daikon recipe - cooking classes auckland

Vegetables that you shouldn’t be afraid of. (plus recipes!)

Look. I get it. Daikon is weird looking. You’re probably looking at it without even knowing it’s daikon. Or you’ve never heard of daikon. It’s just some giant tubular white thing that you may or may not be making jokes about. There are quite a few vegetables that when I go to the supermarket to purchase, I need to tell the checkout staff what they are. So instead of keeping these weird and wonderful veggies to myself, check out the below list of vegetables that you shouldn’t be afraid of, what they taste like and some recipe ideas to get you started. Cause carrots get kinda boring.

Vegetables that you shouldn’t be afraid of.


Daikon

Pictured above, daikon is a giant radish. It’s more mild tasting than it’s little red/pink relatives but can be eaten in similar ways. If you’ve ever eaten crunchy pickled yellow stuff at a Japanese restaurant – that’s daikon. It’s also served as the bed for sashimi (as pictured below). The most delicious way I’ve found daikon to be served is at Masu Restaurant in Federal Street, braised in miso. The below recipe is similar, but strangely this isn’t a recipe in the Masu Cookbook which I own.

Tip: Peel the outside and top green bits off and then either slice thinly with a mandolin or cut into matchstick pieces for a salad.

Maangchi’s Pickled Daikon

daikon recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

maangchi.com

Hiroko’s American Kitchen Braised Miso Daikon

daikon recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

seriouseats.com

Spiralised in a salad or with sashimi

daikon recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

japantimes.co.jp


Fennel

fennel recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

vegetables.co.nz

Fennel is so much easier to grow than I realised when experimenting in the garden this year. It’s also one of those veg that have a totally different taste when they’re cooked. It’s quite crunchy and when it’s raw, it tastes like aniseed. Braised, it takes on a milder flavour. It also makes your garden smell heavenly.

Tip: Don’t waste the tips, the fluffy green bits can be used exactly like dill, either in sauces or sprinkled on salads.

Chargrilled Fennel and Carrot with Haloumi

fennel recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

Bonnie Savage

Fennel, Apple and Walnut Salad

fennel recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

taste.com.au

Martha Stewart’s Fennel and Smoked Salmon

or you can used my Salmon Gravlax recipe here!

fennel recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

marthastewart.com


Celeriac

celeriac recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

vegetables.co.nz

Celeriac taste like, well, celery. It has a totally different texture to celery however, and is a root plant of the same variety of celery, but planted specifically to eat the root. The flavour is lovely and mild and it can be used the same way as celery (salad) or as a potato (mashed, in a gratin).

Tip: Celeriac is one of those things that is hard to find unless you go to an Asian grocer or Farro. They tend to be a bit pricey, as they are charged per kg and these are heavy suckers. If you find them for less than $8.99/kg you’ve scored yourself a deal.

Nigel Slater’s Celeriac Remoulade

celeriac recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

theguardian.com

Ottolenghi’s Celeriac Apple Salad

celeriac recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

theguardian.com

Jamie Oliver’s Celeriac and Potato Gratin

celeriac recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

jamieoliver.com


Kohlrabi

kohlrabi recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

vegetables.co.nz

Kohlrabi can be purchased at the same places as celeriac, and while similar in shape, it is a totally different veg. It is not part of the root family, but is actually a brassica, tasting sort of like sweeter broccoli stems. The larger the kohlrabi, the thicker the outside skin, which you will need to peel off before getting to a whiter inside layer.

Tip: The Avondale Market, which you can read about here, is the best place to buy kohlrabi, where you can pick one up for $1.50-$2. If you buy from the shops, they are sold per kg and can be more pricey – but are so worth it!

Roasted Kohlrabi

kohlrabi recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

vegetables.co.nz

Ottolenghi’s Kohlrabi and Lime Salad

kohlrabi recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

Ottolenghi

Martha Stewart’s Kohlrabi Chips

kohlrabi recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

marthastewart.com


Radicchio

radicchio recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

fruitandvegetablesmelbourne.com.au

Radicchio has a really full on flavour when raw – crunchy and bitter, and it’s a great way to jazz up a salad. It mellows in flavour as it’s cooked and is also delicious stuffed in pasta or meat. It might also be called chicory in the shops, and will be sold like above, in a tight ball or is sometimes a bit greener and looser leafed.

Tip: Radicchio is not the easiest vegetable to grow, so check out some cultivation hints here.

Julie Biuso’s Fig & Radicchio salad with Goat’s Cheese and Hazelnuts

radicchio recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

Aaron McLean

Stuffed Pasta with Radicchio, Ricotta and Lemon

Click the above link for the recipe and techniques to making stuffed pasta, and use the below for the filling:

  • 1 cup chopped radicchio
  • 1 lemon rind
  • 3/4 cup ricotta
  • salt and pepper to taste
stuffed pasta recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

The Enthusiastic Cook

Roasted Balsamic Radicchio

radicchio recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

Bon Appetit


Leek

leek recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

goodwholefood.com

Okay. You might be like, what? Leek is not scary. I cook with it all the time. But I am adding this, because when I first started cooking, leek was an excellent way for me to experiment with a vegetable that I wasn’t very familiar with. To be honest, the first time I cooked with it, I cut off the white bits and threw them away because I thought you used the tips. Oops! Leeks are delicious, and when they’re in season – are cheap. Tasting like a more savoury onion, these can be cooked and added to many different dishes for a fuller flavour. Baby leeks can be used the same way, but are slightly sweeter and are nice simply pan fried on their own.

Tip: Chopping the leeks into thin rings and then tossing them in a pan with a bit of salt and olive oil is the easiest, tastiest side dish.

Jamie Oliver’s Leek and Potato Soup

leek recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

jamieoliver.com

Chelsea Winter’s Potato and Leek Smash

leek recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

chelseawinter.co.nz

Annabel Langbein’s Leek and Mushroom Pie

leek recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

annabel-langbein.com


Okra

okra recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

vegetables.co.nz

I have only ever seen okra sold in Auckland at the Avondale Markets, but it’s always there. This veg is very popular in the Southern United States, and is typically fried or served in a gumbo in the region. The inside of okra have large soft edible seeds and this kind of goo-like consistency, which I like but is quite unusual. It’s really easy to cook, baked or stewed it becomes soft and tasty pretty quickly.

Tip: Pick small okra. The larger they get, the more woody and tough they become.

Southern Fried Okra

okra recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

spicysouthernkitchen.com

Spiced Okra Curry

okra recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

bbcgoodfood.com

Ottolenghi’s Okra with Tomato, Lemon and Cilantro

okra recipe - cooking classes auckland Vegetables

The Enthusiastic Cook

I received Ottolenghi’s cookbook: “Plenty” recently, which is jam packed full of veggie mains and side dishes. One of the first recipes I cooked was this Okra recipe as I had just purchased some from the Avondale Market. The below is the actual recipe, courtesy of Ottolenghi which you can find here without my modifications. I tweaked it slightly to use less fat and avoid sugar. I also substituted a couple things. It was DELICIOUS!

4 tbsp 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil 
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 red peppers 1 red/1 green, cut in 1cm wide strips
1 mild red chilli, deseeded and chopped 1 tsp chilli flakes
6 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
30g fresh coriander leaves, chopped
400g chopped tomatoes (fresh or tinned) 2 cups homemade tomato sauce. Click for recipe.
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp caster sugar
Salt
400g okra, fresh or frozen
3 tbsp finely chopped skin of preserved lemon
30 pitted black olives of the dry and wrinkly variety, each cut into two (didn’t have any, will try next time!)
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp shredded mint leaves


Do you have any great recipes for the above veggies? Share below!

 

If you love vegetables and want to be shown new and fresh ways to cook with them, then visit my Classes page and send me a message. I can tailor cooking classes for any experience level and will come to you (Auckland wide), with all the ingredients. Happy cooking!

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