Archive for the ‘leafy greens’ Category

Beans, Gnocchi, and Swiss Chard

I’ve already blogged about making this dish, but I’ve decide to type up my own version of the recipe, as adapted from the original:

    2 tablespoons of olive oil
    1 teaspoon of minced garlic
    3 shallots, minced
    Swiss chard, leaves cut into strips and stems cut into small pieces
    1/2 cup of water
    1 cube of vegetable bouillon
    1 15-oz. can of beans

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the garlic, shallots, and chard stems and cook until they start to soften.

Add the chard leaves in three or four bunches and cook until they start to wilt.

Add the water and the vegetable bouillon and cook for a few minutes.

Add the beans and cook for a few more minutes.

While you are doing the above, cook the gnocchi in boiling water until they float to the top of the pan.

When the gnocchi are done cooking pour them into a strainer and let all of the water drain away.

Transfer the other ingredients from the skillet to the strainer, mix them and the gnocchi together, and let all of the liquid drain away.

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Pesto, Pesto, Pesto!

I’ve been making a lot of pesto lately. Because basil upsets my stomach, and pine nuts are expensive, and I don’t like cooking with dairy products, I don’t use the traditional ingredients when making pesto. Instead, I use a variety of leafy greens in place of the basil, pumpkin seeds in place of the pine nuts, and nutritional yeast flakes in place of the parmesan.

Here is the recipe I use, adapted from a recipe I found online:

1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 pinch of black pepper
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces of leafy greens

Put the pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, garlic, 1/3 of the olive oil, and 1/3 of the greens in a food processor. Pulse several times, then add the remaining greens and olive oil in two more batches, pulsing each batch.

In the past couple of weeks I have made three batches of pesto, the first with some curly endive I purchased at a grocery store, the second with three kinds of homegrown kale, and the third with homegrown turnip greens. Here’s a picture of the turnip greens pesto:

It’s creamier than the other pestos were, but I don’t know why.

I don’t really like eating pesto on pasta anymore, but it makes a great sandwich spread. Here’s a tortilla with some turnip greens pesto and some sauteed tofu:

Leafy Greens A-Growin’

Leafy greens are so satisying to grow! You get such quick results, and leafy greens fresh from the garden – especially lettuce – taste so much better than almost any of them you can buy in a store or, even, a farmers market.

I planted my first batch of leafy greens on March 25th, and here’s what they looked like on April 11th:

And here’s what they looked like three weeks later, on May 2nd:

My initial planting was swiss chard (upper left), dino kale (upper center), red russian and curled kale (upper right), green leaf lettuce (lower left), romaine lettuce (lower center), and butterhead lettuce (lower right). Recently I planted some red leaf lettuce, freckled romain lettuce, and cress in the pots (in the cleared areas in the pots in the front row), some spinach in three little pots that I set in amongst the six big pots (you can only see one of them in the picture), and a row of radicchio over in the ground plot (definitely out of frame!).

And here is a salad a made from my baby greens:

The salad contains homegrown butterhead lettuce, red russian kale, turnip greens, and, er, some store-bought curly endive.

Homemade Gnocchi with Swiss Chard and Fava Beans


This morning I made gnocchi from scratch for the first time. It wasn’t difficult but it took a bit of time and was very messy. I followed a recipe from the cookbook my mother and sister gave me for Christmas – Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. Basically you just bake the potatoes, mash or puree them, mix in some flour, knead the dough for a couple minutes, roll it out into thin tubes, cut the tubes into small pieces, and then roll the pieces into the traditional ovoid shape. The messiness come from the stickiness of the pureed potatoes – at one point both of my hands were completely covered with a gooey potato paste.

The Swiss chard and fava beans part of this dish I adapted from a pleasingly simple recipe that I found on the Internet a while back. I basically just added a can of fava beans to that recipe. If you make that recipe and are planning on having some left over make sure to drain all of the remaining cooking liquid off of the chard and beans. If you don’t then the gnocchi will become frightfully mushy as they sit in the refrigerator.

I am pleased to say that the gnocchi turned out really well. They were at least as good as any store-bought gnocchi I have had. In fact, I think this is the best batch of gnocchi, Swiss chard, and fava beans that I have ever made. Fine food abounds!

Oh, and the garlic I used was homegrown. I planted it in the fall of 2008 and harvested it the following July. It is of the Chilean silverneck variety.

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