As we all prepare for the farmer's favorite holiday harvest celebration, we can become so focused on the grand feast that we may run out of ideas for everyday meals.  Here at Persephone we are still enjoying a rich and varied diet with all of the seasonal best.  Here are some recipes we have enjoyed in the last few weeks which you might like to try.

Asian Salad in Savoy Cabbage Bowls

I got the idea for this dish while staring at a small head of savoy cabbage.  The leaves are so beautifully curved, I thought it might make a very functional bowl in addition to being beautiful and delicious.  The "bowl" can also serve as a utensil:  lift it, slightly folded, full of salad, for a taco-like experience.

3 gobo roots (also known as Burdock!  If you live and shop in Portland please buy some gobo from the good folks at Wintergreen Farm, who sell at the Hollywood and PSU markets.), cut in fine julienne
4 carrots, cut fine julienne
2 small onions, cut in half and sliced thin
1 large kohlrabi, peeled and sliced, then cut fine julienne
8 ounces "pad thai" style rice noodles
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
4 Tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 Tablespoon honey
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 bundle cilantro, chopped fine

Heat water to a boil and cook rice noodles to your desired tenderness.  For the sauce, combine crushed garlic, sesame oil, tamari, honey, and vinegar and set aside.  (Adjust seasonings to taste.) Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron wok or skillet over medium heat and add a generous coating of light cooking oil.  Sautee the burdock, stirring occasionally, until lightly-browned.  Push it to the edges of the pan and add carrots to the center.  Sautee for a few minutes, until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.  Add a couple Tablespoons of sauce and cook a few minutes more.  Follow the same procedure with the onions, making sure they cook until they are quite soft, and the kohlrabi, making sure it retains some of its lovely crispness.  Mix the cooked vegetables with the noodles and add as much sauce as your tastebuds desire (you will likely have some sauce leftover.).  Serve in savoy cabbage leaves (medium-sized ones work best), and garnish with as much cilantro as you like.  Serves 6 as a side.  

Fried Green Tomatoes

The only kind of tomatoes we've got left.  This is a tangy, satisfying appetizer or side dish.
Start with as many medium-sized tomatoes as the mouths you wish to feed.  Cut into wedges (about 1/2 inch thick at their widest part).  Dredge in cornmeal seasoned with salt and ground black pepper, and fry until golden-brown over medium heat in a heavy skillet with a generous splash of sunflower oil.

Celeriac and Apple Slaw

Ever wonder what to do with celeriac (celery root)?  A market customer taught me about this slaw and it was an instant favorite.

1 head celeriac (1 1/2 - 2 lbs.)
1 lb. sweet-tart apples   *Note!  Gold Rush apples from La Mancha Orchard (they sell at the Corvallis and PSU markets) are the absolute best for this recipe!  Liberty apples from La Manchaare a close second.  *
1 Tablespoon sunflower oil
honey (just a bit)
2 - 3 Tablespoons lemon juice

Coarsely grate the celeriac (once you've peeled it) and the apples (unpeeled).  Toss with oil to coat, sprinkle salt to taste and toss, then toss in the honey, then the lemon juice, to taste.  Perfect for a winter treat.  Serves 4 - 6.

Potato Latkes

Traditionally for Hanukkah, but I can never wait that long.  Potatoes and onions fried in lots of oil?  Bring it on! 

6 large potatoes (about 8 cups grated)
2 medium yellow onions (about 2 cups chopped)
1/4 cup rice flour
2 - 3 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
4 eggs, beaten

Mix grated potatoes and chopped onions.  Mix in rice flour, salt, and pepper until evenly-blended.  Then add the beaten eggs.  Heat a heavy skillet (or several, if you would like the cooking to go more quickly), give each skillet a generous helping of sunflower oil, and spoon in the potato mixture , making thin cakes about 3-4 inches in diameter.
The key is knowing when to turn the latkes.  Too soon means you miss out on that lovely browning of the edges.  Not soon enough means, well, burning.  The nose is a good judge of when, or you can lift a cake and peek underneath for clues.  Once the latkes are cooked on both sides, place them on paper bags to drain a bit.  Continue to add oil to the pans whenever they get too dry, and make sure the oil heats up before dropping more mixture on.
Makes 24 latkes.  Serve with sour cream and applesauce.