Tag Archives: escarole

Local Box Meal Plan: April 18-22

Here are some easy recipes that you  can serve at any holiday meals you might host this weekend.

Easter Egg Radish – Animal Farm
Red Beet Bunch – Acadian Family Farm
Kale – Texas Natural
Mushrooms – Kitchen Pride
Scapes – Green Gate Farms
Garlic – Fruitful Hill Farm
Mustard Greens OR Escarole – Tecolote Farm
Spring Mix – My Father’s Farm
Strawberries – Naegelin
Red Leaf Lettuce – Naegelin

Garlic scape and almond pesto – This would be good over fish, or pork, even.

Strawberry and beet tartare – This sounds so interesting! I’m thinking it makes a good spread for water crackers.

Radish tart – A good vegetarian brunch dish.

Fettucine with mustard greens and mushrooms – Escarole will work here if that’s what you get. This recipe makes a lot, so you’ll probably have to halve it because you won’t get enough mushrooms for the whole recipe.

Kale with caramelized onions and garlic – I like the addition of onions to the traditional sauteed kale.

As the lettuce we’re getting is a pretty tender kind (as opposed to tougher varieties like romaine), I’m just going to use it in salads. I’m working on digging up some other ways to use lettuce, but most of the more tender varieties just won’t stand up to cooking.

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Escarole, White Bean and Sausage Soup

When I saw that we were getting escarole from Tecolote Farms in our Local Box, I was excited for two reasons: (1) I have been craving sausage and escarole soup something fierce (2) I was already planning to visit Tecolote Farms on Saturday for a food swap. It seems silly when I write it down, but I felt like seeing the farmers who grew my Local Box escarole would be like seeing celebrities!!

Tecolote farmers Katie and Dave did not disappoint when I saw them last Saturday.  Their fields are about half an hour east of my house in Austin, flanked by live oak trees and dirt roads.

At the food swap, I managed to keep my celebrity-farmer-worship in check long enough to trade Farmer Katie some muffins for some Tecolote mustard greens. After the food swap Farmer Dave was kind enough to give us  swappers a tour of the farm.

Dave discussed some of the challenges of organic farming in Texas (draught, wind, heat, politics) and gave us some delicious, fresh-picked samples of the crops they’re growing at Tecolote this spring. Here he is, picking some peppery micro-greens for us to try.

As I had hoped, I got to see some of the Local Box escarole while it was still in the field! Dave didn’t seem to mind my paparazzi farm photos too much.

Visiting the farm in person really helped me appreciate how many hours of work local farmers spend providing food for us each week in the city. I left Tecolote Farms with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for locally sourced produce. And a renewed craving for that sausage and escarole soup.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I sourced the sausage in this recipe from Meyers’ Sausage in Elgin. Any sausage would work fine, but I am partial to either Meyers’ smoked sage or Richardson Farms‘ brats because their rich flavor complements the creamy beans and bitter greens in this hearty soup.

Escarole, Sausage and White Bean Soup (serves 4-6)
4 links sausage
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 spring onions
2 cloves garlic
1 head escarole
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
1-3/4 cups cooked white beans, such as cannellini (2, 14.5 ounce cans)
1 cup cooking liquid from the beans (or liquid from the can)
1 quart chicken broth

Cut off the tough bottom stem of the escarole, then wash the remaining leaves in cold water to get rid of any grit. Set the escarole leaves aside to dry. Slice spring onions and mince garlic; set aside.

Slice sausage into rounds and place in a heavy bottomed soup pot. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally. Once the fat from the sausage starts to render, add onions and garlic to the pot and cook until tender. Add Worcestershire sauce and a tablespoon of water to the pot as the sausage mixture continues to cook. Meanwhile, slice the escarole leaves into thin ribbons and mince the parsley. Add these to the pot along with the red pepper and stir. Continue sauteing greens until they lose half their volume, for about 5 minutes.

Once there’s enough room in the pot, add the cooked beans, 1 cup of bean liquid, and 1 quart of chicken broth. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to low, and allow soup to simmer for about 15 minutes before serving.

Local Box Meal Plan: April 11-15

Are you excited about the mint plant you’re getting this week? It’ll do great planted in a flower bed or garden, but be warned that it can be invasive. A good solution is to plant it in a large pot.

Sugar Snap Peas – Animal Farm
Red Chard – Acadian Family Farm
Baby Summer Squash – Fruitful Farm
Spinach – Tecolote Farm
Heirloom Green Garlic – Green Gate Farms
Mint Plant – My Father’s Farm
Escarole – Tecolote Farm
Mango – G&S Groves
Kale – Texas Natural
Oranges – G&S Groves

Orange-mango chicken – Juice your oranges to make the tasty sauce for this chicken.

Ribollita – This soup is a favorite of mine, not only because it’s good but because it’s versatile. Use your kale and chard here, and toss in diced summer squash to replace the carrots. I’m leaving out the olives, but if you’re an olive lover I’m sure they’ll be great in this recipe.

Sauteed snap peas and green garlic – A simple side dish.

Sausage, escarole, and white bean ragout – Use a mix of escarole and spinach (the spinach balances out the escarole’s somewhat bitter flavor), and use veggie sausage for a vegetarian version.

– Stephanie

Local Box Meal Plan: May 17-21

We get blackberries this week! Along with:

Salad mix — My Father’s Farm
Red Swiss chard — Acadian
Red radishes — My Father’s Farm
Sweet corn — J&B Farms
Red or gold beets — Ringger
Red romaine or escarole — Tecolote
Parsley or garlic chives — Tecolote
Carrots — Acadian or Ringger

So, I am making:

Blackberry limeade
Sauteed Swiss chard and corn — It’s hard to find lemon thyme, so just use regular thyme instead.
If I get garlic chives: Pork With Garlic Chives in Lettuce Cups
Italian Wedding Soup — Garnished with chopped parsley.

And a few salads:
Tossed romaine and orange salad
Roasted beet salad with cocoa vinaigrette

Local Box Meal Plan: Jan. 4-8

We’re back in Texas and ready to get our local produce again! According to my new iPhone app called “What’s Fresh,” we can expect lots of citrus and greens — and Greenling didn’t let us down this week.

This week, we’re getting broccoli from either Acadian or My Father’s Farm; parsley and bok choy from My Father’s Farm; Mars oranges from Orange Blossom; grapefruit from G&S Groves; sweet potatoes, red potatoes, garlic, and green onions from Naegelin; oriental turnips, escarole, and red onion from Acadian; a late tomato; and crimini mushrooms from Kitchen Pride.

So I’m making:

Breakfast:

  • Mushroom omelette with garlic and parsley potatoes

Dinner:

Side dishes:

If you’re at a loss for what to do with a big bunch of parsley (other than use it as a garnish, that is), you can make a fantastic dip by chopping it up with some chives or other herbs and mixing that with some ricotta cheese.

Italian Wedding Soup

[Printable Recipe]

Tis the season for greens! We got a beautiful bunch of escarole in our Greenling box last week, and when I think escarole, I think Italian wedding soup. There are so many different ways to make Italian wedding soup and you can really use any greens you want, but I think escarole has the structure to hold up nicely while hot (instead of wilting) and doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors in the soup.

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These meatballs were tender and the escarole still had firm structure and a nice bite. I’m not sure how I feel about the halved tomatoes though, and next time, I may dice them a bit.

Adapted from Whole Foods

Ingredients:
For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb. 90% lean ground beef
  • 1/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1/3 c. dried bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. grated parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the soup:

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c. chopped white onions
  • 3/4 c. chopped carrots
  • 3/4 c. chopped celery
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 c. water
  • 28 oz. canned whole tomatoes, drained and halved
  • 1 c. uncooked orzo
  • 1 head of shredded escarole

Directions:

  • Combine the beef, pork, bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and egg into a large bowl (hands work well for this).
  • With damp hands, shape the beef mixture into 1″ meatballs and transfer them to a large plate. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery with salt and pepper to taste and cook until translucent and fragrant, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Stir in broth, tomatoes, and water. Cover and cook 10 minutes over medium heat or until soup comes to a boil.
  • Add the prepared meatballs and orzo to the boiling soup and stir to make sure they are fully submerged. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes over medium heat.
  • Stir in escarole. Test a meatball to ensure that they are fully cooked. Adjust seasoning if necessary, then serve.

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Local Box Meal Plan: Nov. 16-20

Happy Thanksgiving! I realize that I’m a week early, but we’re having some friends over for an early Thanksgiving on Sunday. Because it’s not the actual Thanksgiving day, I’m taking some liberties and veering from my family’s traditional Turkey Day menu (and let’s face it, who wants to have the same meal twice in one week?).

This week, we’re getting sweet potatoes, red onion, and collards or mustard greens from Naegelin, Eureka persimmons from Indian Hill (Texas A&M has a good breakdown of persimmon varieties grown in Texas here), Cameo apples from Top of Texas, pie pumpkin, green beans from Animal Farm, hot and sweet peppers from Green Gate Farm, escarole and Louisiana shallot-scallions from Acadian Family Farm, Bibb lettuce from Bella Verdi and herb from Pure Luck.

So I’m making:

Appetizer:

Main course:

  • Herb-roasted turkey
  • Chestnut-apple stuffing (made with a red onion) served inside a roasted pumpkin – this only works if we get a pumpkin, not fennel. Here’s hoping for a pumpkin for the super cool presentatation!
  • Roasted sweet potatoes tossed with herbs
  • Roasted green beans
  • Sauteed greens with garlic
  • Louisiana shallot-scallion dinner rolls (based on this sweet dinner rolls recipe)

And because we still have to eat dinner on Saturday:

I’m also retrying hot pepper jelly with this recipe, since it didn’t work so well last time.

Are you changing up some of your Thanksgiving staples this year, or keeping it traditional?