Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cooking up the box

Little G and I picked up our CSA yesterday. Here's a picture of all of our spoils.

From left to right: Snap peas, kale, beets, turnips, lettuce - and in the back, zucchini, summer squash and STRAWBERRIES!!

To be fair, the zucchini, summer squash and 1/2 of the strawberries were not in the box...I purchased them after the fact.

The first thing I thought as I was looking at all of this was "hmmm...maybe I just toss the beet greens THIS week". But I am proud to say, I didn't. Instead, I remembered my friend saying she makes all dark leafy veggies taste better by cooking them with pork so I decided to try my hand at that.

The best part of this recipe is that I was able to use my pot of boiling water twice - once to blanch the beet greens and again to cook my pasta.

So, first, I started a pot of water on the stove. Then I washed my beet greens in the sink with some salted water. The salt helps any critters to let go when the leaves are being washed so you don't miss one and end up sauteing an arachnid.

Once the water boiled, I blanched the greens for FOUR minutes. I really think the extra minute in the boiling water reeeeeeeaaallllly helped out my greens - instead of slightly rubbery, they were nice and soft. Very pleasant.

After the greens were done, I tossed them in a colander and rinsed them under cold water. Then I waited until the water came back to a boil and added my pasta.

In the meantime, I browned some sausage.

Once that was done browning, I drained it and poured the fat out of the pan. Then I used what little fat remained to saute some garlic.

I added the beet greens (that I chopped a bit to make them more bite sized) to the garlic.

Added the sausage back in.

Added in my pasta.

And Voila!! Yummy dinner!!

This dinner was super, SUPER, yummy. My friend was right...a little pork can fix any dark green. Maybe that's what I need to do with Kale Chips...hide them in a hot dog :)

Plans for the rest of the week include

- leftovers (since this dish ended up being enough for four adults) served with a salad with peas and radishes.
- copious amounts of strawberries on my morning cereal and just popped for the fun of it mid day
- some other main course with a side dish of sauteed zucchini and summer squash with onions
- And I think I will cook the beets and then blanch the kale and freeze them since we will be away for four days and it will be impractical to try to eat all of this before we leave.

How are you faring on your CSA boxes?


  1. We have a full share at our CSA so we get way more vegetables than that. This years, we seem to be getting tons of cucumbers, so I think we're going to make pickles.

  2. Another thing that helps somewhat bitter greens is to cook them in starchy water. So you could boil your pasta, reserve the water and then blanch your greens in the pasta water. I use this method all the time for cooking rapini (aka broccoli rabe) and it has made all the difference.

    That dinner looks delicious!

  3. I recently began experimenting with greens too, and I found this easy and delicious Kale Salad recipe -

    Maybe give that a try next time you have kale on your hands... :) If you don't have mangos or pumpkin seeds you can substitute with any kind of fruit (peaches, pineapples, mandarin oranges, etc.) and any kind of nut (pistachios, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds). YUM!

  4. I feel like I already commented on this but maybe not - I've been having a blast with veggies this week. My America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family cookbook has some amazing, simple ways to make kale, broccoli rabe, escarole, snap peas (with lemon and basil OM NOM) and I've done similar creations to you, adding meat, beans and pasta or rice.