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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tuscan Bean Stew and Lemon Kissed Salad

Time to once again eat goodies from the garden.  The first asparagus spear is poking it's head out of the ground so it's really spring.  This evening was the third one that we've dug into the red-veined sorrel.  The first time I made salads with beets and feta cheese.  Last night we tossed some into our salads.  And, tonight we had lemon kissed salads.  Some of the kale overwintered but that that we cut today was fresh and new and so tender.  Last, but not least, Connie found some oregano leaves under the leaf mulch from last fall.  We had a maple tree taken down today.  It was a total mell of a hess.  Loads of whirlygigs plus it shaded the area where we want to put a permanent herb garden.  Our neighbors are adding on so they had tree guys out to take out four trees.  Connie wandered over and they said they'd do the deed for $275.  Sold.  We wandered the yard this evening and mapped out the path for the new herb garden then spent dinner talking about all the goodies we'll grow.  What comes back - parsley, oregano, thyme, cilantro, tarragon, dill...  and what doesn't - basil.  We take the pots of rosemary and sage to the office every winter and manage to save most of them.  We'll also put out some edible flowers and pots with the invasive guys like mint. 

Tuscan Bean Stew
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can white kidney beans or great northerns or cannellini, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1 T white wine
2 T diced Kalamata olives
4 leaves kale, chopped
2 6" pieces of kielbasa, cut in half length-wise then sliced 1/2" thick
1 t fresh oregano leaves

Briefly saute the garlic in the olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Add the other ingredients and heat through until the kale has wilted and the flavors have melted together - about 15 min. 

Lemon Kissed Salad
1 head of romaine, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 c red-veined sorrel leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 can hearts of palm, drained and sliced about 1/4" wide
1/4 c toasted pecans
1/2 small red onion, sliced VERY thinly
1/4 c lemon olive oil
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1 T lemon juice
1 t dijon mustard
1 t crushed garlic
1/3 c crumbled feta cheese

Toss the first five ingredients and a bowl.  Mix the next five in a small bowl to make the dressing.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.  Sprinkle with the feta and serve.

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