Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I cooked a new thing

I've been totally hiding this sorta dorky new obsession of mine, our farm share.

We pick it up on Thursdays and it's this great big box of organic/sustainable/local produce happiness that gets me all high on What WILL I Make From All This?? excitement.

At first I was worried that I would get the big box and be like, "um, what the HELL am I going to do with this?" (points to giant shrub of kale), but I'm starting to get the hang of it.

Last week we got a lot of stuff, including some kale of course, and also:

Red beets
Fava Beans
Green garlic
Red leaf lettuce
Mustard greens mix

Some of the box was a no-brainer.

Like, for instance, the strawberries, which I have just been slicing up into a tupperware with the ones from my garden (they hang out together like old organic friends! It's so cute!), radishes which go into salads with the red leaf, mustard greens onions and green garlic, broccoli that gets perfectly steamed (because I am the master broccoli steamer, hello) and red beets which I hoard and roast and eat all in one greedy sitting.

But there's always the veggie curve ball, and this week was no different: chard.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love chard. I grow chard. But what do you do when you have two weeks worth of chard because it got buried under two weeks of kale that you just got around to making?

I mean, that is a lot of chard! Like 2 lbs worth!

Well, you get out your Garden Fresh Vegetable book and cook a new thing, that's what.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Chard and Sausage
Adapted from "Penne with Chard and Sausage", Garden Fresh Vegetable Cookbook, Andrea Chesman

Essentially, the recipes are the same, except I swapped out "sweet or hot Italian sausage - removed from casings and crumbled" with the "available if not mildly off-putting tube of frozen HOT pork sausage in my freezer - rolled in the pan until thawed and crumbled."

I also added extra chard, my own canned tomatoes (OMG SO GOOD), dried basil, mint, pepperoncino fino and used whole wheat spaghetti instead of penne.

My bastardization of this recipe is as follows:

2 tbsp extra virgins
1 lb HOT but yet still frozen pork sausage rolled in the pan until thawed and crumbled
2 lbs rainbow chard, sliced into ribbons
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar of homecanned tomatoes
1 cup of chicken broth
3 tbsp dried basil (which I know is more powerful than fresh, but it was good)
1 tbsp dried mint (see above)
1 tbsp pepperoncino fino (thank you Shelley!)
1 handful of whole wheat spaghetti

Heat oil in the pan over medium heat and slam the sausage down in there and roll it around, scraping free the thawed sausage until it's all crumbled up and looking normal in the pan. Hey, you know you do this, why are you looking at me like that?

Add the chard and garlic until the chard wilts and the garlic smells good - about 3 mins. Add the tomatoes, broth, basil, mint and pepperoncino. Let it simmer.

Cook the pasta in seasalty water and drain it. Toss it in the pan with the chard and sausage. Serve it up in a bowl with some parm on top and a great glass of cabernet sav on the side. Await rave reviews.

So, yeah. It was just that easy to put away 2 pounds of rainbow chard and now I'm feeling all brave with the farm share. Like, I *might* even try to make the fava beans in this week's share into something edible that we'll like. Although, I won't lie, I hope it doesn't involve the shameful process of scraping thawed meat of a frozen ground pork log.

Wow. There's something to think about.

Anyway, I have some stuff coming in the share this week that I'm unsure of, so let me know if you have any great ideas for:

Fava Beans
Fennel, small heads, bunched
English peas


  1. Damn, that looks really !!! Can you tell it's dinner time here in Italy? Yum!

  2. So jealous that your CSA share already - ours doesn't start until May 17th and I'm seriously in need of farm-fresh veggies. I think fava beans make a mean hummus-style dip.

  3. I know I live in Spain and I should feel all lucky and stuff but I am secretly jealous of your CSA. As for fava beans, which the Spanish eat quite a bit of, boil the beans quickly, blanch them, squeeze their little baby jackets off and then saute them with a handful of good bacon or pancetta (the Spanish also love their pork products), salt and pepper and serve warm as a side dish. I promise you will love them! And if you don't I'll send you some Seville Orange Marmalade as a peace treaty for trusting my culinary judgement.

  4. Thanks for talking about your CSA! I hope someone in the one I'm interested in drops out so I can join! (two farms, because the pick up point is literally 2 blocks from my house instead of 5 minutes by car from my work for live earth)

  5. Sara - Ooh and I know what a farmstand hound you are there in Milan - maybe grab some chard and make it up. It was pretty damn tasty.

    Kim - Fava hummus?! I must try this.

    Taylor - YES. PORK. Bubba will love this. And also me, too. I like the pork.

    Lynn - Ooh! Once you get in you need to share it up on the blog. I want to compare CSAs!

  6. I love the idea of the fava hummus because I have only had canned favas, dressed in a little olive oil and salt. Delicious that way.

    Fennel--super yummy raw--sliced up and tossed into a salad or used to scoop up dip. VERY yummy sprinkled with some olive oil, salt and pepper, wrapped in foil and roasted until a caramelized goodness and eaten out of the foil packet while standing in front of the oven. Or served with roasted meat.

    English peas--fresh peas are sooooo good very lightly steamed (VERY) and then made into a salad--either with a light vinaigrette and scallions and radishes or tossed with pesto and spinach in a yummy very green salad.

  7. Sounds delicious! That pasta looks sooo good, I want some for dinner. ~D

  8. Am I the only person in the world that is freaked out by fava beans because of their association with Silence of the Lambs? I can't believe nobody suggested you serve them with liver and a nice chianti.

    Anyway, since I don't know any good recipes, I'll just give my vote, which is for the hummus or the one with pancetta, 'cause pancetta is awesome and it makes every vegetable it touches awesome by association.

    Good luck.

  9. oh. mah. got.

    citrus fennel salad.

    with mint. (fresh, duh.) and avocado if you feel like it. i am hardly a recipe kind of gal but whip up a vinaigrette with a nutty (or olive-y, whatever) oil of your choosing and some fresh squeezed juice. lemon. lime. orange. some of each! and zest! honey. ginger! lots of juicy grapefruit segments. (no pith, yuck.) a little shallot, maybe? aw hell, this is getting schizo. i'll bet mario batali has a for real recipe. or gourmet, or bon appetit, or epicurious.

    of course, theirs will not be nearly as punctuated as mine, but likely more directed.

    also? save me some?

    oh! and don't forget the pretty fronds for garnish.

  10. I love thinking about the bff strawberries hanging our in the fridge all psyched about having not been sprayed or transported from Central America. How would a strawberry high five anyway?

    Whenever I have a random ingredient or two, I go to food and wine's website to the advanced search recipe section where you can search by two ingredients like fennel and strawberry and see what magic happens.

  11. That looks awesome. If you end up with a bunch more chard (or something similar) this is a great recipe.

  12. We like Fennel roasted with a bit of salt and pepper and some olive oil (or grilled too). It's also good roasted with some sliced onions and roasted with some salmon (squirt some lemon or use lemon slices too)

    Two books (well an author) that will help with CSA stuff:

    Deborah Madison - "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" and "Local Flavors" the last is subtitled "Cooking and eating from America's Farmer's Markets" Oh, and one more from her that I checked out so often from the library that I ended up buying it when it came out in paperback recently and it will help too: "Vegetarian Suppers" Check them out from your library and see if they'll help you.


  13. Jen - Yes, please. I will be eating roasted fennel out of foil in front of my oven just like this but also I will have a cocktail. Thanks!

    Anon/D- I reheated the rest last night and it was GREAT. So, good to know that frozen pork log reheats like a champ ;)

    Wendy!!! Why do you think it's taken me so long to make them?? I've been getting them in our share for three weeks now and have been putting them in the compost. DON'T HATE ME PEOPLE I DIDN'T KNOW AND WAS ALSO LAZY. Now I know better though. Forgiveness?

    Jess - YES! Good salad ideas. I will try this :)

    Dig - I want to see this magic you speak of. I will try it.

    Also I think the strawberries bump bottoms instead of high fiving. It's very cute.

    Rohan- Yes. I will make BLT Pasta. I imagine it will be a huge hit. :)

    JJ - Thanks for the book reccos. I'm already wearing thin on the five recipes for chard in the book I have now. I need more!!

  14. I don't think I have ever had chard. I'm pretty sure my picky family wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. (I have to fix plain-Jane foods for them with no chunks of ANYthing or anything remotely healthy.)

  15. This sounds wonderful to me! I love mixing veggies with pasta, and adding the sausage just put it over the top. Thanks for another great entry for Grow Your Own!

  16. This is such an awesome recipe! I have made this thing three times over the last three weeks because its so good. Thanks for sharing it!!! :)


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