June 9, 2011By Kim Dannies
There’s a wild rumor going around that my Community Supported Agriculture is going to harvest this weekend. At last, we’ll be able to enjoy local lettuces and spinach. What to do with such precious produce? Not much, actually, because you’ll want to keep the cooking part simple and let the fresh green flavors come shining through.
Wilted Spinach & Bacon
Cut up chunks of desired amount of bacon and fry in a large sauté pan. Remove the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towel. To the bacon fat add 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves and sauté for 30 seconds, don’t allow the garlic to burn! Add handfuls of clean fresh spinach and wilt it in the hot pan using tongs to coat the spinach and move around the pan. Place spinach on a serving platter and drizzle with a bit of best quality olive oil, Maldon sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.
Seasonal Salad Dressings
Mint, Maple & Lime: Lightly crush a large garlic clove. Add to a small glass jar with a cover. Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, and a handful of ribbon cut mint leaves. Add pinches of salt and pepper to taste. Shake well. Serve over baby lettuces.
Lemon, Anchovy & Chive: In a small processor chop 3 garlic cloves along with the zest of one large lemon. Next, add 4 to 6 strips of anchovy (or to taste). Add 1 cup mayonnaise and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Process until creamy. Snip fresh chives into finished dressing. Serve over romaine or escarole lettuces with grilled bread.
Orange, Olive & Rosemary: In a small processor chop 2 garlic cloves along with the zest of an orange. Add 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves. Mince well. Add ½ cup of orange juice and 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard. While blending, stream in 1/2 cup olive oil. Season to taste and blend once more. Serve over arugula studded with orange sections, pitted Kalamata olives, and finely sliced red onion.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.