Greens ‘n Things

Boxes came with some BEAUTIFUL greens this week, including either Escarole or Sugarloaf Borca from Good Food Easy Farm in Creswell. Erica, the farmer there, shared a recipe for one of her favorite ways to use these greens. See below.

Escarole Soup with Ravioli and Parmesan (Borca works too!)
from Sicilian Vegetarian Cooking by John Penza
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 head escarole, washed & chopped
6 c. broth, vegetable or chicken
salt to taste
12 ravioli
parmesan cheese for serving

Saute pepper, garlic, and escarole in olive oil until greens are wilted.
Add broth, bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer 30 min. Turn heat up, add
ravioli and cook, stirring occasionally, until they float. Add salt to
taste, top with parmesan.

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If you’re like me, and you end up with a hodgepodge of vegetables at the end of each week, do what I do: Throw them all in anything and everything. This week I made burritos with carrots, parsnips, red cabbage, celery, brown rice (wild rice from our shop would work!), bell pepper, and kidney beans (black or red beans from our shop would work!). If I’d had collards, escarole,  or Brussels sprouts, I might have thrown those things in there too!

Happy cooking!

Fantastic Fennel Find

It was a fluke that I found this recipe. The delightfully straightforward name says it all: Couscous with Chickpeas, Fennel, and Citrus. I was really looking for a vegetarian dish that used garbanzo beans. What I found was a light, delicious way to use fennel. Bright citrus, briny olives, caramelized fennel, and crispy-on-the-outside-tender-on-the-inside garbanzo beans come together to create a flavor profile I never would have thought of.

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My fiance is not the biggest fan of fennel, and even he agreed that this dish was very good. He even had seconds, which is a tried-and-true indication that he’s enjoying a dish. I thought it was delicious. It’s perfect right now because citrus is in season; I had the most delicious orange to use (I had to sit there and scrape the remaining flesh and juice off the peel while I stood over the sink after zesting and juicing it).

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This recipe has everything. Texture, flavor, nuance, it’s easy to make, and it’s totally satisfying.

If I could change anything about the preparation of this recipe I would cover the bean/fennel mixture after adding the lemon to help create a little more of a sauce instead of cooking off all the liquid.

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I served this dish with braised red cabbage (see recipe below). It’s one of my favorite sides, as well as a great way to use an abundance of red cabbage.

So, give them both a try. You’ll be glad you did.

Braised Red Cabbage

One small-medium cabbage head, cut into 1/4-1/2-inch strips

1/3 Cup Apple cider vinegar

1/3 Cub Water

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large saute pan. Turn on high heat, and bring to boil. Stir, cover, and turn heat down to a low simmer. Cook for about 20-30 minutes until it meets your desired crispiness/tenderness. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking to pan. Taste for seasoning. GREAT as leftovers.