Now that I eat mostly seasonally, I sometimes forget what I eat. It’s like putting away clothes for winter. By spring, I’ve forgotten about those t-shirts I love or the pretty sleeveless blouses. I’m always surprised.
When I am looking at a bed of lettuce and greens at the beginning of summer, I wonder: “What do I do with these again?” I make a vinagrette, because I remember what salad is, but then I wonder about meals. What are the first meals?
I’m grateful then for a cookbook like From Asparagus to Zucchini that basically tells me: “Just saute and eat the stuff you’ve grown. It will taste good without a lot of work.”
This happened last week when I had a jar of dried cranberry beans and a bunch of cabbage leaves from some michili cabbage that bolted. I thought, “Beans and greens. That’s a thing, right?” I looked in Asparagus to Zucchini under greens, and there it was. Cranberry beans and greens. Basically, saute them together with some olive oil and garlic and you’re good to go.
This week I went to Forest Mushrooms and paid my $20 for a season of all-the-compost-you-can-haul. They also sell it for a quarter a bag. I will not use 80 bags (more like 20-30), but I’m happy to give them the $20 and not have to pay each time. In fact, I feel like I’ve reaped the full value already. There in the stack of bags was this gigantic cluster of oyster mushrooms. I took advantage of the opportunity and harvested them.
Back home, I hadn’t really planned on cooking with mushrooms… so I felt momentarily confused. Then I went with the old adage and got together the other veggies I had. I roasted potatoes (store bought) in a pan with olive oil/butter for 20 minutes, and then slid in another pan with the mushrooms with olive oil/butter/garlic for an additional 20. In the last five minutes I added garden asparagus, a frozen chili, and spring onions. Then I dumped the mushrooms into the potato pan, where the liquid boiled away nicely, and added some spinach to wilt. Topped with parmesan cheese, chives, thyme, salt and pepper, this was a real winner.