The heat and humidity here have been will-sapping. After nearly 12 years of saying, “This is New Hampshire, we don’t need air conditioning!”, we have finally had to put in a tiny window unit just to make the kitchen someplace where I can stand without sobbing quietly to myself, and mumbling incoherently about all the cooking I would do, if only it wasn’t so miserably hot and sticky. It didn’t used to get like this here, but the last few summers have been pretty difficult. So, freed from the tyranny of Mother Nature’s hot flashes, it’s back into the kitchen for me. Here’s last week’s share:
L to R, front to back: Swiss chard, radishes, kohlrabi, arugula, lettuce, kale, peas, broccoli, basil.
Some of the salad-y items went toward the July 4th family dinner, in the green salad and the broccoli/carrot/kohlrabi salad, but I still wanted to create a meal using all the ingredients in my CSA basket. So here’s what I came up with:
Just because you don’t have spinach, that is no reason not to make a Greek-inspired pie, with kale and Swiss chard, sauteed with lots of garlic, tossed with hummus leftover from July 4th because it sounds like a good idea, and the stronger-flavored greens can stand up to it, and of course feta cheese mixed in right before filling the phyllo dough crust, brushing with lots of melted butter, and baking.
Chopped salads are such a refreshing texture change from the old stand-by green salad. I didn’t even know chopped salad was a thing until adulthood, when I ordered one in a restaurant (sheltered, maybe, Mom is a great cook, just not very adventurous). Then I found a basic technique recipe in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and well, now they are just part of the rotation. The vegetables can change with the season, and the salad dressing can be as simple as oil and vinegar (or lemon juice-yum), salt and pepper, or a complex dressing mixed ahead of time.
The plate. The third item is a green pea-basil purée, a recipe I found in a Yankee Magazine cookbook, and altered by using pea pod broth instead of chicken broth. These are the last peas of the season (sad face) and some of them were getting a little past their prime, so this purée, with the sweet pea pod broth and spicy basil, was the perfect way to use them.
So that’s it for this edition of Hacked!/Chef of Steel. A lot of hacking went into making this meal. I’ll leave it there; the jokes/puns are up to you. I picked up this week’s share yesterday, so I have some thinking to do. New secret ingredient: summer squashes! So till next time, enjoy Mother Nature’s bounty, and try to stay cool and dry. See you soon on the Road.