Sunday, July 10, 2011

Making it Up as I Go Along

Last night I came back from the garden with a random load of produce and no real plan what to have for dinner. The only thought I had was that I should cook some collards because, dangit! we've got a lot of collards. I decided a savory, flavorful braise was probably the way to go. Scouting through the fridge and pantry I assembled some ingredients I thought might work together.

For aromatics I grabbed one of the white onions from the garden and a clove of garlic from the Westside Community Market. Braising liquid would come from the tomatoes, also from the Market, and a super special rare ingredient. The jar contains tomato pepper water. When I make salsa I like it to be chunky. The problem with that is that in processing, a lot of water is forced out of the vegetables. Now, when I open the jar, I drain the salsa and keep the flavorful liquid for other purposes such as this.

The results were pretty tasty but I couldn't eat it all. I'm sure it will be good left over.

My second course starred fava beans. I wanted them to really be the center of attention so I paired them very simply with some French sorrel and scallions.

A lightly fried the onions in olive oil and then added the beans, tossing frequently to get them warmed--they were already cooked in the blanching/peeling process--and then allowing a little caramelization before I tossed in the chiffonaded sorrel. The herb may have cooked a little too much but it provided a tangy addition to the dish.

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