Summer has finally come to Chicago, having shamelessly cut Spring in line. Chicago Spring is pretty weak-ass and didn’t even try to fight for her place in line, so I guess we’ll have to wait until next year to see her come around. Maybe she’ll work on her left-hook over this year.
With the summer has come all of the fresh fruits and vegetables, and it is glorious. My best friend’s parents have a garden plot, and this week were suddenly up to their ears in produce. When they asked if I wanted any I jumped on the offer, but I could not have expected what showed up at my door – an entire cooler full of greens. Gobs and gobs of greens. After unpacking the bounty, this is what I ended up with in my refrigerator:
– 3 lbs of kale
– 3 lbs of swiss chard
– 3 varieties of lettuce
– 1 bunch of cilantro
– 1 bunch of mint
– 1 bunch of parsley
In other words, I was now up to my ears in greens too. In order to not evict my roommates from their share of fridge space, I knew I needed to get that situation under control.
Step 1: Take out both the mint and the parsley in one fell swoop. In other words, make tabbouleh.
. . .
Lemon-Cranberry Quinoa Tabbouleh
– 3/4 cup quinoa
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 3 tbsp of lemon juice
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp cumin
– a pinch or two of cinnamon
– 1 bunch fresh parlsey
– 1 bunch fresh mint
– 1 cup dried cranberries
1) Cook quinoa as directed on package.
2) Meanwhile, rinse and chop parsley and mint, and toss together in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
3) Once the quinoa is cooked and allowed to cool, add olive oil, lemon, salt, and spices to the pot and toss with a fork.
4) Stir quinoa and cranberries into the herbs, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
. . .
Step 2: Blanch and freeze the kale. This is an awesome way to maximize fridge space, and to preserve produce for later use. Three pounds of kale cooks down to two small ziploc bags, individually packaged for instant use when I want to make my favorite soup – Portuguese Kale, Ham, and Potato Soup.
Stay tuned for Step 3 – Swiss Chard with Lentils and Feta Cheese. Yum!