Friday, June 20, 2008

Week Two; June 11, 2008

In this week's share…

About the spinach: The spinach is larger this week, and, thus, better suited to cooking; still, it just needs a brief wilting if you want to make a quick sauté. Here’s how I do it: After washing, I gently shake my spinach dry so that it’s still a bit wet (or give it a gentle spin in a salad spinner). Then I preheat a sauté pan or skillet over medium to medium-high heat with a tablespoon or so of extra-virgin olive oil (a neutral-flavored oil like safflower or canola would work too) and add the spinach (not all of it at once; do this in batches). The water on the spinach will cause some “popping” when it comes into contact with the hot oil, but the greens tend to smother any splattering. Once they’ve begun to wilt, I just gently turn over with tongs until all of the spinach has wilted but is still bright green and has some body to it. I then season with salt and pepper and remove from the pan. Then onto another batch usually. It’s yummy with minced dried apricots, toasted pine nuts and sautéed, minced garlic. Or ask Jeannine Bohler how the spinach and cheese squares she was planning to make with her 5-year-old turned out. They sounded tempting and simple enough to make with kids. About the escarole: For a quick preparation, you can cut leaves into large pieces (2” wide strips) and wilt in a similar fashion to the spinach (above). Toss at the end with a few splashes of vinegar. Balsamic or red vinegar work well. Escarole has a nutty essence that makes it conducive to pairing with toasted walnuts and, if you like, a crumbled blue cheese. Now that it's not so hot out, I'm thinking about using the escarole to make this spicy sausage, escarole and white bean stew: This escarole and white bean stew with rustic croutons is also tempting and can work for vegetarians provided you subsitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth:

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