The Greens Tidal Wave continues

Topbar Beehive with blooming Penstemon

Hey kids! It's been an exciting couple weeks as spring has finally arrived and that means, um, lots of things! It means I'm still getting greens fast and furious from the Beneficial Farms CSA. It means that the garden looks more alive and plants are in the ground with all their promise of delicious things. It means that our newly acquired BEES have several flowered things to investigate. It means that we turned on the grill this weekend and could stand around poking our grilling food and not wear a jacket. Oh the promise of spring and early summer.

Over this holiday weekend I've had a chance to read and I'm currently in the middle of Mark Bittman's (my New York Times food section boyfriend) Food Matters. It continues on the fine work of journalist Michael Pollan and nutritionist Marion Nestle in their continuing quest for Americans to step back from the Twinkies and look into the deliciousness of an apple. I just finished a section where Mr. Bittman suggests keeping your refrigerator loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables (eat plants!). My thoughts turned to my usually overstuffed fridge and what to do with all the bounty.

Take for example the aforementioned greens. The greens are coming in in waves and sauteed spinach is just not cutting it anymore, even if I add a little garlic to the pan. I did make a Southeast Asian squash and spinach red curry the other night that no amount of rice could soften. I keep thinking I've inherited my father's iron palate and then I sit at dinner making "whoh, aaahhh, hot" noises and waving my hand in front of my mouth. One tablespoon of red curry paste is plenty. It made excellent use of our last storage butternut squash from the farm box and a heaping pile of spinach. I made Chipotle Spinach Dip for a party which is so very bad for me but so very good. Take a look at the recipe and see if all the dairy richness is somehow balanced out by the goodly quantity of spinach. Or is this like when I use whole wheat flour in cookies and make myself believe that all the butter and chocolate chips are balanced out by the "whole grains".

The real winner of the week was the Japanese Sesame Spinach. It takes a little effort dealing with the greens but it is tremendously delicious. I used fresh spinach, a bit of frozen spinach and several handfuls of stir fry greens that needed eating. It looked good and tasted great but is spinach still worth anything nutritionally once you have squeezed out all the liquid? Part of vegetable's place in this world is to provide moisture and therefore volume in your stomach. Did I get this vegetable down to its essence or take that essence away? How nice to have time to ponder the philosophy of vegetable cooking.

I have several piles of vegetables to use this week and as god as my witness, I will cook the kale in the new few days before it totally dries up and blows away. My vegetable debate of the week is should I try the radish green pesto I saw on Chocolate and Zucchini ( even though I still have my doubts about the whole radish thing. It just seems terribly frugal to use greens and the veg itself. Until then I remain knee-deep in the leafy greens.

For your cooking pleasure:

The Best Spinach Dip with Chipotle and Lime