Still Catching Up...

I wish I could devote more time to blogging these days, but the best I can do is to post when I can.

Stay tuned...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Adventures in Cooking: Our Share

This year we are first-time members of a local CSA. A farm only a little ways from our house is the pick-up location for shareholders in the Community Supported Agriculture program. So far we have had 5 weeks of distribution and this week was the largest share so far (the season starts off slow in the spring & harvests pick up mid-summer).

This week our share included: a bunch of radishes, a head of lettuce, a bunch of braising greens, 1/4lb of snap peas and a bunch of scallions. I must admit that in the past I might have only bought half of these items a the grocery store and probably not even in the same week. So it is going to be an adventurous summer as we try new foods... and learn to cook them!

This week we have had three straight dinners with our fresh veggies - two that we have had in recent weeks (chicken wraps with lettuce & radishes and chicken spaghettini) and one experimental dish with braising greens. Having never eaten a braising green - nevermind cooking them - I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I found a recipe that sounded worth trying & it was a hit (see recipe below).

Stay tuned - I am sure there will be more to share as we eat more local & seasonal foods!

Braising Greens w/ Pine Nuts & Golden Raisins
Serve this with pork chops or pan-fried sausage (we had grilled pork chops)

2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 pound mixed braising greens
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cover the raisins with water and let stand 30 minutes to soften. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast the pine nuts until golden and fragrant, 7-10 minutes.

Wash and drain the braising greens. Transfer the greens to a large pot with just the water clinging to them. Cover them and cook over moderate heat, tossing occasionally with tongs, until they are wilted and tender. Add additional water if they threaten to cook dry. Drain the greens in a sieve and chill under cold running water. Drain them again and squeeze to remove the excess moisture.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and saute until lightly colored. Add the greens, raisins, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat greens with oil. When the greens are hot throughout, remove them from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Serve immediately.

Serves 3 to 4.

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