Tuesday, April 1, 2008


(Aunt Penny, spokeshen for Boggy Creek Farms Hen House)

Every week, one of my "farm gals" writes a newsletter that goes out to those of us smart enough to sign up for it. Carol Ann Sayle is one of the owners (with her hubby Larry Butler) and hard workers at our urban organic farm here in Austin, Boggy Creek Farms. She's as good a writer as she is a farmer, and her weekly description of what they are doing always leaves me feeling hungry and ready for a rest -- she makes it real. This week, her epistle began:

March 31, 2008
Spring Tonics

Greetings Friends of the Farm,

I just finished eating an entire head of dinosaur kale for lunch. It formed a rather huge dark-green mound on my plate, as I barely wilted it in a skillet (not wanting to reduce it to threads), with butter, fresh garlic, mushrooms, and slices of fennel. I felt like I needed it, you know? Perhaps it would be an act of rejuvenation, or a spring tune-up, or even, satisfying. It was all three.

I can TASTE that kale...

So, here's a recipe you can try out for spring, from Epicurious -- this would be grand with the distinctive, rich flavor of dinosaur kale. Myra would probably make it with prosciutto instead of bacon. Ginny would use walnuts sauteed until crisp in garlic oil. They would both serve it with a side of canteloupe or honeydew.

Shredding the kale allows you to cook it for a shorter period of time, so it retains an appealingly bright color and is gentler in flavor than if it had been slow-cooked.

Active time: 50 min Start to finish: 1 hr

Servings: Makes 8 servings. (Have your friends over, let your friends make friends with each other.)

2 1/2 lb kale (about 4 bunches), tough stems and center ribs cut off and discarded
10 bacon slices (1/2 lb), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups water

Stack a few kale leaves and roll lengthwise into a cigar shape. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips with a sharp knife. Repeat with remaining leaves.

Cook bacon in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off and discard all but 3 tablespoons fat from pot, then cook garlic in remaining fat over moderately low heat, stirring, until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add kale (pot will be full) and cook, turning with tongs, until wilted and bright green, about 1 minute. Add water and simmer, partially covered, until just tender, 6 to 10 minutes. Toss with bacon and salt and pepper to taste.

Cooks' note:
Large kale leaves are easier to cut in the manner described in this recipe. If all you can find are small leaves, just coarsely chop them.

And, I've already plugged this once, but it's too perfect a spot to pass up: Check out the recipe for Lesbian Kale Sauce at the Compost Maven's website. AND, the Boggy Creek Farms website has lots of recipes, as well as seasonal report, history of the farm, their horticultural practices, information on how to oppose the small-farm-destroying National Animal Identification System, hen house stories (with GREAT photos), and a place to sign up for their newsletter.

(Fresh garlic from Boggy Creek Farms)

1 comment:

shadocat said...

GAWD, that looks and sounds delicious...And those pictures! Sorta like food porn...