Friday, June 26, 2009
Sea of Greens
Berry season is winding to a close and the tomatoes and squash haven't appeared quite yet. Which means that beets, kale, and other hardy all-season greens are the order of the day. Last week's pickup from the CSA included:
- THREE kinds of Swiss Chard (rainbow, red, and green)
- red leaf lettuce
The non-greens were:
- beets (of which I also eat the greens)
- garlic skapes (which are green in color & are more of a flavoring than a veggie)
Perhaps I will turn into the Jolly Green *Fairy*? (those of you who know my 3-D self know I could NEVER be considered a giant by any stretch ;p )
Anyway, I've been trying to cram as much of this stuff into jars as I can, to preserve it for a season when I will actually be in lack of local greens (although it's quite hard to imagine right now!)
The photo above is some pesto that I made with the spinach and arugula. It was kind of bitter to the taste, so I added a bit of lemon juice, sea salt, and even a little sugar. Perhaps the raw elephant garlic added to the bitterness? Maybe I should have cooked it first. In any case, I think the sugar helped. The jar is such a beautiful color!
I also made some awesome looking saurkraut with the head of cabbage last night. Interesting tip: an empty beer bottle makes a really fabulous pestle for pounding the cabbage into the Ball jar! All I did was:
1. Slice the cabbage thin, then pound a layer in the jar.
2. Add a sprinkle of sea salt, then another layer of cabbage. Pound again.
3. You want the liquid to come out of the cabbage.
4. When you reach the top, add a bit of water or brine to cover the cabbage.
5. Everything I read said to weight down the cabbage until it is submerged in the brine. Plastic bag filled with water, or a plate covered with rocks was recommended the most. However, renegade that I am, I pounded down the cabbage with the beer bottle pretty good, so it didn't really float above the water, and I didn't use any weights. I'm just going to rubber-band a towel or something around the top of the jar to let it all ferment. (Oops, just realized I have a lid on the jar now- once that thing starts really fermenting it might explode!)
6. Let jar sit on counter for 4-6 weeks. Yum.
Pickled beets are pretty amazing too (and THEY'RE NOT GREEN! DEAR GOD THANK YOU FOR SOMETHING OF ANOTHER COLOR! heehee ). So sweet and pretty little things- can't wait to get more this week! Perhaps I'll have the "recipe" for those soon, although it's about as simple as the sauerkraut recipe.
I recommend a CSA highly! So much more satisfying than going to the farmer's market and feeling like a rube, since some of that food isn't really seasonal, or has to be slightly higher in $. A great way to get in touch with the seasons and your local land!
Posted by AlizaEss