Picking Things Up
We were able to catch up on some clean up this week with the warm, thawing weather. We also got very wet and muddy. Bryan planted lots of onions for harvest next summer. I continued cleaning up plastic mulch from this year’s summer crops, which feels like a never ending task. We do a lot of picking things up and putting them down somewhere else around here, and this week was no exception. Seemed like a good week to draw attention to this humble act since it’s not masked by the more fun aspects of growing food, like picking up a crate full of tomatoes and putting it down somewhere cool. While we are still in clean up and recovery mode, we are happy to still be harvesting loads of fresh greens each week and gearing up to be excited about the 2019 growing season. We’ll be buying our potting mix for next year’s transplants on Monday, in fact!
No CSA Pick Up on December 27th
Heads up that there will be no CSA pick up on December 27th since we’ll be travelling for the holidays. Get all of your goodies this week!
What We’re Eating
Polenta with Beans and Mustard Greens
We ate lots of creamy, dreamy polenta this week! We tried this recipe, plus a bolognese-style red sauce served over polenta. Both have been scrumptious and do great as leftovers.
Adapted from New York Times
½ pound (about 1 1/8 cups) dried pintos, red beans, borlottis or other similar heirloom beans, rinsed and picked over for stones (we used pintos), soaked for about 4 hours or quick soaked
5 cups water
1 small onion, halved
1 medium or large carrot, diced
3 garlic cloves, 2 crushed, 1 minced
A bouquet garni made with a couple of sprigs each parsley and thyme, a bay leaf and a Parmesan rind
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more to taste)
1 pound mustard greens, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup polenta
Freshly grated Parmesan or feta for serving
Chop 1/2 of the onion and set aside. To cook dried beans, drain soaking water and transfer to a heavy pot. Cover with 1 1/2 to 2 inches of water, and add more water as necessary. Over medium-high heat, bring to a gentle boil and skim away foam. Add unchopped halved onion, crushed garlic cloves and bouquet garni, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour. Using tongs, removed halved onion and whole garlic cloves. (My beans cooked quicker than this, so make sure to taste and test them as they’re simmering.)
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet and add chopped onion and carrot. Cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes, and garlic and pepper flakes. Continue to cook for another couple of minutes, until onion softens. Stir vegetable mixture into beans. Add tomato paste and salt to taste (I use at least 1 1/2 teaspoons), cover and continue to simmer very gently for 1 hour or until beans are tender all the way through and their texture is plush and velvety. Remove and discard bouquet garni.
Add greens (depending on the size of your pot you may have to add a portion at a time, cover for a minute until the first portion wilts, then add the next portion and so on until all of the greens have been added) and continue to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until greens are tender but still have some color and life in them. Taste bean broth; it should taste rich, delicious, a little spicy. Add salt as necessary. Keep warm
Meanwhile, toward the end of the cooking time for the beans, cook polenta; or wait until beans are done and start polenta or grits. When done, spoon into wide soup bowls and press down in the middle with the back of a spoon. Spoon beans and greens with broth over polenta or grits. Top with a little Parmesan or feta and serve.
Thanks everyone, have a great week!
Joanna & Bryan