Last week’s burning culinary question: what to do when you return home from a week-long beach vacation…to a refrigerator void of anything but greens? Yes, we had LOTS of greens from two weeks’ worth of CSA pick-ups, but NO eggs, yogurt, or cheese. Given that this summer’s beach reading was Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a trip to the grocery for supplies just seemed, well, unseemly! Surely we could survive until Wednesday’s Farmers’ Market, right?
Sunday was easy: Whole wheat pasta with pesto and a side salad. The pesto was pretty easy to create: plenty of basil in the backyard garden; a beautiful CA Olive Oil purchased from the local olive oil store (yes, we have a store for olive oil here), and the rest cobbled together from what was around the house… Here’s the recipe (alas we forgot to take a picture!):
1/2 to 2/3 c olive oil
3 c. loosely packed basil leaves, well washed
2 spring garlics (heads, before they form cloves)
1/2 c. toasted pecans (I didn’t have any pine nuts)
2/3 c. shredded cheese (I think I used Haystack Mt. Queso de Mano)
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Throw it all in a food processor, or use a “magic wand” to blend, and serve over hot pasta. This recipe made enough for our dinner, plus 6 frozen “pesto cubes” for some future use. Now if only we had more than 3 basil plants!
Monday’s dinner was even easier than Tuesday’s – mostly because we relied on The Organic Dish. If it’s still on their menu, we highly recommend the “Honey-Soy Salmon with Shrimp and Wasabi”. The leftovers are going into a salad tomorrow.
Tuesday? You guessed it…more greens! Abbondanza planted a little too much escarole, if you ask me. Having never actually cooked with escarole, we made a quick side-trip to Epicurious to find a recipe with not-too-many ingredients that could be made in 10 minutes or less with mostly things we had on hand. BINGO:
Wilted Greens with Garlic and Anchovies
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed (subbed 4 sardines packed in olive oil)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (sub 2 “new garlics”)
1 head escarole or 1 head or bunch other sturdy leafy green, such as dandelions or turnip greens, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons, washed and spun dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon (OK…we had a neighbor buy one on a recent trip to the grocery)
Heat a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil, anchovies, and garlic and cook just until the garlic is light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the greens and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze the lemon juice over, and serve.
We made it…Wednesday’s Farmers’ Market proved to be a bounty of milk, cheese, and vegetables that were something other than green.