Spring 2017 Week 3 (April 18th)

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Small: baby potatoes, collard greens, curly leaf kale, swiss chard, bok choy, carrots, salad mix, garlic, onion, shallot, turnip, spinach, red cabbage.

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Medium add: more bok choy, asparagus, more collards, more salad mix, and green cabbage.

 

I love to treat collard greens this way (minus the tabasco!) and here’s a vegan variation.  For anyone new, last year we learned that sprouted garlic is actually healthier than regular, eating it raw will help too. I like to grate it into vinaigrettes.

 

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Garlicky Pasta with Greens

Garlicky Pasta with Greens

Time: As long as it takes to boil pasta water

1 pound pasta of choice
2 bunches of strong greens, tough ribs removed, roughly ripped
several ‘glugs’ of olive oil (a little less than 1/4 cup)
2-3 scape stalks, roughly chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

Start the pasta water boiling while you rip up the greens and chop the scapes and garlic.  Heat the oil in a smaller skillet, then saute the garlic and scapes until fragrant and starting to brown.  Boil the pasta as usual, and about 3/4 of the way through, toss in the greens.  Strain the pasta and greens, then toss with the garlicky sauce.  Serve.

I made this recipe with the broccoli rabe when we had it last week, but it works with Chinese broccoli, mustard greens, or chard.  You can sub lots of green garlic for the scape/garlic combo as well.  The pasta to greens ratio can be tweaked quite a bit, and the sauce can be stronger or weaker based on how much pasta/green mix you toss it with.

Pesto, generic

Pesto, which most of us know as a saucy mix of basil, garlic, and oil, tossed with pasta, is actually a generic term for things made by pounding.  It is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, at least in Italy.  It is far easier in a food processor or blender.  Pesto is an incredibly versatile vehicle for using up produce at the height of freshness.  I’ll give you a generic basil recipe with some rough proportions, but it can be adjusted to taste with a free hand and ingredients are limited only by your imagination.  Basically, you need something bright and fresh, something nutty, something salty, and something oily.  (And as a side note, you’re not far off from hummus with this recipe, which also has infinite variations involving beans and seasoning.)

Generic Basil Pesto

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cups washed and dried basil
salt and pepper
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated hard cheese (pecorino romano, parmesan, italic)

Chop the garlic and pine nuts in the food processor.  Add the basil and pulse until a thick paste forms.  Season and add the oil while the food processor runs.  If you are making a dip or spread, add less oil.  If you’re tossing it with pasta, add a little more.  Lastly, stir in the cheese.  This will keep a week in the fridge (longer in the freezer) if you put a thin layer of olive oil on top to seal it in.

Alternatives:
– try cilantro, parsley, sorrel, spinach, or arugula as a partial or full substitute for the basil
– create a red pesto from sun dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers
– try almonds, cashews, walnuts, or beans as substitutes for the pine nuts
– cilantro, garlic, edamame beans, a little ginger, and a little sesame oil to replace some of the olive oil (cheese isn’t necessary for this one)
– cilantro, garlic, chipotle chile, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) — fantastic in tacos, especially with a little tomatillo included
– scapes (coming soon), green garlic or green onions in place of most of the basil and garlic