I rode my bike around the farm this Saturday, taking pictures, checking every field and creature. Even though we still have chores to do on the weekends, the days still have a slower pace. We have time to observe the plants and animals and to reflect on their needs. I try to put my long list of projects out of my head and listen. This time allows me to see what truly needs to be done and helps me to not get too overwhelmed.
The wheat and oats are headed up, looking green and healthy. I cannot believe how fast they have grown. This week, the rest of the crops seem to have improved as well. Even though it was grey, it was warmer, helping everything to thrive. We have new chicks in the barn and 2 chicken coops in the field now. The cockerels have been separated from the hens and live in their own coop now.
This week's pick list:
- Pac Choy
- Escarole and frisee
- Cilantro, Dill, and Parsley
Chickpeas and Spinach, adapted from food52.com
7 ounces chickpeas, soaked overnight, two cans of chickpeas, rinsed
6tablespoons olive oil
18 ounces spinach, washed
3 ounces bread (about two 1/2-inch slices), crusts removed, cut into small cubes
3cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3/4teaspoon cumin seeds,
1small bunch fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1pinch red chili flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar
1/2teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
If using canned chickpeas, proceed to step 2. Otherwise, drain the dried, soaked chickpeas in a colander, rinse under cold water, then place in a large saucepan. Fill with 8 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook 1 to 2 hours, or until tender, skimming of scum as necessary. Remove from heat, drain water until level with the chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add half the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the spinach with a large pinch of salt. Do this in batches if necessary. Stir well—remove when the leaves are just wilted, drain in a colander, and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Toast the bread until golden all over, then add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and chile, and cook 1 minute more, until the garlic is nutty brown. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or a food processor along with the vinegar, and mash to a paste.
Return the bread mixture to the pan along with the drained chickpeas. Stir until the chickpeas are hot and have absorbed the flavors of the bread mix. Season with salt and pepper. If the consistency is a little thick, add a little water. Add in the spinach and cook until heated through. Serve sprinkled with paprika.
Miso-Cream Kale, adapted from food52.com
3 to 4tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, roughly chopped (you should have 4 to 6 cups packed kale)
1tablespoon soy sauce
1/4cup dry vermouth
1/2cup heavy cream
1tablespoon white (shiro) miso, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. When melted, add the shallot and garlic. Cook over low heat without letting the garlic and shallots color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the kale and continue to cook for a few more minutes until wilted. If it won't all fit in the pan, just add what's left after it's cooked down a bit.
Once the kale is wilted and soft, increase the heat to medium high, add the vermouth and cook until it’s just evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the cream, soy sauce, and miso, stirring until completely incorporated. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 2 more minutes until the sauce reduces slightly and tightens up the around the kale. Serve immediately.