepenos

Escarole, Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, Turnips, Napa Cabbage, Bok Choi and Jalepenos. (I swapped the Bok Choi and Jalepenos out for more Turnips.)

I knew I wanted to make something Turnip inspired and decided on a simple Turnip stew.


From the Box:

2 bunches of Turnips (cut into 1/2″ chunks) [I’ve got smaller snowball and larger red turnips here]

2 Cloves of Garlic (diced)

2 Tomatoes (cut into 1/2″ chunks)

1 cup Fingerling Potatoes (cut into 1/2″ chunks) [From previous box]


From the Pantry:

2 Tbls Olive OIl

1 Onion (diced)

Salt, Pepper and dry Cilantro  to taste


1. In a Dutch Over or heavy skillet place the Olive oil and Turnips  cover and cook at a medium heat. Stir every few minutes.

2. Add the Garlic at about the 5  minute mark. Stir.

3. Add the Onions and Fingerling Potatoes at the 10 minute mark. Stir.

4. Check the stew. If the Potatoes and Turnips are soft enough to pierce with a fork add the Salt, Pepper, Cilantro and Tomatoes.  Stir.

Don't let the tomatoes cook down too much.

Don’t let the tomatoes cook down too much.

5. Heat the Tomatoes through and remove from heat.

6. Serve hot in a bowl and enjoy.

Ready to eat.

Ready to eat.

I like the way the sweetness of the tomatoes plays off the slightly bitter flavor of the turnip.

This can be eaten hot or cool. (But on a day like today it is perfect steaming hot with a chunk of fresh baked bread.)


Farm Fresh Challenge: Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Week 16 from Calvert Gifts CSA  Cilantro Tomatoes Sweet potatoes jalepeno peppers* cherry tomatoes radishes bok choi broccoli raab* (I swapped the peppers and broccoli raab for more cilantro and some turnips)

Week 16 from Calvert Gifts CSA
Sweet potatoes
jalepeno peppers*
cherry tomatoes
bok choi
broccoli raab* (I swapped the peppers and broccoli raab for more cilantro and some turnips)

Because I have regular potatoes from a previous week. I decided to make some fab Half and Half Mashed Sweet Potatoes today.


From the Box:

1 cup Sweet Potatoes (cut into 1/2 ” cubes)

1 cup Regular Potatoes (cut into 1/2″ cubes) (from a previous box)

2 TBLS Cilantro roughly chopped

Steam rises from the cooked potatoes. (Sweet and regular)

Steam rises from the cooked potatoes. (Sweet and regular)

From the Pantry or Fridge:

3 TBLS Butter

3 TBLS Half and Half

1 TBLS Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded)


1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes or until very tender.

2. Removed from heat and mash.

3. Add Butter and Half and Half and whisk.

4. Add Cilantro.

Half and Half Mashed Sweet Potatoes just after the Cilatro has been added.

Half and Half Mashed Sweet Potatoes just after the cilantro has been added.

5. Plate and garnish with Mozzarella Cheese.

Half and Half Mashed Sweet Potatoes on the plate and ready to eat.

Half and Half Mashed Sweet Potatoes on the plate and ready to eat.

Farm Fresh Challenge: Mid Summer Harvest Stew

Chaos at the ritaLOVEStoWIRTE kitchen "studio" this week prevent my taking a "box shot" of our CSA goodies so I took a shot of the pertinent  ingredients  instead.

Ingredients from our CSA, Calverts Gifts included potatoes, cherry tomatoes and purple sage.  I added leak, broth and garlic salt (plus a bit more) to create a hardy summer stew.

Chaos at the ritaLOVEStoWIRTE test kitchen “studio” this week prevented my taking a “box shot” of our CSA goodies so I took a shot of the pertinent ingredients instead.


From the box:

  • 10 small to medium Potatoes


  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/8 cup chopped Purple Basil
  • From the Pantry:
  • 1 Leak sliced

Leaks Basil toms

  • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • Dash of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 pound protein (I used sausage) COOKED and sliced
  • Garlic Salt, Salt, Pepper to taste


1. In a large pot bring 5 cups of water to boil. add the Potatoes and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the sliced Leaks and cook an addition 3 minutes. Drain  and set aside.

2. Add oil to the pot and put in the protein. Cook for 3 minutes (The protein needs to be pre-cooked == some might cal it “left over.” So you just need to heat it through for this recipe.) Add the Stock. Add the Tomatoes, Garlic Salt, Salt and Pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes.

Protien Basil Toms sauce

3. Put the Potatoes and Leaks back into the pot and stir. Allow several minutes for the Potatoes to reheat.

4. Plate and enjoy.

Stew on plate

Farm Fresh Challenge: Kohlrabi Coleslaw and Polenta Lasagna

Greetings fresh food lovers. We had another amazing box from Calvert’s Gift Farm CSA this week, and farmer Jack, who knows I love Kohlrabi, surprised me with a special gift of the sputnik shaped veggie in my box! Thanks Jack!

Here’s a shot of what I’ll be working with for the Farm Fresh Challenge. (We had more in the box but this is what I chose to use last night.)

Yellow squash, Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onion, Sage, Garlic. (Not shown: Mint)

Yellow squash, Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onion, Sage, Garlic. (Not shown: Mint)

I decided to make a three part challenge today, a drink, side dish and main dish. All part of…

[Not associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network or Tim Allen.]

[Not associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network or Tim Allen.]

Round One: Cream Mint Tea


1 bunch of Mint leaves, stripped from the stem

1 Red Bush (de-caf) Tea Bag

4 cups Boiling Water

3 cups Almond Milk

3 cups Ice Cubes


1. Heat the water to a boil

2. Brew the Mint Leaves and the Tea Bag for 20 minutes

3. Remove the Tea Bag and Leaves. In batches, place  1/3 of the tea, 1 cup of Almond Milk, and 1 cup of Ice Cubes into a blender and process until smooth. Repeat twice more until the tea is complete.

4. Keep chilled. If Tea flattens, pop it back into the blender for a few seconds to froth it up.

Bubble Tea

Round Two: Kohlrabi Coleslaw


3 medium Kohlrabi

1 bunch of Beets

1 bunch of Spring Onions

1 bunch Radish

1 Fennel Bulb

3 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1/2 lemon

Salt and Pepper



1. Grate  the Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onions, Radish and Fennel (use a large whole grater).

2. In a small bowl mix the Mayonnaise, Olive Oil and the juice of the 1/2 Lemon.

3. Toss the grated vegetables with the Lemony Mayonnaise.

4. Salt and Pepper to taste.

5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is an excellent Crisper buster. I not only used the super fresh ingredients from the box (Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onion) but I used up some ingredients that I hadn’t had a chance to use from last week (Fennel, Radish). If I had celery or carrots they would have made it into the slaw as well. I think some raisins and or nuts would be an excellent add in. 

BONUS to Baltimore readers: The Beets give this a certain RAVENS purple, so its perfect for a picnic if you want to celebrate our Super Bowl Champs… Just sayin’.

A serving of Kohlrabi Coleslaw goodness.

A serving of Kohlrabi Coleslaw goodness.

Round Three: Polenta Lasagna


1 pre-cooked Polenta “sausage” (my market has this with the rolls in front of the deli counter. It is not refrigerated.)


Cooking Spray

1/4 cup of fresh Sage Leaves

1 whole Garlic

1 bunch of spring Onion

4 medium Yellow Squash

4 slices of Provolone Cheese

Grated Italian Cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste



1. Pre-Heat Foreman Grill to 350 degrees. (You could also use a frying pan)

2. Cut up the Polenta into  1/3″ slices (Warning the Polenta is packed in water…which tends to squirt out when you pierce the plastic wrap.) (Ideally you’ll want to get 15 slices out of the slices — think slice and bake cookies)

3. Spray the surface of the Grill (or pan) and heat the Polenta slices for 5 minutes.

4. Separate the Garlic into cloves.

5. Cut up the Onion and Squash into same size slices.

6. When Polenta is finished cooking remove from grill and set aside. Place the Garlic, Onion and Squash on the grill and cook for 5 minutes.

7. Spray a square glass pan (like a cake pan) and arrange the Polenta. Top with Sage Leaves.
You should be able to fit two row of three slices and a third row of half slices. Put the rest of the Polenta to the side.

8. When the Garlic, Onion and Squash is cooked arrange it in a layer over the Polenta. Top with slices of Provolone.

9. Add a second layer of Polenta. Add extra Sage Leaves, Salt and Pepper and grated Italian Cheese.

Polenta Lasagna

Polenta Lasagna

10. Keep in refrigerator until a few minutes before plating then pop in the Microwave for a few minutes to reheat.

Since you can make this ahead of time it makes for a nice Summer dish. The Polenta Lasagna feeds 3 or 4 adults.

Polenta dinner

Farm Fresh Challenge: Roasted Turnip & Beet Salad

finished plate

Welcome to week two of the Farm Fresh Challenge! Or as I like to call it…

[Not associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network or Tim Allen.]

[Yeah … I’m gonna use that graphic until Tim Allen asks me personally to cut it out.]

I picked up the box at the CSA and it was filled with similar bounty of wonderfulness.

A CSA, you’ll recall, stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and we get our share from Calvert’s Gift Farm in Sparks, MD. We’ve been a part of Calvert’s Gift for five years now, and there’s a lot to love about the farm…

  • the produce picked fresh and is organic
  • it taste terrific
  • the farm is super local, so I don’t fret about the carbon footprint of eating a veggie that’s been trucked from another state (or country!)
  • there is a share box at the barn to swap out a product that doesn’t fit my dietary needs / tastes
  • there are always extras in the bonus box.
  • Calvert’s Gift also has a stall at the Kenilworth Farmers Market on Tuesdays and the Bel Air Farmers Market on Saturdays. Sometimes — when I’m feeling particularly cook-y —  I hit the market too.
  • the CSA is intimate, so as share holders we aren’t just a number
  • Jack and Becky, the farmers are friendly and helpful

Last week’s Turnip and Ham Salad was a huge hit with my family, so when I saw turnips in the share this week I knew I wanted to do another kind of salad.  Blessed with a bit of cooler weather I decided to roast some veggies to make

Roasted Turnip Salad…

In the CSA box I had:

2 Bunches of Scallions, trimmed with the stems chopped and the bulbs set aside

green Onions

2 Bunches of Turnips, greens and roots trimmed off  and turnips cut into 1/2″ chunks.


1/2 cup of Carrots, cut into 1/2″ chunks (technically my carrots were left from last week’s box)


12 medium organic strawberries, diced


I head of lettuceLettuce

From  the pantry:

1 cup of beats, cut into 1/2″ chunks

3 Tbsp virgin Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Parsley

2 teaspoon Cilantro

1/4 cup grated Italian Cheese

1 COOKED Chicken Breast, diced (optional)


4 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

(Chopped tops from the Scallions from above)

Salt and Pepper to taste


1 Pre Heat the oven to 350 degrees

2. Put the Scallions, Turnips, Carrots and Beets into a bowl and toss with the 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, Red Pepper, Salt, Parsley and Cilantro.

Turnip Salad tossed

3. Once the vegetables are coated transfer to a roasting pan.they should be in a single layer.  Put the pan into the heated oven for 20 minutes.

4. Carefully stir the vegetables and heat for an additional 10 minutes.

5. While the veggies are roasting prepare the dressing by whisking the Olive Oil, Apple Cider vinegar and Mustard together. Add the Scallions.

6. Once the vegetables are tender enough to pierce with a fork remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

veggies in roasting pan

7. Dress the veggies and add the chicken (optional), strawberries and cheese. Toss gently.

8. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce greens. Enjoy warm or chilled.

Turnip beet cheese

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