Saturday, July 4, 2009
CSA Harvest Box Week 2
Another week of delicious food from farm to fork! This week in our share we found rhubarb, edible pod peas, two heads of butter lettuce, an onion, dry mixed beans, beets, broccoli and cauliflower, and a potted marigold flower. We weren't terribly excited about the beets or the cauliflower, but ready to try cooking "new" things, or more accurately, old things new ways! I planted the Marigold in our garden by the lettuce to hopefully deter some pesky little slugs. Then I quickly made stir fry for dinner that night- mmmm pea pods and broccoli greens were a new addition to one of our favorite staples!
I saved the rhubarb because there were only a few stalks, and nothing inspirational jumped out at me. I got a few more stalks in today's share, however, so I'm going to try round two of last week's rhubarb custard pie with my intended modifications! The dry beans are also still on the shelf as it's been around 90 degrees all week and the thought of hot beans cooking on the stove top all day just wasn't appealing. And they keep forever. Now for the challenges!
For the beat greens, I decided on "Pasta with Beet Greens." Doesn't this dish look nummy? Believe it or not, it was! Really truly. I wasn't too excited about it, and neither was Matt, but we were both surprised. I liked it so much I was actually sad that there weren't beats in my share today! Matt helped himself to seconds and said he'd eat it again. Without further ado, the recipe:
PASTA WITH BEET GREENS
ACTIVE TIME:35 MIN
START TO FINISH:35 MIN
0. 1/4 cup olive oil
0. 1/3 cup pine nuts
0. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
0. 2 medium red onions (1 lb), halved and thinly sliced lengthwise (I used white 'cause I had it)
0. 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
0. 1 1/2 lb beet greens with stems (from about 2 bunches beets), stems cut into 1-inch pieces and leaves cut crosswise into 3-inch-wide pieces, divided
0. 1 cup water, divided
0. 3/4 lb penne
0. 1/3 cup golden raisins (I omitted)
0. 1/2 cup pitted brine-cured black olives, coarsely chopped (does this mean the can? 'cause that's what I used!)
0. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add pine nuts and toast, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
0. Add garlic to oil remaining in skillet and cook, stirring, until golden. Add onions and 1/4 tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add vinegar and cook, stirring, until most is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add beet stems, 3/4 cup water, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems begin to soften, about 12 minutes.
0. Cook penne in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 Tbsp salt for 6 qt water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta.
Meanwhile, add raisins, then beet leaves to onion mixture in handfuls, turning each handful with tongs until beet leaves are wilted before adding next batch. Add remaining 1/4 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add olives, then add pasta and cook, tossing and moistening with some of the cooking water as necessary, just until liquid has thickened slightly. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts. (I also topped with Parmesan. Isn't everything better with Parmesan?)
Next up: the beets themselves. I roasted them in the oven in foil (no water) and then peeled & sliced them. Then I boiled 1/4 C cider vinegar and 1/4 C sugar for 5 minutes, added the sliced beets for another 5 minutes. I chilled them in the fridge and then added them to a nice green salad (which included peas & calendula petals from the farm as well) with a pear-Gorgonzola vinaigrette from Trader Joes. Tastey! Matt BBQ'd steaks, and we had mashed CAULIFLOWER on the side! Had you fooled, didn't I? You thought those were potatoes! Well, they almost tasted like the creamiest mashed potatoes you could imagine. I steamed one head of cauli and then pureed it with about a tablespoon of butter, about an ounce of cream cheese, about an ounce of asiago cheese, a sloppy spoonful of sour cream, and a sprinkling of salt. We actually enjoyed them! Rather a first for cauliflower.