Saturday, July 6

Late Bloomers

Summer in Oregon is never really a predictable thing. Sometimes the sun let's us have Easter in sundresses, and sometimes it rains through Memorial Day, the Rose Festival, the first day of summer, the 4th of July, and runs screaming straight into fall.

So, it's no wonder that in my dad's garden, the shelling peas are now reaching maturation, and the garlic spears have finally poked their heads out to say hello. In fact, the entire garden is a mismatch of spring and summer fruits.

No complaints on this end, though. As soon as I can get to picking, I'm going to make a casserole of wild rice, fresh green onions, and garlic scapes. Nevermind that they're a few months late-- what a treat!

Wednesday, June 26

Glazed Black Eyed Peas and Mustard Greens

Today is another market day, but it arrived with markedly less success than last week. Despite (or perhaps, because of) The World's Biggest Pan of Spinach Tion (which I ended up having to eat entirely by myself...) very little of the CSA was used by the time a new one was due. The usual route was taken: kale into chips, radishes into snacks, and big split salads when I was actually home for dinner. But, that still left a GIANT pile of vegetables.

Thus, an epic plan: cook EVERYTHING from last week until I had to pick up today's CSA. The result:

Leek and Green Onion Croutons
Rye Croutons
Balsamic Hazelnut Beets
Whole Wheat Pasta with Swiss Chard and Lemon
Raspberry and Banana Molasses Muffins
Glazed Black Eyed Peas and Mustard Greens

I thought I'd share the final recipe, as it was a big departure from what I usually cook. It's adapted from this recipe and was the result of one of those "Google! Tell me what to do with Mustard Greens!" searches that ended in great success.

Glazed Black Eyed Peas and Mustard Greens

1 can black eyed peas
1 giant bunch of mustard greens
1 sweet onion
1/4c veggie broth
Pinch of Szechuan pepper
Pinch of salt
Soy sauce

Cook diced onion in veggie broth until translucent and most of the broth is gone. Drain beans, and add everything except greens to pan. Cook on medium high and stir until the beans have just about soaked up the liquid, and what remains is thick. Pour immediately onto a bed of mustard greens.
Alteration: We're not a fan of slimy greens in this house, but if you prefer your greens cooked, wilt the greens with the onions for a few minutes. Empty pan onto dinner plate, and cook everything else in the pan.

Thursday, June 20

The False CSA Victory

Today was market day. I was all geared up to write a victory post announcing an accomplishment a full year in the making: finishing a CSA box before the next one arrives.

Then I discovered the bundle of turnip greens.

We turned kale into chips and leeks into croutons. Radishes became snacks and strawberries became dessert. Bok choy found a home in a Peri Peri fried pasta, and three bundles of spinach found their way into a barley tion. A full market share--supposedly for a family of four-- became sustenance for the two of us for an entire week. Nothing went wasted, nothing left behind.

Except turnip greens.

I swear I wasn't putting them off; there were just so many familiar vegetables to play with that I didn't take the time to stop and think on what to do with turnip greens. I ate so many (so. many.) of their bulbs this winter, but have never actually partook of their dense, light-colored leaves. In fact, these greens actually came to me as "mystery greens," and I had to admit to the farmers that I didn't recognize that bundle of food! A week later, there's a little yellowing, but otherwise the greens look perfectly good. So what now?

(1) Rip into small pieces and put into a salad, even though the leaves are a bit thick for my taste.
(2) Cut into ribbons and add to a fried pasta-- though I have no idea how I'd begin to season it!
(3) Dehydrate into chips. If the chips taste bad, grind into powder for soup or smoothie.

Nothing gone to waste, right?