Finding Fall in Spring?

I discovered something today. I picked up a CSA share from a local farm and found myself opening bags and squealing in delight at fresh shiitake mushrooms, beautiful swiss chard, lettuce, sugar snap peas, greenhouse tomatoes, broccoli and a cucumber. And with the exception of the peas and greenhouse tomatoes (and likely greenhouse cuke), these are cooler weather veggies. So while we celebrate their presence in the spring before the onslaught of summer heat, I found myself turning to the autumn section of my cookbooks for dishes like Sweet and Sour Swiss Chard, Broccoli Salad, and Chard Utopia (can’t wait to try that one!)

There. That is my big discovery. Check your fall recipes for great ways to use up your early spring veggies and greens. It seems a bit counterintuitive, I know. Especially when there are exciting things like strawberries to use.

Okay so no, maybe this discovery isn’t as exciting to you as it is to me. But it did lead me to this light spring meal which I am finding just perfect for me to munch on while I catch you up on life.

As you may remember, my computer had a heart attack and has since been collecting dust. I have alternately tried to blog from my iPad and Alex’s computer, but life events have been keeping us busy. This is not to say we didn’t eat during this awkward pause between posts you may have experienced with us. But we did eat a lot of leftovers, things I’ve made and written about before, or meals out. So my regular blogging sort of fell by the wayside.

Here are some life events that have been keeping us occupied:

Alex’s little sister graduated from college.

My little brother graduated from college.

We practiced smiling and laughing on command. That is, we had our engagement photos taken (thanks, Adam Barnes!). Except, well, I suppose from this particular photo you might wonder how successful we were at that smiling thing, but I like it and I assure you there are others where I (in particular) are more smiley, even giggling.

And, well, I finally caught up on watching Arrested Development and therefore spent many evenings shirking my blogging duties and instead summoning the energy after a long day at work to laugh at the mildly amusing puns and antics of the Bluth family.

Herbed Broccoli Sandwich (adapted from Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert)

– 1 stalk + head of broccoli, chopped small
– 1/4 red onion, diced
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– good pinch of your favorite dried herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, Italian seasoning, etc.)
1. Sauté broccoli, onion, and garlic in a bit of olive oil over medium heat. When the broccoli is starting to turn bright green, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs. sauté for 2-3 more minutes.

By the way, do you know what happens when you try to slice broccoli thin? The little florets fall apart and get their little tree buds EVERYwhere.

– loaf of french bread, sliced in half
– handful of grated cheddar cheese
2. Turn on your broiler.

3. Scoop your sautéed broccoli and onions onto the slices of bread. (I found it easiest to do by holding the bread in my left hand and sort of pressing the broccoli onto the bread using a spoon). Top with grated cheese and broil until cheese has melted and edges of bread are toasted.

Yeah. It’s that simple. Using the open-faced sandwich plan, this is kind of almost like a French Bread pizza (I shudder to use that term because “French Bread pizza” was a disgusting looking pizza offered at my middle school cafeteria. I assure you this version far exceeds that middle school version in appearance and taste). I went with all veggies tonight, but you could also add some bacon to the sauté. I also think this would make a fantastic bottom layer for a tuna melt, don’t you? If you prefer a little extra protein in your sandwich, fix up your favorite version of tuna salad and layer it on top of the broccoli before sprinkling with the cheese and broiling.

Well anyway, I’m back. What have you been up to (either in the kitchen or in real life)? What has surprised you this spring? Tell me what’s going on. (I promise I’m a better listener than Michael Bluth).

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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