csa veggies

Garlic scapes

GarlicScapes_RedRice_IMG_1229Every year we get garlic scapes in our CSA box, and they are beautiful, and we don’t know what to do with them. They usually end up in a vase—an old glass milk bottle to be precise—and they look pretty on our sideboard until they don’t.

That’s kind of sad.

This year I vowed to actually cook and eat them. Last night I made Red Rice Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Fontina, and substituted nearly every ingredient for something else. The good news is that it’s a very forgiving and flexible recipe.

The substitutions were as follows: Cherry tomatoes roasted with chopped garlic scapes (which is makes a heavenly smell, btw), for the roasted veggies. Fresh chopped spinach added in with the parsley at the end  (the warm rice wilted the spinach nicely). Gouda cheese instead of fontina. It was delicious.


Disappearing greens pie

Disappearing_Greens_IMG_1190We will make it through our CSA box this week, thanks to this pie (and the fact that we brought some greens to the Cape last weekend).

The pie was loosely based on this Torta Verde, which is a favorite of mine. I mixed it up a bit by using spinach in addition to swiss chard. The prep time was cut significantly by using store bought pastry sheets, and by not measuring any of the ingredients, at all.

The kind of pastry sheets I used were from Turkey and promised “ultimate eating pleasure” on the package. Really! The sheets were big enough that I probably could have added another bunch of greens to the filling.

I don’t know if I’ll ever find those sheets again but I’m thinking any thin pastry sheet would do. Phyllo, for example, might be nice.

For Shane and Rose, we had grilled pork chops and rice. I don’t think either of them touched the pie, but that’s okay because it makes good leftovers, especially cold on a hot day like today.

Thai-inspired, 3 ways

Thai_Inspired_IMG_1079What to do when it’s nearly 7:00 and you haven’t even begun to think about dinner? Peanut sauce, that’s what.

I’ve had this peanut sauce recipe on my Recipes to Try board for a while. The thing that appealed most about it was the addition of sriracha. It’s going to be my new go-to recipe for peanut sauce from now on.

The main ingredients were rice lightly seasoned with cumin and a dab of Better Than Bouillon, a cilantro-laden salad dressed with lime juice and olive oil, and simple grilled chicken. I assembled the plates based on personal preferences, and the peanut sauce tied it all together.

Greens, greens and more greens

Pasta_Spinach_Kale_IMG_1073It’s that time of the CSA season again, when we are inundated with fresh, delicious, organic greens. Each day I consume salad by the mixing bowl-full. Yet somehow, I still seem to have more greens than I can make my way through in a week.

Tonight’s recipe made a dent in the spinach and kale, and I feel somewhat relieved. I love the high ratio of greens to pasta in this dish, and though it looks very similar to the pasta we did with mustard greens last week, it is actually very different. This one uses a combo of spinach and kale, but is so un-kale like that it can (and did) pass for a spinach-only, non-kale dish.

• Pasta with Spinach, Kale & Goat Cheese •
from fork, knife, swoon

1/2 lb dry pasta
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, finely sliced
1 medium yellow or sweet onion, minced
3 cups (packed) kale leaves, rough stems removed and chopped
3 cups (packed) spinach leaves
3 oz goat cheese (I used the whole 4oz log)
3 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated or powdered (about 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup)
kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-heat, until the butter is melted and the oil just begins to shimmer. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 2-3 minutes.

When the pasta has about two minutes to go, add the kale and cook for a bit, then add the spinach, and stir constantly until the greens just begin to wilt. The greens will continue to cook from the heat of the pasta, so be careful not to overcook.

Drain the pasta, then return the pasta to the pot (off of the heat). Pour the greens mixture over the pasta, add the goat cheese and Parmesan, and stir to combine. Serve warm.


Hello again kale

Kale_Salad_IMG_1067It took a while, but I think I’m finally ready to eat raw kale salad again. We got some nice baby kale in our CSA box this week. Paired with roasted chick peas, lemon and parmesan, it was a good hearty side to have with simple pasta. Scroll down for the recipe.

The little guy seems to be a big fan of kale, he was double fisting the discarded stalks as I prepared the salad.

• Baby Kale & Chick Pea Salad •
from Once Upon A Chef

For the Roasted Chickpeas
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 5oz Bag or Container Baby Kale (about a salad-spinner full)
1/2 cup shaved  (or grated) Parmesan

Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the chickpeas on the prepared baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes, stirring once, until the chickpeas are slightly shrunken and crispy. Let cool. In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the greens and toss until evenly coated. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a bit more salt). Arrange on plates and top with Parmesan shavings and crispy roasted chickpeas.


Pasta with baby mustard greens

Pasta_MustardGreens_IMG_1055Where have we been? Sorry for this epic lull in posting. I can’t seem to find that daily sweet spot during which to post.

Hopefully I’m getting this pasta recipe to you before you’ve used up all of that Mustard Braising Mix from last week’s CSA box.

The pasta recipe is below. We also had Weekday Grilled Chicken, and an avocado, chick pea and cilantro salad with lime.

• Pasta with Baby Mustard Greens, Lemon and Cream •

1/2 lb of your favorite shape of pasta (we used mezze rigatoni)
2 tablespoons butter
a couple of glugs of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
5 big handfuls (about a salad spinner full) of baby mustard greens (or mustard braising mix) washed and dried
a few pinches of lemon zest
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
parmesan for sprinkling

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. While the pasta cooks, melt the butter with the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic to the skillet and sautée until soft. Add the mustard greens and stir frequently until they are wilted but still bright green. Add the lemon zest and cream and simmer until thickened slightly. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. 

When the pasta is al dente, drain and add it to the skillet with the greens. If you have a sieve-spoon you can scoop the pasta directly into the skillet, a bit of pasta water enhances the dish. Dribble a bit more olive oil over the pasta and invert the contents of the skillet into a bowl or serving dish, so that the greens and sauce (more or less) top the pasta. Serve right away with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Kale, cabbage and farro soup

Kale_Farro_Soup_IMG_9967This is a very tasty and hearty soup. Full of yummy, healthful things, it’s the perfect food to be eating a couple of days before the indulgence of Thanksgiving.

The soup is not vegetarian. It contains pancetta, chicken broth and anchovy paste. However, I think if you used a good vegetable broth or Better Than Bouillon, in place of the chicken broth, you could skip the pancetta and anchovy and still have a delicious soup. I added a large can of chick peas for protein.

• Cabbage & Kale Soup with Farro & Chick Peas •
original recipe from Food & Wine
30 min prep, 1 1/2 hours total

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
One 2-ounce piece pancetta, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ounce anchovy paste (4 teaspoons) or 4 anchovy fillets
1 1/4 cup farro
1/2 head Savoy cabbage—tough stems discarded, leaves torn into large pieces
1/2 bunch Tuscan (dinosaur, lacinato) kale, stems discarded
2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
6 thyme sprigs
1 small rosemary sprig
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano rind plus 3 tablespoons grated cheese
1 large can chick peas, drained & rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat until the fat is rendered, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add the anchovy paste and cook for 30 seconds. Add the farro and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and kale and cook, stirring, until just wilted.
Add the chicken stock, water, thyme and rosemary sprigs and cheese rind and bring to a simmer. Simmer the soup over moderate heat for 45 minutes, continue cooking until the farro and greens are tender, about another 15 minutes. You may need to add more water or broth at this point. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Transfer the soup to bowls, garnish the soup with the parsley and grated cheese and serve.

His & hers scallops

His&Hers_Scallops_IMG_2224Scallops with pasta and leeks was on the menu for tonight. But then Rose went out for pizza with a friend, and Shane admitted that he doesn’t really like scallops, unless they’re wrapped in bacon.

The contingency plan? His & hers scallops. His wrapped in bacon and mine simply broiled. Both served with spicy, cilantro mayo (from this recipe), rice pancakes, and ad hoc cilantro-lime slaw.

Do people still say “it’s all good?”

Radicchio pasta

RadicchioPasta_IMG_9963I love Radicchio Pasta. So good, it can make a convert of someone who isn’t a radicchio fan. Case in point, my husband, who does not like anything bitter, but loves this dish.

The bitterness of the radicchio is mostly cooked out, and then sweetened with cippolini onions, cream and a touch of pork fat.  The dish calls for pancetta, which I eat around, but could easily be left out to make it vegetarian, you’d just want to add a little extra salt.

The roasted veggies we had probably weren’t the most complimentary choice of side for this dish, but that’s called making do with what’s in  your CSA box.

Happy weekend!


Shrimp Scampi with lots of help

ShrimpScampi_IMG_9955My parents came down yesterday to help me get ready for this baby. They also brought dinner!

My dad made Melissa Clark’s Shrimp Scampi, which is utterly delicious over crusty bread (or over anything, really). I could probably eat it every day.

He also brought roasted tomatoes, which he’d made the day before. They’re roasted at 300 degrees for 3 hours with some garlic, salt, olive oil and thyme, which makes them all soft, melty and really flavorful.

My mom made a salad from my CSA veggies, at my request. I really wanted raw vegetables but there wasn’t much in the way of lettuce-like material in the box. She made a delicious salad of cabbage, carrots, radicchio and a lemony-rice vinegar dressing. Yum!

I had a long list of very small jobs for my folks to tackle, which they accomplished in no time. When I learned they were staying for a whole 24 hours, I decided it was time to make room for baby. This morning, I sent them off to IKEA with my aunt Gail, while I did some serious purging and organizing.

They returned and were a total power trio. My mom and aunt cleaned the kitchen and moved furniture to and from the basement, while my dad assembled a particularly challenging IKEA side table.

The room will now fit two children. I really wasn’t sure how that was ever going to happen and am eternally grateful to my family for making it so. I guess I can have this baby now. Please.