I too, like Karen, signed up for a half-share in the CSA, but unlike Karen, I do not have two other mouths to share it with. So for me the challenge of what do with all those greens was compounded. So my first thought was to consult my vegetarian cookbooks (for the record, I’m an omnivore). Several years ago a friend, and roommate at the time, gave me Annie Somerville’s Field of Greens cookbook as a Christmas gift. It contains recipes from the highly-rated, vegetarian Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. I haven’t made as many recipes as I’d like because many are labor intensive, but I did adapt the following recipe the other night. I didn’t have kale or currants, so I omitted the former and substituted craisins for the latter. Brown butter is made by melting butter over low heat and then simmering gently for about 8 minutes. Then strain it through cheesecloth or paper toweling.
Winter Greens with Currants, Pine Nuts, and Brown Butter
2 to 3 T. brown butter
¼ hot water
6 c. hot water
6 c. shard leaves with a few stems
6 c. spinach leaves
1 T. olive oil
1 finely chopped garlic clove
¼ cup water
Salt and pepper
1 T toasted pine nuts
While the butter is cooking, soak the currants in hot water to plump. Separately , tear the kale and chard leaves from the stems, reserving a few of the chard stems. Discard the stems and any browned or yellowed spinach leaves. Wash all greens separately in a salad spinner. Thinly slice the chard stems.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the chard stems, garlic water and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sauté for about a minute. Add the kale and sauté for another minute. Add the chard, ¼ t. salt, and a little more pepper. Toss the greens until just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat and add the brown butter, spinach, currants and pine nuts. Cook until the spinach is just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Include the pan juices when serving.
She also had a simpler recipe for Wilted Spinach with Pine Nuts. You use olive oil instead of brown butter and include lemon juice. I might try that next.
Unlike Karen, I never tire of green vegetables cooked in olive oil and garlic – as long as it’s not the same green veggie over and over! One recipe I like for chard is Marcella Hazan’s Erbette Salate per la Piadina (sautéed greens for Piadina). Piadina is a roman flatbread that I confess I have yet to make. I serve the greens as a side. I won’t give the whole recipe here, but it’s basically a mix of par-cooked Swiss chard, broccoli rabe, and Savoy cabbage, then tossed in olive oil and garlic heated in a pan. You can substitute spinach for the chard (but don’t par cook it of course), and dandelion or other bitter field greens for the broccoli rabe.
And for the strawberries, I reprised a recipe I had during the Back to Basics course I recently took at the Cambridge School for Culinary Arts (that experience for a future blog): spread Nutella on a crepe, top with sliced strawberries, and roll them up in the crepe. Very easy, once you make the crepes. I found if I added butter to the non-stick pan, the batter globbed up instead of making a nice thin round. Looked more like a moth eaten doily! I think they might have added a little milk to the Nutella because mine didn’t seem to spread as easily. Also, you could macerate the strawberries first.