Thursday, June 6, 2013

Market Start and Collard Leaf Presents

Time to celebrate: the fourth season of the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market starts up this Sunday June 9 from 10 AM - 2 PM on the corner of Agate St. and 19th Ave. You can look forward to fresh produce from Sweetwater Farm and pasture-raised meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm including:

zucchini and pattypan squash (delicious grilled)
sugar snap peas and fava beans (serve with fresh pasta)
spring onions, spring garlic, and fennel bulbs (try pickled)
kale, chard, collards (try these collard leaf presents)
braising greens mix, lettuce, and salad mix 
Italian green cauliflower and broccoli
potatoes and beets (try this quinoa and beet salad)
and a few early cukes - they won't last long!
also new: salsa and pickles from Sweet Creek Foods
and pastured chicken (try spatchcocked)

A celebration isn't complete without presents, so for the Farmers Market start, I encourage you to wrap up these delicious collard green packets, inspired by a recipe from Deborah Madison's Vegetable Literacy. Hers is a delicately balanced mix of coconut-flavored black rice in collard leaves simmered in ginger-flavored coconut broth, but I employed her approach as an appealing way to repackage leftovers. For the filling, I mixed up black rice with leftover grilled peppers, scallions, and cherry tomatoes, and served them nestled in some leftover Thai sweet meat winter squash curry from the freezer. Unwrapping a side of rice from a brilliant green package made the whole meal feel very festive. In that festive spirit, please come out and celebrate a new season of the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market June 9th!

Collard Leaf Presents
adapted from Deborah Madison

for the stuffed collard packets
2 cups cooked black rice
1 cup chopped grilled vegetables, such as spring onions, summer squash, peppers, and tomatoes
1 handful cilantro leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
8 collard leaves 

for the broth
3 cups water
1 large carrot, scrubbed and chopped
1 celery stalk, rinsed and chopped
2 star anise
3 slices of fresh ginger
salt to taste
1/2 cup or more coconut milk

1. To make the filling, combine the rice, grilled vegetables, cilantro leaves, and salt and pepper.

2. Prepare the collard leaves by cutting away the tough base portion of each stem. Bring a large, shallow pan of water to a simmer, add the collards, and cook until tender, about five minutes. Lift them out and set them on the counter with the base of the leaves facing you. 

3. Place about 1/3 cup of the filling on the center of each leaf. Fold the bottom portion of the leaf over the rice, bring the sides tightly over the rice, then tuck the farthest end of the leaf over snuggly to make a package.

4. Prepare the follow broth (or use your favorite coconut curry) for simmering you collard packets. For the broth, combine the water, carrot, celery, star anise, ginger, and salt and simmer, partly covered, for about 30 to 40 minutes until reduced to 1 cup. Strain the broth through a sieve, transfer to a wide pan, and add coconut milk to taste. Set the collard packets, seam sides down, in the pan, cover, and simmer for about five minutes. Serve the collard packets in shallow bowls with the broth.

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