Saturday, June 25, 2011

Scapes, and Kohlrabi, and Kale! Oh, my!

Pureeing frozen bananas one day, trying scapes and kohlrabi the next. Oh, and all of the jogging. Am I becoming a health freak?! Maybe, but it's kind of worth it. I'd like to keep my size 6's, unless I have to trade them in for 4's (or 2's!). You know what helps me with that? The Farmer's Market.

For those of you who don't know, Madison's Capitol Square hosts the Dane County Farmer's Market every Saturday from April through November. It's one of the largest (and best!) farmer's markets in the country, and I try to go every week. Now, I could say I go every week because I'm truly excited about the fresh produce, but that'd be a lie. I go because it's hard for me to go more than one week without a scone from Chris & Lori's Bakehouse. They have lots of kinds, and they're labeled in cases which range from "ultra-healthy" down to.... not so healthy. I usually go with the ultra-healthy, so I can remain guilt-free. It helps that their ultra-healthy scones are also ultra-delicious.

I always, always, get a blueberry oatmeal scone. Today I caught myself gazing lovingly at the carrot raisin as well, so I got two. Carrot raisin was breakfast today, which means I get to have the blueberry oatmeal tomorrow! It's a huge change from my normal breakfast of oatmeal... with blueberries. I'm pretty wild. Sometimes the blueberries are wild, too. Wild blueberries! Get it?

Do ya?


So today as I was wandering around the square (and cursing myself for wearing long sleeves- 67 is NOT cool enough for long sleeves), I thought I'd try some new things. Here's the whole Farmer's Market spread: 

Beautiful, right? I thought so. Here's what I've got... in the bowl on the far left, some fresh spinach (which probably won't survive the day). The darker green leaves just in front of the spinach belong to a bunch of kale (one of my favorite leafy greens). Then there are 3 giant cucumbers, which I'll probably plan to have with things, but then end up eating plain because I love cucumbers that much. Then there's a beautiful bowl of strawberries, and the aforementioned scones. Right behind the scones are the kohlrabi, which I'd never had until today. Between the cucumbers and the kohlrabi are scapes (those pretty green curly things), and then in the bag is a big bowl of mixed greens. I think that covers everything! Not bad for a day's work. 

Scapes are completely new to me, as is the kohlrabi. I chatted for a few minutes with the woman who sold me the scapes, just asking what they're like and what I should do with them. She asked if I like garlic, which... duh, I can eat it raw. She said I'd probably like scapes raw, then, but otherwise they can be used in place of garlic in any old recipe. As soon as I got home, I rinsed off a scape and tried it. Who dang! They're spicy. The good, garlic kind of spice, where it kind of burns your mouth but it really hurts-so-good. I'm guessing John Mellencamp's song was secretly written for scapes. If I cook some spinach later, perhaps I'll throw in a few scapes instead of garlic. Mmmm...

And then there's kohlrabi. It's really strange looking. Like the love child of an onion and broccoli. It does kind of taste like raw broccoli, but I hesitate in saying that because I really don't like raw broccoli. Cooked, I can eat it by the pound. But raw? Yuck. Naturally I poked around online using my gifts, and found that kohlrabi works raw or cooked. People recommended cutting it into matchsticks and then having it with dip. I have some Mediterranean Olive hummus on hand, so I thought I'd try that. Well, as I was peeling and chopping the kohlrabi (which was slightly harder than I anticipated), I just kept munching on it. By the time I finished chopping it, it was gone. No hummus for me, I suppose. I guess that means I liked it! It definitely does taste like raw broccoli, but without that weird dry texture. It's crispy and juicy, like a carrot, but with a broccoli-like flavor. It's very interesting. Apparently the leaves are good too, so perhaps I'll throw some of them in with my spinach later. Or with my kale. A party of greens! Again, I'm pretty wild.

In conclusion, scapes: delicious, kohlrabi: delicious. Scapes > kohlrabi. Scones > everything


  1. Hi Ally!! Gosh, I haven't seen you in ages, so glad to see you're doing well :) Yum, everything looks delish!! I love farmers markets, partly because I can usually find some veggie that I've never heard of. And it's always fun to experiment in the kitchen!!

  2. Hey Melissa! Yeah, our Farmer's Market is really awesome. It's one of my favorite parts of Madison! I hope Austin has one, or my fridge (and diet!) is certainly going to suffer...