Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hardy crops yield tender greens

My good friend asked me the other day "what's in season?" Well usually this time of the year not too much. Ramps are popping up, but first you mind find them and I haven't found any. Asparagus and rhubarb are starting to make their appearance at the local farmers markets. But if you are as lucky as I am, you will have already taken home some kale, spinach and parsley fresh from the garden. Yes, I said garden. These hardy suckers were left in the ground and survived the winter. The kale started sprouting tiny young leaves with the early hot and dry weather we've had this month.

We pulled out all the plants last week to make way for the new crops and greedily split up the bounty amongst ourselves. I looked at the kale with mixed enthusiasm. Happy to be taking home a local green vegetable after a winter of eating a lot of root crops and the occasional greenhouse salad. But skeptical if I would even like it. I am not a big fan of of collard greens and I think I tried kale last year and was rather unimpressed.

I was given advice by my fellow co-workers and epicureans to sautée it in olive oil, garlic and salt or to make kale chips. I tried both, they were deeeeelicious! I wolfed down three helpings of it. My husband and I devoured the kale chips. They tasted almost like salty dried seaweed/broccoli.

The recipe is really simple:

Kale Chips
preheat oven to 350F
1 bunch kale washed and dried and large stems removed
1 tbs olive oil
sea salt to taste

lightly coat kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
bake for 8-10 min checking to make sure they don't burn

Yesterday we were weeding in the herb garden and I pulled out about 10 parsley plants (they are going to seed this year and we don't want them spreading.) Lise and I started talking food. But that is nothing new. All of us girls talk about food, at least once, if not twice, or even three times a day. We talk about what we ate last night, what we are making for supper this night, what recipes we want to try, etc ,etc. So, I started throwing out ideas for the parsley. Tabbouleh? Lise suggested pesto. Yum, pesto. I went home and threw the washed parsley into the food processor with some pistachios, salt, olive oil, and garlic and made a nice paste. Boiled up some spiral egg noodles and tossed the pesto with the pasta. Pefecto!

As for what I have been up to the last three days, it can be summed up in three words: weeding, weeding, and transplanting.

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