Comfort Food: Goat Cheese Greens

Greens chopped into fettuccine sized slices.

The idea here is to use a whole bunch of greens, sliced into fat ribbons, and then combine them with some creamy, cheesy goodness for a dish that’s similar to mac n cheese but with way more nutrients, minerals, vitamins, fiber, good fats and all that other stuff your body gets from green food!  I used to love cooking pasta and dressing it up with olive oil, grated cheese, hot pepper flakes and lots of garlic.  In retrospect, the pasta was just a vehicle for the seasonings and cheese so why not replace it with the one food most missing from American diets?  Why not indeed!

Ingredients:

A big bunch of sturdy greens like collards or the leaves from your broccoli, romanesco or brussels sprouts plants.   Strip the leaves from the stems, stack the leaves and slice into fettuccine sized ribbons.

Olive oil, enough to saute all your greens

a clove or three of mashed or minced garlic

and any or all of these flavorful, medicinal seasonings: hot peppers, fennel, garlic salt, sea salt, black pepper, paprika smokey or hot, all to taste

Fresh goat cheese, get it local at Berkshire Organics or the Berkshire Co-op Market

So happy to have time to cook more and relax more after a very busy three weeks.

Procedure: 

Heat the olive oil in your cast iron skillet on medium heat, add your garlic and any whole spices you are using like the hot pepper flakes and the fennel seeds.

Before the garlic starts to brown, add in all your pretty green ribbons and saute til wilted and cooked through.

Add salt to taste and any powdered spices you are using, like paprika.

When the greens are cooked to your liking and you’ve adjusted the seasonings, serve the greens and top with as much goat cheese as you like.  Mix it well, it will melt instantly on the hot greens and make a creamy sauce, kinda like mac n cheese but with out the gluey macaroni and unsettling powdered ‘cheese’.  Top with some hot sauce or sriracha if you need extra heat.  Isn’t it comforting to know that your comfort food is really nourishing?

Comfort food can be green and good for you too!

Shaved Fennel Salad

Fennel Bulbs: crunchy, slightly sweet and packed with Vitamin C!

I wasn’t sure how I felt about fennel, apparently thin sliced is the way to go.  The combination of these few, simple ingredients is pretty amazing.  A refreshing summer salad that you can make ahead of time, and it has feta in it, what’s not to love?!

1 medium-large zucchini, sliced into paper thin coins

2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and shaved paper-thin (you can use a knife to carefully slice the veggies but a mandolin works best and fastest.  Also, you maybe able to use an attachment on your food processor if you have one that slices thin!)

2/3 cup   loosely chopped fresh dill

1/3 cup  fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed

fine grain sea salt

4 or 5 generous handfuls arugula

Honey, if needed

1/2 cup  pine nuts, toasted (I used almonds)

1/3 cup   feta cheese, crumbled

Combine the zucchini, fennel and dill in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside and marinate for 20 minutes, or up to an hour.

Thanks for a great shot of this salad, Heidi! Image from 101 Cookbooks

When you are ready to serve the salad, put the arugula in a large bowl. Scoop all of the zucchini and fennel onto the arugula, and pour most of the lemon juice dressing on top of that. Toss gently but thoroughly. Taste and adjust with more of the dressing, olive oil, lemon juice, or salt if needed. If the lemons were particularly tart, you may need to counter the pucker-factor by adding a tiny drizzle of honey into the salad at this point. Let your taste buds guide you. Serve topped with pine nuts and feta.

Serves 4 to 6.

Prep time: 10 min

Another great recipe from 101 Cookbooks, here’s her original recipe!