Pork and Greens

I’m already a week into the third box, but I haven’t even finished posting the remains of the second box.  So let’s catch up.

I used my spinach to make Spinach with Chickpeas and Ricotta Salata from the cookbook Urban Italian.  I have really been looking forward to making this and have to admit that the end result fell short of my expectations.  Frying the chickpeas made them very dry.  The highlight of the dish was the Tilsit cheese I substituted for the ricotta salata.  Benjamin, the cheese monger at France 44 cheese shop, made the suggestion and it was a winner.  I didn’t think there was a chance he’d steer me wrong.  I’ll definitely buy the cheese again. 

chickpeas spinach by you.

So once the spinach was used it was time for a new box and a more greens.  I felt like I was losing ground. 

The contents of the new box:

Red Leaf or Red Boston lettuce
Kohlrabi
Spinach
French Breakfast Radishes
Purple Scallions
Garlic Scapes
Yukina Savoy
Asparagus
Rhubarb
Sauté Mix
Basil

I have to honestly say I don’t know how I’d keep up with my CSA box without pork products.  You’ll see what I mean.

In the South they make something called “soup beans” which are basically beans cooked with some water and a ham hock and if you want you can  throw in some greens at the end.  I had some really lovely heirloom yellow-eyed beans that I bought at the Asheville Farmer’s Market the last time I was there (which was long enough ago that I worried the beans wouldn’t get soft). 

I cooked the beans with a ham hock and some onions and garlic scapes in my pressure cooker.  They took a little longer to cook than I planned on but when they were done, on my, were they delicious!  Firm yet creamy and full of flavor.  I added some sliced andouille sausage and two bunches of yukina savoy.  This was delicious with a dollop of sour cream mixed in.  

soup beans by you.

Last week a bouquet of fresh basil came with the farm box.  I was sure it was a goner since basil wasn’t in my plans for the weekend.  I was smoking a pork shoulder on Saturday.  There’s the pork again!

Anyway, I put the bouquet in a glass with water and left it on the kitchen table and it was still fresh a week later.  This is great when you can’t use a delicate green like this right away.

In the summertime this is my go-to pasta recipe from Tigers and Strawberries.  There are endless variations that you can make with this recipe.  Last night’s version included capellinni, onions, garlic scapes, red wine, fresh basil and some of my homemade spicy garlic sausage.  Later in the summer I can throw in zucchini, summer squash, leeks and any greens I have on hand.  No matter the combination it is always delicious and a change of page from a stir-fry.  And don’t be afraid of anchovy paste.  Really. 

pasta by you.

 I still have the red leaf lettuce and saute mix hanging over my head.

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