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That’s beautiful… but can I eat it? April 30, 2010

Filed under: Fresh From the Farm — Jennifer Kongs @ 2:00 pm

There is such a wide variety of specialty greens available at the farmers’ market that it is sometimes overwhelming when trying to make a decision.  It doesn’t help that most of the greens sit mixed together in baskets without individual labels.  Fear not, the farmer is always willing to answer your questions (he/she is trying to sell the stuff, after all!).  Some of the rarer, yet all the more tasty, greens that are available through Hoyland Farms are shownbelow  – with some quick recipe ideas, of course – so everyone can be more adventurous. 

PEA GREENS

Too delicate to travel far, pea greens are not a supermarket specialty.  The ones offered through Hoyland Farms are actually a field pea – a cover crop planted to provide nutrients to and protect the soil.  Also called pea shoots, these springtime treats provide plenty of nutrients for our bodies as well, including Vitamins A and C and Folic Acid.  The entire shoot is edible, so preparing the greens is fast and easy; the easiest way to eat pea greens is by chopping them up and tossing them into a salad.   If you want to try cooking the shoots, beware that they will cook down quite a bit – even more than spinach!  Adding the shoots at the last minute of a soup, or sauteeing briefly in olive oil with a bit of garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice are also easy ways to try out this rarer green.  For some more in depth recipe ideas, see http://www.peashoots.com/peashoots-recipes.htm, where you can find out how to make some mouth-watering dishes with the pea greens –  including pea shoot and feta fritters or pea shoot and walnut pesto. 

SORREL 

Despite its unassuming appearance, once you take a bite of sorrel you won’t forget it.  With a flavor akin to orange juice, this green lends itself easily to being chopped and tossed into salads to brighten the flavor.  Place a bunch of chopped sorrel into a food processor with garlic, olive oil, and vinegar for a tasty dressing for all the wonderful lettuces that are currently in season.  Sorrel makes a fabulous replacement for chard or spinach in a quiche or omelette as well.  And, of course, there are many recipes for a traditional French Sorrel Soup, like the one that can be found at this site.

 

Springtime Chard Magic April 16, 2010

Filed under: Fresh From the Farm — Jennifer Kongs @ 8:43 pm
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So as you  may have noticed, the beginning of the farmers’ market is really… green.  For some, that may be a challenge – while for others, it’s a reason to jump up and down and cheer.  Fortunately, the tender greens available during spring are exactly what a sluggish, wintry body needs to wake up and get ready for summer.  One of my standard recipes that I use for breakfast several times a week is a great way to incorporate extra greens into your day.  Taught to me by a good friend, following is this week’s highlighted recipe:

Eggs poaching in their chard baskets

EGGS IN A BASKET for 2

Ingredients

1 bunch chard (can substitute spinach, kale, or any cooking green)

4 farm fresh eggs

chives, parsley, green onions (optional garnish)

salt and pepper

Procedure

1. Wash chard and cut off excess stems.  Chop coarsely. Place in a saute pan with an inch of water (should make a thick layer),  cover and let steam for a few minutes.

2. Once water is boiling and chard is starting to turn bright green, crack the eggs on top of the pile of chard.  Try to keep them separate so each egg poaches individually.  Salt and pepper to taste, recover and leave for 8 – 10 minutes.

3.  Once eggs are done to your liking, turn off heat and serve, garnished with chopped herbs on top. 

OTHER QUICK CHARD RECIPES

Spring Kansas Quiche       adapted from Nancy O’Connor’s Rolling Prairie Cookbook

1 bunch chopped chard (can subsitute other cooking greens)

1/2 bunch chopped green onions

3 whole eggs

1 egg white

1/2 c. milk

1 1/2 c. grated Swiss cheese

1/2 bunch fresh parsley and chives, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Steam chard with green onions until tender.  Set aside to cool slightly.  Preheat oven to 375°.  Beat eggs thoroughly, then add milk, grated cheese, parsley, chives, salt and pepper.  Add in steamed greens and mix together well.  Pour into a medium-sized oiled casserole dish abd bake, covered, until firm – between 30 and 40 minutes.  Serves 4.

Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts  adapted from Farmer John’s Cookbook

1 tbsp oil.

1/2 bunch chopped green onions

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bunch Swish chard, rinsed and coarsely chopped

1/4 c. raisins

1/4 c. toasted pine nutes (walnuts, almonds, pecans, or cashews are also delightful!)

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion, cook, sitrring often, for a few minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add teh chard in batches, adding more as each batch wilts with the water still clinging to its leaves from rinsing, covering the pan between additions.  When all the leaves are added and wilted, stir in the raisins, pine nutes, lemon jusice, and season with salt and pepper.  Try as a pizza topping for a sweet treat!

 

 

Coming Soon… April 9, 2010

Filed under: Fresh From the Farm — Jennifer Kongs @ 9:36 pm

Check back soon for the new and exciting Fresh From the Farm series, featuring recipes that use what’s available each week at the downtown Saturday Farmers’ Market from Avery’s Produce stand and Hoyland Farms.   The best of delicious, organic and fresh each week (with pretty pictures!), all with the goal to get everyone to EAT MORE KALE!