Sure, from the outside it looks like I’m just another tough guy, what with my coarse, charcoal-colored skin, and round, bigger-than-average size. But on the inside? I’m bursting with unconventional flavor, baby. I want to spice up your life!
In the pan. Cut me into ¼” slices, then sprinkle with a bit of salt and pinch of black pepper. Sauté with butter over medium heat until my skin is tender and dappled with brown spots. Feel free to dress me with some grated cheese or fresh herbs—I’ve been told I clean up real nice.
In the oven. I roast way faster than most other veggies; it’s kind of my thing. Slice me thinly, then toss me with some salt and olive oil. Put me in the oven at 450° F for no more than 10 minutes. Keep an eye on me—I crisp up real quick and don’t like getting burned.
Pickled. This’ll be easier than you think. First, cut me into matchsticks. Then choose an airtight jar and place matchsticks into it. Add enough water to cover me completely (I love a good bath), then pour out into a measuring cup. Add in one tablespoon of salt for every cup of water, and pour mixture over me. Store in a cool, dark place for about two weeks. (Just make sure to open and close the jar every other day to release gases—hey, we all do it.) Boom! Put me on your favorite sandwich for an extra bit of bite.
Raw. Toss me in a salad or turn me into a slaw. I’m easygoing; I don’t mind.
I come from pretty hearty stock—you know us brassicas, we can really hang in there—so I’ll be nice and crunchy for up to a week. When you take me home, I like to hang out in the fridge in a produce bag. Just be sure to cut my leafy tops off and store them separately. Don't throw them out though—they're just as delicious and sexy as me. Add them into sautés or turn them into pesto. You can even slice me 1-2 days ahead so you can save time in the kitchen...you know, so you have time to get ready for our next date.
By Jessica Kulick, Local Roots subscriber & Food Lover