Kale Caesar!

by DaniGirl on August 9, 2012 · 5 comments

in Not completely domestically inept,Postcards from Manotick

Here’s an actual conversation that I would have never in a million years expected to hear around our dinner table.

Beloved, gesturing at salad: “Is there kale in this?”
Me: “No, we didn’t get any in the CSA this week.”
Beloved: “Aw, that’s too bad.”
Me: “I know, but it looks like we get some again next week.”
Beloved: “Yay!”

Funny, for all those jokes about people not signing up for CSA farm boxes beause of the fear of getting nothing but kale, it turns out the kale has been our favourite discovery. Go figure! It’s got a lovely green taste and full texture to it (unlike some more wimpy greens) and you know where it is absolutely delicious? In a caesar salad.

Admittedly, the boys are less fond of it. They love caesar salad and are vaguely resentful of me messing with it, I think, so I mix half kale and half romaine and hope they can’t tell which is which, but they usually can. Beloved and I fight over who gets the picked-out kale bits. Who knew?

I haven’t been doing the bi-weekly blog post about our CSA share from Roots and Shoots farm that I’d planned. Darn summer has been too much fun! But also, there hasn’t been much to blog about because it would just be a series of posts along the lines of “oh, these are mostly just the regular vegetables we always buy (zucchini, onions, peppers, beans, carrots, etc) except covered in dirt because they were picked YESTERDAY and about a zillion times more tasty.”

Aside from some weird turnips whose name escapes me, I have not been intimidated by any of the vegetables in our CSA share. I have, however, learned a few new ways to use old favourites. Have you ever just sliced a zuke in half and grilled it on the BBQ for a couple of minutes? Instant side dish and OMG so yummy! I’ve also started adding zucchini to my fajita vegetable mix of onions and peppers. And the discovery of garlic scapes and kale have revolutionized my summer menu planning.

When we signed up for the CSA, we had the option of a half share (bi-weekly pick-up) or a full share (weekly pick-up). We went with the half share, figuring it was a good way to dip our toes in the CSA water without having too much go to waste. We pick up on alternate Wednesdays and this is the in-between week. I found myself yesterday poking about in the vegetable crisper in the fridge wishing we’d signed up for the weekly share.

CSA share in the fridge

Only a few vegetables have gone to waste before we could figure out what to do with them, including a beautiful batch of beets that I just could not bring myself to roast during that stretch of days when it was 40C+ every day. That and some Swiss chard. I may have learned to love kale in a hurry, but I’m still only tepid on the Swiss chard. Hey, it’s a start, right?

Got a favourite simple summer veggie dish to share? Bonus points if it includes Swiss chard or kale! ;)


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Danielle August 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I’m just discovering the awesomeness of kale too. Kale chips have become one of my favorite snacks:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/crispy-kale-chips-recipe/index.html

2 kev August 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Roasting on the BBQ/Grill works, too. Just sayin’. :D

3 Kate August 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Two ideas for beets in the heat: Roast them in the oven at night and eat them cold in a salad with feta and balsamic dressing and other good stuff the next day. Or roast them in the barbecue. I did that just the other day… I used a cast iron fry pan and just treated them the way I usually do (trimmed and whole, a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper), then put them on just beside the flame. They were great.

I also do a pasta with swiss chard and/or beet greens… saute onions, garlic and a tbsp of capers with oregano and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Then put in the greens and essentially steam them, add some honey and some kind of acid whether lemon or apple cider vinegar or wine, and throw in a can of salmon or else flaked baked/grilled trout. Sometimes I add a bit of dijon at the end. Quiche or a frittata is another idea. I’ve been a big fan of swiss chard but what I planted in our garden is more than I can really handle, especially since my husband and oldest are not fans.

4 DaniGirl August 10, 2012 at 8:43 am

Kale chips?! Awesome, I am SO making that one!

Okay, I am up for roasting beets on the BBQ but for how long?

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