Cooking the talk (mid-January): Basic vegetable recipe

No photos this time, sorry – it was cold and we were hungry!!! I’ll take some photos tonight and do a second post.

Last night, we had:

  • Wild salmon (frozen, from Janae’s at the farmer’s market)
  • Broccoli/carrot/onion/parsnip (various sources, all FM except the broccoli which was Whole Foods)
  • Housemade green sauerkraut (a touch of caraway, new batch)
  • Flourless chocolate cake (Dagoba/Green & Black chocolate, Springhill butter, coconut sugar, farmer’s market eggs, arrowroot)

It was just lovely, and the main course took maybe half an hour. Even the cake took only about 20 minutes to mix up, so I put it in the oven around 5 so it would have time to cool nicely after baking, and we ate dinner about 7.

Easy basic vegetable sauté
You can vary this with whatever is in season, and it’s a good basic way to think about getting fresh vegetables into dinner without making yourself crazy! This is a nice wintery mix.

Serves 2-3 (just increase quantities as needed if you’re serving more)

1 medium onion (3-4 inches in diameter)
1 good-sized carrot or 2 smaller ones
1 good-sized parsnip
4-5 large leaves of kale (more if the leaves are smaller; you can also use collard greens or chard or mustard greens or any leafy green)
1 tablespoon butter or ghee
Celtic sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt

Prep: Peel the onion, cut in half from “pole” to root, then slice into thin half moons. Peel the carrot and parsnip, and cut diagonally into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the stems out of the kale, and stack the leaves; roll up tightly like a cigar and cut crosswise to make skinny ribbons. Throw the butter in a decent-sized skillet that has a lid (or a plate that will fit on top). (Note: I do not recommend nonstick skillets, because the coatings are highly suspect; I prefer heavy enamel coated iron, cast iron, or heavy stainless pans.)

Cooking: Start melting the butter over medium low heat, and throw the onion in. Mix it all around with your wooden spoon to coat the onion with the butter. Sprinkle on a little pinch of sea salt and turn the heat to pretty low. Cook for about 20 minutes – less if you are pressed for time, more if you have things to do. Stir every 4 or 5 minutes. Your goal is to have them at least translucent and starting to soften (if you’re cooking the shortest time), or pale golden and completely limp (if you’re cooking the longer time).

Whatever you decide, when you’re happy with the onions, toss in the carrots and stir around to mix nicely. Add another little pinch of salt (I like to salt in “layers,” it really seems to coax out the natural sweetness of things), stir, and turn the heat to the lowest setting. Add a little water – just a spoonful or two or a little pour from your teakettle with the water left over from your last cup of tea) and cover the pan.

About 10 minutes later, take the cover off and add the parsnips. Again, stir around gently to mix. Skip the salt this time, you’ll add more later. Cover the pan and cook another 10 minutes.

Last, add the kale ribbons. Stir up, add another small pinch of salt, cover the pan for maybe a minute and then check everything. Carrots and parsnips tender (check with the tip of a knife – they should offer no resistance)? Greens vibrant, deeply green? Taste a little bit, and add more salt if you need it. You’re done – bon appétit!

Any leftovers go into a glass dish or a little jar, and get served with your morning eggs or get warmed in some broth for lunch.

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