CSA 2012: Week 4 – Finally Kale

Kale — it doesn’t look like much

 I was elated when the kale arrived. Finally. Ever since I discovered kale chips, my family has been enthusiastic about kale. When they come out of the oven, it looks like what baked lettuce would look like. Even though they look unappetizing you have to trust me. They are quite tasty and addictive. (Resource: Kale Chips)

Chard

Admittedly, I’m at a loss as to what to do with some of the greens including the chard. I really think that a family needs a “go-to” recipe for every green to feel comfortable with preparing them.

Spinach

Thankfully spinach is not one of the greens I struggle with.

Yummy salad greens

What I do is just put out a plate of raw, chopped salad greens at every meal. I’m not really a “salad” person — I have to force myself, but what I’m teaching my son is that greens are part of the meal. By having raw greens on the table first, he learns that he can just grab them and eat a handful before the main meal is served. In fact, my husband is really focused on eating right (remember how he was the one who said that the CSA was a “sign” we needed to eat healthier?). He will start with the salad. The other night my son watched my husband eating and Charlie yelled out, “Dad, stop shoving your face!”

Turnips

Which brings me back to a main point: when subscribing to a CSA, ideally you have all members of the family on board. My husband fully supports the addition of way more lettuce than normal. I’m grateful and really lucky.

Tomato Mountain CSA: Kale, Rainbow chard, Spinach, Vitamin Green & Lettuce, Hakurei turnips

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19 thoughts on “CSA 2012: Week 4 – Finally Kale”

  1. We picked up our first box from the CSA today. Lots of greens: spinach, lettuce, arugula and mustard, radishes, asparagus, onions, and whole wheat flour.

  2. My favorite chard recipe is Swiss chard & caramelized onions recipe from Vegan Table, by Coleen Patrick-Goudreau. It takes about ten minutes to throw together and it’s great. You don’t have to be vegan, or anywhere close to it, to appreciate this book.

  3. I’ve had good luck sauteeing greens and tossing with olive oil and pasta – delicious also with a bit of bacon or sausage tossed in.

  4. Guess what? You can make “chips” with chard just like you can with kale! The first time I made “kale chips,” I rather ignorantly purchased chard by mistake, but they turned out great! 🙂 I wouldn’t have known the difference if I hadn’t seen a picture of kale a few weeks (yes, WEEKS) later online. I believe I even helped someone find “kale” at the store during that span of time, but pointed them toward the chard–ha!

  5. Our favorite way to prepare chard is to simply caramelize a little bit of onions, then saute the chopped chard in a little butter. S&P to taste. (probably pretty similar to the recipe mentioned above) Yum! Now kale is the veg I have a hard time with.

  6. I don’t much like chard but as a farmer’s market worker, we often got some left over to take home. I chopped it and cooked it down and added it to quiche just like spinach, and it was tasty!

  7. Chard can be used anywhere you use spinach. Personally, I think it has a nicer, sweeter flavor than spinach. Our favorite way to use chard (or any other leafy green that we have way too much of) is to saute chopped onion until soft and translucent, add a little garlic, then add an enormous amount of chopped greens. Cook it down a little, then add water and taco seasoning (we make our own, but you can use the packaged one too). Cook for 10-20 minutes. Serve as tacos with beans and avocado. The kids add cheese and canned olives if we have them. So yummy. You’d be amazed at the amount of leafy greens you can get in your diet this way. I have a friend who uses zucchini in the same way as well.

  8. Seeing these boxes just really makes me think that if we really had to live off the land, we would be eating so much healthier. Just look at all that greenery!

  9. This is my chard recipe:

    1 or 2 summer squash (I like to get a yellow and a green), halved and sliced thinly
    A handful of sundried tomatoes, chopped
    Several pieces of bacon or dried Italian sausage
    Onion and garlic
    Chard
    Some basil and/or rosemary

    Saute everything but the chard and herbs in olive oil until fairly uniformly soft. Add the greens and let wilt, serve with pasta. I usually top with some romano cheese and pepper. You can make this recipe with spinach as well.

  10. A theme I see above, and in my own home, is the idea of tossing greens into other meals your family already likes. I think of greens as an ingredient rather than a side dish. In my home we clean, steam, and chop (in the food processor so the bits are very small) greens and then store them in a glass container (so I don’t forget they are there!) in the fridge. Then, for every meal I think, “Hmmm, could I add some greens to this?” We put finely chopped greens into our tacos/burritos/fajitas, sprinkle them under the cheese layer on pizza, stir them into soups, add to pasta sauce………the list is potentially endless. I have been known to stir greens into mayo before spreading on a sandwich….you are getting the goodness of greens without having to deal with a big mouthful of greens, which (at least for my family) is an obstacle sometimes.

  11. I usually pull or tear the thick stems off the chard (cutting off the very end), chop them and boil in salted water until they’re starting to get tender. In the meantime, I tear the chard leaves into pieces and add to a skillet with chopped onion or shallot that I’ve already sauteed some in olive oil. I saute the chard until a little beyond wilted. When that’s about done, I toss in the stems and cook everything together for a few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, plus balsamic vinegar. The balsamic mixed with the olive oil that’s already in there yields a nice result – a little tangy but not too much.

    Sauteed mushrooms and/or garlic are also good tossed into this when the chard is added.

  12. Swiss Chard is a yummy addition to veggie soups like minestrone. Shred it small and put it in near the end of the cooking time so that it will just have time to wilt and will retain its bright green color in the soup.

    It’s also really tasty sauteed with lots of garlic, mushrooms and olive oil and then tossed with pasta. Sautee the garlic for a little while first, then add the mushrooms, then a few minutes later the chopped chard stems, and then put in the shredded chard leaves at the end to just barely cook through. Toss with the cooked noodles and a little bit of pasta water if it sticks together.

    Nom nom.

  13. I love to use hearty greens in marinated salads. There’s a korean family of dishes called namul that is basically adding vinegar and seasoning to various veggies – a fresh pickle. Well, turns out that doing this with greens is spectacular. I’ve got a few versions on our blog. Enjoy your green bounty, and remember you can always blanche and freeze for winter.

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