Garden to Table: Broccoli, Kale & Red Cabbage Harvest Salad with Satsuma-Ginger Dressing

This salad is so easy and fast to prepare! And there is nothing better than harvesting your own salad ingredients from your own vegetable garden. The bite sized broccoli pieces along with dried raisins add that crunch/sweet factor that so great in salads. You can also experiment leaving the recipe as is, or making it a complete meal by adding a healthy grain like quinoa or wild rice.

Another bonus about this salad? It stores really well so you can make a big batch and then take leftovers with you to work for a couple days. 

Broccoli and Kale are both super healthy, low calorie, high-nutrient vegetables that have a long list of health benefits which include reducing the risk of reproductive and bowel cancers, improving the detoxification pathways, and providing a myriad of nutrients. World’s Healthiest Foods reports that cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, chard, and mustard greens) are said to be detoxifying because they provide support for the immune system, inflammatory system, and antioxidant system. These vegetables contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals as well as phytonutrients. World’s healthiest Foods also suggest consuming 3 servings of cruciferous vegetables each week for maximum benefit.

As we get into fall now is the perfect time to start planting these vegetables in your winter garden!

Ingredients: 

Salad:
1 bunch of broccoli
5 packed cups of chopped kale
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 small fennel bulb (thinly sliced)
½ cup raisins
1 small apple
½ small red onion (thinly sliced)
¼ cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped

Dressing:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh satsuma or orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1½ Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled + roughly chopped
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

Remove stems from kale and chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place the kale into a large bowl and massage with coconut oil. Chop broccoli into bite-pieces, shed the red cabbage and toss with the kale along with fennel, red onion and chopped walnuts. Then remove the apple core and shave thin slices over the dish. 

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients until you have a smooth consistency. Drizzle over salad and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped walnuts and fennel fronds. Add cooked wild rice or wheat berries for a meal salad.

Garden to Table: Mollet Eggs Florentine

This simple and easy recipe is a great way to use your bunches of fall greens, not to mention a definite winner at the table! Don’t be afraid to mix and match your greens either. I like to use a combination of spinach, chard and kale. For a lighter meal use milk instead of half-and- half and omit the Gruyère or Emmenthaler. This recipe is originally from Jacques Pépin’s Essential Pépin. Also seen in the KQED TV series, Essential Pépin, available here, Essential Pépin: Egg-ceptional.

Ingredients

8 large eggs
2 pounds spinach, kale, chard or other winter green
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons grated Gruyère or Emmenthaler cheese (can be pushed up to ¼ - ½c)

MORNAY SAUCE
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup half-and- half (whipping cream for a richer sauce or milk for a lighter sauce)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Recipe by Jacques Pépin, slightly adapted by Joe Walthall

Serves 8

Method

Bring 4 to 6 cups water to a boil in a shallow saucepan (about 8 inches wide and 3 inches deep). With a pushpin or thumbtack, prick a small hole in the rounder end of each egg (this will help prevent the shells from cracking during cooking). Using a small sieve, lower the eggs into the boiling water, and let it come back to a simmer. Cook for about 6 minutes. Pour the water out and shake the pan to crack the eggshells. Cool thoroughly using ice water to stop cooking. Gently shell the eggs (to prevent breaking them) under cold running water. 

FOR THE GREENS: 
Bring about 1/2 inch of salted water to a boil in a stainless steel pot. Meanwhile, remove and discard the greens stems (some stems of chard and small stems are ok). Drop the leaves into the boiling water and boil, covered, for about 1 minute, until wilted. Drain the greens in a colander and immediately refresh under cold running water to stop the cooking and keep the color. Drain again, pressing on the greens to extract as much water as possible. Put the greens on a chopping block and coarsely chop. Melt the butter in a skillet over high heat and cook until it turns brown. Add the greens, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, mix well with a fork, and cook for 2 minutes or until water is reduced. Arrange the greens in the bottom of an ovenproof dish large enough to accommodate the eggs.Then arrange the cold eggs on the greens, with a little space between them, and sprinkle the cheese on top.

FOR THE SAUCE: 
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the flour until smooth and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until the mixture froths, without browning. Add the half-and-half, whipping constantly with a whisk, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Stir in the seasonings and continue cooking over low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly with the whisk. Cool for 6 to 8 minutes.Preheat the broiler. Add the egg yolk to the sauce, whisking very fast and hard. Coat the eggs with the sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Place under the hot broiler (not too close, so the eggs have a chance to get hot inside) for 5 minutes, or until the sauce is nicely browned. Serve immediately with fresh toasted bread!

Growing Organic Kale is Easy, Even for Beginners!

I eat at a lot of kale at this time of year. My young kale seedlings are just getting started and will soon produce bountiful harvests. I enjoy homegrown kale in salads, soups, sautéed, and even on pizzas. I especially love to mix it with fruits like apples, blueberries or pineapple, to make fresh green smoothies in my blender.

Kale is renowned as a nutritional powerhouse. Its health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration of antioxidant vitamins A, C, K, and sulphur-containing phytonutrients. One cup of chopped kale contains only 33 calories, yet it yields abundant calcium, vitamins A, C, and lots of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Eating more kale is an easy way to improve the quality of your diet, and growing your own is easier than you think, even if you have little or no experience with vegetable gardening. Fall is the best season for beginners here in Tallahassee and kale is an excellent introductory crop to grow.

For beginners, start out with fresh, healthy plants from your local nursery. You will want at least three plants to have adequate harvests. There are a variety of kales to choose from; my favorites are Lacinato, Dwarf Blue Curly and Red Russian.

Choose a site for a bed or container that gets the most sun in your yard. Even if you have only 3-4 hours of sun, choose the sunniest spot and you will still enjoy harvests. Kale is tolerant of partial shade, but will grow a little slower.

To prepare your bed:

1)    Remove all existing vegetation first, roots and all. This is important as you don’t want pesky sod or weeds competing with your kale for water and nutrients. Your bed can be as long as you need, but remember to not make it wider than four feet so you can still reach across to weed and harvest.

2)    Dig your bed at least a foot deep to loosen up existing soil and break up any tree roots within the bed. You can use a quality round point shovel, heavy duty garden fork, or a mattock. Add a fresh layer of mushroom compost, at least six inches, to your soil.

3)    Dust a layer of organic, granular, slow-release fertilizer like Espoma’s Plant-tone across the compost. If you have quality compost, you can tuck your kale plants right into it, allowing a good 8-10” between plants. Plant the stem just an inch deeper than it is in the pot. Water them in thoroughly with a gentle spray nozzle, and regularly check their watering every few days.

I would also encourage anyone, even beginners, to try growing from seed. Some crops can be difficult, but kale is very easy from seed. Just prepare your soil, sprinkle the seeds over and cover the seed bed with only a light dusting of soil, then water well. The bed should be watered regularly and the seedlings will appear within two weeks. Once they are 3-4” tall, I dig, separate and space them out where want them.

Newly planted kale will take a week or so to establish roots, and then will begin growing. When the plants reach 6” you can begin harvesting leaves. Always harvest the lower leaves first, leaving a few newer top leaves so the plants can continue growing. Watch them grow and keep an eye out for caterpillars, the most common pest on kale. If you begin to see holes in the leaves, look under those leaves and you will likely see a caterpillar. Don’t fret.  

You can just squish them or safely treat them with Dipel dust; a biological insecticide that only kills caterpillars, breaks down quickly and is safe for your organic garden.

Enjoy your harvests of fresh, organic kale well into early spring. Below I’ve included one of my favorite, mouthwatering kale salad recipes for inspiration.

kale_salad.jpg

Ingredients

4-6 cups Lacinato kale, sliced leaves, midribs removed.
Juice of 1 lemon,
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, mashed.
Salt & pepper, to taste.
Hot red pepper flakes, to taste
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Toscano cheese, or other flavorful grating cheese such as Asiago or Parmesan
1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from lightly toasted bread

Instructions

  1. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes. 

  2. Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well.
  3. Add 2/3 of the cheese and toss again.
  4. Let kale sit for at least 5 minutes. Add bread crumbs, toss again, and top with remaining cheese.