Category Archives: Eating Well Column

This week at the farm…bees love watermelons!

YoknaMelons

Watermelons are finally here and our shareholders couldn’t be happier!  Did you know that a watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight?  Last week at our distribution, Alex and Nicolas weighed one of our Georgia Rattlers at around 20 pounds!  The fruit is not only delicious, but is ultra-hydrating and contains large amounts of beta carotene, vitamin C, and lycopene.  As well, earthclinic.com recommends watermelon as a remedy for kidney and bladder infections as well as bloating.

We grow several varieties of watermelon, including Georgia Rattlesnake, (pictured above,) Sugar Baby, Crimson, Stone Mountain, and the newer Moon and Stars variety, which has been around since 1926.  Its rind is dark green/purple and has many small yellow circles (stars) and one or two large yellow circles (moon).

Our apiary has been such a great help in pollinating our melon fields this summer.

Kevin carefully rescues a swarm from a nearby branch.

The apiary: Kevin keeps our bees happy and healthy so they can keep our plants happy too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this video about how bees work!

 

 

Don’t forget our full moon drum circle this Saturday night (August 13) at the farm!  Here’s the event page with more details.

Also, Join us at Taylor Farmer’s Market this Saturday morning from 8-12 for local, organic produce, eggs, pork, gulf shrimp, breads, jams and jellies, pickled and canned vegetables, as well as beautiful handmade products and kickin’ live music.  We’ll bring the melons!

Keep growing!  Viva las locavores!

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A Rose Isn’t A Rose: The Gift of Garlic, Scent From Above

By Daniel Doyle, Yokna(patawpha) Bottoms Farm

Oxford Eagle, March 2011

It seems that every month when we sit down to discuss the next incredible vegetable we want to examine it manages to outdo its predecessor with an exceedingly impressive profile.  So, true, is it once again with our friend garlic (though cilantro was quite the competitor).  If you haven’t caught a ride on the garlic train yet, you’re missing out on a 4,000 year-old party that has been simmering over ovens since cave-paintings were the newest rage.

 With sexy, exotic varieties from Rocambole and Creole to Silverskin and Turban, this bulbous perennial of the Allium family (close cousin to chives, leeks, shallots and onions) gets its name from the old English term garleac, which means “spear leek”.  Taking on different titles depending on its turf, you may hear it being hawked as alho, toi, bawang, lasun, sarmisak or one of countless other handles depending on where you wander. During its brief period of impropriety in the US when considered something low class, vulgar and suspiciously foreign, garlic was snubbed as Bronx vanilla, Italian perfume or the ugly head of halitosis itself.  Fortunately, political-correctness and American chefs finally caught on to a few millennia of applause and began to place the stinking rose back on the sacred pulpit where it belonged.

Both heralded and reviled for its potency, the former due to its health benefits the latter its unseemly odor – though some enjoy this aroma, described by Alexandre Dumas as “the refined essence of this mystically attractive bulb” – garlic has become more pervasive than potatoes (in fact, tomorrow you may wish to double your luck and marry the two when enjoying your corned beef and cabbage St. Patrick’s day feast).

The incredible benefits of garlic have been recognized by a rich diversity of peoples and cultures since about as long as there has been people and culture.  With strong ties to both the east and the west, the wild ancestor is believed to have evolved from a plant native to central Asia.  As agriculture spread, so did garlic and its legendary repute.  Inscriptions in Egyptian pyramids portray garlic as something of ceremonial significance since around 3200 BC, the herb even finding its way into the tomb of King Tut and onto the ancient Codex Ebers. The Sanskrit medical treatise, Charaka Samhita, praised garlic repeatedly as did the Navanitaka text written in the 4th century AD by Buddhists.  Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder attributed its properties to over 60 common cures and Hippocrates, regarded by many as the father of modern medicine, used garlic to treat cancerous tumors.  Today, over 2000 yrs later, modern science is finding some of these same discoveries in its application to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer as well as countless other common ailments and infirmities.

Ubiquitous throughout antiquity, garlic can be found scenting every page of your history books and religious texts with its pungency.  Ancient Romans warned that “one must be suspicious of anyone who does not eat garlic” and gave their soldiers raw cloves before battle for courage (with the dual advantage of nauseating opponents with their stinking legions).  Egyptian slaves were fed it to keep up their strength and Greek Olympic athletes consumed it prior to competition.  You can almost hear a gladiator below out before delivering the death blow, “Shallots are for babies; onions are for men; garlic is for heroes!” Early Christians couldn’t help themselves but to reject the glorious temptations of garlic, thus professing that after Satan vanished from the Garden of Eden garlic grew from his left footprint and onion grew from his right.  In the middle ages, braids of garlic hanging in doorways or bottles of Four Thieves Vinegar (garlic wine) were attributed to warding off both the plague and evil spirits.

And I haven’t even gotten to vampires yet! Popularized in Bram Stoker’s Dracula as vampire-repellant, the origins of this legend actually arise from garlic’s reputation for repelling another disease-carrying bloodsucker: the mosquito (fleas, too).  Not only does garlic keep away these immortal creatures of the night and unpleasant pests, but its strong smell may keep your friends and lovers at bay as well.  However, if you get them close enough there is a distinct possibility that you may morph into a debonair hound yourself.  Garlic has long been linked to the sexual vigor of its consumers.  Many Chinese, Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Jewish prophets celebrated its amorous inducing power while some religions condemned it for the same reason.  Tibetan monks were forbade to enter their monasteries after a bite of this vegetarian Viagra due to its reputation for inflammation of the passions.  Modern science may explain this connection, as garlic has been shown to improve poor blood circulation, which is often a case for impotency in men.  Fine, if you can get past the kiss …

Miracle drug, vampire repellent and offering to the gods – garlic has functioned as a curative “super-food” both medicinally and nutritionally, placating problems from the flu to the plague and everything in between.  In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing system, garlic is described as a medicinal plant which was used to warm the body, improve blood circulation, and cure digestive problems.  Taoists believe that garlic enhances the vital life, or chi, energy.  Just superstition you say?  In 1858, Louis Pasteur proved a diluted garlic solution works as an antiseptic killing bacteria, with just one millimeter of juice as effective as 60 milligrams of penicillin.  During WWII when synthetic drugs weren’t readily available, British and Russian military used these solutions to disinfect wounds and prevent gangrene. 

This, and many of garlic’s healing powers, stem from hundreds of volatile sulfur compounds found in the vegetable (including allicin, from which that lovely aroma derives) making it not just an antiseptic, but also an antibiotic, antibacterial (lethal to both salmonella and staph), anti-fungal and anti-parasitic herb.  High in antioxidants, garlic helps destroy free radicals – particles that damage cell membranes and contribute to the aging process as well as a number of conditions such as heart disease and cancer.  Oh yea, you get your daily dose of Vitamins A, B and C from garlic, too.  “There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated,” said Felice Leonardo Buscaglia (otherwise known as Dr. Love) when discussing our fear of mortality, “And, for me, garlic is the most deserving”.  These miraculous compounds that give garlic its pungent smell and taste are the same ones responsible for its countless health benefits … though only if eaten raw.  Once cooked, garlic looses most of its pungency but also much of those benefits. 

Not just good for people to consume, garlic’s unique fungicidal and pesticide properties can also help keep neighboring plants healthy while concentrated garlic juice or extracts can be diluted in water and sprayed onto other vegetables to ward off the pests that frequent these areas, all while doing double-duty as a bio-stimulant.  But be sure you’re getting the real deal, as much of what you see in grocery stores is the swollen Elephant Garlic, which is more closely related to the leek and therefore doesn’t offer nearly the same health benefits and distinct taste of true garlic bulbs.

There are two general classifications of garlic, hardneck and softneck with the latter better suited to our climate here in Mississippi.  Within these two divisions, there are over 300 varieties of garlic grown worldwide and increasingly becoming one of the most popular things to plant in backyard gardens.  Onions may have many layers, but garlic has multiple cloves – each one a smaller clone of itself that can be planted to produce another full bulb. Be sure to order seed garlic from a reliable seller like Filaree Farm or Gourmet Garlic Garden in early Spring to ensure you get the varieties you want and then plant them mid-Fall.  At Yokna Bottoms, we’ve found it an excellent over-wintering crop and are expecting a big harvest within the next couple of months – perhaps in time for Patawpha Fest, our annual music, food and arts festival held out at the farm this year on Saturday, April 16.

Here in Lafayette County, we are fortunate to have some great garlic growers in our own backyard.  Visit the Water Valley Farmer’s Market to sample some of what Harris Family Farms (another local Certified Naturally Grown producer) has been perfecting for almost a decade (and be sure to ask about Gladney’s garlic butter) or come by the Taylor Farmer’s Market to get growing tips and fresh, organic garlic from her sister-in-law,  Katherine ‘the garlic lady” Daigle of Broken Magnolia Farm.

Whether smoked, roasted or caramelized, garlic can be enjoyed or applied in countless ways – all equally wonderful.  Once again, Danielle Haiden of The Ravine in Oxford provided us with an incredibly simple and delicious recipe she picked up from an adopted Nonna while living in Italy.

Before you run for the kitchen, we’ll leave you with some sage words of wisdom from the immortal William Shatner, “Stop and smell the garlic!  That’s all you have to do.”

Nonna’s Italian Garlic Bread

-          Loaf of crusty bread

-          Olive oil

-          Garlic, one clove

-          Tomato, one half

Toast your bread with a drizzle of olive oil and when it comes out hot from the oven, cut a garlic clove in half and rub it all over the top of the bread.  The heat draws out the oils in the garlic.  Then cut a tomato in half and rub it all over the top of the bread ‘til there is just a hint of pink.  Enjoy … you’ll be licking your fingers momentarily.

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Dame Condimento: The Multiple Personalities of Cilantro

By Daniel Doyle, Yokna(patawpha) Bottoms Farm

Oxford Eagle, February 2011

Love it or hate it, cilantro is one of the most cherished and simultaneously most maligned edibles in the plant kingdom. You may have come across its green lacey leaves tucked away inside a taco while dining at Mundo Latino, purchased a pesto you thought was basil to be surprised by an entirely different taste upon sampling or grabbed a fresh bunch at the Farmer’s Market of what you thought was parsley and then cautioned by the vendor that only in China does it go by the same name. Whether the paths that crossed once eaten were pleasant or perplexing seems to depend entirely upon the person, with respective responses nearly polar in their reaction.

Coriandrum sativum comes from the Umbelliferae (or Apiaceae) family of aromatic plants with hollow stems (commonly referred to as umbellifers – describing their umbrella-shaped canopy of flowers). Besides cilantro, these include carrot, anise, celery, fennel, parsley and parsnip. Cilantro is an Old World annual herb, dating back over 5,000 years in cultivation and consumption – making it one of the first to be used by early humans with its records popping up in Old Testament Biblical references, Sanskrit texts and Egyptian papyrus. Originally found wild in the eastern Mediterranean region of present-day Greece, the plant spread throughout Europe as well as Asia and North Africa by the Greeks and Romans who praised its medicinal properties. Much later, cilantro made its way to the Americas arriving aboard the ships of Spanish conquistadors and British settlers. However, for as long as cilantro has gained favor there has been a contingent of passionate detractors.

Part of this complexity of preference is due to the split philological personality of the plant. When speaking of cilantro, one is typically referencing the pungently flavored and strong scented leaves used primarily as an herb. However, once our little sprout matures and flowers it produces an entirely-different tasting seed marketed as the spice coriander. So, it is possible to crave coriander, used often to add a citrus hint to desserts, while loathing cilantro. Not schizophrenic enough? The root of the plant can be eaten as a vegetable, and its spicy smack has found favor in many Indian and Thai curries.

The Jekyll and Hyde of herbs, one evil and the other pleasant, cilantro has both entire cookbooks dedicated to the appreciation of it and well known chefs who condemn it, such as Julia Child who remarked to Larry King in 2002 that cilantro has “a kind of dead taste to me … I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor.” There are even Facebook groups and web-pages dedicated to zero tolerance dining and genocide for the “devil weed” they despise. King Tut and the tombs of many pharaohs were found with urns of coriander scenting them into the afterlife and the Old Testament (Exodus 17:31) compares the heavenly manna to “coriander seed, white; the taste of it like wafers made with honey.” Yet the etymology of coriander traces its name back to the Greek word “koris” for bug or insect – allegedly due to the resemblance between its fragrance and that of a squished bedbug (think stinkbug in our region – and, after killing them by the thousands this summer in defense of our pumpkin patch, we can attest to the intoxicatingly sweet aroma of bug guts no amount of soap could wash off).

Speaking of soap, which is exactly what many claim to taste when sinking their teeth into a cilantro-laden salad, there may be some merit to the comparison. The flavor and aroma of the plant come from a collection of substances which are mostly modified fat molecules called aldehydes – a byproduct in the production of many commercial soaps and lotions. These same substances are also found in the body fluids of many bugs to either attract or repel other creatures. 

So why would anyone actually enjoy that taste, as many do throughout the world? Where you fall in the food partisanship debate, between cilantrophobes and cilantrophiles, may be genetic (as many believe and was purported in an unsubstantiated but often-cited study by Charles J. Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia). However, it is more likely to be caused by chemical associations your brain makes with past experiences, those developed instincts our ancestors relied upon to know what was edible and what wasn’t, such that one’s perception of flavor or aroma is instantly linked back to a previous instance of either desirability or disgust. Any child who stuck a bar of soap in their mouth (or had one forced there by a scolding adult) knows what soap tastes like and when reintroduced later in life to that sensation while eating cilantro may have an equally negative reaction. However, one who grows up in a culture where cilantro is pervasive would instead have a varied appreciation for the taste and even enjoy it when in the form of food. Even adults who may initially detest cilantro can learn to like it, as our brain updates and enlarges its set of patterns when exposed to new experiences.

Nutritionally, cilantro is all positive as a good source of fiber, magnesium and iron as well as Vitamin A, C and K. High in antioxidants, it is often used as an aid to the digestive system and as an appetite stimulant. The natural oils of cilantro are especially strong and can be taken orally as an anti-inflammatory or applied externally to relieve arthritis. Recently, cilantro has garnered a lot of recognition for diabetic support due to its regulation of blood sugar levels.

Whether in Chinese soups, Indian masalas or Mexican salsas cilantro is increasingly present in our cuisine. With its strong, distinctive and unmistakable taste, it can be your best friend or worst enemy. This month’s recipe will hopefully be benign, and is brought to you straight from Central America, where farm intern Danielle Haiden visited and fell in love with the rich food culture.  As legend has it, Irish colonist (or maybe it was English) ‘Jimmy McCurry’ (or perhaps it could have been James C. Hurray) first prepared the sauce and once adopted by the local population his name was corrupted to its current pronunciation (or possibly changed in his honor).  Either way, Chimichurri is great as a sauce, salsa or a marinade in this instance. When not at the farm, you can find Danielle honing her culinary art by preparing meals at The Ravine.

And don’t forget, 2011 Food Shares for Yokna Bottoms Farm CSA are still available! For more information contact yoknabottoms@gmail.com!

Recipe:  Chimichurri

-          ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil

-          ¼ cup Sherry vinegar

-          2 ea. Garlic cloves, minced

-          4 tbsp Chopped parsley

-          4 tbsp Cilantro, chopped

-          ½ tsp Salt

-          ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper

-          1 tbsp Fresh oregano, minced

Combine all ingredients. Served best with grilled or roasted meats as a marinade

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Flatulence and Fatuity – Bearing the Cross of Cabbage

By Daniel Doyle, Yokna(patawpha) Bottoms Farm

Oxford Eagle, January 2011

While many gardeners and farmers hang up their hoes and turn towards the hearth to endure the cold season in North Mississippi, there are plenty of vegetables that thrive in our relatively mild winter months. Here at Yokna Bottoms, we’ve bedded most of our over-wintering crops – onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, spinach – with a thick layer of straw mulch and a mix of composted manure to feed their roots until spring. However, the Savoy cabbage we planted in early autumn is still producing big, beautiful heads that we were able to harvest and enjoy as recently as New Year’s Day as a nod for the fates to lean in our favor this coming season.

Savoy, or winter cabbage, will grow through the winter in mild regions like the South and is closer than any other cultivar to its original form that once grew wildly along the Mediterranean Sea. Many feel Savoy is the prettiest variety, with its curly, crinkly leaves and darker green color. Named for the region it was first cultivated in Europe along the border of Italy, Switzerland and France, Savoy cabbage has a sweeter and milder taste that only improves after frosts.

Derived from the French word caboche, or head, most cabbage is comprised of a dense layer of compact, superimposed leaves resting atop a short stem. Generally green, certain varieties can also be yellow, red or purplish in color. Its leaves have a waxy coating called bloom (something Charles Darwin was exploring at the time of his death and is detailed in The Life and Times of Charles Darwin), which diminishes evapo-transpiration (or the loss of water through surface space) and protects them from insects. A cultivar of the Brassicaceae oleracea family (also called Cruciferae, or “cross-bearing”, as their four petals come out in the shape of a cross), cabbage is a close cousin to broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. One of the most eaten food families in the world, they are all derived from the wild mustard plant and have been farmed for over four thousand years. Cabbage was simply cultivated by artificial selection through intentional suppression of the leaf’s stem length to produce a swollen head. Typically, this head is picked after three months when it reaches 4-7 lbs (though the largest cabbage recorded tipped the scales at 125 lbs).

Originally brought to Europe by wandering Celts and then later to the Americas by French navigator Jacques Cartier, cabbage and other brassica have been both maligned and heralded as far back as the Greeks and Romans. The cabbage is culturally pervasive worldwide both then and now due to its productivity, known to have one of the greatest yields of any other vegetable. Perhaps if you weren’t raised in rural America you might never have had the pleasure of being called a “cabbagehead” for leaving the window open on a rainy day or if you missed the 80’s by a few years you may fail to recognize Cabbage Patch Kids when you see one on sale at a consignment shop (and hopefully you don’t still believe what your mother told you about being picked in patch and brought home wrapped in a large blanket of leaves, as that could cause great concern for the welfare of your sisters and brothers left behind in the garden and induce a lifetime of guilt). In Italy, cabbage is a term of exasperation while in France mon petit chou becomes an affectionate phrase. Both England and Russia use cabbage and cash as linguistic synonyms, while Germans still cringe at any reference to kraut. It tastes wonderful and is filled with health benefits, but let it cook too long and its smell will warn you away. Perspective, as writer Ambrose Bierce articulated, is everything with cabbage, a vegetable “about as large and wise as a man’s head”. 

Popular recently in the cabbage soup fad diet that espouses it’s low-calorie count in a seven-day cabbage cuisine meant to reduce weight, as a vegetable it has pronounced nutritional value from being an excellent source of riboflavin and fiber to its abundance of Vitamin C and K. In addition, cabbage has anti-inflammatory properties and healing qualities that have been linked to blocking the growth of cancer cells. Generally, cabbage is prepared raw in salads (particularly younger leaves), cooked (steamed, boiled or sautéed), added to soups or stews, and preserved with salt or vinegar. Once cooked, cabbage melts in your mouth. However, this also releases natural sugars that free that distinct cabbage aroma which has led to its feeble link to flatulence and other unpleasant odors. Because the heads are so compact, a little cabbage goes a long way and has worked its way into many traditional staples such as coleslaw, sauerkraut, kimchi and borscht.

Whether you’re eating it red or green, raw or steamed, there is a reason cabbage has been around so long and in such abundance all over the world. You’ve probably enjoyed it in one form or another without even knowing it. While a cabbage patch is a simple and productive way to fill your fall garden and produce food well into the winter, mixed with tomato sauce or peppers canned from summer surpluses, it often is bypassed by many for its more popular relatives.  Next time you visit the local market, pick the plant that “surpasses all other vegetables”, in the words of Cato the Elder, and bring one home with you wrapped in a large blanket of leaves without any guilt (particularly in these first few days of the new year when every bite brings with it the promise of increased prosperity).

Recipe:  Knight’s Kickin’ Steamed Cabbage

-          1 head cabbage

-          1 cup water

-          1 tbsp Knight’s Famous Hot Pepper Sauce

-          Butter, salt, pepper, sugar (all optional)

Dice cabbage into 2-4” chunks (compost the core) and toss into a pot filled with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Cover and allow to steam for 15-20 minutes or until cabbage is soft and tender to the touch. Drain water and add Knight’s Famous Hot Pepper Sauce; stir. May add butter, salt, pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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Chard, Nothing Vulgar About This Vegetable

By Daniel Doyle

Oxford Eagle, November 2010

Novelist Tom Robbins evoked a Ukrainian proverb as a warning, in his opening to Jitterbug Perfume; “A tale that begins with a beet will end with the devil.” Chard, a leafy green that goes by many names (Swiss chard, leaf beet, sea kale beet, silverbeet, mangold, perpetual spinach – a nod to its immortality inducing qualities attributed by Robbins and Aristotle alike – and spinach beet to name a few), is a tale that begins with a beet … a sea beet, to be exact. To say that it ends so ominously as Robbins suggests might be the marrow for another article altogether, however, a beet is an innocent enough selection for muse. Then again, it was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable.

But it isn’t the beet that we’re concerned with today, having had little luck this season producing the sweet, edible root of the beta vulgaris species while consequently applauding the productive capacities of its close cousin chard. If you are walking through the community garden or perhaps the yard of a neighbor with a small vegetable plot this time of the year and you are struck by the brilliantly colorful veins of a large, leafed green then chances are you’re admiring the foliage of what our ancestors around the world have been enjoying for thousands of years.

Chard is a close relation to the beet but bred for its flavorful and highly nutritious leaves not its storage root capabilities. Most commonly called Swiss chard, which ironically does not denote its origins but rather differentiates it from similarly-named French spinach varieties, it has a rich history as a medicinal plant honored by both the Greeks and Romans. Rich in antioxidant vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals, chard is noted for its anti-inflammatory capabilities, in blood-sugar regulation (helping everything from diabetes and high blood pressure to arthritis and obesity) and for increasing bone health with its abundance of calcium. In fact, chard is second only to spinach in its total nutrient richness on the long list of healthiest vegetables (both being in the chenopodium genus classification along with beets and quinoa, other edible plants often praised for their tremendous dietary benefit).

Not only healthy but also hearty and satisfying, chard is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in several ways. Good to eat either raw or cooked, chard has a mild taste that can be a great salad green especially when harvested in its young, tender infancy (not to mention a velvety, smooth texture and colorful hue that can turn your plate into a palette). Chard becomes a little more bitter with age (don’t we all?) and as the leaves grow larger it becomes more suited for cooked cuisine, both the stalk and the leaf excellent chopped up and boiled, steamed, roasted, grilled, sautéed or thrown into your favorite fall stew. Enjoy with a glass of chard-onnay and toast to Keats’ “green-robed senators of mighty woods”.

Dismayed about the impending frigidity and its effects on your garden? Chard can withstand a frost or slight freeze and actually gets tastier as the weather gets colder, with more energy being put into its foliage until temperatures warm enough next spring to put out new seeds.  Unless you live somewhere with a hard winter, chard can be planted relatively year-round and takes little effort to grow. However, once picked you must eat it quickly as chard does not keep very long in your refrigerator. Like most vegetables, freshness is the key to great tasting chard.

Did we tempt you enough? Though native to the coasts of Europe, you don’t have to go to Chard, UK (where it still grows wild) to pick a bundle – you can get a whole mess of your own to cook right here, right now in Oxford. Or any other number of fresh, local and organically-grown vegetables from broccoli and cabbage to radishes, turnips and collards, for your family’s Thanksgiving spread. Visit us this Friday for our final outdoor “mini-farmer’s market” of the year at Tallulah’s Kitchen on University Ave. from 4:00-6:00 PM, where we will be joined by Taylor Creek Farm from right next door and Native Son Farm of Tupelo. You may also drop us an email and schedule a time to come out and visit the farm or follow us on our blog, www.yoknabottoms.com, to stay up with fall crops as they come in over the next few weeks and months and find out more information on upcoming projects and events.

Yokna Bottoms Steamed Chard

1 Bundle Swiss Chard (Approximate 2 lbs)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

¼ Cup Pine Nuts

1 Teaspoon ground red peppers or New Orlean’s style red chili powder

½ Teaspoon sea salt

Wash chard and separate the greens from all stems 1/4” or larger (for more color on your plate, select chard of several different hues if you’re able to find it). Dice stems and place in a steamer or boiling water and cook until tender (approximately 30 minutes). In a saucepan on medium heat, sauté pine nuts in olive oil (pinch of salt optional) until dark brown. Set aside on paper towel to drain. When stems are tender, stir in greens, pine nuts, ground peppers and salt. Cook until greens are tender (approximately 5 minutes). Serve hot.

Serves 4-6

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