Recipe: Grits and Greens

A couple of our subscribers have asked about what to do with collards.  So, this week’s recipe (really entitled “Fried Eggs and Collard Greens over Polenta”) should fit the bill.  A traditional, ubiquitous Southern classic, it’s from theKitchn.com, and as always you can click on the picture to pull up the original.

Fried Eggs and Collard Greens over Polenta

Photo credit: Emma Christensen

 

 Author Notes:

I know the Southerners in the group are going to wonder why these aren’t grits instead of polenta — after all, there are collard greens involved. Really, I find the difference in taste is pretty subtle, and I just happened to have some stone-ground cornmeal from Oxford, Mississippi, in my pantry, so I used that. This was finer than the grits I grew up with, so I’m calling it polenta. Please feel free to debate the topic in the comments.

I cooked my greens with bacon, but you can easily leave it out for a vegetarian version.

Tester’s Notes: 

This is one of those dishes that you’ll make once and then never need to look at the recipe again. Which is handy because it’s a particularly good breakfast to make the morning after a slightly overindulgent evening, if you catch my meaning. It’s also just as easy to make for one person as it is to make for a whole house of guests — just make an extra-big batch of polenta, throw in another bunch of collards, and fry up extra eggs.

If you’re new to collards, this bacon-y recipe is a grand way to be introduced. You can also sub in any hearty greens you might have handy, like spinach, chard, or kale. If you’re vegetarian, skip the bacon (obviously!), but I’d recommend adding some mushrooms or peppers to add a little variety to your bites of greens.

Oh, and P.S.: If you want to add some cheese to the polenta, I won’t tell anyone. Just sayin’.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 4 to 5 strips thick-cut bacon (about 1/4 pound), roughly chopped
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch collard greens (14 to 16 ounces), stems removed and leaves sliced into ribbons
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 to 8 large eggs (1 to 2 eggs per person)
  • Salt and pepper

Procedure

  1. Before cooking the greens, get the polenta going. Bring the milk and water to rapid simmer in a medium sauce pan. Add the cornmeal in a steady stream, whisking as you go. Season with salt and pepper (about a teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper to start, to taste). Continue to cook, whisking, until the polenta begins to thicken.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Every 10 minutes, uncover the pot and stir the polenta, making sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pan. The polenta is done when its creamy and no longer tastes raw, after 20 to 30 minutes. (If the collards aren’t quite done yet when the polenta is finished, you can turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep the polenta warm. When you are ready to serve it, stir to loosen it up and add a bit more milk if necessary.)
  3. Warm a large skillet over medium heat and add the chopped bacon. Cook until the bacon fat has rendered and the bacon is getting crispy. Move the bacon to one side of the pan and pour off all but a tablespoon or so of the bacon fat.
  4. Add the onions to the pan with the bacon and continue to cook until the bacon is as crispy as you like it and the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize, 8 to 10 more minutes.
  5. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the collard greens and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir and toss until the greens are coated in the bacon fat and beginning to wilt. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat slightly and cover the pan. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more chicken broth if the mixture gets dry, until the collard greens are dark green and soft. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Melt a little butter over medium heat in a non-stick or cast iron skillet. Fry the eggs in batches.
  7. To serve, put a big scoop of polenta on each plate and top it with the greens and bacon mixture and a fried egg or two. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and hot sauce, if desired.

Notes

  • Serves 4
  • Make-Ahead Breakfast: Leftover collards keep very well — I often make a big batch on the weekend and warm them up for breakfasts during the week. The polenta will firm up and lose its creaminess, but is also great reheated. You could also serve the collards with toast or any other prepared grain.

–posted by Steven

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What’s in the Box for April 14 – 17, 2015

In this week’s box we have:

  • asparagus
  • salad reds and greens
  • Lacinato kale
  • collards
  • sunchokes OR purple Viking potatoes
  • arugula
  • Bloomsdale spinach OR rapini
  • radicchio
  • herbs: marjoram, thyme, and chives
  • lemons

–posted by Steven

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Recipe: Sweet Pea and Leek Pancakes

Here at the farm, one of the surest flavors of spring are the peas – English or snap, they are the essence of the new season.  Although great just on their own (or, as we did last night – in a medley with fava beans), here’s another great idea for how to enjoy the harvest.  The recipe is from food52, and as usual you can see the original webpage by clicking on the picture.

Sweet Pea and Leek Pancakes

Photo credit: James Ransom

 

 Author Notes: These were inspired by the pea pancakes served at Schmidt’s (a German eatery in SF’s Mission District) and the leek fritters from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty; I developed the recipe for my food blog. Make smaller pancakes for a canapé-sized bite (just slice the leeks a little thinner) and substitute one cup of frozen peas if they’re out of season.

Food52 Review: A wonderful springtime pancake full of green vegetables, herbs and earthy flavor. Start by sauteeing some leeks, dill and turmeric for a golden hue, then make a light batter and fold in the star ingredient- English peas. These are tasty and light on their own, or add some yogurt as Kate @ Scarpetta Dolcetto suggests.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound English peas, in their pods
  • 3 large leeks (about 1/2 lb after trimming)
  • 1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1.25 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Procedure

  1. Shell the peas and set aside. To prep the leeks, discard the green leafy tops and dark green stalks. Slice the leeks into 1? slices and rinse well in a colander to remove any silt.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks (don’t worry about drying them off) and shallots and season with 3/4 tsp salt; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the peas, parsley and dried spices to the leek mixture. Cook for 5-8 minutes, smashing with a wooden spoon or potato masher until about 1/3 of the peas are mashed. Let cool a bit.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, eggs, milk and butter together to make a batter. Fold in the vegetable mixture to combine.
  5. Wipe down the sauté pan with a paper towel and heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Spoon half of the batter into four large fritters and fry, about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden browned and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm. Serve with Greek yogurt or crème fraîche and smoked salmon, if desired.

Notes

  • Serves 4

–posted by Steven

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What’s in the Box for April 7 – 10, 2015

Another very full box this week:

  • fava beans OR cabbage
  • beets with tops
  • asparagus
  • salad reds and greens
  • rainbow chard
  • collards
  • sunchokes
  • arugula
  • fennel
  • sugar snap peas
  • herbs: mint, thyme, and lovage
  • lemons

–posted by Steven

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What’s in the Box for March 31 – April 3, 2015

I know, I know – this week’s box is a bit crazy.  What can we do?  Usually, we don’t have a week’s worth of 80 degree weather this early in Spring.  But we did, and as a result, things are growing very quickly.  In this week’s box we have:

  • sugar snap peas*
  • heirloom carrots
  • fennel
  • asparagus
  • salad reds and greens
  • mache
  • Farao cabbage
  • rainbow chard OR Lacinato kale
  • collards
  • sunchokes
  • arugula
  • herbs: mint, chives, & marjoram
  • lemons

*sugar snap peas – you eat the whole pod.  It’s about the closest thing to vegetable candy you can find.

–posted by Steven

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Recipe: Orecchiette Carbonara with Asparagus

This week’s recipe features a quick dinner with pasta and asparagus.  The picture makes me want to fix it right now for lunch.  It’s from Alexandra’s Kitchen, who got the recipe from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food.  As always, click on the picture to see the original post and more pictures.  We would probably use pancetta instead of bacon….

orecchiette carbonara with asparagus

Photo credit: Alexandra

 

Hello there. Just a quick midweek post here. Thought I’d share with you all how I’ve made my favorite easy weeknight dinner both more and less involved.

Let me explain. Adding asparagus to pasta carbonara adds about a minute more to your prep time but precludes the need to make any other sort of vegetable side dish — 3/4 of a pound of asparagus, for me at least, is enough roughage for one evening.

So there you have it. Fry some bacon. Sauté some onions. Cook some pasta. Blanch some asparagus. Whisk some eggs. Zest a lemon. Toss it all together, and watch how a no-cream light-on-the-cheese sauce transforms a simple pasta into a creamy-tasting, vegetable-loaded, one-dish dinner. Yum.

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 leeks* (white and light-green parts only) or spring onions*, halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound short pasta, such as campanelle or orecchiette
  • 3/4 pound of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup), plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped (optional — I didn’t use them this time around)

*If you don’t have leeks or onions, any onion will do — finely chop about a half cup or more of whatever onion you have on hand.

Procedure

  1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. (I did not pour off any fat… it looked too good to discard.) Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until leeks are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add pasta to pot and cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile, cut asparagus into 1.5- to 2-inch long pieces. In the last three minutes of the pasta cooking time, drop the asparagus into the pot of water. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and lemon zest and juice. Whisk 1/4 cup pasta water into egg mixture.
  4. Drain pasta and asparagus and immediately add to egg mixture, along with bacon, leeks, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sprinkle with more cheese if desired and serve immediately. Note: If you’re nervous about the egg not cooking, just throw the whole mixture back into a large skillet over medium heat for a minute or two.

Notes

  • Serves 4
  • Prep time: 30 minutes

–posted by Steven

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What’s in the Box for March 24 – 27, 2015

In this week’s box we have:

  • asparagus
  • salad reds and greens
  • mache*
  • Farao cabbage
  • rainbow chard OR Lacinato kale
  • beets
  • collards
  • sunchokes
  • arugula
  • herbs: chives & marjoram
  • lemons

*mache is a French salad green.  It’s been growing here all winter long and is still teeny-tiny.  You will find it in your salad bag.  Also known as lambs lettuce, it’s been cultivated in France sine the 17th century.  You’ll probably get it again next week.  Let us know if you like it.   –posted by Steven

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