Tag Archives: leeks

Sorrel Soup

sorrelsoup

Sorrel is one of those odd greens that you won’t find in (most) grocery stores, but it pops up around here at farmer’s markets and CSA boxes this time of year. People usually don’t know what to do with it, but it really is delightful so I wanted to share an easy way to use up a bunch. Sorrel has a very sour, lemony flavor when raw, which mellows considerably when cooked. Some people like to put raw sorrel in salads, but that’s not my cup of tea. I prefer a good sorrel soup.

Sorrel soup recipes often include cream, but it’s not an ingredient I usually have around the house and it’s not the healthiest thing, so I thicken my soup with some 1% milk, flour, eggs, and potato. You puree everything together and don’t taste the egg and potato – you’ll just notice the nice body they give the soup. And because you puree everything at the end, don’t worry about finely chopping the ingredients. Just roughly chop, cook briefly, puree, and voila: you have a flavorful soup to brighten up any summertime lunch.

Sorrel Soup (adapted from Recipezaar)

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 leeks, chopped
1 boiling potato, peeled and chopped
1 bunch sorrel, ribs removed, chopped
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp flour
5 cups chicken stock
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup 1% milk
black pepper

In a large Dutch oven, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and potato, reduce heat to low and cook slowly until the leeks become translucent, 7-10 minutes.

Add sorrel to the pot, sprinkle with flour and salt and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium and cook for a few minutes until the sorrel wilts. Gradually whisk in the stock and let simmer for another 10 minutes or so, till the potatoes are tender.

Using a traditional or immersion blender, puree the mixture until it’s smooth. Return to the saucepan over low heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk. Stir about a cup of hot soup into the milk mixture and gradually whisk it all back into the pot. Stir in the mixture over medium heat for a few minutes until the soup thickens slightly. Do not let it come to a boil or the yolks will curdle. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.

– Stephanie

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Local Box Meal Plan: May 30-June 3

I know lots of people around here complain about the sweltering summer heat, but for the most part, I kind of like it. I’m a native Texan, so I’m sure that has something to do with it, but beyond the heat summer means iced sweet tea, swimming pools, and Local Boxes filled with stuff like peaches, green beans, and tomatoes. It’s just hard to beat all of that.

Peaches – Caskey Orchards 
Leeks – Bar W
Zephyr & Gold Zucchini Squash – Texas Natural 
New Potatoes – Naegelin Farm 
White Onion – Gundermann Acres 
Carrots – Acadian Family Farm
Pickling Cucumbers – Acadian Family Farm
Green Beans – Acadian Family Farm OR Tecolote Farm
Green Tomatoes – Fruitful Hill Farm
Leaf or Romaine Lettuce – Acadian Family Farm

 

Spicy dill refrigerator pickles – This recipe has a handy calculator that’ll help you figure out how to adjust the recipe for the number of cucumbers you get.

Green bean, potato, and leek salad – We probably won’t get four leeks, so use white onions instead.

Summer squash casserole – I like the idea of this casserole, but will use butter instead of margarine and lower the amount by at least half. You rarely need an entire cup of butter in a non-bakery recipe.

Open-face bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomato sandwiches – Oh yes. Just….yes. Use whatever lettuce you get instead of the Bibb.

Skillet pork chop saute with peaches – I like the sweet and savory combo of flavors here. Plus, this recipe is pretty fast – last time I made it, it took about half an hour.

Kale-Arugula Quiche with Smoked Gouda

quiche_t

I served this for Easter brunch today. There’s a lot I like about this quiche, like the smoky gouda complimenting the strong-flavored greens and how easy it was to make. And, like many things I cook, it’s very adaptable. You could use pretty much any combo of greens you happen to have on hand. At the last minute, I remembered that I had some mushrooms in the fridge and threw in some of those, with no ill effects. There are no fancy spices here, just salt and pepper, but the quiche has a lot of flavor thanks to the flavorful ingredients.

Kale-Arugula Quiche with Smoked Gouda

1 refrigerated pie crust, for a 9-inch pie
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced (white parts only)
6 oz kale and arugula mix, coarsely chopped (ribs removed from the kale)
Handful of white mushrooms, sliced (about 7 mushrooms)
1 cup skim milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated smoked Gouda cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°.  Place pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 15 minutes. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add greens and mushrooms, sauté 7-8 minutes or until greens have wilted quite a bit and the mushrooms have started to shrink and brown.

Combine milk and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in greens mixture. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

– Stephanie

Local Box Meal Plan: June 21-25

This week, we are getting:

Peaches – Caskey
Blueberries – Berry Best Farms
Red valley tomatoes – Animal Farm
Summer squash – Naegelin or Ringger
Basil – Ringger
Red potatoes – Home Sweet Farm
Pickling cucumbers – Naegelin
Leeks – My Father’s Farm
Green cabbage – Naegelin
Cherry tomatoes – Naegelin
Garlic – Ringger

So, I am making:

Peach blueberry cake

Grilled veggie pizza – Preheat oven to 450. Spread your favorite sauce on a prepared pizza crust, like Boboli. I like red sauce, but pesto would be good, too. Slice squash and leeks, season with salt/pepper, wrap in foil, and grill over medium-high heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over sauce and top with grilled veggies, halved cherry tomatoes, and sliced basil. Bake 10 minutes or until crust is browned and sauce is bubbly.

Potato-cucumber soup with toasted corn — I’ve never tried this before, but I’m intrigued.

Cabbage-tomato pasta toss

Easy Garlicky Green Beans

I’ve had some people ask how they can make weeknight cooking easier. Boy, I understand that. I have a two-year-old and a full-time job. It’s hard to come home from work and get dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time. Here, I try to provide recipes that can be cooked on a weeknight (most of the time), and if the recipe isn’t inherently fast, I try to come up with  modifications that make it quicker to prepare. Just so we’re on the same page, “fast” to me means getting dinner cooked and on the table in under an hour, including prep time.

My advice for weeknight dinners is this: First, plan ahead. Use the menu plans I provide on this blog, or make your own. Either way, take a day a week to look through your pantry and your fridge and figure out what you need to buy at the grocery store to make enough food for the week.

Then, as you plan your week’s menus, pick one element of each meal to concentrate on, and make the rest of it easy. By that I mean, if you are serving a side dish that takes some preparation, like this summer squash gratin, fix easy grilled chicken or pork as the entree. You get the idea.

This recipe should help your weeknight dinners come together quickly. Some foods just lend themselves to fast preparation, and green beans are one of them. This stir-fry only has six ingredients, plus some water, and cooks in less than 10 minutes. It’s also really tasty. I used some of the baby onions and leeks we’ve gotten recently in place of the 1/2 onion in the original recipe, and the oyster sauce adds some salty depth to the beans’ flavor. If you don’t have it, just season with soy sauce at the end instead. Be sure to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go when you start cooking.

Easy Garlicky Green Beans (adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
2 baby onions, cut into slivers about the same size as the green beans
1 leek, cut into slivers about the same size as the green beans
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water (plus a bit more if you check and the pan seems dry)
2 tbsp oyster sauce (comes in a bottle near the Asian foods in the grocery store)

Heat the wok or a heavy frying pan over high heat for 1-2 minutes, until it’s too hot to hold your hand over it. Add the oil and heat about 30 seconds more, then add the garlic, onion, and leeks and cook for 20-30 seconds, stirring the whole time.

Add beans and salt and cook about 2 minutes, stirring several times. Then add water, cover wok, and let beans steam for 5 minutes. Check about halfway through to see if the pan is dry, and added about 1 tsp more water if necessary.

Uncover the pan and add oyster sauce, then cook 2 minutes more, stirring so all the beans are uniformly covered with the sauce. Beans should still be slightly crisp when they’re done. Serve hot.

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Parsley

I’d been craving a good, creamy risotto for several days when I came across some pencil-thin asparagus on sale last weekend. I combined it in my risotto with fresh parsley, spring onions, and some other Local Box goodness, and I had a winner. I topped it with prosciutto that I tossed in the oven for a few minutes to crisp up, like bacon.

Now, risotto does require a bit of elbow grease in the form of near-constant stirring. You might break a sweat. I usually do. But the stirring is necessary to unlock the starches in the Arborio rice and give the risotto that telltale creamy texture, so just do what I do: put on some good music, pour a glass of wine, and sing along as you stir. It’ll go by before you know it. I promise.

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Parsley

2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of spring onion bulbs, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 carrot, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup Arborio rice*
1/8 tsp saffron threads, crushed
3/4 cup white wine*
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb thin asparagus, bottom 1 1/2 inches removed, the rest cut into 1 in. pieces
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay prosciutto slices on a greased cookie sheet and bake 7-8 minutes, until crisp. Set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, leek, and carrots, and cook 4 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan and keep warm. Add rice and saffron to vegetable mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir wine and cook 1 minute or until liquid is mostly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is mostly absorbed before adding the next — this takes about 25 minutes total. When you’ve gone through about half of the stock, add the asparagus. When rice is cooked, remove from heat and stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Top with parsley and crumbled prosciutto.

Makes about 4 servings.

*It’s important to use Arborio or another short-grain rice — don’t try to sub regular long-grain rice. It doesn’t have the starch necessary to produce a creamy texture.
*3/4 cup is about the amount in a picnic bottle of wine. I don’t like putting my drinking wine in my dishes (feels like a waste), so I buy the little four-packs of wine and use those instead. It’s much better than that salted “cooking” wine you buy in the vinegar section of the grocery store.

Local Box Meal Plan: May 3-7

This week, we are getting:

Curly endive — Tecolote OR Fennel — Ringger
Summer squash — Acadian
Leeks — Animal Farm (I chuckled) or Montecino
Orange and grapefruit — G&S Groves
Carrots — My Father’s Farm or Naegelin
Red leaf lettuce — Bradshaw
Red radishes — My Father’s Farm
Dill — My Father’s Farm
Strawberries — Naegelin
Chard — Acadian

So, I am making:

If you get fennel, try roasting it. The recipe is simple, with olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese, but tastes fabulous.