Friday, June 26, 2009

Week 2: Salad Days

: Beans and Greens Soup

When the CSA gives you lettuce, you make salad. And stir-fry. And maybe cooked lettuce and peas, but only once.

This week's basket was similar to last week's, with lettuce, strawberries, radishes, and rhubarb, plus baby beet greens and Tuscan kale. The baby beet greens I sauteed with onions and shitake mushrooms and served over pasta (yumm); the rhubarb and some of the strawberries went into a crisp (Moosewood Cookbook; highly recommended); and the kale went into a hearty soup that makes a nice meal with a side salad. After all, we had a lot of salad available.

I received the soup recipe a year or two ago in the mail with a supermarket promotion that credits it to "the Taste for Life test kitchen." The paraphased version:

Beans and Greens Soup


olive oil, for sauteeing
1 large onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced [I used more]
4 cups broth or water [I used about 6 cups of water to accommodate the large head of greens that I had]
salt and pepper to taste [you can add other spices or herbs, of course]
2 cans (15 ounce) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch greens (kale, collards, spinach, etc.), cleaned and sliced or chopped
Parmesan cheese, for garnish, optional


In a large soup pot, saute onion, tomato, celery, carrot, and garlic until the vegetables begin to soften and the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more. Stir in beans and greens. Cook until the greens are just tender, 5 to 15 minutes depending on variety. Serve in bowls and top with cheese if desired.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Week 1: Lettuce Begin

Stir-Fried Garlic Lettuce

This week's CSA haulWe picked up our first CSA basket of the season last Friday, and it was very green: four huge heads of lettuce (Boston, green leaf, red leaf, and romaine).

To be fair, it was also red, with beets, radishes, strawberries, and a couple of hothouse tomatoes. And in keeping with the color scheme, there was a bunch of green and red rhubarb.

The strawberries barely made it to the fridge. We ate those out of hand and saved the rhubarb for a couple of savory treatments: a nice chutney and a modified version of a lentil dish by Mark Bittman (which needed further modification). The beets were roasted and eaten with salad. Lots of salad. Luckily for us, we had friends over for dinner one night, so we were able to make a dent in the abundant greens. And the romaine made a nice stir fry mid-week.