What To Do With Spring Green Overload.

March 28, 2010 Comments Off on What To Do With Spring Green Overload.

So I went to that local food workshop where I was reminded  that one the key ingredients to eating sustainably is to eat locally AND seasonally, this means that  sometimes some vegetables or fruits might be hard to source locally. If  you want to find out what is actually considered in season where you are, a good resource is this epicurious map. Although  it is definitely not super comprehensive, it says spinach is the only thing in season in Virginia, but you can probably get any leafy green in season in Virginia, oh and F*** you California and your all year around growing weather.

On that note I now have an entire grocery bag full of Kale in fridge that is getting ready to go bad, maybe you are a bad planner and also compulsively buy lots of vegetables because you are on a mission and are finding yourself ask the question, what do I do with all this Kale in the fridge?  Unless you are super inventive or don’t like variety or have a brood of children you probably can’t eat the same thing every day. Oh but have no fear because you can save all this seasonal green leaf bounty for a time of the year when it is not in season, and as luck would have it it is easy to save by blanching and freezing it. All you have to do is  clean, throw in hot water, and then throw it in  icy water, then dry of then freeze. Although I have it on good athority that you can also just throw them in the freezer sans preservation and things will be fine., but that is not the point because we are learning to preserve natures bounty here.

The  thing you need to do is cut the stem out of the kale and chop into pieces. I got a slightly  bad batch of kale and had to cut some yellow parts off as well.

Then make sure to wash it thoroughly to get all the grit off.

Then throw it in boiling water for two minutes.

After two minutes are up throw them into an ice water bath.

Take the kale out of the water bath and dry it off, you can throw it it a bag in the freezer, but if you want to keep the pieces piecey and not in block form, put spread out on a cookie sheet put them in the freezer, when they are icey put them in a back put the date on and your done.

If you are not overzealous  in your kale purchase  and only have a small amount to deal with try this deliscious soup from Mark Gresgy at L’Etoile in Charlottesville, as with most spring green recipes you can exchange  the green with any other type if green, like kolrabi,spinach, collards, or mustard greens.

Early Greens Soup

1T olive oil

1 T sweet butter

1 cup onion peeled and chopped

6 C vegetable stock

1/2 C carrots diced

1/2 cup celery chopped

2 cloves chopped

1 cup white wine

5C Spring Greens

1/2 t salt

1/2 t nutmeg

1/2 t cinnamon

1 t  fresh ground ginger

1/2 t white pepper

2 granny smith apples chopped

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and butter. Add the onion, carrots, and celery saute 5 minutes over medium low heat.

2.Add garlic, apple, and ginger. Then add  wine and spices. Saute for 3 minutes.

3. Add greens and stock. Stir well and bring to low simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Turn heat down and let sit for 20 minutes before the puree in blender. Use a hand blender as hot soup and blenders can make a nasty combo.

5. Reheat but do not boil the coup before serving.

Now if you are in C’ville go eat at L’etoile because Mark is a super nice guy, the food is delicious, and they use local ingredients as much as possible.

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday – Friday, 11am-2:30pm
Dinner: Wednesday – Saturday, 5:30pm-9:30pm
Brunch: Sunday, 11am-2:30pm

They also have a rocking deal of a 3 course prix fix menu  for $27 on Wednesday and Thursday (call them to confirm that)


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