Thursday, July 15, 2010

YIKES! Greens, greens, and yet more greens

I love this time of year, but some weeks it feels a little overwhelming as our Community Supported Agriculture share from JenEhr Family Farm is bursting with fresh summer goodies. Our refrigerator was packed full of veggies today before I picked up a very full cooler more. So, after working all day at Sub-Zero and then all night at Delaney's I came home and used the new electric pressure cooker--a godsend--to make up some spicy pork and greens with Cottage Bacon from Willow Creek Farm and beet greens and swiss chard. I sauteed some onions with the smoky bacon in a little canola oil, then added some white wine, Frank's hot sauce, water, salt and the greens until it filled the pressure cooker. I cooked them down on warm until they were safely below the Fill line then steamed them for 5 minutes, tasted them, added more hot sauce, stirred and steamed for 5 more minutes. Voila, fini.

Next I sliced up several huge scallions and froze them because they're coming out our ears. Over the winter I'll add them to stir fry, soups, stews etc.

Then I steamed sugar snap peas, the last asparagus of the season and the first broccoli.

I've still got a huge bunch of carrots, a gigantic napa cabbage, the first yellow beans of the season and some kohlrabi and radishes to deal with, but I think I can now fit the rest into the fridge.

Tomorrow I'll make pesto with sorrel, mizuna and basil along with about a dozen scapes still waiting to be used. I'll freeze the pesto for use on pizzas in salads or on pasta over the winter.

I wish there was a way to save all the awesome salad greens for the sparse time during January and February, but since there isn't we'll just have to eat a few more salads this week or make some wraps with shrimp, rice and chilis. Yum!

What I love best about the CSA is I never know what's coming until we get it each week and then I get to be creative about what to use now, what to save for later and how to use the things I've never seen before.

A rarity for Wisconsin, the tomatoes are starting to ripen, so we'll be having lots of tomato salads with balsamic vinegar, mozzarella and basil, or with quinoa, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro and feta, or Margherita pizzas for dinner with fresh green salad. I can't wait to make salsa. We ran out way too early last winter because of the poor year for tomatoes so this year I'll be making loads and enjoying every sweaty minute while they process knowing we'll enjoy the heat of local salsa in the cold months of winter.

Besides, when I'm done processing I can go jump in the neighbors pool to cool off :)

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