She’s Cookin’ and Not Done with Her Greens

June 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

Greens Three Ways, Three Days

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After a long period relying on storage crops and freezer food, I took great pleasure in the initial boxes of my Tomato Mountain CSA (I also work for Tomato Mountain).  There, inside, Spring brought me new spinach and intriguing “red rain”, a mustard green.  There was more to explore like Tokyo bekana and the aptly named, vitamin green.  I found no problem using the ample greens, thee ways, in three days.  We continue to get many delicious, nutritious greens in our box.  Like me, you may not want to eat them three days in row now, but you probably still need easy, tasty ways to handle your CSA bounty.  Use my three day greens adventure as inspiration to go on your own green journey.

On Monday—the meal literally right before our next delivery was due—inspired me to do a bit of rummaging to use bits and pieces from the previous week’s CSA.  I think that this kind of approach can work with pretty much all veggies and tend to do it in one version or another fairly often.  Since condiments and veggies can be easily interchangeable my family doesn’t get tired of it.  There’s little that can go wrong (assuming you don’t burn the garlic!) and you can decide (and switch off) how crispy or slow cooked you want the dish that day.

Meal #1

I started by throwing some Wisconsin Russets in cold salted water.  I then diced one block of firm (Tiny Greens) tofu.  Any size will work but I think more surface is better for texture and picking up all the flavors so I cut the tofu into a fairly small dice (maybe 1/4″).  I heated a cast iron pan on a medium-high heat and then added oil (use peanut or canola or try the new sunflower oil).  I threw in tofu with soy sauce and hot sauce (I used Co-op “Local Sauce”—this local, charitable co-op has a bunch of incredible hot sauces, each flavored differently but this one is literally called “Local Sauce”). Once the tofu is cooked through and flavorful put it in a bowl and wait for the potatoes to be close to done (fork test).


In the meantime, clean the Red Rain (or other greens) thoroughly.  When the potatoes are close to done add the greens to the potatoes.  I put them on top of the boiling potatoes for less than 3 minutes but if you’re unsure of timing pull the potatoes out of the boiling water when they’re fork tender and then add the greens for 3 minutes or so.

Heat the pan again, this time closer to medium-hot (add a touch of oil if necessary) and add some hot pepper (I used a dried CSA pepper from last year’s batch) and minced garlic (I added a lot, we like it a lot). As soon the garlic starts to turn golden or smell good (less than a minute) add the potatoes and the Red Rain. I followed with a bunch of all of our remaining greens (I happened to have Toyko Bekana and Vitamin Green), cut into 2-3″ pieces, adding the hardiest bits of stem first.

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Toss and add tofu, adjusting and adding condiments as they call out to you. Dinner or lunch is now ready.

Meal #2

greens turnips

Quickly sauté turnips  (I used Hakurei), sliced into wedges in the hot pan, add yesterday’s leftovers and a bit
of spinach (don’t go past wilt with the spinach). Top over Asian noodles (I used buckwheat Udon), tossed with soy sauce and sesame oil.

Meal #3 (Kids’ lunches—or yours)

As we’re packing up the last leftovers I realize with a bit more Udon the leftover can go straight into packed lunches, topped with Tiny Greens’ red radish sprouts.

Let me know how you could spend three days worth of greens, because I expect plenty of greens in my CSA this week.