Escarole, Feta & Shrimp Pasta

When I have escarole in my CSA box, I try to make something new. It seems that the most classic use for escarole is in an Italian white bean soup, but I try to branch out. ūüėČ

This is a quick, cheesy, creamy, TERRIFIC escarole pasta dish. We loved it. The recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. I used one half of a head of escarole subsidized with CSA turnip and beet greens. I also modified the proportions.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound to 1 pound short pasta, such as campanelle, farfalle, cappellacci, or gigli
  • 1 large head¬†escarole, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch strips (I used 1/2 head escarole as well as turnip and beet greens)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic¬†cloves, sliced
  • 3/4 to 1 pound large¬†shrimp, peeled and deveined, patted dry
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 8 ounces feta, crumbled (about 2 cups)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 1 minute less than package instructions.
  2. Add escarole and cook 1 minute. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. (I used an enameled cast iron pan.)
  4. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  5. Add shrimp, season with salt, and cook until opaque throughout, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add pasta mixture and scant 1/2 cup pasta water and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  7. Stir in yogurt, feta, and dill. If necessary, add more pasta water to create a light sauce that coats pasta. (I reserve the additional pasta water to use when reheating leftovers.)
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

One Year Ago:

Pasta with Greens, Caramelized Onions & Garlicky Bread Crumbs

I thought that the anchovies would be the “I can’t place my finger on the flavor” component in this dish – like in Caesar salad dressing. ūüôā Maybe because I was anticipating their flavor, I was positive that I could distinctly taste them in the final dish but my husband completely disagreed. This dish is so ultra full-flavored with the garlicky bread crumbs and caramelized onions, the anchovies really don’t stand a chance of standing out.
 
I really love that I could use my HUGE assortment of CSA greens in this meal! This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, via The Golden Earthworm Organic Farm. I used ghee instead of butter and panko instead of bread crumbs. I also modified the proportions of garlic, onions, greens, and pasta. I used our favorite Italian fresh pasta– so special and delicious!
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  • 3 tablespoons ghee, butter, or olive oil
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs or panko
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved from stem to root and thinly sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, kale, and/or beet or turnip greens, ribs removed, leaves chopped into ribbons
  • 12 oz to 1 pound whole-wheat¬†pasta, such as fusilli, or fresh pasta (I used fresh orecchiette)

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter or ghee. Add 3 anchovies to the skillet; cook until melted, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in the bread crumbs and toast until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Wipe the skillet clean and return it to a medium-high heat. Add the oil, the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Chop the remaining 2 anchovies and add them to the skillet. Cook until melted. Add the greens (adding the longer cooking greens such as kale first), a handful at a time, and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Cover and keep warm.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain well. Toss with the greens and bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil, if desired.

One Year Ago:

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Saut√©ed Greens with Bacon and Mustard Seeds

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I had to post this quick recipe so that I don’t forget to make it again! I usually saut√© greens in olive oil with red pepper flakes and garlic, maybe onions. The mustard seeds and wine vinegar really make this side dish a little more interesting. ūüôā (Not to mention the shallots and bacon…) My CSA share this week had at least 20 cups of spinach, kale and turnip greens that I used in this dish, but any combination of greens would work well. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Grace Parisi. I used red pepper flakes instead of a chile and red wine vinegar rather than white.

  • Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish
  • 2 ounces thick-cut bacon, finely diced (about 2 slices)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 hot red chile, seeded and finely chopped or 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 1/4 pounds mixed greens, such as dandelion, turnip, mustard, collards, Tuscan kale and spinach‚ÄĒstems and inner ribs trimmed, leaves cut into ribbons (I used about 20 cups)
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
  1. In a large skillet, cook the diced bacon in the olive oil over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the shallot, chile and mustard seeds and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the greens (give slower cooking greens like kale and collards a head start), season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing frequently, until wilted and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and serve.

Make Ahead: The cooked greens can be refrigerated overnight.

One Year Ago: Chicken and Dumplings

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Lebanese One-Pot Mujadara with Spring Greens

I love lentils and I love vegetarian comfort food from other countries. One of my favorite comfort foods are dals from India. Like dal, this Lebanese dish is bean (lentil) based and is really flavorful. Unlike dal, this is dish is very quick to make. It was my first mujadara, a great variation with the addition of fresh greens, the recipe from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark.

I used to be adverse to keeping white rice in my pantry, but when making a one-pot dish it is much more foolproof to use white rather than brown rice. The increased cooking time required for the brown rice could result in mushy lentils.

This dinner also became a wonderful CSA box in one meal. We ate this dish with roasted beets, carrots and fennel on the side, as well as with hummus (made with CSA parsley) and flatbread. I used beet greens and chard for the spring greens in the main dish (I also increased the amount). Healthy, quick, flavorful, and good. It was excellent with a dollop of greek yogurt on top.

Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, roots trimmed
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, more as needed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup long-grain rice (I used white Basmati rice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cups trimmed and coarsely chopped spring greens (chard leaves, spinach, kale, mustard or a combination)(I used 6-8 cups chard and beet greens)
  • whole milk Greek yogurt, for serving, optional
  1. Place lentils in a large bowl and add warm tap water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak.
  2. Meanwhile, halve leeks lengthwise; run under warm water to release any grit. Thinly slice leeks crosswise.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer half the leeks to a bowl to use for garnish and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  4. Stir garlic into the pot with the remaining leeks and cook for 15 seconds until fragrant.
  5. Stir in rice and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in cumin, allspice and cayenne; sauté 30 seconds.
  6. Drain lentils and stir into pot. Add 4 1/4 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer- almost to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
  7. Rinse greens in a colander and spread damp leaves over lentil mixture. Cover and cook 5 minutes more, until rice and lentils are tender and greens are wilted.
  8. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve sprinkled with reserved crispy leeks and Greek yogurt, if desired.

Rick Bayless’ Swiss Chard Tacos with Caramelized Onion, Fresh Cheese and Red Chile

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I have previously mentioned my affection for Rick Bayless stemming from when we enjoyed his restaurants while living in Chicago. Now I have several of his cookbooks. This dish was adapted from his book Mexican Everyday: Easy, Full-Flavored, Tradition-Packed. I would eat these tacos EVERYDAY. Healthy and delicious! We ate them with Frontera Chipotle Salsa (easy and really good) but they would be also be great with the Smoky Tomatillo Salsa I made for enchiladas the other night. We ate them in hard shells- to please my kids (who have become HUGE taco fans!), and had salsa and sour cream to pass at the table. Rice and refried beans were served on the side. In the past I have added cooked, shredded chicken to the greens in the final few minutes of cooking.

  • a 12-ounce bunch Swiss Chard (or collard, mustard, or beet greens), thick lower stems cut off OR 10 ounces cleaned spinach (about 10 cups)
  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil, olive oil, fresh pork lard or bacon drippings
  • 1 large red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3-6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • salt
  • 1 or 2 cooked chicken thighs, shredded, optional
  • 12 warm corn tortillas, warmed (soft or hard)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) queso fresco, crumbled or chopped into chunks (feta or goat cheese could be substituted), for serving
  • about 3/4 cup Smoky Chipotle Salsa (Frontera), or Smoky Tomatillo Salsa, or hot sauce, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving
  1. Cut the chard crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (small spinach leaves can be left whole). In a very large (12-inch) skillet, heat the oil (or tis stand-in) over medium high. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown but still crunchy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for a few seconds, until aromatic, then add the broth or water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the greens. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook until the greens are almost tender, anywhere from 2 minutes for tender spinach to 7 or 8 minutes for thick collard greens; Swiss chard needs about 5 minutes.
  2. Uncover the pan, raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring continually, until the mixture is nearly dry. Taste and season with additional salt if you think necessary. Add the shredded, cooked chicken, if using.
  3. Serve with the warm tortillas, cheese, salsa or hot sauce, and sour cream for making tacos.

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