Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Inspiration - Week #5

 Week 5 - leaf lettuce, snow peas, kohlrabi, cauliflower, new Norland potatoes, basil, baby white onions, bunch of beets  (Chioggia and red)

I am different from Martha Stewart.  For one thing, I have never served time in a federal prison.  For another, sometimes my kitchen is a mess and I do not have minions to clean it up.  It is not dirty, mind you.  Just occupied with concurrent projects.  I live in the real world, just like you do.

When I arrived home with my box Monday, I had already put in a long day.   I was sorely tempted to fall back onto the sofa and have a bowl of granola and milk for supper.  I did not have the choice of ordering a pizza because there is no such thing as pizza delivery service in Fillmore County - imagine that!  So I soldiered on.

First I bagged the leaf lettuce - to wash and dry later.  Then I filled the sink with water.  In went the beet greens (I cut off the stems) and the greens from the kohlrabi..  Swished those around, lifted them out, shook a few times (the greens, that is) piled 'em up, sliced in one inch strips and bagged those up to use within a day or two.  You can see them on the cutting board.  Swished the basil in the water, dried in the salad spinner and picked off the leaves to use for pesto.  Whacked off the onion tops, trimmed the beets and bagged up beets, onions and kohlrabi.  Trimmed the cauliflower and bagged it (after I gave 1/3 of the head to a friend).   Left the snow peas in their bag. Put all the trimmings in the compost pan (you can barely see it - just to the left of the cauliflower.)

Now everything - including a jar of pesto - is in the refrigerator, even the new potatoes.   (If you wonder why I put the spuds in the refrigerator - read this piece by Jack archived on the web site.  http://featherstonefarm.com/the-crops/root-vegetables/potatoes.html  I'm glad I resisted the sofa's siren call.  Now I can relax and conjure up some meal ideas for this week. 

As usual, an asterisk appears for dishes with recipes included.

Steamed chopped cauliflower with basil pesto sauce* on pasta; bread, fresh cherries - Fresh cherries are coming into season.  They are still a little spendy, but with a meatless dinner you can probably afford them.  (Note - See my June 23 post for a recipe for basil pesto.)

Steamed or boiled new potatoes; steamed kohlrabi - peeled, cut into small strips (julienne) or diced ; good quality boiled, steamed or grilled smoked sausage or even a pork chop with a spicy grainy mustard; applesauce- homemade if possible   The first fresh potatoes of the season deserve to be eaten pretty much plain. Don't overcook the kohlrabi - you want it a little crunchy.  Consider making a sauce for the meat and vegetables:  some spicy mustard, yogurt, sour cream or cream fraiche and some minced fresh parsley or dill if you have it.  A good dark rye bread would complement this meal.  If I were eating it, I would enjoy it with a beer.

You could also cook some extra potatoes for homemade potato salad.  Add some vinaigrette and chopped parsley and thinly sliced onion to warm potatoes - just enough to coat.  You could also add snow peas to potato salad. Boil about 30 seconds first- then drain, cut in half and add to the potatoes.

Stir fried chicken with snow peas and brown riceFruit sorbet  Add snow peas at the very last minute - they cook very fast.  Probably less than a minute.  If you still have broccoli around use it up in this stir fry.

Beans and greens*; corn bread (see Tried and True this Saturday for a corn bread recipe); a nice piece of chocolate

Beet soup* garnished with potatoes and hard boiled eggs; leaf lettuce salad with grapes,  goat or blue cheese and a few toasted walnuts or hazelnuts if you have some; bread


Beans and greens  (about 4 servings)
4 cups cooked white navy or cannellini beans
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion - or more, to taste
2 cups diced potatoes, uncooked
1 cup chopped carrots (optional)
1/2 cup diced red pepper (optional)
3 cups packed fresh greens (such as beet and a few kohlrabi greens.  You could also use kale, chard, collards, mustard greens or escarole.)
Fresh or dried herbs to taste - use fresh parsley and basil if you have these.   If you have pesto, use a spoon or two of that.   Dried sage and thyme would also work.
Olive oil
About 1 t. salt, red or black pepper to taste

Saute onions and garlic lightly in olive oil for 3-4 minutes.  Add potatoes and saute another 5-6 minutes.  Add all other vegetables except fresh greens and 2 cups water or broth.  (You could substitute some red or white wine for up to half the liquid.)  Cover and simmer about 30 minutes.  Add greens.  Cover and simmer another 15 minutes or so.  Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil.

Beet Soup (  About 4 servings)
1 T cooking oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
about 5 medium raw beets (1 1/2 pounds) peeled and grated
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
3 cups stock or water
Salt and pepper to taste

Serve with the soup: Diced boiled potatoes and sliced hard boiled eggs to add as desired.  Chopped fresh dill or chives too if you have this on hand.  Excellent served with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche.  I might add a few drops of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice too.  This could be served hot or cold.

Saute onion in oil 4-6 minutes or until soft.  Add grated beets and carrots and continue to saute - about 10 minutes, medium heat.  Add stock or water and cover - simmer about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  If desired, cool and puree in a blender or food mill.

Tomorrow:  Dig In - Broth

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