Follow along as we highlight vegetables that we're currently harvesting...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Perfect Winter Bouquet!

Store chard in water in a vase to prolong its shelf life and add color to your kitchen when spring flowers are not blooming yet.

Favorite Chard Recipes

Quinoa Chard Pilaf

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 cup canned lentils, rinsed

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped

1 quart vegetable broth

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute 5 minutes, until onion is tender. Mix in quinoa, lentils, and mushrooms. Pour in the broth. Cover, and cook 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat. Shred chard, and gently mix into the pot. Cover, and allow to sit 5 minutes, or until chard is wilted.

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 small red onion, diced

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately

1/2 cup water or broth

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

salt to taste (optional)

Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the chard stems and the white wine.  Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted.  Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

Kid-Friendly Recipe

Cheesy Pasta with Chard

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups chopped fresh onions

Washed and coarsely chopped greens  -- about 7 or 8 cups

3/4 pound penne, fusilli, shells, or some comparable short pasta

1/2 to 3/4 lb. feta cheese, crumbled

salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions in olive oil for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, put the pasta water up to boil.  Add chopped greens to the  skillet, salt lightly and stir until the greens wilt.  Cover and cook 10-15 min. over a medium to low heat.  Cook the pasta.  Just as it becomes ready, add the crumbled feta cheese to the chard, with heat on low (or off).  When the pasta is done, scoop it out with a strainer, drain it and add it directly to the pot full of sauce.  Mix thoroughly.  Cook the completed dish just slightly over a low heat for a few minutes. Add a small amount of grated cheese, if desired, and some black pepper.

Preparation Tips:

  • Cooked chard stems are edible, so save them when eating the leaves raw. 
  • To remove stems, hold leaves in half from the bottom, vein-side out, and pull on the bottom of the stem.
  • Cook the stems for a few minutes before adding the leaves to cook in any dish.
  • Remember - chard cooks down considerably from its raw volume!

Other Ways to Serve Chard:

  • Add smaller, younger raw chard leaves to salad.
  • Stir Fry with sesame oil, garlic and soy sauce, stirring often for 4-5 minutes in a large skillet over medium high heat. Serve with brown rice.
  • Sauté in olive oil with onions or garlic until bright green, add salt and pepper. 
  • Steam leaves whole or coarsely chopped in a covered skillet until the leaves are wilted, anywhere from 3-15 minutes depending on leaf age and thickness. Add lemon juice, or salt and pepper.

** Chard is a great source of Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium, and Manganese.  So eat up – after you’ve enjoyed it as a table centerpiece, of course!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Red, Green, or Curly?

Whether you eat the red, green, or curly kind, kale is packed with vitamins and minerals and can be substituted for any greens in your favorite recipe - or try these out!

Favorite Kale Recipes 

Turkey Garbanzo Bean and Kale Soup with Pasta

16 ounces whole-wheat pasta shells

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth

3/4 cup water

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup tomato paste

2 cups roughly chopped kale

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the pasta, and return to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 12-15 minutes. Drain well.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot; add turkey, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until meat browns and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage and rosemary and cook for about 1 minute, do not allow herbs to brown. Pour the broth and water into the pot along with the garbanzo beans and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and add kale. Simmer until kale softens, about 5 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Winter Vegetable Saute

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, diced

1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 pinch salt

1 pinch ground black pepper

1 cup chopped kale

Place oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and mix in potatoes, mushrooms, pepper, squash, and shallot. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender.

Add kale on to skillet. Continue cooking 5 minutes, until kale is wilted. 

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Crispy Kale

6-8 cups chopped fresh kale, hard stems removed

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

Place a rack on the lowest shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread kale out on a sturdy baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Toss to coat completely.  Place on the lowest rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir so that kale can get crispy all over.  Bake another 8 to 12 minutes or until kale is crispy.  It should be just lightly browned and crispy to the touch.  If kale still bends, rather than crackles, when you touch it, it isn't done yet.  Return it to the oven.  Turn down the heat if it is getting too brown.  Continue cooking until crispy.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.

Cream of Kale Soup

1 cup chopped onion

3 cups sliced potatoes

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

8 cups chopped kale or other bunched green

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper

Sauté the onion in olive oil or butter, add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Add the kale to the broth.  Cook for 10-15 min, or until the greens are tender.  Cool slightly, then purée in a blender or food processor.  Add the cream, reheat and season to taste.

Kale Frittata

1 bunch kale, chopped coarsely

1 clove of garlic, chopped finely

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 eggs

Boil kale for 4 minutes.  Drain.  Rinse with cold water and squeeze out as much water as you can.  Fry garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the chard and fry for 1 minute.  Season to taste with salt. Turn off heat.  Beat eggs.  Add kale to eggs and mix to separate the kale.  Over medium-low heat, cook 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an omelet style pan.  Stir the egg/kale mixture and pour into the pan.  Cover and cook 5 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Turn heat on eggs/kale down to low and cook another 5 minutes.  Uncover the frying pan and put under the broiler for 2 minutes or until top is set. 

Other Ways to Serve Kale:

**Cut the leaves off of the stems, & cook the stems for a few minutes longer in any recipe**

  • Stir Fry with olive oil, garlic, ginger, lemon, red pepper and soy sauce, stirring often for 4-5 min. in a large skillet over med. high heat. Serve with brown rice.
  • Sauté in olive oil or butter with onions and garlic until wilted, add salt & pepper.
  • Add to your favorite vegetable soups.
  • Add raw kale to frittata.

** Kale is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Calcium, Folacin, Manganese, and Potassium.  So enjoy it - red, green, or curly!