We got our first box from Washington’s Green Grocer, a very cool no-contract local food delivery service that is sort of like a CSA but much more customizable. You can pick to have a box some weeks and not others, and also exclude items from your boxes that you know you won’t eat. You can also buy pre-made foods and other items available that week, a la carte style. Hubby and I got a hefty amount of organic apples, bananas, grapefruits, clementines (we LOVE citrus season!), avocados, red leaf lettuce, spinach, kale and potatoes. Am I missing anything? Oh yes, some organic brown basmati rice. We dug right in, making a delicious salad with fresh lettuce and an emulsified dressing otherwise close to impossible without a blender. (I’m finding new uses for my Vitamix every day. I know it might sound silly to post a recipe for salad dressing, as for the most part you can just throw anything along with an oil and a vinegar in to make it delicious. Irregardless…) To accompany the salad we had big bowls of kale mashed potatoes with garlic and buttermilk. What an excellent way to get your greens, especially if you’re put off or intimidated by them. (We aren’t, but what’s nice about this recipe is that you can put as much or as little kale as you’d like.) These are a great accompaniment to a protein-heavy dish or to a lighter side fare, as we did.
Kale Mashed Potatoes (serves 6):
- 3 pounds potatoes
- 1 bunch kale
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature (There’s no shame in using whatever milk you’ve got around. I had leftover buttermilk from a recipe, which I was happy to find a use for.)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Parmesan, at room temperature (Again, I eyed this and used what was left of a bag of shredded parmesan we ended up with after a potluck.)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Wash, de-stem your kale, and cut it into strips or bite-sized chunks that you think will fit into your mouth. This is your call. Mince the garlic and cut your potatoes into at least half. The smaller you cut them, the faster they’ll cook. I left the skin on the potatoes because a) I am lazy and b) potatoes aren’t really that nutritious so the skin helps me feel a bit better about eating them in the first place. Also, I think they taste better this way.
Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with water. Boil for about 20 minutes until soft. (You know how to do this, right?) While that’s happening, heat up the 1 tsp. of olive oil and sauté the garlic for about 1 minute, no more, then shut off the heat. The residual heat will continue to cook the garlic ever so slightly, but you really just want to threaten it, that is, until it’s fragrant, then stop before it’s too late. Set aside. When the potatoes are mashable, drain them and add about 1/2 of your buttermilk, the rest of the olive oil, and if you’re me, spontaneously drop in a pad of butter for good measure. Mash away! Then, mash in the cheese and kale (as much as you want) and add more liquid as needed. Season with salt and pepper, and serve!
(inspired by Marin Mama Cooks)
Homemade Italian Dressing:
- 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- a pinch each of dried basil, thyme and oregano
Put it all into a blender on slow speed at first, then kick it up for about 30 seconds a few notches. You can make this ahead and keep it in the fridge for a few weeks.