Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Good Greens (and Reds and Whites)

So far, working our way through the first CSA basket from Tecolote Farms has been delicious.

The salad mix is incredibly fresh and tasty. It is beautiful to look at and a joy to eat. As to the rest of the veggies....

I tried a recipe provided with the basket for "Smashed Radishes in Soy Dressing" from the geocities.com website which had me making a trip to the store for more radishes. It was that good....

Smashed Radishes in Soy Dressing

1 bunch fresh radishes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon ginger juice
parsley garnish

Remove heads/tails from radishes, wash. Using bottom of heavy drinking glass, about 2 inches across base, hit radishes on the side to crack them so dressing can get into flesh (do not mash). Sprinkle radishes with salt and set aside in bowl for 15 minutes at room temperature. Combine sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, oils and ginger juice to make dressing. Drain liquid from radishes and toss with dressing. Refrigerate for at least half hour before serving. Garnish with parsley.

The next recipe I found was from Edible Austin, a wonderful magazine available at no charge in some of your favorite shopping spots around town (check their website for a complete list). This recipe, adapted from Eve Chenu and Tobin McGill's Kale, Cannellini Beans and Bacon Bowl recipe was in the Dining for Two feature of this season's edition.

I made substitutions based upon what was in my pantry, resulting in a wonderful dinner as the reward. I served this with cornbread into which I had sprinkled thyme blossoms for fun. Here is my version of their recipe:

Greens, Beans and Bacon Bowl/Serves 2

2 bunches of greens, washed, stems removed, roughly chopped
1 15 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
3 oz bacon (or pancetta) cut into small pieces
1/4 cup beef or chicken stock
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, sauté bacon until golden brown. Remove from pan
and reserve.

Into same pan, add onion. After onion softens, add garlic. Sauté
until onion begins to brown.

Add greens to pan. Add stock. Cover and let greens
steam for a few minutes, stir occasionally until soft.

Remove lid and allow some liquid to evaporate.

Add beans and mix gently until hot. Season to taste. Serve with
bacon sprinkled on top.

I am certain that short a basket filled with greens already in your refrigerator, bunches of greens from your grocer or a bag of spinach would fill the bill. It was nice to have a meal that just fed two with no leftovers - if I was cooking for one it would give me one nice dinner plus one other lunch or dinner that would reheat nicely in the microwave. Hope you'll give it a try!

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