The Philosopher and I spent the weekend out of town and returned to a fridge full of CSA ingredients (thanks to our wonderful friends who picked up and stored our share) and leftovers from our family events. I was tired after the first day of my summer quarter and wanted a quick, light dinner which would provide enough substance for The Philosopher, The Lawyer (our summer roommate) and the chef. This share included more kale and the beginning of a summer of zucchini. I decided that a sauté of the kale in an Italian style would suit the occasion. I began with the obligatory onion in olive oil which soon grew to include a few cloves of diced garlic. I added the kale stems (I think I was a little ambitious here, some of the stems were too thick and woody-so watch out!) and began to steam under a lid. When some of the stems seemed to be cooked, I added a few baby bellas that were getting a little ripe and a can of diced tomatoes. When the mushrooms were just starting to soften, I added the leaves of the greens, some fresh basil from my front step, and a sprinkle of dried oregano (1/4t should be reasonable). The family leftovers included a collection of grilled veggies which also were added at this stage (eggplant, mushrooms, peppers and grape tomatoes) as well as a can of cannellini beans. When the greens were wilted, I removed the pan from the heat, added the small amount of feta cheese I had laying around and threw on a dousing of lemon juice, kosher salt and pepper to taste. This was lovely for dinner, provided a good protein source, and used up some mature produce.
The best test is if the leftovers make an adequate lunch the next day and I am happy to report that cold Italian-Syle Kale and Cannellini Beans with leftovers fit that bill! Think of other simple options-varying the greens, adding parmesan cheese, spicy sausage, other veggies-creativity and ingredients are your only barriers!
Beside the greens I sliced the zucchini and threw it on the grill with a light marinade that I keep in the fridge in an old salad dressing bottle. In fact, I use it as salad dressing often. It’s simple, refreshing and can be modified easily to fit seasonal herbs.
Lemony herb Marinade/Salad dressing
½ c oil (I use olive oil)
½ c lemon juice (fresh is great, but bottled works fine, too)
¼ c water
¼ c mustard (I used horseradish Dijon)
2T real maple syrup
2T garlic, diced
Fresh herbs (I used rosemary for my last batch), salt and pepper to taste
Wisk together and brush on squash, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, chicken, fish, tofu or other yummy grillable foods. Another simple variation could include lime juice and cilantro without the mustard. Or orange juice, ginger and chili power or cayenne pepper. Yummy!