Substitutions

I am the World’s Worst Potato Farmer.  None suck more at growing potatoes than I.  So, we almost never have potatoes.  Yet, most of the stews and soups that we like are potato heavy.  If you are growing a lot of your own food, you will not always have the exact ingredients Julia or Bobby list.  What to do?

Here is a list of substitutions that we’ve tried at the Sly Farm that work well.

In place of potatoes, we often use turnips and butternut squash.  Yes, they’re not potatoes, but the consistency is pretty similar and both cook up well.  They do have a bit more flavor though, so, score!

In place of spinach, we use chard or kale.  Unlike spinach, which only grows during the winter here, Swiss chard and kale both grow year round.

In place of pumpkin, we will use other less stringy squash such as uchiki kiri or butternut squash.

Rather than regular potato gnocchi, we make pumpkin gnocchi and stiffen the dough with flour.

Carrot greens, turnip greens, and beet greens can be used for flavoring in soups or stir fry or stocks.

We use globe onions, green onions, and leeks interchangeably depending on what we have available.

We will use 2 to 3 quail eggs per 1 chicken egg.

In place of chicken, we can occasionally use rabbit.  Or in place of roast chicken, we roast quail.

Amaranth grows in the heat of southern California.  We grow this in place of lettuce, but frankly, I’m not as crazy about the taste.  I am the only one in the house that thinks this, though.

Some herbs grow better during the hotter months.  Oregano and basil are much happier in the summer, while cilantro is mostly a winter crop here.  We adjust our herbs based on what we have available.  Fresh herbs beat dried herbs every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

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