Tag Archives: kale

Abundance

21 Aug

Sunday is my sister’s birthday, and of course I am planning a really lovely meal for her. I am trying to rein myself in a bit because its really muggy and hot here at the moment … and you dont really want to eat lots of rich overwhelming hot dishes when its a thick summer’s day. But I do want it to be an exciting meal, and to that end, I went mosey-ing along to Whole Foods (my personal mecca) to see what was in store. I have never been there during the summer months, and I have to say… WOW. Amazing, beautiful, gorgeous, luscious, astonishingly bright, delicious, fragrant, touchable, edible fruits and vegetables. I mean really, really stunning. I probably spent about an hour in the produce section. I couldnt believe how lovely and tempting everything looked…

These are just some of the things I picked up…

Such colour and texture and taste!

Check out these baby heirloom tomatoes. Seriously gorgeous. I chopped some up tonight to go into a bean (pinto and kidney) stew. They added brightness and freshness and a certain pizzaz to the dish. I just love how they smell… essence of tomato but each one subtly different.

Lusciousness

Peaches, with baby fuzz skin, and a scent like a perfect perfume. Flesh juicy and sun warmed, sweet and tangy and thirst quenching … like your first kiss. Unforgettable. And the avocadoes… bright green and creamy, we had one for lunch today, sliced thin and sprinkled with salt and pepper and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. With sour dough bread, and some smoked white fish salad. What a summer’s meal!

Cant eat just one...

Oh these cherries. So glossy they seemed out of a magazine. Such blood red colour, and tartsweet flesh. Staining our lips red, like lipstick. These cost ten times as much in Malaysia, and when I had these today, I realised the ones at home dont even taste like cherries should. These had such a complete and full flavour that all your senses are satisfied after eating just a few…

Oh My Goddess

These grapes were phenomenal. We had them for dessert with the cherries. Thick skinned, so you had to work at biting into it, but once you did … An explosion of juice, the essence of grape – but greenpurplered all combined. You had to spit out the seeds and skin after, but each bite was like a firework going off. Amazing!

Roasted for dinner tonight :)

Have you ever seen such beautiful kale? Frilly, thick, perfect. Roasted it for dinner tonight with bean stew and rice. What a great, healthy, vegan meal. Simple and yet infinitely satisfying. This kale was so vibrantly green it almost hurt the eyes. And it was absolutely delicious. Earthy, strong, vibrant.

Perfection

Strawberries. I was literally assaulted by the perfume of these berries in the store. I tried one, and they were sooooooo good. I couldnt resist. I got a four pound box first, but then decided may be it was overkill, so I compromised with a 2 pound box. Again, it cost about ten times less than it does in Malaysia, and these were so richly strawberry-ish I couldnt believe it. I plan on making a strawberry fool with some organic whipped cream to go with the chocolate cake for M’s birthday dinner…

There were so many other things – firm succulent mushrooms, tender delicate raspberries, red and green figs, leeks, parsnips, arugula, elephant garlic, bright broccolini… I was totally and blissfully immersed in these lovingly grown and sold fruits and veg. I was so happy today, and I am so thankful that my family and I can experience such abundance.

Speaking of which… I am still musing on the menu for the birthday dinner, but I think its going to go something like this…

  • Poached fig tart – made with a walnut crust, mascarpone and blue goat’s cheese base (all local cheeses), and wine poached figs on top
  • Mushroom pastry
  • Roasted butternut and parsnips
  • Broccolini with almonds
  • Honey glazed carrots
  • Heirloom tomato salad
  • Arugula + Avocado
  • Creamed spinach
  • Chocolate blackout cake with a raspberry coulis + Strawberry fool

What do you think? 🙂

Roasted Greens (Kale, Mustard Greens, Chard, Broccoli Rabe, Collards)

13 Jul

Roasted GreensI first made this for my sister’s youngest son. He asked for roasted kale, which I had never heard of before. He said it was the only way he ate greens, and after a bit of research, a little fiddling, and a quick roasting, I understood why. This recipe (I dont even want to call it that – its just the alchemy of heat applied to greens) makes tough greens palatable to just about anyone – especially children or adults who just dont like vegetables! You need a tough green – kale is what I started with, but when my organic delivery guy said he had some mustard greens (we call it sawi hijau here in Malaysia), I wondered if you could do the same to any tough green leafy veg. Turns out you can, with stunning results!

To see which kind of greens you can use in this recipe, go to the Cook’s Thesaurus greens list.

You need a tough fibrous green leaf for the high heat of the oven. A little olive oil and some salt and pepper for seasoning creates something akin to a green chip – crispy, slightly burnt, very “green” tasting – totally delectable. And really, the whole process is completed in a matter of minutes. Its embarrassing to even give a recipe for this because its so easy, but believe me, once youve tried roasting one leafy green, you will be on the lookout for others to try!

You will need:

  • 1 kg or so of a dense green – I used kale at first, and for this go round, used mustard greens or sawi hijau
  • 1 tbsp of good olive oil
  • A sprinkling of salt

Preheat your oven to 220C. You want it very hot. The greens wont stay in there that long, so dont worry. Pop a cookie tin in the oven while you prep the greens. You want it hot as the greens hit it.

Wash your greens very well, cutting out the tough stem. You can keep the stem and use for a soup or stir fry if you like. I usually like to salt my greens as I wash them to encourage any animal life to crawl off.

Rinse the greens, but dont worry if they still have a bit of water clinging to them. This will only enhance the cooking process.

Put the greens in a bowl, and sprinkle over the olive oil and the salt and pepper. Use your hands and make sure the greens are completely coated with oil. This is quite important.

Take the cookie tin out of the oven (please remember to use an oven mitt!) and spread the greens across the tin, covering completely. You can use tongs to do this if you like. You should hear them sizzle as they hit the hot tin.

Pop in the oven for about 10 minutes. After about five minutes, take them out, and using the tongs, just give them a little stir, flip them over, etc. Watch carefully after this because depending on your oven, you might want to take them out earlier. You want them crispy, green in spots, slightly burnt and brown in spots.

Take out of the oven and serve immediately.

Delicious!