Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What's to Do With Your Share Week 2

It is the time of the year to enjoy the greenness of your share. We have been doing just that ourselves, taking advantage of some of the best salad ingredients of the year. You can’t go wrong with a simple mix of lettuces, Asian greens, onions and your choice of dressing. You can keep on topping it with nuts, seeds, hard boiled eggs, and/or grated cheese, to add some protein.

You will notice that the Asian greens have started to flower. For some vegetables, like lettuce, this signals that it is turning bitter. But for others, like tat soi, bak choi, and yukina savoy, they simply get more flavorful. Snack on the flowers, or cut them off and use them as garnish, or in a salad.

You can’t get any greener than this week’s recipe. The version below is based on what’s in the shares, but it could be just about any greens. Our favorite is cream of sorrel soup. Just make sorrel the main green that you use. You can also add a potato with the onions to thicken it up a bit. You will notice that this recipe is quite similar to last weeks, but is really quite different.

Cream of Green Soup

2 cups chopped onions, walking onions, and/or leeks
3 green garlic
½ head of lettuce
3 to 4 cups spinach leaves
¼ pound asparagus
1-1/2 tbsp lovage
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 dried hot pepper (optional)
Grated Parmesan, yogurt of sour cream for topping
Chives and chive flowers for garnish

Wash any mud off the vegetables. Cut the root end off the leeks, green garlic and walking onions. Next cut each just below where the tops start.

The tops are used to make a quick stock. Simply chop them once or twice, and add them to a 2 qt stock pot filled with cold water. Next add any trimmings from the asparagus, bay leaf and dried hot pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely slice the leeks, garlic and/or onion. In a medium saucepan sauté them in the olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and butter and turn heat to medium low for 10 minutes.

Chop the lettuce, spinach, asparagus and Lovage. Add to the onions. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Strain stock into the pan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. In a food processor, puree the solids until smooth. (Note: it is best to strain out the solids and puree them separately before adding back to the liquid).

Top with grated cheese, yogurt or sour cream, and chopped chives and chive flowers. This soup is also good lukewarm or cold.

1 comment:

Gary said...

a spring green onion recipe from the NYT Food section:
they suggest that grilling lightly carmelizes the green onions:
May 21, 2008
Grilled Spring Onions With Romesco Sauce

Time: 30 minutes using microwave, about 1 hour if not

7 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for onions

1 ripe tomato, halved

1/4 cup shelled almonds, toasted

1/4 cup shelled hazelnuts

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1 small almond biscotti (about 3/4 ounce), broken into pieces (see note)

6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

2 hard-cooked egg yolks, lightly mashed

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or to taste

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Large pinch cayenne

8 spring onions, greens trimmed, bulbs halved.

1. Slice 4 garlic cloves in half crosswise and put them in a small, microwave-safe dish. Cover with 1/4 cup olive oil. Loosely cover dish with plastic wrap, cut a slit in top and cook in microwave on medium power for 1 minute, 20 seconds. Uncover and let cool. Alternatively, sauté garlic in oil until golden around edges, about 3 minutes.

2. Place tomato cut-side down on a plate. Microwave on medium power for 4 minutes. Let cool, then pull off tomato skin; it should come right off. If not, cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Alternatively, roast tomato halves in a 350-degree oven until wrinkled and tender, 20 to 30 minutes, then peel.

3. Chop remaining 3 cloves garlic and put in a food processor along with nuts and biscotti. Grind to a powder, add sun-dried tomatoes and yolks, and process until tomatoes are ground. Add cooked tomato, cooked garlic with its oil, plus vinegar, paprika, salt and cayenne, and process until smooth. Slowly drizzle in remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Taste and adjust salt and vinegar if desired. If mixture is too thick, slowly drizzle in 2 to 3 tablespoons warm water. (You can make sauce up to 5 days ahead.)

4. To prepare onions, preheat a grill or broiler. Brush onions with oil and place on a grilling rack or broiler pan. Grill or broil for about 5 minutes a side, until browned and softened. Serve with romesco sauce.

Yield: 6 servings.

Note: You can substitute 1 slice toasted bread plus 1 tablespoon almonds and a pinch of sugar for the biscotti.

I'll be trying this out sometime soon- can't vouch for it yet.