What’s Fresh from the Farm in December?

As a part of the collaborative Farm to School Program with the Ferguson-Florissant School District, the team at EarthDance Organic Farm School has started the “What’s Fresh” initiative! What’s Fresh highlights farm fresh organic produce in its season, in hopes of educating families, neighbors, staff, and students on the benefits of growing and eating fresh produce. Each produce item featured can be found right here at EarthDance growing on our organic farm!

What a year! We have covered a variety of veggies, and we’re not stopping now. December may make you think of comfort foods like stuffing and warm soups, but there’s always room for a salad in our book here at EarthDance! Our featured veggie this month is the beautiful Watermelon Radish but we’re throwing in a few heavy hitters like kale, beets and carrots for this recipe.  

Winter is a time when our immune systems can take the hardest hit. We’re often eating less fresh foods, and germs are everywhere. Fortunately, here on the farm, vegetables like the watermelon radish are available in abundance. Watermelon radish are a type of daikon radish with a white exterior and a pink interior. They are a great source of antioxidants, which are great for protecting your cells, and phosphorus, which help to repair damaged cells. They are also high in potassium, a mineral that helps transport nutrients through your cells and magnesium, another mineral that helps convert food into energy. What a great way to combat feeling sluggish in the winter!

“I’ve never had a watermelon radish” you say. “How do I prepare a watermelon radish?” you ask. We’ve got you covered! Visit the EarthDance table at the Ferguson Winter Market to find great produce like watermelon radish, kale, beets and carrots and check out this tasty, nutrient packed recipe from Love & Lemons. It’ll give your immune system the power it needs to fight this winter!

Photo & recipe courtesy of Love & Lemons

Ingredients

Carrot Ginger Dressing (See notes)

  • ½ cup chopped roasted carrots, from 3/4 cup raw carrots
  • 1/3 to ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Salad

  • 1 batch Roasted Chickpeas
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 small red beet, grated*
  • ½ watermelon radish, very thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pepitas, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Sea salt & Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing and roast the chickpeas: Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with pinches of salt and pepper. Place the carrot pieces for the dressing in their own corner on the baking sheet to roast alongside the chickpeas. Roast for 25 to minutes, or until the chickpeas are browned and crisp and the carrots are soft. Set the roasted chickpeas aside. Transfer the carrots to a blender and add the water, olive oil, rice vinegar, ginger, and salt. Blend the dressing until smooth and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Place the kale leaves into a large bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Use your hands to massage the leaves until they become soft and wilted and reduce in the bowl by about half.
  3. Add the carrot, beet, watermelon radish, half of the cubed avocado, cranberries, pepitas, a few more good pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and toss. Drizzle generously with the carrot ginger dressing. Top with the remaining avocado, more dressing, the roasted chickpeas and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Season to taste and serve.