Well Dined

15Jun/110

CSA Week 3


In the basket this week:
pint of strawberries
pint of English peas (much smaller this week)
bunch of kale
bunch of rainbow chard
bag of spinach
green onions
cucumbers
tomatoes

I had seen kale chips packaged at Whole Foods and was intrigued. I checked the internet to see if they could be made at home, and indeed they can!


I took my beautiful bunch of kale, trimmed off the tough stems and chopped it.


Then I tossed the kale with olive oil and sea salt.


I spread the kale onto baking sheets and baked it.


I was rewarded with super crispy, not at all bitter, chips that were better than potato chips in my opinion. Let the snacking commence!

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I had bought a huge bunch or Swiss chard at Homestead Farm when I went berry picking, and decided to combine with the rainbow chard to make creamed chard and spring onion pasta. It is so decadent and luscious, and you can feel a little less guilty (maybe) because of the healthy greens.


Swiss chard and spring onions.


Rainbow chard.


All chopped up together in thin ribbons.


Spring onions sliced into coins.


The chard - wilted down.


Sauteing the onions in butter.


Whisking in flour, half and half, and Parmesan to make a bechamel (yeah - despite the greens, this not the healthiest recipe).


Stirring the wilted chard into the sauce.


Adding cooked pasta (use a variety of pasta with ridges or spirals to hold that creamy sauce).

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I made a caprese salad with some of the tomatoes and paired it with an open faced smoked salmon sandwich. It was a perfect light weekend lunch.


For the sandwich - I took my favorite bread from Whole Foods (it used to be called Seeduction, it has pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, and millet - so good), toasted it up, spread some goat cheese on it, threw down some sliced radishes (left over from CSA week 2), then topped it with smoked sockeye salmon.

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I threw the spinach and peas into a slow cooker chicken dish, but since I used I bottled starter I don't have a recipe and I didn't take pics.

The strawberries were so cute and tiny, I just ate them plain.

The cucumbers are still hanging out and waiting to top salads or be snacked upon.

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Baked Kale Chips
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 bunch (about 6 ounces) kale
1 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the tough stems and center ribs. Cut or tear into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

Creamed Chard and Spring Onion Pasta
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 4

1 1-pound bunch Swiss chard, thick stems removed, leaves sliced into thin ribbons
1 1-pound bunch Rainbow chard, thick stems removed, leaves sliced into thin ribbons
6 spring onions, ends trimmed, white and some green parts sliced into thin coins
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp lemon zest
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups cream, half and half, or milk, in any combination
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
pinch nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 lb spiraled or ridged pasta (rotini, fusilli, penne)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until just under al dente. Drain pasta and set aside, reserving a cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, wash chard and place it in a large pot over high heat, with water still clinging to the leaves. Cook covered, stirring occasionally until wilted, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chard to a mesh strainer and press the excess liquid out with a spatula or large spoon.

Heat milk, half and half, or cream in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until warm. Meanwhile, wipe out the pot used to wilt the chard, and cook onion, garlic, and lemon zest in butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about six minutes. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking until raw smell is gone, about three minutes. Add warm milk, half and half, or cream a little at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Stir in Parmesan, chard, nutmeg, then salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Loosen sauce with reserved pasta water, if necessary, and add in cooked pasta.

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