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Alfalfa Recipes?

Alfalfa Recipes?
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  • Alfalfa Recipes?

    Post #1 - July 12th, 2009, 9:56 pm
    Post #1 - July 12th, 2009, 9:56 pm Post #1 - July 12th, 2009, 9:56 pm
    While shopping at Pete's Fresh Market the other day, I noticed bunches of fresh alfalfa. Not alfalfa sprouts, whole plants.

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    Any suggestions how to eat alfalfa? At Pete's, most of the less common fruits and veggies are used in the Mexican kitchen. Does anyone know what dishes alfalfa is used for in Mexico?
  • Post #2 - July 13th, 2009, 9:00 am
    Post #2 - July 13th, 2009, 9:00 am Post #2 - July 13th, 2009, 9:00 am
    A quick googling in spanish (fortunately alfalfa is alfalfa in Spanish) brought up:

    Guiso De Alfalfa (Alfalfa stew?)

    4 tablespoons oil
    4 cups of tender alfalfa leaves
    A little over a pound of potatoes
    1 onion
    1 clove garlic
    1/2 lb rice
    2 carrots
    about 2 cups vegetable broth or water


    Preparation:

    Chop potatoes, carrots, garlic and onion and saute in the oil. Then add rice and alfalfa leaves. Season to taste. Add vegetable broth or water. Boil for 20 minutes



    I also saw a recipe for an alfalfa licuado, and one where it's an additive in a carrot licuado. I imagine it's used in a similar way to wheatgrass...
  • Post #3 - July 13th, 2009, 9:35 am
    Post #3 - July 13th, 2009, 9:35 am Post #3 - July 13th, 2009, 9:35 am
    I can't read the phrase "Alfalfa recipes" without thinking that it somehow involves mistaking soap flakes for corn flakes and emitting bubbles while singing "I'm In The Mood For Love."
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  • Post #4 - July 15th, 2009, 11:39 pm
    Post #4 - July 15th, 2009, 11:39 pm Post #4 - July 15th, 2009, 11:39 pm
    Mhays wrote:A quick googling in spanish (fortunately alfalfa is alfalfa in Spanish) brought up:

    Guiso De Alfalfa (Alfalfa stew?)

    4 tablespoons oil
    4 cups of tender alfalfa leaves
    A little over a pound of potatoes
    1 onion
    1 clove garlic
    1/2 lb rice
    2 carrots
    about 2 cups vegetable broth or water

    Preparation:

    Chop potatoes, carrots, garlic and onion and saute in the oil. Then add rice and alfalfa leaves. Season to taste. Add vegetable broth or water. Boil for 20 minutes


    I also saw a recipe for an alfalfa licuado, and one where it's an additive in a carrot licuado. I imagine it's used in a similar way to wheatgrass...

    Thanks. Good idea, I didn't think to Google in Spanish. That's the sort of recipe I was looking for. All I turned up in my searches were recipes using alfalfa sprouts or juice. I think you're correct about it being like wheat grass. The raw leaves have a very grassy flavor (not too surprising). I hope to make some Guiso de Alfalfa soon.
  • Post #5 - July 15th, 2009, 11:47 pm
    Post #5 - July 15th, 2009, 11:47 pm Post #5 - July 15th, 2009, 11:47 pm
    Rene G,

    I hope you will send us some pictures. I'd be curious on the looks and on your impressions of the taste.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #6 - July 16th, 2009, 2:45 pm
    Post #6 - July 16th, 2009, 2:45 pm Post #6 - July 16th, 2009, 2:45 pm
    I was in the mood for some silage so I picked up a bunch of alfalfa at Pete's. No recipe was followed. I sautéed some knob onions and red jalapeños in olive oil, added some salt and Aleppo pepper, then water and a handful of freekeh*. After 10 or 15 minutes I tossed in the alfalfa leaves and let it simmer another 10 or 15. Gave it a squeeze of lemon before eating.

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    Really a good soup. I'll probably make it again but the next time I buy alfalfa I'll try something a little closer to the recipe Mhays posted above. I think the flavor of the alfalfa would shine through a little more clearly. After my lunch of alfalfa and grain I felt as contented as a cow in a feedlot.


    * Freekeh (there are many alternate spellings) is smoked green wheat used in Middle Eastern cookery, especially in Syria and Jordan. Freekeh has a subtle smoky flavor and a terrific chewy texture. It's become a favorite ingredient of mine.
  • Post #7 - September 11th, 2009, 12:09 pm
    Post #7 - September 11th, 2009, 12:09 pm Post #7 - September 11th, 2009, 12:09 pm
    I think we're in the heart of alfalfa season. I bought a pound (that's a lot of alfalfa) at a pickup truck parked in La Villita and made the recipe that Mhays posted above. It was very good but next time I might leave out the garlic. I'm learning that simpler is better when it comes to alfalfa.

    I found fresh alfalfa on the menu at a Back of the Yards Mexican restaurant. A brief report can be found in the Eating Out forum.
  • Post #8 - September 11th, 2009, 12:19 pm
    Post #8 - September 11th, 2009, 12:19 pm Post #8 - September 11th, 2009, 12:19 pm
    Prime alfalfa is harvested about June 1 (even a little earlier). That's the nicest and tenderest. Late season alfalfa (now) is more stemmy and coarse. At least that's what my cows told me.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #9 - September 11th, 2009, 7:26 pm
    Post #9 - September 11th, 2009, 7:26 pm Post #9 - September 11th, 2009, 7:26 pm
    Mhays is right, "guiso" is a stew and "guisado" means stewed. I emailed my friend Nance (of the Klehm variety, she of urban foraging and Little Village orchardista fame) to see if she's ever drank/prepared anything with alfalfa here or in her travels to Mexico. I must say, I totally associate alfalfa with horses and hippy sprouts that taste like hair in your sandwich/salad, so this is such a happy new discovery. I like wheat grass in moderation for its grassiness and sweetness.

    Last year at this time I bought purslane, a succulent known as "verdolaga" at a Pete's Market near Midway. I'd eaten a lovely, simple version of it at Los Nopales and then noticed that it was growing in many cracks in the city sidewalks. The Pete's version (not the sidewalk version) steamed up nicely and was also a good addition to salads. It kept in my fridge for weeks. It's supposed to be a great source of Vitamin C and good for your heart.

    Anyhow, if anyone knows about the health benefits associated with alfalfa, I'd love to hear them. And how fleeting is the window for buying alfalfa in any form at a restaurant?

    buen provecho.

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry

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