Our farmshare started up again last week after a two week hiatus that fell between the end of the winter share and the beginning of the regular (spring/summer) share.
That two weeks gave me some time to anticipate happily the upcoming barrage of vegetables and also start dreading the inevitable Mystery vegs and how I would possibly manage to get them all into our bodies in a satisfactory and, perhaps, even enjoyable way.
If at all possible, I prefer to not compost anything from the weekly box, but sometimes we get too much of some things (BASTARD CHARD) or some amounts of things we just don't like (collards) or a bunch of things that only one of us likes (beets) or we get Mystery vegetables that have never been prepared by my hands so I just am at a loss as to how to make them good (Brussels sprouts, fava beans, fennel bulbs, celeriac, turnips, leeks) and they end up getting hauled out to the compost pile at week's end or when they've turned goopy and nasty in my crisper.
Typically I feel incredibly guilty and malign myself enthusiastically while walking to and from the composter and sometimes I make a promise to Nature that I will do better to get these precious green (red, white, yellow, etc) things into our bodies instead of into the composter.
I've been better with some things more than others.
Like, you know how we now have a love affair with Brussels sprouts, fava beans, fennel (Wait? have I told you about the fennel? Soon. Trust me.) and celeriac/celery root.
These are things that I look forward to in the farm share rather than dread as though they are Death Itself and even like cooking because they taste amazing and make me feel like a super hero cook since some of them were previously hated by Bubba (brussels sprouts) or feared by me (fava beans - it's the Chianti thing. You know.)
Like I'm winning the battle against the box, you know? Just trust me. It's a good feeling.
But, even after all my battles last year, there are still some Mystery vegs that confound me and have yet to be conquered to the point where I no longer fear seeing them in the box.
Until last night, leeks were one of those Mystery vegs.
Thankfully Kris and I were emailing on some random topic and she made mention of her recent (or upcoming? I can't remember.) leek planting and I took the opportunity to ask her what the F she did with leeks.
Well, Kris is more of a "teach them how to fish" kinda gal, so sent me off to read up on leeks. All this made me want to do was find a way to eat them so that I didn't continue to feel like the ignorant American loser who is too dumb to understand what the French see in this green onion-like staple of amazing greatness or whatever.
Those French can really make me feel like shit, you know?
And with some stereotypical American bullheadedness welling up inside my person, I marched off to figure out what the F to do with these things so that I could feel better about myself, this country and The Mystery Leek of Greatness.
It might have gotten a touch dramatic in my head, I'll admit.
Well, thankfully my neighbors, who have been well-documented here as excellent chefs, casually passed along their easy going way of making leeks, and when I tried it last night, I was hooked.
The world of leeks has opened up to me, people, and so now I shall open it up to you. If only slightly, seeing as I have only made them well once and lord knows there's other shit you can do with them, but still - OPENING UP THE WORLD OF LEEKS!
Here we go...
I wish you could smell this. FROM HEAVEN.
Mushroom Leek Saute with Wild Rice
Recipe by Awesome Neighbors
My changes in bold
1 Amazing leek, rinsed thoroughly, chopped
2 cups of roughly chopped oyster mushrooms (or whatever kind)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 cup wild rice
2 T unsalted butter
1 T fresh ground black pepper
Please ignore the compost bag back there and don't include it with your recipe.
Start the rice cooking per package instructions. Of all food things to which I pay closest attention to package instructions, rice is #1. Fucked up rice is no laughing matter, so don't get all "I know how to make rice, loser!" because you might fuck this up and that would be shameful.
In a good sized skillet (I think I used the 9"er), melt a T of butter over medium heat and toss in your garlic and chopped leek to cover. It will look and smell delicious like a mellow onion and this is AOK with me. Throw some salt on there for good measure and toss occasionally until it starts to soften.
Add your other T of butter and toss in your mushrooms. Mix this all up in the pan and let the smell take you away. Not like Calgon, but more like when you walk into a restaurant and you're super hungry and suddenly you smell something that you MUST HAVE because that's kinda how this smells. To me.
I should have taken photos of the oyster mushrooms. Hotness.
Add some more salt and the pepper, stir and then turn the heat to low.
It looks like it was all made to be together, no?
When your rice is ready (DO NOT BE HASTY OTHERWISE YOU'LL BE EATING CRUNCHY RICE EW), pour it right into the skillet with the leeks and onions, stir it up real well, sprinkle with a little more salt (to taste, of course) and serve with some totally unmatching bbq brisket because that's what you have and, well, it's good no matter what you eat it with.
Everything goes with bbq brisket. Even leeks. AMAZING fucking leeks.
Next on the Mystery what the F do I do with this list: TONS of beets. Not, like, 6 beets, but more like 20 beets. And don't just say "cook them" because that's not going to get rid of a lot of beets when I live in a house where only one of us eats them (me). I need creativity from you, folks. Help a sister out.