Recipes from Grow Gainesville Members:
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Those Gorgeous Greens
Writes Grow Gainesville member Heath Silberfield:
I’ve not taken to “greens” easily. Sure, I’m happy to have a nice head of romaine or some tender broccoli, zucchini, or spinach on my plate, but my initial explorations of kale, chard, collards, and mustard greens were that they were all bitter, and none of them was welcome on my plate at home or elsewhere. Then a friend gave me some kale from her garden and said I should just chop and stir-fry it with whatever other vegetables I had on hand. I did just that–and I’m now in love with the nutrition-packed, satisfying, and versatile ways of those ubiquitous greens.
Starting with my friend’s garden bounty, I chopped but didn’t measure a big bunch of dark-green curly kale. I heated a few teaspoons of olive oil in a large cast-iron frying pan, chopped ½ yellow onion and 1 clove of garlic and added them to the heated oil, sautéed the mixture until soft and just starting to turn brown, then added the chopped kale. After about 10 minutes of the kale softening on its own, I added everything else she’d given me—a few green onions, some tender “Asian” greens, and a small bunch of fresh parsley, plus some chopped organic carrots and zucchini from my fridge that I thought would add a little sweetness, color, and texture.
I added a light sprinkle of salt, tossed in about ½ tablespoon of Shoyu, stirred everything a few times, and was ready to serve up the mélange 10 minutes later.
This versatile kale–veggie mixture satisfied for several meals, including alongside a baked sweet potato, folded into an omelette, and stirred into tomato sauce.
It took this Yankee seven years to understand why beans ’n’ greens are so beloved in the South, but greens are now a regular on my shopping list—no recipe necessary. Maybe I’ll plant some black-eyed peas next.
Chilled Cuke Soup
by Cynthia Barnett
I adapted this from Cooking Light years ago and make it throughout the summer. Best cucumber soup ever, and beautiful topped with halved cherry tomatoes.
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cucumbers peeled and course-chopped
1/2 or 1 jalapeño pepper, depending on its spiciness, seeded and chopped (start with HALF and taste, and if it’s not quite spicy enough, add the other half)
I use a hand-immersion blender in a bowl, but if you have a food processor, even easier. Just blend until smooth. Chill until it’s time to serve. Top each serving with a little mound of halved cherry tomatoes.
Even my 9-year-old son, Will eats the cuke soup. His favorite things to cook and to eat are all veggie- or fruit-based, I like to think from his gardening experiences at home, at his dad’s garden on campus, and at his all-time favorite garden — Morningside Nature Center’s. Then again, his sister loves to garden too but doesn’t share Will’s love for eating all that’s green!
–Cynthia Barnett is a senior writer for Florida Trend magazine and the author of “Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis” and “Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.”