Friday, June 16, 2006

Bounty in a Box - Warm Salad of Sauteed Greens with Roasted Beets, Sliced Pork Loin and Goat Cheese Crouton

On Wednesday, I picked up our first CSA shipment from Be Wise Organic Farm. I was expecting my lonely little box to be sitting out there in the driveway, but I was surprised to see that pages upon pages of people are ordering this service. The drop off for the East County is in La Mesa, just past SDSU, convenient to the freeway. Several people were there boxing up their produce to take home. I just picked up the box and figure on taking it back next time - but I can see why it would be easier in some ways not to have to worry about the box. I will probably bring my own bags next time.

We ordered a "large share" which contained:

  1. A bag of salad greens
  2. A bag of oranges
  3. A two-pint box of perfect-looking strawberries
  4. 5 beets
  5. 3 turnips
  6. a bunch of celery
  7. a large fistful of carrots
  8. a bunch of bok choy
  9. a bunch of red chard
  10. 3 bananas
  11. 2 cucumbers

I don't know if they grew the bananas, but I am assuming so since they were in the box. Who knew we could grow bananas in San Diego?? Last night, in order to take advantage of some of this lovely produce, I decided to cook a dish I had never made before. Armed with a recipe from Nancy Silverton's Sandwich cookbook (which will be cropping up here more often in the future!) I devised a warm main-dish salad of sauteed greens topped with roasted beets and sliced pork loin, served with goat cheese croutons. It was delicious - I was especially impressed with the beets, since I have never made them before. It serves two generously as a main dish, but would make a great appetizer without the pork. Here is the recipe:

Warm Salad of Sauteed Greens with Roasted Beets, Sliced Pork Loin and Goat Cheese Crouton
Serves 2-3 as a main course (with beets left over) or 4 as an appetizer.

For the beets:
3 medium sized beets, scrubbed with ends trimmed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper
dried or fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon of dried, 1 tablespoon of fresh)

For the marinade:
2 tablespoons of good olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Mix the marinade ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Rub the beets with the oil, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper and thyme.
  4. Place the beets in a tightly covered glass or ceramic baking dish (I used a pyrex refrigerator dish) and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes
  5. Remove the beets from the oven and allow to cool until you can handle them, then rub them with a paper towel to remove the skins.
  6. Halve each beet and slice into wedges about half an inch thick. Toss with the marinade and set aside.

For the chard:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of chopped shallot
2 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
1 bunch of red chard, stems and ribs removed and cut diagonally into 1" pieces, leaves torn into 3-4 pieces
splash of balsamic vinegar

  1. Heat a large pot of water (about six cups) and 2 tablespoons of salt to boiling.
  2. Dunk the chard stems and ribs into the water for about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the boiling water with a mesh strainer and add the leaves. Stir until just wilted (about 1 minute) and remove.
  4. Run leaves and stems under cold water and squeeze the excess water out of the leaves.
  5. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  6. Add the shallot and the halved garlic cloves and saute until the shallots are soft and the garlic is fragrant.
  7. Remove the garlic cloves.
  8. Add the chard stems and saute in the oil until tender
  9. Add the leaves and saute for one minute.
  10. Sprinkle the pan with balsamic vinegar and a grind or two of pepper, give a little stir, then cover.
  11. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve
For the pork:
Two pork loin chops, grilled or broiled and thinly sliced

For the goat cheese crouton:
2 ounces of goat cheese at room temperature, removed from packaging and rolled in cracked pepper
Two toasted slices slices of crusty sourdough or french bread, preferably warm

To serve, distribute the greens among two large soup bowls. Top with five or six pieces of the beets and lay the sliced pork over the top. Spread the warm toasted bread with a generous schmear of softenend peppered goat cheese and serve on the side. This could also be topped with a couple of toasted walnut halves, or drizzled with a bit of walnut oil, as described in the sandwich recipe - but I didn't have either. It would also be especially pretty if made with golden beets. Enjoy and have a good weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Isn't Be Wise the best!? I don't do the CSA, but since they are in our 'hood, we pop in every weekend for our staples. Their heirloom tomatoes are downright swoon worthy. And, I know what you mean about their beets, mmm-mmm.