Week 5: The Kale Imposter’s Tale

The Week 5 box arrived on a perfectly gorgeous day, and since we were in the process of grilling some chicken thighs on the back patio we decided to have it pose for its picture outside.

We had strawberries, sour cherries, head lettuce, romaine, spigarello (more on this later), beets, carrots, more fennel, white onions, and more sugar snap peas.

Side note: The small bunny who lives amongst the ferns in our backyard became very curious and came out of his hole to sniff the romaine, only to be frightened away when I came running with my camera.

Caesar Salad

The lettuce was also our first priority, and we grilled up a bunch of chicken legs to eat along with one of our favorite dressings, a fancy version of a caesar dressing from Jean- Georges Vongerichten. This dressing is basically crack. You mix 4 TB lemon juice, the zest of 2 lemons, 1 TB red wine vinegar, 1 clove of minced garlic, a minced anchovy, a teaspoon of mustard, an egg yolk, some chile flakes, and 2 oz parmesean cheese together in a food processor, along with 3/4 cup of canola oil. Then you add 1/2 cup of olive oil. The original recipe calls for kale, a serrano pepper, and mint. We made the kale version (tragically using grocery store kale…) for a potluck the day before, but saved enough dressing to use a few times again with our CSA romaine.

CSA ingredients used: romaine

Other ingredients used: lemons, mustard, anchovies, red wine vinegar, canola oil, olive oil, egg, parmesan cheese.

My next project was the spigarello. Looking at it, I became completely convinced that the farm had given us lacinato kale instead. I even had some leftover lacinato kale which I held up against this vegetable. They looked identical.

I decided to make Smitten Kitchen’s parmesan broth with white beans and kale. We’d been saving up parmesan rinds in the freezer for several months to do this, we had this kale, and I was reaching the point in summer where the idea of eating anything remotely heavy was deeply upsetting. I even had some leftover beans from the previous week’s pot pies.

Parmesan Broth with White Beans and Kale

I doubled this recipe. To make this, you first boil 1 LB of parmesan rinds, 12 cups of water, 2 large onions (in my case 4 little ones), 6 cloves of garlic, and 1 tsp peppercorns in a large pot for about an hour. Andrew reminded me that the parmesan tends to form a sticky mess on the bottom of the pot and take hours of scouring to clean up, so I wrapped the cheese in cheesecloth to simmer away.

It worked like a dream and the pot came away clean. In an unusually clairvoyant move, I decided to assemble only enough of the soup for one serving. I poured some of the broth into a bowl, added a half a cup of white beans, and chopped up some of the lacinato kale which I added raw to the hot broth.

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After I took my first sip it became clear that the greens I had added were not, in fact, kale. The spigarello didn’t wilt in the broth, like the kale does. And, it was is so bitter that it made my cheeks hurt and my teeth ache. I fished it out, finished the soup without it, and decided to throw the rest of the parmesan broth in the freezer for the time being.

CSA ingredients used: onions, a few stalks of kale spigarello

Other ingredients used: parmesan rinds, white beans, black peppercorns

Beet and Lentil Salad with Feta

I selected this recipe after getting home from a gig at 7:00 or so one Saturday night, which is not usually a good time to start planning dinner. However, it was one of the few things I could find to cook that had a pretty interested ingredient list that I actually already had. In addition, it used up the CSA beets, the beet greens (major bonus points, usually forgot about those until they’re beyond hope) CSA fennel, and CSA onions. Sadly, I was too out of it to take any pictures. But here’s how you make it:

Cut the beets in half and put them in a 400 degree oven cut side down along with a TB olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast the for 25-30 minutes or until they’re soft, which for me took about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the little baby lentils in water for 35 minutes until they’re al dente. Once they’re done, they have to get drained and spread out so they’ll dry.

While all of this is going on, heat 1 TB oil on the stove. Add an onion cut into 1/4 inch moons and some sliced fennel, and cook until they’re browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Then slice up the beet greens and add them, then cook for another 8 minutes or so. These vegetables get added to the bowl with the lentils. Once the beets are cool, you peel them and slice them up into little chunks, then add them to the bowl as well.

Now you make a simple dressing: 3 TB mustard, 1 TB honey, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and some dill. This dressing goes over the lentil mixture, and you add some crumbled feta and you’re good to go.

The original recipe calls for a fried egg on top. I didn’t have any, but I bet it’s excellent.

CSA ingredients used: onions, fennel, beets

Other ingredients used: lentils, mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, dill

 

Sour Cherry Galette

Nothing says love of country, even terrified-lying-awake-at-night-for-the-last-six-months love of country like cherries pie. For July 4th, Andrew used Stella Parks’ recipe for cherry pie to make a sour cherry galette. To make the dough, you whisk 8 oz flour, 1/2 ounce sugar, and 1 tsp kosher salt together in a bowl. Then you cut 2 sticks of butter into little 1/2 inch cubes and toss it with the flour mixture. With your fingers, you smoosh each butter cube until it’s flat. Stir in 4 ounces of cold water, and then knead the dough against the sides of the bowl until a shaggy dough forms.

Roll the dough out into a 10 x 15 inch rectangle. Fold the 10 inch side in towards the center, and then fold the other side in like a book. Fold in half once more until you have a little block, then cut it in half.

Then you roll out one of the halves onto a floured surface. For the filling, Andrew halved the recipe because we were only making one little galette. You take 1 LB of pitted sour cherries, and mix them together with 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1/2 cup of sugar, a half a teaspoon of salt, and 3/4 ounce of tapioca starch.

The filling went into the middle of the dough, and then the edges were rolled over. It went into the 400 degree oven and cooked for 1 hour.

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CSA ingredients used: sour cherries

Other ingredients used: flour butter, sugar,  salt, tapioca flour, lemon

Cherry galette aside, it was not a super successful week for either planning out or implementing recipes. However, we did manage to eat the entire massive head of romaine over the course of about 6 separate salads, which felt like a major accomplishment.

Next: Week 6!

 

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