It makes me so happy to be in CSA season again!
- The food is fresh.
- I don’t have to go to the grocery store.
- It’s local, organic or IPM.
- I like the reverse engineering menu planning aspect. Someone else gives you the food, you figure out what to make.
- Did I mention not needing to go to the grocery store?
This week’s box: Kale, collards, red potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, asparagus, garlic scapes, zucchini, a bunch of fresh dill, and red lettuce. In addition I picked up my co-op store order of milk and mushrooms, a dozen eggs from my egg share, and two pints of strawberries from the fruit share.
Dinner last night, in the midst of all this food, was fast and easy: foil packets of potatoes and garlic scapes served next to a big spoonful of black lentils sprinkled with pine nuts.
- Garlic scapes and potatoes lined up and waiting for seasoning.
They were delicious, but when have you ever had a potato that wasn’t? And foil packets just send me right back to being an 8 year old at a picnic table. I used three garlic scapes for the four servings and sprinkled everything with salt, pepper, fresh parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil. At 450 they were ready in about 45 minutes.
I also made, for the second week in a row, a raw kale salad. It sounds wrong but tastes great, lasts for a good three days in the fridge, and stands at the top of the Goodforyou Things to Eat list. I cannot recommend this salad enough! Easy, versatile, healthful, fresh, and a good way to add vegetables to your plate. This is the kind of leafy green we are supposed to be eating.
There are versions of this, but don’t even stress over a recipe. Do this:
Curly kale, red kale, black kale, – kale
Salt & pepper
Lemon and olive oil or lemon and walnut oil or any other combination you like
3 tablespoons pepitas or sunflower seeds, or both
Pull the stems off a bunch or two of kale, and discard. Drop the leaves into a big bowl of water and rinse them carefully. Drain and pat dry, or spin.
Roll a few leaves at a time into cigar shapes and slice thinly, shaping ribbons. Keep slicing, and you will end up with a large bowl of kale ribbons, more than you’ll think you can ever eat. It’s ok, they’ll shrink!
Drizzle a few teaspoons of oil onto the kale ribbons, and either the juice of half a lemon or a teaspoon of your vinegar. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and then start scrunching up the kale with your hands. Both hands, don’t be shy. Don’t squeeze it to bruise, but rough it up for two to three minutes and it will start to break down. You’re actually tenderizing the kale.
The kale will greatly reduce in volume. Add seeds, a bit more salt, and a few generous grinds of pepper. Prepare a dressing using about 1/4 cup of the oil you’re using with either the rest of the lemon or 1 tablespoon of your vinegar, and toss everything together.
That’s it! My pile of kale turned into this manageable container of kale salad, ready for the fridge, and for serving as is or dressing up.
Last week’s salad went something like this:
- With strawberries, for breakfast. Really.
- With crumbled feta and a few chopped walnuts.
- As a topping for a tossed salad – that was brilliant!
- A base for a scoop of leftover marrow beans.
- Tossed into a leftover pasta and bean bowl.
And then it was gone.