The lesson learned from this past week? Greens don’t go far in this household! Considering all the greens-heavy recipes I cooked through, I still didn’t have quite enough greens for my morning eggs plus I forgot the importance of salad (yes even in the winter). But for the most part the eatin’s were pretty good.
Here’s how it went down. I already summarized last Tuesday’s Sole/Collards/Quinoa dinner, so here’s the rest of the week:
Wednesday night: I reprised a chicken and kale stew that I’d stumbled onto just the week before. Normally I like to space out recipe repetitions but with the gorgeous dino kale I found myself hankering for it once again. The recipe called for three chicken breasts. The man behind the counter noted that his breasts were on the small side. That sounded weird. Anyway, I ended up getting four which meant that the stew was CHOCK FULL of white meat chicken. Last week, I’d used leftover meat from a rotisserie chicken plus one chicken breast and that ended up being a better balance. Still, this stew is a winner! The beans and potatoes add satisfying starchiness while turnips turned out to be a great substitute for the carrots (though it didn’t give you the nice orange color punch). I paired this with an OUTSTANDING loaf of sesame seed whole wheat sourdough bread from Barrio Bread (sold at the CSA). Best. Bread. Ever.
Friday night: Sausage and Greens Pasta night. At the little CSA store, I’d also picked up some Italian sausage from an Arizona ranch (where the pigs live on pastures instead of a factory). Check out the label.
Fennel and hot chilies are key. Garlic granules don’t hurt either but I added garlic to the sauce. This was a very basic recipe: saute onions and garlic, brown the sausage, add tomato sauce and greens – in this case I used the arugula. But this is where a salad would have come in real handy. I chopped up the whole bunch of arugula, including dicing the stems, and you can hardly tell in the finished dish. I served it up with sliced radishes, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, which is really lovely. But some raw fibrous greens would have helped break down some of the uber-richness of the pasta dish. Still dang tasty. Oh and of course there was Parmesan. There will always be Parmesan if I can help it. I would put it on pancakes if it was socially acceptable (hmmm).
Saturday night: No cooking – for lunch we’d tried out an old school Chinese restaurant neighborhood (Gee’s) and the portions were so huge, we scarfed them for dinner, too. Wait, I lied. Since I was still thinking of our lack of greens last night, I took the tops of the turnips (don’t you throw those away, they’re green gold) and braised them with some garlic and veggie broth to go with our leftovers.
Sunday: Our good friend Carrie came over and on a whim I ditched my plans for a mustard greens gratin, came across this quesadilla recipe and ended up making mustard greens and goat cheese quesadillas with various variations on the recipe based on what I had: roasted mushrooms instead of the potato, no jack cheese. I also improvised some mexican rice with good ol Bijol (it’s a Latin American thing). Guess where I got the goat cheese? Yup, the CSA store. I had some flour tortillas but Carrie brought some awesome spicy tortillas made locally (from the Santa Cruz Farmer’s market). The pic is kinda funky but it’ll give you the gist (some cilantro would have been nice). Hard to go wrong with a quesadilla.
Monday: Last night of the CSA week, which means using up as many leftover veggies as possible. I made the stuffed acorn squash but faced reality and halved the recipe. Of course there were variations: used the rest of the mustard greens and some leftover spinach, turnips, roasted mushrooms from last night, dill. I’ve been learning how surprisingly flexible most recipes can be. It’s taken me a verrrry long to time to learn that just because a recipe doesn’t list an ingredient doesn’t mean it can’t be added. Which can be risky, but tonight it paid off! The unexpected additions added a lot of flavor and depth to the end result.
Here is where I admit that I have very little broiler experience. I should have checked on these after a minute and a half instead of just setting the timer for two minutes. The breadcrumb/parmesan topping got just a skoche too much carbon on ’em. But we still scarfed them down with leftover rice from the night before.
Miscellaneous: I only ate two of the tangelos for snacks (and will try to scarf them today). Lemons were indeed used for tea and here and there during the cooking.
Already time to start thinking ahead. I just took peek at the next planned harvest and already see some ‘oh yeah!’s and at least one ‘oh no’. Til next time!