Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Farm Share Killer [RECIPE]

Remember those mailmen (and women, let's be fair) in the late 80s that ran into their post offices screaming "The mail won't stop! It keeps coming and it has driven me to managing my stress with firearms!" while gunning down coworkers and old ladies mailing dead cats to their relatives?

Yes, well, my details might be a little off but still, let's say that I now know how they feel.

Because if you swap "mail" with "vegetables" and "firearms" with "Farm Share Killer recipes" then you might get a hint of what I feel like every Thursday when the farm share arrives.

See, the farm share, she keeps on coming. Even if there's still carrots from last week or potatoes from two weeks ago or even if the bread (we also get bread in our share) has turned furry and begun to ask about our office perks. And whether we've eaten the kale in the crisper or not (always not). It's an hysteria inducing scenario, let me just tell you.

And while I'm just telling you things, let me also just tell you my personal newly crafted opinion on kale: I'm not a fan.

To me, kale is just chard's ugly cousin that tastes about the same except has the added risk of potentially tasting like a big ball of hair if one doesn't cook it long enough. I don't appreciate this. I also don't appreciate it showing up at my house every week even though I have made it widely known that I have too much chard to eat and have established a household ban on leafy greens beyond chard (OK, and spinach - I love spinach).

Anyway, that's my two cents on stupid kale. And if you're ever splitting a farm share with me, expect to get a surprisingly large "split" of kale because, haha, when it's my turn to pick up and divide the farm share, I don't divide the kale. I just give it all to you and act like WOW they gave us so much kale this week, how cool! because I'm a bitch like that. Hey, you said you loved it. It's your own fault.

Back to the Farm Share Killer thing though, in order to keep my farm share anxiety levels below Homicidal, I institute Farm Share Killer night in our house. Now, I haven't officially named it this until right now, but that's basically what I'm thinking when I go to the fridge on Wednesday nights (or Mondays if I'm feeling extra jittery), throw open the crisper and go Who wants a piece of me, bitches? while grabbing at whatever vegetables have the gall to still be sitting in my fridge, just one night before the new recruits show up.

And once these vegetable leavin's are laying out on my countertop for all my eyes to see, I try to come up with some way to Kill them with one meal.

Sometimes it works out, sometimes it does not. Sometimes there's leftovers which is doubly insulting because GAH they were leftovers before and now they're leftovers OF leftovers. JERKS.

However, the other night, I came up with an excellent Farm Share Killer recipe that did many things well. Allow me to list them for you:
  • It used up 6 vegetables from the farm share
  • Did in the recent harvest of 3 vegetables from the garden
  • Finished an abandoned and nearly empty box of lasagna noodles
  • Used the last remnants of some Parmesan and mozzarella
  • Made very little waste AND mess
  • It tasted awesome
  • Did not create a bizarre combination of Main Dish vs Side Dish
  • Did not result in leftovers
I am sorry, but this might be The One of farm share killer recipes, y'all. Like, this is a recipe I might actually go gather ingredients for even if I weren't trying to clean out my crisper or garden. AND, I forgot the other thing, AND you can totally swap ingredients out for stuff you, personally, have on hand because it is very versatile, this recipe of mine.

Let me ask you, HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?

Yes. I'm a little jumpy today. What with the talk of firearms and all.

For the recipe then.

Farm Share Killer #1

Twice as Good Vegetable Lasagna and Roasted Green Beans
Lasagna recipe of my own devising + Roasted Green Bean recipe from Serving up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

Serves 2


1 cup broccoli (cut into florets)
1 cup crookneck squash (sliced)
1 cup spinach (rinsed and packed)
4 flat lasagna noodles (I hate the curly edged ones)
: I do not cook these noodles beforehand, that is crazy talk. Just put them in there uncooked (and you don't have to buy any special type of noodle, that is also crazy talk) and they'll come out great. Trust me on this. I barely lie about pasta.
1 batch of The Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep.
1+ lbs of fresh green beans
2 cups mozzarella
1/2 cup Parmesan
Extra virgins

To make
First, make up your batch of The Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep. even if you really want to just use that left over Classico crap that's been living on the top shelf of your fridge maybe gathering a layer of white fur. Believe me, TBTSE.Y. is worth it and makes this vurrry good.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Next, in an 8x8 glass Pyrex or something similar that you think will work (see, this is very nonrestrictive, don't you like that?) shmear some of that fabulous sauce right on the bottom of the dish. Then lay two of your flat and sexy lasagna noodles right on there. Then shmear some sauce on the noodles. Then layer spinach, squash and broccoli on top. Then some mozz and parm. Then some more sauce. Then put the noodles on top of that, add the rest of the sauce, add the rest of the vegetables in the same order as before and finish by covering it all with the rest of your mozz and parm. Sprinkle some herbs or something on top so that it doesn't look like a leathery shoe when it comes out of the oven, but instead it looks like browned cheesy herby deliciousnessocity.

I personally really like this Sardinian mixed herb and salt deal from Castroni in Rome, but I realize that this is not readily available in the States, so I won't demand you use it. I also won't be using it much because my Rome hook-up is moving state-side for a while (YAY!!!) and won't be able to get me my fix. *PANIC*


Throw the lasagna in your oven for about 45 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and browns in that fabulous way that lasagna tends to do.

While this deal is in the oven, go back to that foil-covered pan that you used to roast up your tomato and garlic for The Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep. and DO NOT REMOVE THE FOIL FROM THE PAN.

Oh that is right, people, we are going to reuse the extra virgin-y, salty, tomato juicey, garlic-y foil for our green beans. Shock and awe, my friends. Shock and awe.

Toss your green beans right on the foil there and roll them around to coat them in whatever ghoulish yumyum is left on the foil. Then you can also add some more extra virgins in the event they're not shiny to your liking. Set this aside until the lasagna comes out.

Take out the lasagna (Now put in your green beans for 15 minutes) and marvel at how nice and tasty it looks right there with its cheesy brown top and DO NOT FREAK OUT that there would appear to be only one layer to this lasagna.


Here's the thing, I really like the browned bubbling cheesiness that comes on the top of lasagna. I like less the mushy gushiness that usually lives inside the lasagna. And Bubba, well, he hates it in there. Especially if there's ricotta (which there's not, you'll notice). SO, I took this opportunity to fix that problem.

Slice your lasagna into four equal sized squares. I'm sure you can figure out how to do this with an 8x8 pan. I won't do the math for you, but you can imagine. Now, carefully slide one slice out of the pan and plate it as you wish.


Yes, I know, it is very fancy and technical. And I am also delusional and probably retarded a little bit, but that's OK, too.

Go through this exercise again for plate #2 and, when your beans are done (meaning they're nice and browned and roasty looking), take them out of the oven and sprinkle them with some sea salt and then toss them on the plate with your lasagna and set your ass down for an awesome Farm Share Killer of a dinner.

Look at my broccoli protrusion. It was delicious.


  1. First: I don't want to look at your broccoli protrusion. Ew.

    Second: And YOU tried to talk ME into farm share. Despite the fact that A) I live on a (mini) farm and B) You knew damn well how panic-inducing it is to try to keep up with produce.

    Third: My dad, who was vegan for awhile, ate a lot of kale. One time my mom was buying it, and the clerk at the store said "Oh, you have an iguana!" And my mom said, um, no, what makes you think that? And the clerk said that the only people she'd ever seen buy kale fed it to their iguanas.


    My dad took a lot of shit for that one. And I don't really like kale, either.

  2. that looks so good!
    I just made a chocolate zucchini cake today, and added four cups of zucchini instead of the two cups the recipe called for, so it wouldn't go bad!
    it is a bit stressful!

  3. You're hysterical Finny! I burst out laughing when I saw that you stacked it for that extra-height illusion. Very good.

    Um. I hate to ask a stupid question but did you ball (that's boil in Paula Dean speak) those lasagna noodles or did you use the no cook kind.

    And finally, you must embrace your inner kale. I have a great potato, kale and um, I think, kielbasa soup recipe if you're interested. It's not creamy as in creamed potatoes, but brothy with small chunks of potatoes.

  4. It feels oh so good to use up random items in a cornucopia meal item. SO good. Nice work. Sometimes the magic happens and sometimes, well. My handy man is left silent with the less-than-delightful chewing and swallowing.

    I like the jumpy post.

    Am I ever gonna make the Finny Lurks column? Geesh.

  5. I have to say that was INGENIOUS to stack two slices of lasagna on top of each other just because they were a little, um, small for your tastes. (Size queen) Seriously though - that's a great idea!

    I was also wondering whether you like to boil lasagna noodles OR if you use the no-cook. I've only tried the no-cook once or twice and didn't much care for them. Then again, I happen to LOVE the wavy edges on noodles - so maybe that's just the kinda guy I am. Even if, sometimes after you boil those wavy-edged noodles, they DO fall apart before you can assemble the lasagna. They seem most prone to having the edges "unzip" right off the edge of the noodle. I just figure that makes more for snacking during assembly! ;-)

    Looks like a great recipe! And someone here at work was telling me I should be trying roasted green beans, so I'll have to give that a try as well.

    Your broccoli protrusion looks offensive.

  6. um, so I'm sitting here reading this post right before breakfast. so now I want lasagna for breakfast. I feel like a freak of nature now ;)

  7. Awesome. I'm bookmarking this now. And I love oven roasted vegetables. It's the only way I eat some things.

    And I remember reading this about kale... if you freeze it, it actually breaks down some of the fiber so that when you do cook it, it doesn't take as long. (Picture what thawing a head of frozen lettuce would look like.)

  8. This was funny to read. That lasagna looks scrumptious! ~D

  9. Shock and awe: how did I not think to stack the lasagna after baking? GENIUS! I love it. And I will be making this soon.
    Thank you!

  10. I am with you when it comes to kale... I believe the only thing it is good for is to lay decoratively under other veggies... I can't keep up with the veggies either... and we get eggs... and you would think it would be simple to use 12 eggs a week... apparently not...mine have stacked up... ARGH... I can totally relate to the whole postal analogy...I keep telling myself that winter will be here and I will be wishing I had more veggies...Thankfully I don't get kale...

  11. God I love that iguana comment.

    And God this recipe looks amazing. I just printed out its six pages. A definite 'to do'.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.