Friday, June 19, 2009

the era of greens

We've been getting our CSA box for several weeks now. I knew I wanted to do this partly because it's in my blood to support local agriculture. But over the past few weeks this abstract idea has developed some concrete realities for me. I don't choose what goes in the box. The farmer grows stuff and once a week gives me a box of what he's growing, so that means, we get whatever is in season. I remember growing up with times of plenty in the area of tomatoes, cucumbers, zuchinis and such. But that was a long time ago, before i was doing my own coking. And didn't involve greens.

I like greens. But I've never had access to greens in seasonal proportions. Eating in season requires a lot of creativity, because the stuff is there now. Some of it can be frozen (not martha has a great tutorial on how to blanch and freeze kale), but some it must be eaten now. I've also had access to a greater variety of greens than I've ever had before: chard, mustard greens, beet greens, spinach, purple curly kale, dinosaur kale, regular (?) kale, arugula, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, bok choy, cabbage. I'm sure I'm leaving something out. They just kept coming!!

At first I just sauteed the greens with lots of garlic, which is actually super yummy, and I enjoy the simplicity of this. But I made a few dishes that I think were a creative use of greens. First, there was the pasta dish that I already blogged about, which is a great use of spinach. I also liked topping pizza with fresh spinach.

This first of these is a vegetarian recipe. Greens in Pastry Pockets.

* Sautee onions, garlic,
* add chickpeas (white beans would be good, too; or chicken or fish for a meat option), sundried tomatoes, a few tablespoons of creamcheese, and some herbs (like rosemary and thyme)
* Stir in whatever greens you have until they are wilted.
* spoon into pastry shell. (Or I've been cheating and using pillsbury crescent rolls, pressed out into squares. Usually need two tubes for 8 squares)
* and bake for about 12 minutes.


Then there's what I'm calling Creole Greens. It's sort of inspired by Gumbo z'Herbes.

* Sautee onions and garlic. (I promise I do have other ways to start recipes.)
* Add ham (or bacon), creole seasoning, red pepper flakes.
* Stir in whatever greens you have until they are wilted.
* Serve over rice. Garnish with fresh parsley


When I made this I had purple kale and beet greens, and the purple and the red were so pretty.

Spring is moving into summer, and the greens are fading. We're getting more variety: broccoli, cucumbers, onions. The past couple of weeks we've gotten garlic scapes, which I've never had before--and they are so yummy. They are sort of like garlic meets aspargus, but tenderer.

I'm having a great time doing this. And it really is helping my kitchen ennui.



  1. The greens in pockets look especially wonderful. Thanks for the recipes.

  2. You have inspired my dinner tonight- I have some broccoli rabe that I need to use up, and basically everything else required to make either of your recipes- now I just have to decide which! Thanks for posting.

  3. looks delicious! i heart greens.