This Week’s Tips:
*Everything can go directly into the fridge. Good idea to give your kale and lettuce a hydrating rinse before wrapping in a dish towel and placing in crisper. Berries picked ripe so enjoy asap
*CHERRY PLUMS—-> There’s a good chance your never had one of these before (aside from about this time last year). Also called “Cherriums” or “Plurries” but our farmer-friend, Anthony Galpin, prefers the name “Cherry Plum” so we’ll go with that. Three years ago Anthony decided to lease his retiring neighbor’s stone-fruit tree orchard. The neighbor was a PLUMFANATIC and planted over 40 plum varieties on his 7-acres. Now three years in at his new property, Anthony says he’s still getting the hang of all the different varieties with their unique tendencies, ripening periods and flavors, jokingly saying “my neighbor is great for consulting and identifying the varieties but this time of year he’s spending weeks at a time up fishing.” Thanks Anthony for these gems!
*CUCUMBAS!—-> PLENTY OF CUCUMBER IDEAS:
Hydration…Float slices of cucumber w. strawberries in a pitcher of water as good refresher.
Sliced: Toss very thinly sliced cucumber with rice vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Great on sandwiches in wraps and chopped in salads
Sautéed: Peel, seed, and roughly chop a cucumber. Cook over medium-high heat in a little olive oil until tender. Add some chopped mint and salt and season with pepper.
As a “cracker”…use thick slices of cucumber in place of toasts or crackers when serving dips or spreads such as hummus or tzatziki.
Relax! You deserve it! Slice up any extra cucs and put ‘em on your eyelids.
This Week’s Recipes:
SESAME CUCUMBER SALAD
• 2 cucumber
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons distilled vinegar
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• salt, pepper
• 1 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1. Rinse, peel (if desired) and thinly slice cucumbers . In a bowl, mix cucumber with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand until cucumber is wilted, about 45 minutes. Rinse and drain; squeeze excess liquid from cucumber and return to rinsed bowl.
2. Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar, 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or cold.
3. Shortly before serving, sprinkle salad with about 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds.
*adapted from smittenkitchen
MARTHA’S LEMON GREEN BEANS
1 pound trimmed green beans
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Grate the zest of 1/2 lemon, and squeeze 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice.
2. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook beans until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and return to pan. Remove from heat. Toss with oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and lemon juice. Serve sprinkled with lemon zest.
*adapted from marthastewart
CHILLED GREEN BEAN & CUCUMBER SALAD
1 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
2 cucumbers, chopped
1 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 medium lemons)
1 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 medium lemons)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Meanwhile, make the dressing.
Place the shallot, lemon zest, and measured salt and pepper in a medium, nonreactive bowl and add the lemon juice. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until evenly combined. Set the dressing aside.
Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to the prepared ice water bath. When the beans are chilled, drain again and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.
Place the beans, cucumbers in a large bowl, pour in the dressing, and toss to coat thoroughly. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
*adapted from saveur
GREEN BEANS w/ LEMON JUICE & ZEST
• 1 lbs green beans, ends trimmed if you like
• lemon (juice & zest)
• 1/5 T olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Trim ends of green beans. (I do this taking a handful of beans,
2. standing them up in my hand, then letting them fall down on to the cutting
3. board, which lines up the ends. Then trim that end and repeat with the
4. other end.)
5. Fill a medium-sized saucepan half full with water, add salt, and bring
6. to a boil. When water boils, add beans, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and
7. cook beans about 5 minutes, or until they are barely tender-crisp.
8. While beans cook, grate the zest and squeeze the juice from the lemon.
9. When beans are tender-crisp, drain into a colander placed in the sink.
10. Return pan to stove and heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the
11. beans, pour over the lemon juice, season to taste with salt and fresh
12. ground black pepper, and cook beans for about 1 minute, stirring a few
13. times. (Cook beans just long enough to get them infused with lemon flavor.)
14. Put beans on serving platter, then sprinkle with lemon zest. Serve hot.
*adapted from culinate*
SAUTEED GREEN BEANS
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha or other hot sauce
Fresh lemon juice, as needed
2 ounces crumbled feta/blue cheese (optional)
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the butter and oil. When hot, add the green beans in one layer. When the beans are just beginning to color, stir them around and add the Worcestershire, sriracha and lemon juice. Cook until the beans are crisp-tender, a few more minutes. Transfer them to a plate, crumble over the blue cheese and serve.
*adapted from bonappetit
KALE SALAD w/ TOASTED COCONUT
Something magical happens when you put dry kale in the oven. As the moisture leaves the tough raw kale, the leaves are transformed into dark green potato chip-crisp bites. Health food aficionados call them kale chips and virtuously sub them in for starchier snacks.
Swanson’s Kale Salad with Toasted Coconut takes the basic kale chip-making method and dresses it up by adding unsweetened large-flake coconut to the kale and seasoning with soy and sesame oil. In a matter of just about 15 minutes, the kale dehydrates and the coconut caramelizes and soaks in all of that deep sesame-soy flavor. Once you’ve got your crunchy, umami-ified coconut and kale you can mix it with any cooked grain that you’d like. I chose farro, thinking that its rich nuttiness would sync with the crisp, soy glazed crunchies, and it worked beautifully; but quinoa, wild rice, or any other whole grain would also do the trick.
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
3 1/2 lightly packed cups chopped kale, stems trimmed, large ribs removed
1 1/2 cups unsweetened large-flake coconut
2 cups cooked farro or other whole grain (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F with two racks in the top third of the oven.
In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the olive oil, sesame oil, and shoyu. Put the kale and coconut in a large bowl and toss well with about two-thirds of the olive oil mixture.
Spread the kale evenly across two baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, until the coconut is deeply golden brown, tossing once or twice along the way. If the kale mixture on the top baking sheet begins to get too browned, move it to the lower rack.
Remove from the oven and transfer the kale mixture to a medium bowl. Taste. If you feel it needs a bit more dressing, add some and toss. Place the farro on a serving platter and top with the tossed kale. Serve warm.
*adapted from heidiswanson
CRISPY KALE CHIPS
1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.
*adapted from *melissadarabian
KALE CAESAR SALAD (alt)
1 bunch kale, washed and patted dry with a towel
1 clove of garlic, the fresher the better
Freshly ground black pepper
About a tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
About a half cup of freshly grated Parmesan or other hard, flavorful cheese
Stack the dry kale leaves on top of each other and roll them lengthwise into a cylinder. Slice them crosswise into thin strips, stems and all, down to where the leaves end. (This last bit is controversial; I bet fancy restaurants remove the stems. I find that if you cut the kale finely enough, the stems are just fine.) Now rotate your cutting board 90 degrees and slice the kale strips again, as thinly as you can. You should have a pile of kale confetti. Don’t worry if the pieces aren’t particularly uniform. Place the chopped kale into a salad bowl.
Now make the dressing. If you have a good mortar and pestle, add the anchovies (optional) and garlic to the mortar, topping them with a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Crush them into a paste. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, mince the garlic and anchovies into a paste on a cutting board, topping them with a bit of salt halfway through the process and adding the paste to a small bowl.) Add the lemon juice to the paste, and whisk with a fork to incorporate. Now do the same with the olive oil. (Don’t fuss over achieving a perfect emulsion.)
Give the dressing a final stir and immediately pour half of it onto the kale in the salad bowl. Using your hands, massage it briskly into the chopped greens. If the salad seems too dry, add a bit more dressing, taking care not to over do it. (You may have leftover dressing, which will keep well overnight.) When the kale is evenly dressed and well massaged, add the cheese and a good grind of pepper, and taste for seasoning adding more salt (or dressing) if necessary. Toss, and serve. Or let it marinate a while while you cook the rest of dinner.
*adapted from Tom Philpott (awesome food writer)