Monday, July 19, 2010

Chard and White Beans . . . I Love Summer!

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I can not tell you how happy my garden makes me. I love how I can just go out there and find things to make for dinner or snacks or just for no reason at all. I love standing out there in the morning and watering. So, when it came time for dinner the other night I decided to use some of my bounty that was ready for picking.

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Along with the Kale that I picked I was elated to find that I had padron peppers ready to pick. If you don't know of the padron pepper you should become acquainted soon. Here is what wikipedia had to say about my little friends:

"The most famous produce of Padrón are its peppers (Spanish pimientos de Padrón), which are small green peppers from the Capsicum annuum family. They are served fried with olive oil and coarse salt. Most taste sweet and mild, though some are particularly hot and spicy, which gives its character to the dish and is perfectly captured in the popular "Os pementos de Padrón, uns pican e outros non" (Galician for "Padrón peppers, some are hot and some are not"). The level of heat varies according to the capsaicin of each pepper. Although it's not always the case, the peppers grown towards August/September tend to contain more capsaicin than the ones of June/July."

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I made a little treat for Dr Food when he came home. I simply heated up a little olive oil, threw in the padron peppers and then sprinkled with a little sea salt.

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In return Dr Food made me a margarita! It was ok to drink this because afterall it was Friday night.

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I also had some artichokes and I had just read a recipe from Mark Bittman that I wanted to try. It was so easy and good that I will certainly make it again. I don't know what I was looking for when I found a video of Bittman making this but I am glad that I did.

Braised Artichokes
from Mark Bittman/NY Times
time: 45 minutes

ingredients:
4 medium artichokes
4 tablespoons butter ( 1/2 stick) (I used 1 Tbl olive oil and 1 Tbl butter)
1 cup chicken stock, or more as needed (I used 1 C chicken stock with some wine thrown in)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Zest and juice of 1 lemon.


1. Cut each of the artichokes in half; remove the toughest outer leaves, use a spoon to remove the choke, and trim the bottom.

2. Put 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When it melts and foam subsides, add artichokes, cut side down. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add stock (it should come about halfway up the sides of the artichokes), bring to a boil, and cover; turn heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes or until tender, checking
every 5 or 10 minutes to make sure there is enough liquid in the pan, adding more stock as necessary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and transfer artichokes to serving platter.

3. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a sauce. Stir in lemon zest and juice and remaining tablespoon butter; taste and adjust seasoning. Serve artichokes drizzled with sauce.



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This is my new favorite. It is white beans (I used Cannellini Beans) with chard. I could eat this every night. I swear I could. I got it from Mariquita Farm website.

Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans with Greens
Adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson

½ pound medium or large dried white beans, cooked
3 tablespoons olive oil or clarified butter
Fine grained sea salt
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ baby chard, washed and roughly chopped, or 1 bunch kale, cut into wide ribbons
Fresh ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Freshly grated parmesan for topping

Drain the beans, then heat the oil or butter over med-high heat in the widest skillet available. Add the beans to the hot pan in a single layer. If you don’t have a big enough skillet, just do the sauté stop in two batches or save the extra beans for another use.

Stir to coat the beans with the oil/butter, then let them sit long enough to brown on one side, about 3 or 4 minutes, before turning to brown the other side, also about 3 or 4 minutes. The beans should be golden and a bit crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.

Salt to taste, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the onion softens.

Stir in the greens and cook until just beginning to wilt.

Remove from the heat and season to taste with a generous does of salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit of top-quality extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

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I also made fish with fresh pesto and dinner was done.

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Good dinner.

7 comments:

  1. Wait a minute....you can grow artichokes where you are? I'd be in heaven! I just watched Mario Batali make a cannellini and greens soup last night so it's great to see them used together in another way (which looks gorgeous).

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  2. No no no. I didn't grow the fish or artichokes :--)

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  3. So much stuff fresh from the garden these days!

    Great dishes. I am getting greens weekly in my CSA share so this recipe is going to come in handy.

    Jason

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  4. This is great...I was thinking about growing artichokes this year but chickened out:)

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  5. ooooooh! you beat me to the padron pepper post! I love these and love summer when I can get them. I got the first ones the other day and have bought two baskets since. In fact I was going to post on these. do you grow them?

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  6. Kathy, I do grow the padrons. We picked and ate more of them tonight. I love them. They are easy to grow. You should grow some.

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  7. So much stuff fresh from the garden these days!

    Great dishes. I am getting greens weekly in my CSA share so this recipe is going to come in handy.

    Jason

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