Friday, June 24, 2011

This week's CSA box looks good

Look at this from our CSA, Small Potatoes Farm.  This is what was in the box today.  Bok choy, kohlrabi, romaine lettuce, snow peas and collard greens.  I can't wait for the Rev to get home so I can make a stir fry with the snow peas and bok choy - she will love it. 

I will use the lettuce in my sandwiches this week.  I even got turkey and a couple of tomatoes at the store just to set it up.  And I'm starting to become a fan of the greens.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I took on the kale

Here it is Thursday and I still haven't tried the red Russian kale from last week's box, so tonight was the night.  I decided on a simple sauté. 

First I fried four slices of bacon and took that out to drain on paper towels.  I probably didn't need four slices of bacon, but hey - is it possible to have too much bacon?  Really?  Then into the pan went the kale along with some garlic scapes, spring onion and some sliced mushrooms.  The only seasoning was some kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.  I let that all sauté in the bacon grease until the mushrooms and the onion were done and let that be my guide.  I finished the dish with a sprinkle of red wine vinegar and served it over steamed white rice.

I must say, I was very pleased.  This is a dish I could serve to guests.  I wondered about the kale - what it would be like.  I think it was done - it sure tasted good.  It had a very solid, chewy texture, almost leathery but not tough.  It just didn't have the mushy texture that I was expecting given how it looked in the pan.  I was expecting that mushy texture that you can get with a green like spinach but the kale definitely held up well to the pan.  Of course I sort of cheated here - you really can't go wrong cooking with bacon fat.  I will do this again.

Rumor has it that the CSA box tomorrow will include more snow peas and will also bring young broccoli and maybe even some bok choy and kohlrabi.  Looks like there will be more stir fry on the menu next week.

We are officially in summer on the calendar but someone forgot to get Mother Nature the memo.  Barely into the 60's today and tomorrow won't be much better.  Oh well, we still have July and August to go through.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Snow Peas and Parsley - CSA comes through

It's Friday and time for another box from the CSA farm.  In addition to those great eggs I keep telling you about - look what arrived today.  Red Russian kale , lettuce , snow peas and parsley.

handful of the snow peas already went into the skillet tonight along with some bok choy for a stir-fry.  The Rev was very pleased and so was I.

The lettuce looks wonderful and I'm sure is destined for salads and maybe I can even steal some for sandwiches for work next week.  I'm also sure I can find a use for the parsley - can you imagine using fresh parsley that was just harvested this morning?  Oh my, how fresh can you get?

Now, what to do with kale?  I'm not sure what to do with that.  I did buy some bacon at the store today - maybe I can fry up some bacon and saute the kale in the bacon fat, then crumble the bacon on top.  I wonder how that might work?  I'll have to try that this weekend.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Collard Greens and Garlic Scapes

We got a shipment of early produce from the Small Potatoes Farm today.  Eggs - yes, asparagus - yummy, leaf lettuce - the Rev was looking forward to that,.  .  . and then I found collard greens and garlic scapes - what in the world is this???

I'm a Minnesota Swede, what do I know from greens and scapes?  Oh well, let's try this out.  Off to the web to look for recipes.  I found out that garlic scapes were the green tops of garlic plants.  Apparently they have a mild garlic flavor.  Collard greens are in the cabbage family and very popular in southern cooking.  I could find all sorts of recipes for greens and in the southern style almost all included something like ham hocks or the sort.  Well, I don't have ham hocks and I'm not really into that so I kept looking.  Then I found a Bobby Flay recipe for sauteed kale (those are greens also).  Olive oil, a couple of cloves of garlic and finish it with vinegar.  Now this is more my speed.  And if this has garlic in it already I'll bet I can include the scapes.

So off I went creating my first batch of sauteed greens.  I coarse chopped the collards and the scapes and threw them in the pan.  Served as a side dish with panko coated chicken breast and a small baked potato - dinner was on the table in no time.  The Rev and I agree, the greens were a hit, the best part of the meal.  They had a great, fresh taste, no over powering garlic flavor and the vinegar finish just accented the greens. 

I think I am going to like this arrangement with the CSA farm.  I can't wait for more of the vegetables that I am used to eating but in the mean time, I'm learning to enjoy some "greens" that otherwise I probably would have never tried.