Sharing the Share: CSA Week #4 (plus, greens & beans over polenta)
The subtitle for this week’s share should be “hope you really like eating greens.” Luckily, I do! I cook with greens a lot, and it’s always nice to have a few different kinds to choose from. The one thing I struggled with the first year we had a share was the surplus of all kinds of greens; how long would they keep in the fridge? how quickly did I need to cook them so they didn’t go bad? I usually try to use the more fragile lettuces first, slightly sturdier greens like chard next, and finally, the kale (which can stand being in a cold fridge for a little while without losing it’s oomph.) As far as storage goes, I usually wrap the greens in damp paper towels and place them in a plastic bag, unsealed — that seems to keep them pretty fresh for almost a week.
Here’s the rundown of what we got this week:
- asian braising greens — in addition to mixing these into salads, I’ve also been lightly sauteeing them and including them in fritattas, topped with a little cheddar or goat cheese
- rainbow chard — I’ve been finely chopping the ribs and slicing the greens into ribbons, then either sauteing them or serving them raw as a salad with a lemon vinaigrette. The tiny pieces of colorful ribs are like rainbow confetti on top! I also made that fried egg and garlicky chard sandwich that I mentioned a week or two ago…man, was it good. Yes, I will post that soon — ugh, I feel like I’m so behind on all these blogging posts.
- curly kale
- green leaf lettuce
- radishes (pretty!)
- 3 onions (lovely)
- scallions — some of these are going into guacamole that I’m making today for the 4th…mmm.
So, what to do with all these greens, hm? Well, last week I made one of my favorite dishes with some greens that I had (a mix from last week’s share and the farmer’s market): Garlicky Beans & Greens over Polenta Triangles.
It’s basically a garlicky saute of whatever greens you choose, your favorite kind of bean (I like to use white beans), seasoned with some fresh basil (I used my beloved purply opal basil) and spooned over or into your vessel/platform of choice: I love polenta and so usually serve it over polenta that I’ve spread out to cool, and then cut into triangles.
I’ve also served the beans & greens over whole wheat pasta, which is delicious with some grated parmigiano on top. If you have a little leftover, you can use it as a filling for quesadillas, too. It may not be the prettiest dish presentation-wise, but it’s definitely tasty. And maybe it’s just because I love polenta so much, but a generous spoonful of these greens & beans over a triangle or two of polenta, and I am one happy girl!
Culinate also has some great ideas on how to deal with a bounty of greens in your CSA share. Happy 4th of July, if you celebrate it!
Garlicky Beans & Greens
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites
1 large onion, chopped
5 or 6 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mixed greens, or 1 large bunch kale or chard, chopped
1 cup water or broth
3 cups cooked beans (if you’re using canned beans, this is about 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
salt and ground black pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon
In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and onions and saute over medium heat until the onion is golden, about 7-10 minutes. Add the greens and 1 cup of water or broth. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the greens are wilted but still bright green. Stir in the beans and cook for about 1 minute, to warm them through. Add the basil and lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
From Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food
4 cups water
1 cup polenta (not quick-cooking)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the polenta in a stream, whisking constantly until it’s suspended in the water and no longer settles on the bottom. Turn down the heat and keep it at a bare simmer, whisking occasionally (about every 10 minutes), for 1 hour. At the end, stir in the butter and parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and keep stirring until completely melted.
You can serve it immediately if you like soft polenta, or, if you want to make the triangles, spread it out on a sheet pan and let it cool at room temperature. It will solidify as it cools. Once cool, you can cut it into triangles and warm the triangles up before spooning the beans and greens over. You can also grill or pan-fry the triangles, if you want a slightly crispier exterior.