Ada here. It’s been a while since we’ve done a Recipe Roundup, but I have full faith y’all have figured out how to use your beautiful spring produce. And if not, keep reading for some ideas.
We’re in that sweet sweet spot in Texas seasonality. The shallow rivers and streams are still cold, and the afternoons hot. Baby kale sits alongside spring onions in your CSA shares. Cooking right now is hopefully as easy as the season is pleasant. The produce is young and tender, and can delight with minimal fuss. If there was ever a time to delve into Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food, it’s now.
“When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary because it tastes like what it is. This is what we’ve learned at Chez Panisse after years of sourcing, preparing, and tasting food. Food tastes naturally delicious when it has been grown with care, harvested at the right moment, and brought to us immediately, direct from the producer… Good cooking is no mystery. You don’t need years of culinary training, or rare and costly foodstuffs, or an encyclopedic knowledge of world cuisines. You need only your own five senses. You need good ingredients, too, of course, but in order to choose and prepare them, you need to experience them fully.” Alice Waters, from The Art of Simple Food
Good ingredients? Check! If you’re currently receiving our veggie shares, you’re more than halfway there. (Still not getting our veg? They’re worth it!)
Chard, like cilantro, seems to be somewhat divisive. Personally, I love its silky texture and the way it so easily softens, the pop of color its stems provide, a welcome liveliness to an otherwise verdant pallet.
If you feel yourself drowning in greens, this Alice Water’s gratin recipe is a wonderful, methodical approach to dealing with them.
We all know the sauteed greens drill…olive oil, garlic, salt, greens. Sometimes it just takes adding a little topping to make these sensible dishes a bit more exciting. For the past week, I’ve been topping both simply sauteed greens, as well as simply dressed (raw) lettuce, with a mixture of fried panko, sunflower seeds, lemon zest, and herbs. The buttery crunch is just enough to make me feel special and is the perfect substitute when my pantry lacks my favorite bagged croutons. You don’t really need a recipe for panko crumbs, but in case you do,