A simple rustic meal that can go for breakfast lunch or dinner. I ate it tonight with a fried egg over top, but it would be fine without or with an added meat.
4 cups water or broth (if you use water add a tablespoon of olive oil or butter)
1 cup cornmeal
Herbs (sage, chives, basil, and/or oregano are lovely)
Dried tomatoes (optional)
Cheddar cheese to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring the water or broth to a boil. Slowly add the cornmeal while stirring or whisking, to reduce lumps. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often. Add dried tomatoes about midway through, cheese and herbs at the very end. Can be served hot or at room temperature*
Simple cooked greens
Garlic (or garlic scapes)
Greens (chard, kale, or collards)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another few minutes. Add roughly cut greens and peas, cover until peas are a bright green and greens are wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*Bonus: If you have leftover polenta, you can pan fry it later and it becomes a savory almost-cornbread. You can also bake it for a similar effect.
This past CSA pack us farmers were having a fight friendly disagreement about whether the best way to eat kale was raw or cooked. How do you use kale? Either way here are some ideas from past blog posts:
My sister once described garlic scapes as “garlic flavored green beans.” After that, in addition to using them as a substitute for regular garlic cloves, I started steaming them and eating them with melted butter and lemon juice with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. I suggest you try it, especially with the tenderonies that came in this week’s box!
Beet greens are just as nutritious and delicious as beets if you know how to prepare them. And they keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Here’s one recipe that calls for them to be served together! It says to roast the beets, which is delish, but on a hot day if you don’t feel like turning on the oven, boil them whole, then peel them. It holds the flavor pretty well.
Here’s one of my faves: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/roasted-beets-and-sauteed-beet-greens/
It happens to the best of us, even the most diehard salad lovers: salad boredom. It’s a thing (and if it wasn’t, it is now). It’s the moment you have a fridge full of fresh greens but cannot take one more bite of the same old vinaigrette–or whatever dressing rut you fell into. There are so many ways to change it up when it comes to dressing up your greens. The key is making enough of it so it will last a few salads, and prep times don’t become a deterrent every time.
Here are a couple good ones. Does anyone want to share their faves?
Asian-inspired salad dressing (makes enough for a few salads):
1/4 cup japanese mirin (they sell a fantastic one at R. Hirt in Eastern Market)
1/8 cup soy sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp grated ginger root
2 tsp sesame oil
4 garlic scapes or chives, diced (optional)
Method: Combine ingredients in jar with lid. Shut jar and shake well before serving.
1/2 cup Olive Oil
¼ cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar (can Substitute White Vinegar)
2 teaspoons Dried Mint or zaatar (a lebanese mixture of savory, thyme, and sumac, available in most Middle-Eastern groceries)
¼ cups Fresh Herb Loosley Packed (such as oregano, chives, thyme, parsley)Method: Combine ingredients in jar with lid and shake. It’s very versatile. Serve on any salad greens.
Creamy Avocado Dressing:
1 large avocado (or two small ones), skin and pit removed
1/4 cup (62.5 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh oregano (or mint or dill, or oregano or thyme or whatever herb is in season that you like 😉
1 small clove fresh garlic (or 2 garlic scapes)
Juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)
1 tsp honey (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Method: Place all ingredients except oil and water in the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender. With the blade running, add the oil, slowly, followed by the water. Puree until smooth. Adjust thickness of dressing by adding less or more water.
A few years ago I let a teacher bring her cooking class to the farm I was working at. I watched as she asked the kids to roll up their sleeves, wash their hands and then massage the kale I provided using olive oil as massage oil. It was a bizarre sight. At first I thought it was a ploy to keep the students engaged. But the next time I ate kale, it stuck in my head. I had to try it for myself. I’m happy to say have not stopped massaging kale since.
By now, I’m sure many of you know this tried and true trick to eating raw kale: the oil breaks down some of the fibrous makeup of the leaf. But for those of you who have heard of it and not tried it, now is your chance! It may just change the way you eat kale.
It’s super easy:
Wash your hands. Chop up a bunch of kale. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and get to rubbing! LYou’ll know it’s ready when it goes from a dull green to a brighter green. (about 30 seconds of massage).
1 bunch kale (or beet greens or Swiss chard), stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, (or 3-4 garlic scapes), minced
1.5 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Add olive oil to pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot (but not burning) add the chopped kale and toss so oil coats the leaves. Cover the pan, turn off heat and let it sit for a few minutes (5-10 mins). Finally, drizzle it with the balsamic vinegar
and serve with blue cheese crumbles and any other topping you like. Quick and easy!!
This week’s box has a great headliner: Fresh Detroit strawberries! That’s, of course, on top of lots of other goodness harvested just this morning. Getting caught out in today’s sporadic downpours was actually good for the produce; The humidity and cooler air helped us keep all the greens happy and wilt-free after harvest. Hopefully all the rain comes during the week so we’ll have clear skies for the City Commons potluck and garden tour at Food Field this coming Saturday (6/28)! We’re looking forward to meeting more members in person and for you to see one of the City Commons growing sites.
Here’s what’s in your box this week:
Strawberries from Singing Tree Garden:
Altor/Lettuce leaf salad mix from Buffalo Street Farm and Food Field
Chives (Tuesday); OR Sage (Saturday) from Fields of Plenty
Carrots from Food Field
Beets (Tuesday) from Signing Tree; OR Hakurei Turnips (Saturday) from Buffalo Street
Garlic Scapes from Food Field
Kale from Buffalo Street (either dino kale or curly kale)
What the heck are those? We get a lot of that this time of year at the farmer’s markets, and we don’t even need them to clarify, we know they are talking about garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are the flower of a garlic plant, it pops out right before the garlic starts to separate into cloves. As a matter of good plant care we have to pull them out so the plant puts its energy into the bulb rather than flowering and making seeds. Luckily for us and you they are tasty! They have a nice fresh garlic taste, you can use them in almost any recipe that calls for garlic. They’re also ideal for blending up into a garlic-y pesto or dip, or for chopping up fine and putting into a homemade salad dressing. You can also pickle them, use a basic vinegar pickling recipe, and add spices as well. My favorite combo is oregano and basil along with the scapes, but use whatever you’d like.