26 Jan 2013
greens for dinner
In summer's warmer, brighter times, I like to eat simple, fresh, light. Laziness may play a part in this - I've either squeezed a few hours of gardening in between coming-home-from-work and dinner-then-inside; or on the weekends, when you could argue I have all the time in world for cooking, I'm again out in the garden enjoying the fresh air and tidying up the post-spring flower garden.
Weekend lunches are, quite frankly, usually a thick slice of tangy chewy toasted sourdough, topped with a generous smear of homemade labne (which I will tell you about soon) and an equally generous dribble of homemade basil and parsley pesto.
Dinner is this: I walk from the garden with handfuls of my favourite lettuce, the oakleaf variety (though it's going to seed now, so the leaves are getting tough and a little bitter). I get a hatful of beans: my speckly borlottis, the yellowy ones that curl up into bulbous Cs, the elegantly pencil-slim green ones, and the inkily purple ones that hide behind their leaves.
I have some of dad's delicious black jack zucchinis, and from time to time I get a big bunch of soft, grassy-green silverbeet - even the stems are a fresh pretty green - from my friend F. She says it only grows in the summertime; I must get some of it next season. And I am starting to pick my dark cavolo nero (the caterpillars, it seems, are enjoying it already).
Anyway, when the food miles are that minimal, I merely steam the vegies til just done and then toss them onto the lettuce. Maybe I'll dress it with my pesto (more green) or a little splash of that failsafe olive oil-balsamic vinegar-lemon juice combo. Occasionally, some parmesan curls. Once, I believe, I got fancy and toasted some nuts and did a little sauteeing. Once.
Every now and then I'll live dangerously and bust out some quinoa or some tinned chickpeas, but usually ... not.
Because honestly, enjoying these fresh greens as simply as possible, keeping them light, is good enough for me. Plus it seems more respectful for something plucked from the garden only moments ago. And with all those different textures and shades of emerald, a plate of greens is not boring.