Another week of yummy food has passed by. But I didn’t get quite the amount of greens I was hoping for and ended up also buying a bunch of kale to make a lasagna dish I’ve had my eye on for a while and couldn’t go another week without.
Here was my produce booty from last Tuesday:
Lots of root veggies, my first bag of salad greens this winter (yes!) and a heap o’ arugula. So how did all this bounty end up in our bellies?
Wednesday: As obsessive as I am about food and recipes, I’m a bit too excited to share this recipe with you: Gypsy Soup! From a beautiful food blog, The Yellow House, this is actually a recipe from that vegetarian classic, The New Moosewood Cookbook. But the way Sarah waxes lyrical about the name and the visions of her lush country garden really take me out of myself when I cook this. What is most stunning about this soup, though, is the color from the main spices: turmeric and paprika. My eyes bask in the radiance of these spices as I dip my measuring spoon and then slowly trickle the vibrant pigments into the water…
This week’s carrots gave those spices a run for their money, though. As my Big Mommy would have said: ahn’t they just gawgeous?
My camera (ie, my phone) doesn’t do it justice, but here was the end result with arugula instead of something more structurally sound like kale. But be forewarned, this recipe will feed you for days and days if you let it (and we did):
Friday: So here we are a few days later – still with leftover soup to freeze – and here’s where I give you a recipe that didn’t use any CSA ingredients. But it was SO good I had to write about it anyway: Kale Lasagna Diavolo from Vegetarian Times. For a lasagna recipe, it’s pretty simple. Basic spicy tomato sauce, a blanched bunch of kale and for the cheese sauce a simple mash of ricotta and goat’s cheese (which was divine!) But I did the tomato sauce differently than in this recipe and I highly recommend it.
Kale Lasagna Diavolo
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
Serves 4 heartily
4 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 15-oz. tube ricotta cheese
4 oz. goat cheese, softened
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
½ tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained, or 6 no-cook lasagna noodles
¼ cup grated Asiago cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 8-inch square baking pan with oil.
2. Cook kale in large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and wilted (about 2 minutes or so). Drain, and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Thoroughly wring out kale, then chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
3. Mash together ricotta and goat cheese in a bowl, and set aside.
4. (Here’s my key change to the recipe) Pour 4 Tbsp olive oil in a *cold* medium to large skillet (don’t turn on the heat yet!) Add garlic and red pepper flakes and let them sit for a few minutes. Then turn the heat on medium high until the garlic starts sizzling and turns fragrant – just make sure it doesn’t burn. Add the crushed tomatoes, stir, then turn the heat to high just until big bubbles start to splatter your shirt (well, ideally before that point). Then turn the heat on low and simmer, stirring frequently, for a good 20 minutes – the sauce should be thick and glossy.
5. Spread 1/4 cup sauce in prepared baking pan. Place 2 lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Top with half of the cheese mixture, half of the kale, and 1/3 cup sauce. Add two more noodles, remaining cheese, and remaining kale. Top with the remaining lasagna noodles, and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the Asiago cheese, and bake 40 minutes, or until cheese has melted and lasagna is bubbly.
Cooking the sauce this way also makes it a little denser, which helps keep the lasagna from being too watery. Remember to let it rest for around 20 minutes (if you can stand it) so it doesn’t fall apart as much when you serve it.
I was actually kind of shocked at how good it was. And have no pretty photos – just a messy shot of the aftermath from the first night.
Sunday: For the first time I decided to roast the turnips. Oh. My. God. I swear roasting can make anything taste amazing. Roasting with Asiago cheese is even better. I’ve always used turnips in soups and stews but I think I’ll always roast them from now on.
Along with the regular roasting drill – toss with olive oil, salt and pepper – I also threw in some cayenne pepper, garlic powder and the grated Asiago cheese. Even though I’m a measure-er (no matter how I spell this made up word, it still looks made up) this is something you can ‘eyeball’. Just add enough stuff to see the specks of what you added. Keep an eye on that oven, though – 30 minutes in a 475 degree oven was almost too much. But we like a bit of carbon in this family.
Ah, and what about the black radishes? I call “The Black Radishes” as a band name! They do not look appetizing in their natural form – not many of us are partial to food the color of oblivion. But once you peel the earth-smelling skin, a spicy delight is revealed.
I grated a couple and added them to the salad mix.
Oh, the salad! I came across this awesome, super-simple cilantro dressing and have been using it on the salad greens and green onions all week. Makes eating your veggies that much easier: tangy and herby Mexican goodness. And if you accidentally mix it with some sour cream – hoo boy, you just might get a little dizzy. Here are the two supporting acts to our (un-photographed) rotisserie chicken.
Which brings us to Monday: Thanks to last week‘s suggestion to use grapefruit in a preserved lemon recipe, I got turned on to the Nourished Kitchen blog (thanks, Jared!) Their food philosophy is based on the Nourishing Traditions cookbook which focuses on the food traditions of ancient cultures, including fermentation, cod liver oil (which always makes me think of the Little Rascals) and home-made broths, specifically bone broths. You can read a huge amount of information about bone broths in this fascinating article, but essentially it’s the bones of an animal simmered in water and vegetable scraps for at least 24 hours until all the minerals and nutrition from the bones themselves are imparted into the broth.
So Sunday night, I shredded the remaining meat from the chicken, popped the ‘frame’ into the crock pot with vegetable scraps (ends of carrots, onion skins and root, celery bits, etc that I keep in ziploc bags in my freezer like a Great Depression granny), cover in filtered water, and put on ‘Low’ until the following evening (the complete instructions are here). The smell was lovely but woke us up through the night – probably because a part of our brains kept thinking ‘the smell of cooking meat = roaring open flame that could engulf the house’. But the resulting broth was like I’ve never seen. Dense, gravy-like in color, almost milky in texture. So I made chicken soup!
No real recipe here – take the rest of the veggies in your fridge (in my case onion, celery, the last of the CSA carrots and all of the CSA sweet potatoes), saute in olive oil along with some chopped garlic, add the broth, season as you wish (dried thyme, turmeric and S&P), simmer til the veggies are tender, add leftover chicken, simmer to heat through, then add chopped up greens from the turnips and black radishes.
In the end I also boiled up some penne pasta and popped it in there, too. Mmmm, it went perfectly with our sudden return to winter weather here in the Sonoran Desert.
Time to look ahead to the new week! Hmm, I went to the website to to grab the list for today, but they’re in between updates. So I’ll just have to be surprised and you’ll have to wait ’til next week. Same turnip time, same turnip channel. Stay warm out there!