Ever wonder how fruits become seedless? Laura Avery talks to David Karp about tangerines and the different processes that create the seedless version of this favorite citrus fruit. According to David, there are two methods used in eliminating the seeds: they can either be bred to grow without seeds (a longer, more drawn out process); or the budwood of the trees can be irradiated, which renders the fruit seedless. These irradiated trees are licensed by the University of California and cannot be propagated by individuals. David's favorite tangerine in the market right now is the Algerian Clementine, which can be found at Bob Polito's farm stand from Northern San Diego County.
We also visit with Amelia Saltsman, is a local cookbook writer and cooking show host. She found some golden rutabagas and shares her recipe for a delicious puree.
Golden Puree of Rutabagas with Their Greens
Adapted from The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm by Amelia Saltsman (Blenheim Press, August 1, 2007)
4 bunches small rutabagas with tops (about 3 pounds total)
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-inch thick coins
2 large leeks, white part only, chopped (save green tops for stock)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, diluted to half-strength
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted and chopped
Trim leafy tops from the rutabagas and reserve. Peel the rutabagas and cut into 1/4-inch-thick coins. In a wide pot, sauté the rutabagas and a little salt in 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-low heat until partly tender and golden, about 15 minutes, covering the pot and turning the heat to low halfway through the cooking time. (If your rutabagas are on the old side, add a little water when you cover the pot to help them cook more quickly.)
Using a slotted spoon, remove the rutabagas from the pot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and sauté the carrot and leeks until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Return the rutabagas to the pot, season with more salt and some pepper, and add 4 cups of the stock. Cover partially and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, prepare the rutabaga tops. Discard any yellowed leaves and chop the remainder coarsely. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, being careful not to let it brown. Add the greens and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper and sauté until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the water and cook until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes, covering the pan halfway through cooking time and adding a little water if they begin to stick. When the greens are tender, chop finely (or use a food processor) and set aside.
Puree the soup with an immersion or stand blender. Add the remaining 2 cups stock as needed to achieve the consistency of heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each serving with a spoonful of the greens and a sprinkling of pistachios.
© 2007, Amelia Saltsman
Music Break -- Chariot -- Rhet Stoller