broccolini

Before we start, let’s not get into any arguments about whether I’ve already covered this vegetable. That was broccoli rabe, which for the record, is not the same thing as broccolini.

I actually had to check myself because although the flavor profile is different, they have a similar appearance.  Incidentally, I learned that broccoli rabe is not the same thing as rapini, who knew! They’re almost identical, so the rapini police don’t trouble themselves with corrections. Now you can bring up your newfound knowledge at your next cocktail party. Cross your fingers that you’ll be talking to the only person in the room who’ll appreciate your wisdom.

If you’re looking to branch out from broccoli (excuse the horrible pun) I recommend getting your kids to try broccolini. They might even like it better than broccoli. The color stays more vibrant green when you cook it, and it has a sweeter, milder taste.

ME: The mystery food that I have for you this week is…..

SAM: Bread.

ME: Is…

SAM: Yeast.

ME: Broccolini.

SAM: I said yeast.

ME: Yeast?  It’s not yeast.  Broccolini.  Do you remember when we tried broccoli rabe?

LAUREN: No.

ME: It kind of… Well, I’m not going to tell you.  Here you go.

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Endive

Endive lettuce had one taker this week. Lauren’s our resident salad eater, so it came as no surprise that she loved it. Sam wanted nothing to do with it and Emma was fixated on our Pandora reggae station, likely because of all of our recent rum talk.

Would we get it again? Uh, that would be a yes, because it has a built in scoop. Pretty much the coolest vegetable ever.

ME: What is this?

LAUREN: Salad greens!

ME: Weeeelll, these are actually not salad greens. Salad greens are not a vegetable. There are many different vegetables that fall within the salad greens category. Do you guys know what they’re called?
(Sam and Emma run for the hills)

ME: Sam and Emma, come here! Look, you can break them in half!

EMMA: This is reggae.

ME: This is endive.

EMMA: This is reggae.

ME: It falls into the bitter category of greens because they’re a little bitter. Sometimes people like to pair bitter and sweet. It’s pretty bitter right?

LAUREN: Whoa, can I have one more? I like it, I like it. Even though it’s bitter.

ME: Do you remember what it’s called?

LAUREN: Gerdive?

ME: No.

LAUREN: Perdive?

ME: No. Endive.

ME: What do you think guys, should we get it again? You know the cool thing about these is that because they’re scoops you can scoop dips with it. You could do guacamole or tuna salad or chickpeas with this. Different kinds of things. Sam can you not tie a rope over the stool please? Emma can you not jump off the couch? So what do you guys think, should we do endive again?

LAUREN: Can I have one more scoop to scoop something?

ME: Sure, what do you want to scoop.

LAUREN: Lemonade.

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There may or may not have been talk about Asian pear tasting like raw potatoes. But strangely enough it wasn’t a deal breaker. Personally Asian pears aren’t my favorite variety. They’re a little hard, a little woody. Like biting into a birch tree. I like my pears to be on the softer side, the kind of fruit that gives with gentle pressure like a perfect summer peach. But despite my own leanings, the kids loved it.

ME: Guys, the mystery food that we’re doing today is called….

EMMA: What’s that mommy?

ME: This is our mystery food.

EMMA: Yew, I don’t like that.

LAUREN: Emma, don’t say that.

ME: Called….

LAUREN: Pear?

ME: Yeah, what kind of pear?

SAM: A leech pear!

ME: What?

SAM: A leech pear!

ME: A leech pear? No. It’s called an Asian pear. It’s from Asia. Kind of like persimmon but different. Let’s smell it first. Let’s see if it smells like a regular pear. What do you think?

SAM: No. It smells like flowers.

ME: Flowers?

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Satsuma

Satsuma oranges were all the rage in our house around Christmas when we were going overboard on all things citrus, from tangerines to mandarin oranges. And Satsuma oranges might just be the prettiest of the bunch with their beautiful green stems. It beats me why we waited so long to try them as part of our challenge, but I’m glad that we finally did. We didn’t get any earth-shattering reactions from the kids, but still a fun fruit to explore.

ME: What is this called?

LAUREN: An orange!

ME: Yeah, but it’s a special kind of orange. Have you ever seen an orange with the leaves still attached? See? The leaves are still attached.

EMMA: It looks like cranberry juice.

ME: We did an orange a long time ago.

LAUREN: But it was much bigger.

ME: Yeah, it was bigger and it kind of had a funny shape didn’t it?

LAUREN: Yeah. The ugly orange.

ME: Lauren you have such a good memory.

EMMA: It’s kind of like orange juice.

ME: OK, so be careful, I don’t want you guys to poke yourselves with the stem. These are special oranges and you find them in the grocery store with the stems attached. I don’t know why they still have the stems attached, but let’s see what it looks like on the inside.

(cutting)

LAUREN: It kind of looks like a clementine.

ME: It does look like a clementine. Smell it.

LAUREN: It smells a little different when it’s open. This smells a little lighter and clementines smell a little darker.

ME: What does it taste like?

LAUREN: It tastes like kind of sour, and kind of sweet. A little more sour and sweeter than a real orange.  Because it can’t taste the same.

SAM: It tastes like sweet potatoes.

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Black radish

After the success of last week’s watermelon radish, we decided to give another radish variety a try. Enter black radish. But we learned an important lesson this week: not all radishes are created equal. Some, like the watermelon radish, are pleasantly spicy. Others pack  serious heat. Fortunately Sam didn’t suffer permanent damage, but from his reaction you’d have thought he’d scorched his tongue. I think I’ve tested about all the radishes my kids can handle. No need to try any more, we’ve been there, done that, time to move onto non-radish food.

ME: OK, you guys are going to be really excited about this next one…

SAM: Green beans?

ME: What do you think this is?

LAUREN: A radish?

ME: Yeah, how did you know it’s a radish?

LAUREN: Looks like it.

ME: Oh my gosh, I don’t think it looks anything like a radish. How did you know?

LAUREN: Well it had that same shape and the same thing on the top, so I just guessed it was a radish.

SAM: It’s a bum bum.

ME: Stop.

ME: What color is it going to look like on the inside?

SAM: Bum bumish.

ME: OK, thank you.

LAUREN: Uh, pinkish? Red? Green? Pink or green I guess.

SAM: Booty color.

ME: Oh, my gosh!

LAUREN: White?

ME: Yep. Hard to believe, right? Smell it.

LAUREN: That smells a little bit like cucumbers.

SAM: It smells like a bum bum.

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