What’s for Dinner: May 20

WHEW. A month in and here’s the number one thing I’ve learned about a farm share: it’s work. If you don’t love cooking, don’t do it. DON’T. It’s great and amazing but you will cook your ass off.
I’ve started doing the majority of the cooking on Sunday, to ensure that I use the veggies before they wilt or go bad or whatever.

Friday night, I came home and washed and stored the kale and the beet greens, which I put into ziplock containers, along with the romaine, which I stuck in the salad spinner container.

Saturday, I was being ridiculous, running the Warrior Dash. So today, I spent most of the day in the kitchen.

Instead of telling you what we ate each day, I’m going to list it by ingredient.

Arugula: using on salads, which I eat for lunch. Also the radishes and the romaine will be used in the same salads, if not just gifted to coworkers.

Squash: made a squash gratin from Joy of Cooking. Joy of Cooking was the first serious cookbook I bought myself, which I got by not returning the book club postcard in the mail. (Remember those? Anyone?) I got the book and was fascinated by all the information in there and it’s been my go to for 17 years now.

Now the bad thing is that my husband likes his squash gratin heavy on the gratin. Me, I’ve cut way back on cheese consumption. So, we compromise. I make it light on the cheese and then he adds cheese to his serving. And, since I had a bunch of broccoli, I added that to this dish. I also served it with farro, which is a really yummy wheat grain.

Steam for 10 minutes:

  • 1 pound of squash
  • Broccoli to your liking

Add:

  • Milk (called for cream but I wasn’t going to buy cream just for this dish, so I just used milk)
  • Parmesan cheese (a couple of tablespoons)
  • Mozzarella cheese (called for a 2/3, again I used half of that)
  • A splash of white wine if you have it (I didn’t)
  • A t of coriander
  • And a good shake or two of oregano
  • Salt and pepper
Spread in a 9 x 13 pan, sprinkle bread crumbs (ideally Panko, which I thought I had, but I didn’t, so I used cornmeal instead) and more parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350.
Serve hot, with cheese available for those that can’t resist the stuff.

Beets: I stored the beet greens right away. Today, I used two beets and half the beet greens. The beet greens were used in a beet green pesto, which I got from my friend Heather. This was immediately put in the freezer.

  • Boil the greens from about 3 beets for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the water. Put in a food processor with about a 1/3 cup of walnuts, 2-3 cloves garlic, salt and 1/3 cup of oil.

The beets I roasted while I made another batch of zucchini muffins. Those I peeled, chopped and stuck in the fridge. I’ll use that and the rest of the beet greens along with brown rice to make a beet pilaf, which I got from the Mollie Katzen Vegetable Heaven book.

Zucchini: one will be used in salads. I don’t care so much for cucumbers, but raw zucchini is just fine with me! I also made more zucchini muffins, as these were a big hit last week. However, I put them in the freezer this time, keeping only a handful out at a time. They will turn on your by mid-week. Who knows what I will do with the last zucchini.

Kale: Kale soup this time! And this time, it went directly to the freezer. I made this almost exactly as the recipe called for, except I added a lot more vegetable broth. The whole box. Also, I only used half the kale she called for, so I could continue to have my kale banana smoothies, which are suprisingly delicious. It’s not at all what you would think it is.

Cilantro: gave to a friend. I didn’t have any plans that worked for cilantro this week.

Turnips: storing. We like turnips, but I can only eat so much. UPDATE: went to lunch with a friend who revealed that she likes turnips, so I gifted three to her, kept the other three for ourselves.

Cauliflower: I do not like cauliflower. I just don’t. My husband, on the other hand, loves it. Unfortunately, he’s not around to eat it, so I made roasted broccoli cauliflower soup instead. Very simple and he was happy. I did cook the broccoli and cauliflower a LITTLE long because there was a huge family squabble in the middle of this. Still, he said it was good and added a smoky flavor. He plans to bring it out, add milk (it’s THICK), add cheese and enjoy it.

Green onions: will use as garnish on the beet pilaf.

And that leaves the cabbage: Again, not a huge fan of cabbage, but I’ll try it. So, I made cabbage rolls. I changed the original recipe a bit. I just couldn’t grind a cup of almonds! So I used rice and mushrooms and thyme and rosemary. Also, turns out someone drank most of my white wine when they came over for dinner and I didn’t want to drive all the way back to Georgia to get more, so instead of a tomato sauce, I made a mushroom broth cream sauce. It’s pretty good. That said, I’m not a big savory fan. I’m a sweet tooth kind of girl, so this isn’t totally my style. But, it was good if you like that kind of thing. UPDATE: added salsa since I already had a jar of that open and didn’t want to open a jar of emergency pizza sauce because I wouldn’t use the whole jar. This made this much yummier. Salsa fixes everything! Next time, I’d change up the insides and use a nice tomato sauce on the outside. The last two are wrapped in aluminum foil and thrown in the freezer, with the soups and the pesto.

WHAT A DAY. Still, there will come a time when kale isn’t in season and I’m craving soup and BAM, all I need to do is warm it up. It’ll pay off, I just know it.

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