Farmers’ Market Recon: Feb. 16

Posted on February 15, 2013

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WHAT’S IN SEASON

Roots Shoots Leaves Flowers Fruit
beets
carrots, including rainbow
rutabagas
turnips
radishes
potatoes
sweet potatoes
kohlrabi
pea shoots
cabbage
red russian kale
dinosaur/lacinato kale
red/green curly kale
chard
collards
bok/pak choi
tatsoi
buttercrunch lettuce
green/red oak lettuce
romaine
arugula
brussels sprouts
spinach
microgreens
broccoli
broccolini
cauliflower
citrus
pecans

WHAT’S ON DECK

Peas and beans
Spring onions and leeks

EAT NOW: GREENS

Greens

Image courtesy Nourished Kitchen, http://nourishedkitchen.com/

We all know and love kale, mustard, collards, chard, and the lettuces.

This week, give a look to beet greens, turnip greens, the choi varieties, and, if you can find them, broccoli greens.

Prep Tip: Wash greens as soon as you get home!

I’m lazy and I tend not to do this, but every time I do I thank my past self for her foresight. Here’s how to do it so they keep all week:

  • Wash each variety in a big pot of water, agitating the greens several times.
  • Allow time for all the dirt and grit to settle to the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove the greens to a colander and drain.
  • Lay out a clean tea towel and arrange the damp greens on it in a single layer (a crowded single layer is ok).
  • Starting from one edge, roll the towel and greens up together, jelly-roll style.
  • Place the roll in a plastic bag and roll again to remove air, or wrap it in plastic wrap.
  • Store in the fridge.

I find that this method allows enough moisture to remain in contact with the greens to keep them fresh and perky all week.

One of my favorite resources for recipes and all things related to traditional foods is Nourished Kitchen. Check out their post on a few specific winter greens.

EAT THIS WEEK: Greens ‘n Pig

collard-greensBy “pig” I mean whatever leftover bacon, ham, fat, shank, trotter, hock, etc. you have on hand OR, even better, what you can get from your meat farmer for cheap and perhaps off the back of the truck. Asking for off-cuts is a fantastic way to get great animal protein inexpensively.

If you’re using bacon, fat, or other boneless, raw pig protein:

  1. Heat some real fat (olive, coconut, bacon grease, etc.) in a large pan or pot.
  2. Saute the bacon/fat/etc. in the pot until cooked through.
  3. Remove meat to the side and crumble or chop.
  4. Add chopped onion and garlic, and maybe crushed red pepper, to the oil remaining in the pan, and saute until translucent and fragrant.
  5. Add chopped greens and a little liquid (water, homemade stock, broth, or beer) if they’re not wet from recent washing and saute for a minute or two.
  6. Cover and steam, stirring occasionally, until done.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar or hot sauce.

If you’re using hock, shank, trotter, neck, or other bone-in and maybe smoked pig joint:

  1. Add a few cups of homemade stock and your meat pieces to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add in any seasonings like pepper, garlic, onion, apple cider vinegar, ginger, etc.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 1/2-1 hour.
  4. If you’re using meaty pieces, remove the pieces and pull the meat from the bones and return them to the pot.
  5. Stir in the chopped greens, cover, and simmer for an hour or until your preferred doneness.

bacon fat cookies

OTHER USES FOR BACON FAT

Bacon Fat Ginger Cookies. I made the dough, very loosely following this recipe from Leiti’s Culinaria, weeks ago. I then rolled it up in a log and froze it. This morning, I sliced off rounds and baked the cookies for just less than 10 minutes.

I added a browned butter frosting because adding browned sugar to all bacon things makes me happy.

Have a great weekend!

Shub

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