Here is what we got in the box this week. John kindly swapped out the yard long beans for some malabar spinach, since we have so many of the beans from our own garden. By the way, here is the recipe I use for pickled yard long beans. You curl them into the jars whole so they look great in the jar and they come out like a Slinky.
My new favorite way to cook amaranth leaves. This is another variation on a Fuchsia Dunlop recipe from Land of Plenty.
Amaranth can be a somewhat fibrous vegetable, so prepping is well worth the time. Nip off the smallest leaves and set aside. Nip the leaves from the petiole at the base, so that the petiole remains on the stem (not sure about your parts of the leaf? See here.) using a paring knife, strip the petioles from the stem pulling them down the stem so that you remove the petiole and some of the fibers from the stem, just like you would peal a stick of rhubarb. Wash everything thoroughly. Amaranth can be gritty as well. Chop the stems in half inch pieces and roughly chop the leaves. Now you are ready to begin. By the way, this prep is pretty much what I use for any amaranth recipe. Here is the recipe.
Amaranth in Hot Garlicky Sauce
One bunch of amaranth, prepped as above.
Four tablespoons of sweet aromatic soy sauce (fu zhi jiang you).
Four tablespoons of chili oil.
2-3 cloves of crushed garlic.
2 teaspoons of sesame oil.
Chopped papalo (or cilantro) for garnish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. In the meantime mix the soy sauce, chili oil, garlic, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Blanch the amaranth for about 3-5 minutes. Test a leaf to check if it is cooked. Strain the amaranth from the water. Thoroughly mix the sauce into the amaranth and place in a serving bowl, sprinkle with the papalo. Serve warm.
We had this with dry fried yard long beans (gain bian si ji dou) and we just couldn’t resist traditional corn on the cob with lashings of butter, since it was so fresh. So this was an all-CSA meal tonight. The pork in the beans is just a flavoring and the beans are crunchy, the amaranth is very garlicky and somewhat spicy. All in all a great combination. ll washed down with a Vouvray.
* My Chinese is virtually non-existent. So I hope I have this right. Let me know if I need to correct it.
We just signed up for Frog Song Organics Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) weekly pick box for the summer. Frog Song is located in Hawthorne, FL, up near Gainesville. So not exactly local, local. But they have started coming to the Winter Park Farmers’ Market on Saturday so we can pick up there and, as John says, the climate and soil in Gainesville is so much better for vegetables than down here, even though it is only a couple of hours away. They supplied a great first box; watermelon, amaranth, lemon basil, green beans, grape tomatoes, Chinese eggplant, sweet peppers, and onions.
This blog is going to be all about what we cooked with the CSA each week, augmented by stuff from the garden and from the rest of the farmers’ market. I hope you stick around the the next post to see what we did first. Unless otherwise noted you can assume the dishes are prepared for two people; me and my lovely, hungry, and discriminating partner Bethany.