Dark Days Week 1

Recently we visited a new restaurant, and I found myself pretty darn inspired for the first dark days meal.  When your local food mostly comes from your backyard, and your backyard garden is somewhat limited in space, your palette of food can get a little...limited sometimes.  The food that fills my freezer is generally the most productive and easiest to preserve, honestly (think tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli).  So we can get into somewhat of a rut.   We ate an assortment of dishes that were fresh and creative:  turnips with feta, sprouted bean salad, an awesome rabbit sausage, among other tasty bits.  Even while sticking to seasonal and preserved foods, they had a fun variety that made me want to stretch my habits a bit.

Also inspiring was my first visit to the winter farmer's market.  Along with the usual staples I needed like cheese, potatoes, and onions, were the last of the more precious fall veggies.  I picked up a lovely head of cauliflower, which I don't grow at home, and a $1 cabbage (which has just been crammed into a quart jar on my counter to become sauerkraut).

I had a new kale recipe I wanted to try too, so I decided to mix it up and make a medley of veggie dishes for dinner.  We've been eating a LOT of thanksgiving leftovers in the last week, so a non-turkey meal was definitely in order.

the menu:

Roasted Cauliflower with garlic and Pecatonica Valley Bacon
Wilted Kale and Roasted Potato winter salad*  (our winter kale and garlic, market red potatoes, Farmer John's Parmesan)
Mornay sauce for dipping (flour/butter roux, Sassy Cow milk, Forgotten Valley Swiss Cheese)
homegrown pickles (dill cukes and beets)
Whole wheat sourdough miche (made from my newly-sourced flour)

I'm really happy with my first loaf of WW sourdough!  While I add wheat flour and misc. grains to most of my breads, I'm not generally a 100% wheat-y person.  I do need a little tweaking on my technique to make a prettier loaf, but the flavor and texture is awesome.  I used a recipe from Daniel Leaders "Local Breads" a fantastic book for fairly advanced home bakers.

* I should note the kale/potato dish does have a tahini/lemon juice dressing added at the end.  Since I'm a newbie kale eater, and had organic tahini in my fridge (and what canner doesn't have a bottle of lemon juice on hand?), I stuck with the original recipe (SO GOOD).  However, several commenters on epicurious made it without the tahini (yogurt sounded like a good substitute) and I think it would be almost as good without it!  Maybe I'll try it next time.

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1 comment:

  1. Whoa! Like the new site.

    Sounds like a great way to start the Challenge. (I bowed out this year, glad to see you didn't.) I have a kale recipe fairly similar to that one that uses bread croutons and crumbs instead of the potatoes: now THAT is some fine salad.

    That bread looks great too. Good rise on a ww loaf!


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