Tag: dinosaur kale

Recipe: White Chili with Leeks, Fall Roots, and Kale

Leeks are a new item in the share this fall, and one of those lovely, sort-of-strange-looking fall veggies that you may or may not find in the grocery store on a given day.  A member of the Allium genus, leeks often play a role similar to that of the onion, but offer a more subtle flavor as they don’t have the sugars that onions do.

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Our hope was to provide a few weeks worth of leeks this fall, but instead we’ll have a small amount for only one week, and here’s why.  This summer, when our leek transplants arrived from our certified organic supplier out east, about three-quarters of the transplants had fallen out of the tray and died in transit.  Our supplier refunded our expenses, but it was too late in the season to plant more.  So, as my 5-year-old would say, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit!”  Really, though, this experience exemplifies what it means to be part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) rather than purchasing your produce from the grocery store or even a farmer’s market.  We—the farm members and farmers—share in the risks and rewards of the farm.  In this case, we take the small number of leeks and divide them equally among members.  Other weeks this fall, we’ve distributed a surplus of spinach and radishes and offered pick-your-own of abundant field greens such as kale, Swiss chard, and collards.

Alright, back to the leeks.  How do you actually use one?  BonAppetit.com presents twelve different ways, and Deborah Madison offers several recipes in her book Vegetable Literacy, including a surprising and refreshing salad, “Young Leeks with Oranges and Pistachios.”  For this week’s recipe, I made a few variations to Bon Appetit’s white chili recipe because it’s fall and nothing says fall to me quite like a steaming bowl of chili paired with a thick slice of cornbread.

A couple notes on prepping the leeks.  First, make sure you thoroughly rinse your leeks—even though we’ve washed them after harvest, they have many layers and may still hide some dirt or sand. 

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Second, most recipes call for using only the white and pale green part of the leek, getting rid of the roots and upper greens.  However, these “throwaway” parts can be used along with or in place of onions to flavor a vegetable stock.  

Whether you decide to eat your leeks raw as a baked potato topping, or gently sautéed and paired with goat cheese, or in this chili recipe below, I hope you enjoy the delicate flavor that the leek offers to your meal.

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Begin by prepping your veggies.  Grab the leeks and cut away the roots and most of the greens, then dice the white and about 1 inch of the pale green part.  Mince four garlic cloves, add these to the leeks and set aside until your other veggies are prepped.

Peel four medium-sized carrots, or, if these carrots are from your share, feel free to skip the peeling stage (I never peel our carrots from the farm).  Then slice them into ½ inch rounds.  Peel three medium or two large parsnips, cut them in half, and chop them into ½ inch pieces.  One more root to go!  Grab five radishes and cut them into quarters (or eighths, depending on their size)—make them about the same size as your chopped carrots and parsnips.  Set this group of veggies to the side.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  When the fats are sizzling, add the leeks and garlic and cook for about five minutes.

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Dice about 2 teaspoons (4 sprigs) of fresh oregano, and measure out 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder. 

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Add your seasonings, along with two teaspoons of salt, to the pot, and stir for about one minute.  Then add the chopped carrots, parsnips, and radishes, stir well, and cook for five more minutes.

Next, it’s time to add your protein.  Rinse 15 ounces (1 can) of Great Northern beans, then add these to the pot.  Pour in 3 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you’d prefer a vegetarian soup—next time you make this you can use homemade stock flavored with leeks!).  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer, partially cover, and cook for 25 minutes, until the roots are tender and the flavors melded.

While the soup is cooking, prep one more veggie—your greens, of course!  Roughly chop about two cups of kale, spinach, radish tops, or whatever green you prefer—I used Lacinato (dinosaur) kale. At the very end of your cooking time, toss the greens in the pot and let cook for a few minutes more.  The last step is to take a little taste and add more salt if needed.

Serve topped with crème fraîche or grated Gruyère.   Enjoy!

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Scroll down for the printable of this recipe.  What veggies do you like to use in your chili?

Photography and Food Styling: Julie Oudman Perkins

White Chili with Leeks, Fall Roots, and Kale
A comforting, seasonal, fall chili.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 Tbsp butter
  3. 2 leeks, white and 1' of pale-green part, diced
  4. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 4 medium carrots, peeled, sliced into ½” rounds
  6. 2 large or 3 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, and chopped into ½” pieces
  7. 5 radishes, quartered
  8. 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  9. 1 tsp cumin
  10. 1 tsp chili powder
  11. 2 tsp salt
  12. 15 oz can Great Northern beans, rinsed
  13. 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  14. 2 cups kale, spinach, or radish tops, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.
  2. Add leeks and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add carrots, parsnips, and radishes; stir to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add beans and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  6. Add kale and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.
  7. Serve topped with crème fraîche or grated Gruyère.
Adapted from White Bean Chili with Winter Vegetables by Sarah Dickerman
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

Recipe: Kale Salad with Apples and Figs

The first time I made this salad—as a side dish for a family get-together this summer—I almost exactly followed the recipe I found on Epicurious’s website.  We liked the salad so much, Dan made it for our 4-year-old’s preschool potluck, but he made a couple changes (including cutting out the red pepper flakes to make it more kid-friendly!)–and it all got eaten!  Today, the recipe I’m sharing has received a substitution here and an addition there, based on what sounds tasty to me and what I have in the house.

One advantage of this salad is that you can prepare most of it ahead of time, including pre-dressing the greens.  Pre-dressing doesn’t work well for salads with delicate greens like spinach and baby lettuces, but sturdy kale leaves are tenderized by the dressing, leaving the perfect texture bite after bite.

Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk a little bit more about the kale.  In your share, you’ll receive two varieties: Lacinato (also known as dinosaur kale) and Siberian.  Both these varieties are known for their tenderness, so they work really well raw in salads. The Lacinato is, in my opinion, a bit sweeter than the Siberian.  The Lacinato is what my boys eat raw from the field, although their choice might just result from getting to say they’re eating dinosaur kale. 

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Lacinato (dinosaur) kale

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Siberian kale

Let’s start with the veggie prep.  Finely chop part of a green onion, enough to give you 3 tablespoons chopped.  Set those aside and turn to your kale.  You’re going to need about ¼ pound kale for this recipe, which is what half share farm members will receive in their share this week (full share, you got a ½ pound, so go ahead and split it in half or double your recipe!).

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quarter pound of kale

Remove the kale leaves from the stem.  Compost the stems (or use them in a soup!), and finely chop the kale into bite-size pieces. 

Now it’s time for the dressing.  Whisk together the lemon juice, chopped green onions, honey, salt and red pepper flakes (if using) in a medium-sized bowl; I used my 8-cup Pampered Chef batter bowl. 

A quick note about the ingredients in the dressing.  Instead of bottled lemon juice, I used fresh-squeezed.  I used local honey from Van Kley’s Blueberry Farm, purchased at Belstra Milling.  And, finally, I had the privilege of using French sea salt (fleur de sel de guérande) that a dear friend gave me after her trip to France this summer.  My point: I encourage you, if you have the opportunity, to use the best ingredients possible when making your salad, or any dish for that any matter!  (And lest you think I’m becoming a kitchen snob, I also dropped my container of red pepper flakes and had to take a break to sweep the floor in the middle of making this recipe.  I guess that makes me a kitchen klutz.)

Back to the salad.  Add the kale and toss well.  If using the aforementioned batter bowl, just put on the lid and shake the bowl around, leaving one hand on the lid, just in case.

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Let the dressed kale sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, toast 1/3 cup slivered almonds over medium heat in a dry skillet for 5-7 minutes.  Stir constantly; these guys can go from nicely toasted to burnt in short time.  Remove from the skillet and let cool.

Next, chop up an some dried figs and a half an apple.  I used Honeycrisp that Dan, Harper, and Asher picked from Mowry’s Fruit Farm in Crown Point, but you can also use a tart apple if you want greater contrast with the sweet figs. 

Once your kale has sat for 20 minutes, toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and voilà, your greens are dressed and ready to go!  At this point, you can refrigerate the greens for up to a day, or serve right away.  Right before serving, toss with a portion of the almonds, apples, and figs, leaving a little of each to decorate the top of your salad.  Finally, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano.  Enjoy!

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 How did you end up changing this recipe? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photography and Food Styling: Julie Oudman Perkins

Kale Salad with Apples and Figs
Serves 4
A flavorful fall salad.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Tbps green onion, finely chopped
  2. Juice of ½ lemon
  3. 1 tsp honey
  4. ½ teaspoon sea salt
  5. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  6. ¼ pound kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  7. 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  8. 8 dried figs, thinly slice
  9. ½ apple, chopped
  10. 2 ½ ounces Romano or Parmesan, grated
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together lemon juice, green onion, honey, salt and red pepper flakes. Set aside for 20 minutes. Toss olive with kale greens. Refrigerate up to one day or serve with toppings immediately.
  2. Toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Toss greens with a portion of almonds, figs, and apples, leave a portion for the top of the salad. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Serve and enjoy!
Adapted from Epicurious's Kale Salad with Dates, Almonds, and Parmesan
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

 

 

 

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