This CSA has been such a blessing. I’m really enjoying spending time in the kitchen again, preparing actual food. I don’t write much about my personal life on this little blog, but during the hiatus there was romance and then there was heartbreak. Like, totally devastating, eat peanut butter toast for all meals of the day, wear sunglasses all the time because your eyes are red and puffy, curse every CD you own because they’re all now tainted with memories and emotions that make you want to curl up in a ball and go back to bed and sleep for twenty years, total and utter miserable heartbreak. But anyway, the peanut butter toast. It still makes an appearance, but having this gorgeous box of fresh vegetables to deal with each week is inspiring. I feel like I owe it to the farmers to do the food some sort of justice. I can’t let a single vegetable wilt because I’m moping around eating peanut butter toast and feeling sorry for myself. It would be shameful.
So, tonight it was onto the cilantro and kale. I made a simple red lentil dal, which I served over basmati rice (white instead of brown, and, yes, I know brown is much better for you, but hey! at least I’m not eating peanut butter toast for dinner again, right?). On the side, I had sesame garlic kale.
For basic red lentil dal, you need:
Red lentils, onion, garlic, curry powder, garam masala, cilantro, and lemon or lime juice.
Sauté the onion, chopped, and garlic, minced, in a bit of olive oil. Add a generous dash of the curry powder and/or garam masala and toss to coat. When the onions are translucent, add lentils and enough water to cover (about a 1:2 ratio of lentils to water). Bring to a boil and then let simmer until the lentils are soft (about 20 minutes). Just before removing from heat, add chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon/lime juice. Salt to taste, if you’re into that sort of thing. Maybe adjust spices if you were too wussy the first time ’round.
For garlicky kale, simply brown some minced garlic in oil (I used toasted sesame oil for extra flavor) and then add chopped & de-veined kale. Cover and allow the leaves to wilt, but remove them from heat before leaves lose their bright color. I mean, c’mon, who wants overcooked, limp vegetables? Ugh. Keep ‘em bright. Keep ‘em fresh. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you got ‘em for a bit of extra calcium and crunch.
Eat outside, with a cheerful table cloth, and listen to some kickass tunes—some Martha Wainwright, perhaps.