Here's the minimalist photo of the CSA share for the week. A little sample of each, instead of a giant pile of green. There were lots of options this week - a couple pounds of spinach, herb choices, scallions, and a choice of kale, red and green mustard greens, mizuna, collards and komatsu (which I thought was the name of a tractor manufacturer). I went for the kale - Molly picked the mizuna. I have no clue what we're doing with the kale. Way back when, I made some joke about eating kale salad to make up for 2 meals of welsh rabbit in a row. I guess this is payback time. Mother nature's a bitch, eh? I'm thinking some kind of rice bowl with the shredded, sauteed kale in it. Egg on top? We'll probably saute the mizuna and have it with something off the grill. The spinach will go into some pasta probably, or even just a salad.
So, any great kale recipes out there?
And we had our second round of strawberries (woo-hoo!) and a choice of 1 1/2 lbs of either sweet or sour cherries. Excuse me while I drool on the keyboard. I didn't have anything in mind already for sour cherries, so we'll brainstorm this week and opt for some next week.
Here's a couple quick veggie dishes we had last week. Neither was from the share, but both were from local farms. First the potatoes.
This is adapted from a potato recipe in All About Braising by Molly Stevens. This is one fantastic book, if you haven't seen it. In addition to some incredible recipes and flavors, she does a great job on general techniques and approaches to braising. I would eat a pair of dirty Chuck Taylors if they were nicely braised.
We had some new potatoes, red and white, some tiny, some a little bigger. Just rinse them off, halve/quarter any big ones and put them in the pot. Add some garlic (minced, whole, chopped greens, whatever), salt, pepper and any herbs you want. If you've got some duck fat, you're my hero. Put in a scoop. If not, a couple TBs of butter or olive oil will be good. Fresh herbs are great - save them for the end. Put water in the pan so it's about halfway up the potatoes. Heat on high, bring to boil. Turn down to a pretty good simmer and put a lid almost all the way on. You want them to braise (keeping the heat in) but also want some of the moisture to escape. Stir them around every now and then. When they are just about done, crank the heat back up and boil away all of the liquid with the lid off, tossing the potatoes occasionally. They will finish up all glossy from the reduced liquid along with whatever fat was left. Add your herbs now, more salt and pepper if necessary, and you've got my favorite side dish made from potatoes.
The second one was baked tomatoes. These were originally going to have baked eggs (ham, tomato, herbs, goat cheese with an egg on top) done inside of them, but they seemed a little too small. So instead, they got restuffed with that stuff, minus the egg. Use a knife to cut the top of the tomato off, aiming it in diagonally towards the center as you go around. I poked my hand right through the side. Don't do that. Once the top is off, scoop out as much as you can without breaking the skin. Chop what you've removed and put in a strainer to get out the liquid. At this point you could do all sorts of stuff. For these, I mixed some of the chopped reserved tomatoes with some sliced ham, cubes of bread, fresh basil, marjoram, salt and pepper. Sprinkle salt and pepper in the tomato bowl, put a little spoon of ricotta in the bottom, fill it with your stuffing and sprinkle the tops with grated parm. Bake at 400 until done.
That was really pretty easy.
Tonight felt like summer. A late dinner on the front porch, Molly dancing on the lawn and feeding strawberries to Abby, the band across the street in the park playing Sousa for a crowd in lawn chairs, kids running in circles like a swarm of flies and the breeze coming in from the west, straight off the lake, nice and cool.
We're even supposed to have some thunder tonight.