Monday, July 28, 2014

Greens and Honey

Last week was greens and bacon. This week is greens and honey. Sometimes the secret to delicious greens lies in the pairing.

Chard Greens with Honey and Balsamic, courtesy of
Chef Arlene Coco Buscombe
This week's share will include the following: Snow Peas, Lettuce, Spring Onions, Braising Mix, Chard, Parsley, Fresh Herbs, A Kohlrabi/Hakurei/Broccoli choice, and a tiny taste of Tomatoes OR Eggplant OR Peppers from the hoophouse.

We are starting to edge away from the all greens shares, with snow peas and the first harvest from the hoophouse.

I'm sure everyone is familiar with snow peas. But in case someone out there isn't, they are great cooked quickly in stir fries, raw in salads, or nibbled as delicious snacks.

The hoophouse portion of the share will be small this week, think a half a pound of tomatoes or one large eggplant or a couple of sweet peppers. Literally a taste of things to come...


This week's recipe was inspired by an event held this evening at the Algomah Acres Honey House.

If you aren't familiar with Algomah Acres, you really should be. It is run by beekeeper/meadbrewers Melissa Hronkin and John Hersman. It's also a re-purposed Catholic church, an art gallery (Melissa is an artist and the national award winning art teacher of several of your children), and a really lovely space for events--like the one tonight during which Chef Arlene taught the audience way more than I thought there was to know about honey tasting and cooked delicious chard :)

Find out more about Algomah Acres Here.

The honey tasting was fantastic. Chef Arlene walked us through the tasting of four different honeys. 

The first and third are wildflower honeys from Algomah Acres.
The second and fourth are varietal honeys. The light one is Tupelo
and the darker one is buckwheat.
Did you know there are nine different official aroma/flavor families of descriptives to use when evaluating honey? One of them is animal. Another is spoiled.

I thought the buckwheat honey had sweaty animal notes to it. In a totally
good way. Also a lot of warm toffee flavor.
It's also important to warm your honey before you taste it, to bring out the full flavor.

Melissa warming honey with her hot hands.
After the honey tasting, Chef Arlene presented us with some food pairings. My favorite was the goat cheese with wildflower (or maybe it was tupelo...I tried to take notes, but my fingers were so sticky). 

Then she made the greens. There was no set-in-stone recipe involved.

She simply sauteed some chopped garlic scapes (I suggest the spring onions from your share as a substitution) in a few teaspoons of olive oil. Then she added roughly chopped chard, with a bit of wash water still clinging to it, to the pan. She stirred until the chard was just wilted.

Then she stirred in a generous quantity of balsamic vinegar

and a dollop of honey. She used wildflower. This one I wrote down.

Then she sprinkled in a bit of sea salt and that was it. My tablemate, Alison, suggested adding pine nuts. I think that would bring the dish from really good to sensational. I'm glad I sat with Alison.

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