Saturday, October 31, 2009

Braised Greens, Calafia-style

This week's box contains:
  • Cipollini Onions
  • Erbette Chard
  • Collard Greens
  • Hungarian Peppers (spicy but not violently so!)
  • Lettuce (swapped for more squash)
  • Winter Squash (Delicata)
  • Cilantro
  • Mystery (zucchini)
Great box this week.  Nothing we won't enjoy and plenty of inspiration.

Cipollini Onions:  I have a great appreciation for "fiddly" food.  To me this means a purposeful dish that is visually appealing, elegantly presented, intensely flavored, usually very small and often time intensive to prepare.  Think amuse bouche or mignardises and you'll understand what I mean.  The cipollini onions in this week's box are a perfect opportunity.  As soon as I laid eyes on them I knew what to do: individual tartes Tatin.  Dedicated entry on this to follow.

Erbette Chard and Collard Greens: One of my favorite local restaurants is Calafia Cafe.  They make a veggie side, Braised Greens and Almond Butter, which I get every time we go.  The menu description says the dish includes chard, onions, garlic, turmeric, almond butter, mustard seeds, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and lime juice.  Here's my attempt to reproduce it at home:
Braised Greens, Calafia-style
Serves 4

1 small onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1.5T olive oil
2 bunches of hearty greens (collard, mustard, chard, etc.), cleaned and sliced into ribbons
1/2c water
1/2c golden raisins

1/2c raw almonds
2t brown mustard seeds
1t turmeric
1t salt
1/2t cayenne

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until translucent.  Add the greens, water, and raisins.  Cover and allow the greens to braise, stirring occasionally until greens are tender.  Add braising liquid, almonds, mustard seeds, turmeric, salt and cayenne to a blender; mix till smooth.  Add almond mixture to the greens and mix well. Enjoy!

Hungarian Peppers: following a recommendation from the CSA flyer, we stuffed a few of these with fresh goat cheese and broiled till the peppers were soft and starting to brown.  Extremely tasty and actually quite elegant.  We still have many more peppers, which I'm dehydrating to create my own half-sharp paprika...

Winter Squash: These squash will sit for a week or two, along with the Rugosa squash from last week, for a soup to be served at a party on the 14th.

Cilantro: something Thai, using up some of the Thai red curry paste we made a few weeks ago.

Zucchini: Honestly, I'm not a big fan of zucchini on its own.  It's great in combination, but boring alone.  As we have capers in fridge and our Meyer lemon tree is just starting to bear fruit, I'm going for a zucchini piccata.  If you're not familiar with it, piccatta is an amazing sauce, here's a good basic recipe, adapted from Epicurious:

Piccata Sauce

2T salted butter
1T olive oil
2T dry white wine
1.5T fresh Meyer lemon juice
1.5T capers, drained and chopped
2T minced fresh parsley leaves
1T Meyer lemon zest

Add the butter and olive oil to a saute pan, heat till butter foams and begins to color.  Add whatever it is you are saucing (in our case tonight it was zucchini) to the pan and saute till lightly browned; remove from pan and set aside.  Deglaze pan with wine and lemon juice, add capers, zest, and parsley.  Toss with zucchini and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Love the Calafia Braised Greens! Found your blog while looking up the recipe.

    FYI - Delicata Squash is delightful sliced up and baked with the skins on and tossed with sea salt, olive oil and maple syrup. Baked at 450, it caramelizes and is more like dessert than a vegetable.