Our CSA member Denise from Centerville has shared some of her favorite recipes for using up her CSA box full of beautiful (if copious) spring greens. Read on for some yummy inspiration, notes from Denise are italicized. My favorite thing about her style (and a good trait of a CSA chef) is not being afraid to substitute what a recipe calls for with what is fresh and in season! Cheers to eating Out of the Box!
Pasta with Greens and Ricotta from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, 1994)
1 bunch watercress (about 1 cup chopped), tough stems removed [I used 1 cup of mustard greens]
1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stalks removed (about 4 cups chopped) [I used 4 cups of a mix of spinach and kale]
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed [I used one green garlic, white & green leaves]
1 Tablespoon olive oil
dash of salt & pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 lb pasta (fettuccine, penne, macaronic, fusilly, shells, etc)
grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled ricotta salata
chopped fresh tomato
toasted walnuts or pine nuts
Bring a large covered pot of water to a rapid boil.
While the water heats, rinse the watercress and chard well, shake off any excess water, and chop coarsely. Saute the garlic in the oil for a minute, until soft and golden, taking care not to scorch it. Add the damp greens and saute, stirring often, until they are wilted but still bright green. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and remove from the heat. In a blender, puree the cooked greens with the ricotta until smooth and evenly colored. Add more salt & pepper to taste.
When the water boils, stir in the pasta, cover and return to a boil. Then uncover the pot and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and immediately toss it with the sauce in a warmed serving bowl. Top with Parmesan or crumbled ricotta salata, tomatoes and/or toasted nuts.
Spinach Ricotta Pie from Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen, 1992)
Crust for one pie shell
1 Tbsp butter/margarine
1 cup minced onion
1 lb. Spinach, stemmed and finely chopped (really, any mix of greens is great! And this uses up a lot of the CSA bags-o-greens)
½ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp dried basil (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
1 lb. Ricotta cheese
2 or 3 beaten eggs
3 Tbs flour
½ cup (packed) grated sharp cheese of your choice
a dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 cup sour cream (lowfat is OK), lightly beaten
(Assemble the crust recipe of your preference, I like the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s crust recipe.)
Preheat oven to 375F. Melt the butter or margarine in a medium-sized skillet, add the onion, and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add spinach, salt, pepper & basil and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Spread into the unbaked pie shell. For an extra rich pie, top with sour cream spread to the edges of the crust. Dust generously with paprika.
Bake 40 – 45 minutes, or until firm to the touch at the center. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
B is for buttercrunch! This is one of our favorite leafs for lettuce wraps, perfect for stuffing with quinoa salad, egg salad, tabbouleh — you name it!
We are skipping C, D is much more exciting (in our case, this week, no offense, C)…D is for dinosaur kale! We have one little bed of what is perhaps everyone’s favorite kale in the greenhouse, and we decided to harvest it as a fun treat for your last share of the spring season. The good news is, we just finished planting two big rows of dinosaur kale in the garden, so there is more to come if you are joining us for summer!
If you are unfamiliar with green garlic, here is a cheeky, yet informative, article all about the spring version of our favorite bulb, including recipes on how to use it.
Spring has really sprung at the garden center! Stop by and pick up some plants for your yard and take advantage of your Priapi Perks discount — 15% off any purchase (only available while you are a member of the CSA)! We would love to see you!
A couple of new faces in your share this week. Your baby mustard greens are greenhouse grown and decidedly tender and mild. They go great in a salad mix, or gently wilted with sauteed onion or garlic. The arugula is probably larger than you are used to seeing, and proportionately potent. If it is too spicy for your tastes in a salad, cooking will mellow its flavor. Remember the pesto recipes we pitched last week? This arugula would make a kickin’ pesto! Spinach is lovely as ever. Your brussels sprouts will be easier to manage if you first pop them off their stalks before shaving for a salad or sauteeing, roasting, etc. And the rutabaga! These little beauties were popped out of the garden this morning. In general, we do peel these before cooking, unlike most things. Never hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.
This is what the spring CSA is all about! Lots of beautiful, tender greenhouse greens to lift your spirits through these last grey days of winter. If you’re not ready for salads yet, consider incorporating some fresh greens into your favorite soup. You can also use just about any green in place of basil, and whip up some excellent veggie pesto for a heartier pasta dish (claytonia, kale, and spinach are some of our favorites for this trick, check out the recipe link below!) We’ve also included some other links to inspire your kitchen adventures this week…