Thursday, August 14, 2014

CSA - Summer Week 3 and Summer Veg Empanadas with Kohrabi, Kale, and Summer Squash

Week 3 of the summer CSA was a huge haul:

Kohlrabi, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, potatoes, onions, lettuce, basil, and kale.  Leaning towards the green side this week, but I had some immediate thoughts as to what would be made in the kitchen.

The cukes and lettuce will be used in salads and for snacking, along with some of the kale.  The potatoes will make a great side for a dinner, and so will the zucchini with some of the onions.  I'm thinking of making a basil cake with the basil.  But the main dish to come out of this haul uses the kohlrabi, some kale, some onion, and summer squash: Summer Veg Empanadas.

Empanadas are basically a type of hand pie, but the name sounds so much nicer.  I'm not sure how "authentic" my version is, but they are delicious, and the kids tend to go for anything in pocket form, so this is a good way to get extra veg in them.

If you have a fantastic homemade pie crust recipe and the time to make it, do that!  But honestly, I'm usually scrambling around dinner time, so I go with an organic pre-made dough most times.  Whichever you choose, prep your pie crust dough.

Next, you're going to need a couple of kohlrabi.  You might only need one big one, as some of them can be huge!  Kohlrabi look like an alien veg, but they are really delicious.  They taste similar to broccoli stems to me, mild and crisp.

Cut off the skins of the kohlrabi, then cut them into small cubes.  Set them aside for now.

 Dice up a medium onion, crush a couple of cloves of garlic, and grate some fresh ginger.  Saute all those in some butter and/or olive oil until the onion starts to get translucent and your kitchen smells fantastic.

Add in the kohlrabi and some salt and pepper.  Cook over medium to low heat for 5 minutes.

While that's cooking, slice up some summer squash into pieces the same size as your kohlrabi pieces.

Chop up some fresh kale until you have about a half cup chopped.  Add the squash and kale to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, until the squash is tender.

Test it for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Take it off the heat and let cool a bit.

While the filling is cooling, get your dough ready.  You can cut large circles and fold them in half when filled, which is more traditional, or you can use a smaller circle, like a glass or jar, and make little round pies.

Cut all the rounds you can, and feel free to re-roll dough scraps to make more.

Preheat your oven to 425.

Fill the rounds with the veg filling, leaving room around the edges to seal.

Cover or fold, and seal with a fork.  My kids love this job.

 Place the prepared empanadas on baking sheets covered with parchment.  I usually end up with 2 sheets full, about 32 small empanadas.

In a small bowl, mix an egg yolk with a tablespoon of milk.

Use a basting brush to gently brush the empanadas with the egg wash.  This will give them a lovely glossy tan color as they bake.

Bake the empanadas for 6-8 minutes, until they are crispy and golden.

These can be a side dish, or a meat-free main course.  They are also great little snacks.  Heck, I'd even serve these for breakfast.  Empanadas and bacon for everyone!

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