Tuesday, December 04, 2007

THE CSA EXPERIMENT: WEEK 5

The cast of characters:

more chubby carrots
fresh rosemary
1 kabocha squash
2 turnips
1 head lettuce
½ bunch tatsoi
½ bunch kale
½ bunch arugula
½ bunch broccoli rabe

First, an update from last time: after baking and eating the red kuri squash, I decided I wasn’t that into it. I mean, it tasted fine; it tasted pretty much like…squash. But with a firmer, flakier texture than I like. It was fun to try it, and maybe it would benefit from different preparation, but I’ll just go back to my new favorite, delicata, thankyouverymuch.

Oh wait, but first I have to try the kabocha that’s sitting in my kitchen. I made an executive decision to wait until next week to eat it (and also the turnips), because (a) we’ve been eating an awful lot of squash lately, and (b) we’re currently too busy drowning in all these greens we’ve been given. Five kinds of greens, as you may notice, all (except the lettuce) still rather unfamiliar to us and all threatening to go wilty at any moment. Planning the menu last Friday and trying to include all these greens was a major challenge. Still, I do think I’ve acquitted myself admirably, if I do say so. On Saturday night we tackled the broccoli rabe, something I’d heard much about but never eaten before. There wasn’t enough of it to make a really broccoli-rabe-featuring recipe, so instead I used it to top some sausage sandwiches. Improvising loosely from a recipe I found online, I split two Italian chicken sausage links in half and pan-fried them until browned. Meanwhile, I blanched the broccoli rabe for a few minutes, plunged it into ice water to stop the cooking, and then sautéed it with a little olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. I split a loaf of ciabatta, brushed the cut halves with olive oil, baked them for a few minutes until crisp, topped them with thinly sliced fresh mozzarella and let it melt, then added the sausage and broccoli rabe and topped with the other half of the bread. The sandwiches were pretty tasty, and although I wasn’t always sure I could taste the broccoli rabe, occasionally a mustardy tang came through that complemented the sausage very well.

On Sunday night (and again with leftovers at lunchtime on Monday) we ate huge salads alongside our macaroni and cheese, dispatching all of the lettuce and most of the arugula. Last night, to accompany our chicken breasts (which were seasoned with some of the fresh rosemary), we attempted roasted kale, which was awesome (I’ll post the recipe with a photo later). Tomorrow, I’ll throw the tatsoi into some mini-meatball soup (into which the chubby carrots will also go). Thursday, we’ll try topping a pizza with the arugula pesto that’s still in my freezer. Besides the turnips and squash, that will just leave us with a little fresh arugula. If it survives until the weekend, I’d like to see how it tastes on BLTs. I guess this crazy winter greens overload isn’t so bad!

1 comment:

She Reads She Writes said...

Looking forward to seeing the roasted kale recipe! There was recently this woman on NPR who writes books about cooking vegetables. Dammit, what was her name?? Anyway, she thinks just about any vegatable benefits from being roasted. I personally like roasting because it's so E-Z.