Friday, June 17, 2011

summer vegetables with kale

I used to plan my meals on Sunday mornings. It was a peaceful ritual, and I'd pull out my favorite cookbooks, flipping through them looking for ideas. I'd make a list of the meals for the week and head to the grocery store. Now that we're into our CSA, my meal plan is much more fluid, and, I'll admit, more fun.

On Tuesdays, I try to have a backup plan in place in case I can't make a meal out of CSA ingredients and things already in my kitchen. It's exciting, and I like feeling prepared. I still stock up the kitchen on Sundays with things I know we'll use, like extra vegetables, herbs, beans, grains, and pasta, so I usually have what I need for the week already.

When we got the first of the summer squash in our box this Tuesday, I knew I had to make some immediately. I went through my fridge and freezer, and decided to use some precooked black beans and the kale I knew my in-laws were sending with Edwin that afternoon. (Mary and Steve have a wonderful garden and they share their greens with us, which I love.) I also had an ear of corn hanging out, so I got EDW to cut the kernels off the cob when he got home to throw that in as well. Here's what I did:

Summer Vegetables with Kale
serves 4-6

2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 T minced garlic
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cups sliced summer squash (I used 4 small yellow squashes)
lots of kale, stems removed (my in-laws sent a nice size bag)
1 ear sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob
2 cups cooked black beans
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (or fresh if you have them)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 jalapeño, minced
2 t Mexican oregano
2 t cumin
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the squash and bell pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the kale and cover. Stir occasionally and cook until kale has wilted.
Stir in the tomatoes, jalapeño, oregano, cumin and bay leaf, followed by the corn and beans.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the liquid has evaporated.
Season with salt and pepper.
We loved this skillet of veggies. It was beautiful, thanks to all the colors, and so tasty. I served it with brown rice that was slightly undercooked and oversalted (I cooked most of this by myself, with my gimpy elbow, and I guess that immobile left arm makes me unable to cook proper rice?
It definitely makes me unable to make pretty slices and chops, but I'm managing).
EDW said he thinks he'd prefer it with quinoa or in a tortilla, and I think I agree. Regardless of the rice issue, we both give this recipe a solid A.

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