Farmers Market Dinner Surprise

by Sherri Koehler on September 27, 2008

I hit up the Farmers Market this morning and as I strolled around, polka tunes playing in the background (live), I came up with dinner tonight for Christie and I.  The end result was a simple, but very flavorful dish really showcasing some of the best of the season from local farms. 
The first stop at the market was for cylindrical beets (I’m biased and I think they’re easier to work with when you want them raw for salads).  Persephone Farm had bunches of four of these complete with lovely greens.  While in line to pay they were putting out gorgeous, tall bundles of Lacinato (or dinosaur) type kale and I asked for one of those.  Dish one:  Balsamic Braised Beet Greens and Lacinato Kale (recipe below)
At the last stop I picked out a small Delicata squash.  This would be dinner dish number two.  After cutting it in half lengh-wise and removing the seeds, I microwaved the halves; cut side up for 3 minutes and skin side up for two (in a lower-powered, apartment sized microwave).   The squash was then roasted for about 20 minutes in a 400 degree (F) oven with about half a teaspoon of dark agave drizzled on top of, and about 1/4 teaspoon of Earth Balance in bits across, each half.    
When the squash was finished roasting in the oven quarters of it were plated with steamed barley, the braised greens and some thin-sliced, tempeh grilled with garlic pepper & olive oil. 
Farmer's Market Dinner Surprise
Balsamic Braised Beet Greens and Lacinato Kale:
Greens and stems from two beets
3 leaves of Lacinato or other type kale
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, chopped small
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1-2 Tablespoons or more balasamic vinegar
2-3 teaspoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded and/or flowers
Remove stems for beet greens, slice into 1 inch bits and set aside. Remove center stalk from kale and discard.  Chop beet greens and kale roughly and set aside.  Saute onions and garlic in olive oil.  Sprinkle on some salt and fresh pepper to taste when onions are translucent and add beet stems.  Continue to cook until stems begin to soften a little.  Add the greens and toss with onions and garlic.  When greens start to wilt add in vinegar and cover to steam.  Once greens are completely wilted, remove pan from heat, uncover and toss basil with greens.

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