It’s the ‘in between’ season. Winter crops are in shorter supply, and our favorite summer crops are still a ways from being harvestable. Yet there are still delicious seasonal dishes to be made! Some of our favorite root crops linger from last season: watermelon radish, gilfeather turnips, sweet potato, and napa cabbage, while we start to get some micro greens that are welcomed with open arms as the days get longer and sun brings out new life.
Here’s a New England twist on a Korean staple dish: bibimbap. We get a little creative with some dried fungi, ferment some cabbage for a complex flavor, and roast some winter veggies to comprise this Korean favorite within the constraints of our New England food supply.
Makes 4 Servings Prep time: 25 minutes (with an overnight soak of grains, and overnight ferment) Cook time: 30 minutes
Watermelon Radish (4 medium)
Sweet Potato (2 medium)
Napa cabbage (1 head)
Gilfeather turnip (1 large)
Garlic (1 head)
Any micro green you can get your hands on: if Green City Growers has you set up with a hoop house, you likely have some harvestable baby kale, pea shoots, or other sprouts perfect for this dish!
Wild mushrooms, or shiitake (a handful dried, or 2 handfuls if fresh).
Vegetable broth (optional)
Pearled barley (1.5 cups)
Sesame oil (1/4 cup)
Korean kimchee red pepper, or any crushed red pepper
Optional: Have some backyard chickens? ‘Put a bird on it’: this dish is traditionally served with an over-easy egg over it. Otherwise, this dish is perfect vegan!
The night before:
Soak the barley in a bowl covered by a cloth over night.
Overnight kraut: Shred the napa cabbage, and place in a bowl. Using your hands, massage in about 3 teaspoons of fine sea salt. By massaging the cabbage, you will start to break down the cells. With a fist, press down the cabbage and hold down with a weight (a bowl full of water works, or plate with something heavy on top of it). Put a cloth over the bowl to protect from dust. The next day, the cabbage should be submerged in its own liquid. Remove from the bowl, and press into a jar until submerged in it own liquid.
Turn oven to 400 degrees F
Cut the root crops into matchsticks. Coat with 2 tbsp sesame oil and place onto baking sheet.
Cut off top of garlic head so the tips of the garlic cloves are exposed. Place the whole head, tips up on the baking sheet.
Roast the vegetables and garlic head for 20 minutes, or until browned.
If using dried mushrooms, reconstitute in warm water.
In a pot, heat 1tbsp sesame oil and add soaked barley over medium-high heat. Stir for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup vegetable broth or water. When liquid is soaked up by the grain, slowly keep adding water. After 20 minutes, test the grain for desired tenderness. If too hard, keep adding more water.
Sauté mushrooms in sesame oil, or sunflower oil until crisped
When barley is cooked, prepare to serve, or see notes to ‘crisp’ the barley
Dole out the barley in shallow bowls, and serve roasted vegetables over it with a healthy serving of overnight kraut, raw or wilted micro greens, and the chili paste (see instructions below).
Optional! ‘Put a bird on it’. Cook an egg over easy, and serve on top of the dish!
In a small bowl, squeeze roasted garlic, and mix in with Korean chili flakes or crushed red chili peppers.
Mix in a half teaspoon of sesame oil or water
Mix in Bragg’s liquid amines, or soy sauce
Notes: This dish is traditionally served with crisped white rice. You can crisp the barley by placing it into a cast iron pan, and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, or heat over med-high heat on the stove in a cast iron pan until the bottom is crispy.
About al FreshCo
Want to cook seasonally without the prep? al FreshCo is here for you! We partner with local farmers, get what they have fresh, and turn it into seasonal meal kits you can cook at home. We do all the washing and chopping for you, and everything is included in your kit to make a meal for two hungry people. Just follow the 4 simple instructions, and you’ll be eating a fresh, local meal in 30 minutes or less!
Become a member to get kits delivered to you each week, or buy a la carte. Green City Growers friends and customers get 10% off membership! Just use the code “GreenCity” at checkout.